Pellionia repens (Trailing Watermelon Begonia)

Trailing Watermelon Begonia / Watermelon Vine / Rainbow Vine

Pellionia repens / Procris repens

Pellionia repens (recently reclassified to Procris repens) is a gorgeous and super easy to grow terrarium plant. It’s often called the “Trailing Watermelon Begonia” despite not being a begonia at all (or a watermelon for that matter) for it’s begonia like asymmetrical leaf growth and deep watermelon rind colours. Native to Southeast Asia, it has found a home as a houseplant thanks to its lush foliage and deep green, red and purple colours. It’ll grow under most household conditions, but it really thrives in a warm and humid terrarium. If you’re looking for an easy vine to fill out your terrarium, you can’t go wrong with this one.

At a Glance

  • Vine
  • Medium - high indirect light
  • 55-90°F (12-32°C)
  • Regular, even moisture
  • 2-5 inches
  • Medium - high humidity (40-90%)

Where to Buy Pellionia repens

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Terrarium Plant Guide

Trailing Watermelon Vine Care & Growth

Lighting

Pellionia repens is pretty forgiving when it comes to lighting as long as it’s not under direct sunlight. It’ll do best under bright, indirect light but it’ll manage in most reasonable household conditions too. The brighter the light, the deeper the colours of the plant.

Watering

Keep Pellionia repens moist at all times to keep it strong and healthy. It’s quite a hardy plant but allowing to dry out is probably the fastest way to kill it. On the flip side, try not to over-saturate the soil as it’s prone to root rot in excessive moisture.

Substrate

The trailing watermelon begonia enjoys a moist, but not soggy substrate – making a substrate with high water retention but good drainage ideal.

Temperature & Humidity

This tropical vine loves warmth and humidity, but it’s surprisingly forgiving on both parts. The watermelon vine will very easily adapt to most tropical terrarium conditions.

Growth

Pellionia repens tends to stay fairly small in terrarium conditions, but it is a quick grower so you can expect to need to trim it back every now and again. Pinching the stems as they grow is the easiest way to keep it compact.

Propagation

The trailing watermelon begonia is very easy to propagate thanks to the fact that it roots at every node. So, simply take a rooted stem cutting from where the vine meets the substrate and you’ll have a viable new plant.

Varieties & Similar Plants

Pellionia is an often overlooked genus, but it has a few gorgeous plants to offer for terrariums. P. pulchra is another great terrarium vine with smaller, rounder leaves and a shingling growth habit that tightly wraps around its host.

Common Problems

Honestly, there’s not many challenges involved with growing Pellionia repens – it’s a very easy plant to take care of. Keep it moist at all times, keep the humidity high and it should thrive.