Dischidia Ovata

Dischidia Ovata

Good dischidia ovata care is all about respecting that when it grows in the wild it’s an epiphytic plant that grows on trees in it’s natural habitat, so it has some particular soil and watering needs.

Dischidia Ovata Summary

Light needs:Medium ito bright indirect sunlight
Watering needs:Let it dry out before watering it again, checking it once a week in winter and twice in summer.
Fertilizer:A well diluted balanced feed once a month in summer.
Soil:An orchid bark mix.
Humidity:The higher end of household humidity.
Temperature:15-30°C (59-86°F).
Where to buy:Try our list of Rare Plant Shops.
Common issues:Root rot due to overwatering.


The dischidia ovata is a fairly fast growing epiphytic plant, also known as the watermelon dischidia, due to it’s oval shaped leaves that have a very similar pattern to a the skin of a watermelon. They need to be in a well draining medium as they are epiphytic – they grow up in trees in bits of bark on the wild, so they cannot stand soggy soil.

See also: Dischidia Nummularia, Zz Plant Care.

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Light Needs

The dischidia ovata can do well in medium indirect light up to bright indirect sunlight. I would give them as much light as you can without any direct sunlight.

How Often to Water A Dischidia Ovata

You must let the potting medium dry out before watering it again, check it once a week in winter and twice in summer, make sure it is dry as overwatering is a very common issue with epiphytes like this.

Tip: underwater rather than overwater this plant. Always check the soil first before watering as they live in tree bark in the wild and not in soil so they do not like heavy wet soil. I always pay special attention check at fall/autumn time, as the plant needs less water in colder temperatures and so root rot is common. Be careful and make sure the soil is dry before watering.


Use a well diluted balanced feed once a month in summer to encourage growth.

Dischidia Ovata Soil

One of the most important things for a dischidia ovata is the soil mix, to avoid root rot it must be very well draining. Use an orchid bark mix for your watermelon dischidia, as they need rough material for the roots to grip and do not like wet soil. Do not use a standard potting mix for a dischidia, make sure it has loads of drainage material like perlite or bark.

Tip: remember this plant grows on tree bark in the wild and not in soil, so it will get root rot if let to sit in wet compost.

When To Repot

You can repot the ovata once a year in spring to refresh the potting medium.

Dischidia Ovata Humidity

The higher end of household humidity is ideal. They don’t any special requirements.


They will do best in the range 15-30°C (59-86°F). And 5°C (41°F) as a minimum temperature at night or in the winter to prevent cold damage.

Where To Buy

Look on Etsy or try one of these Rare Plant Shops

Other Names

Watermelon dischidia. Dischidia ovata watermelon.

A huge Dischidia Ovata trailing down a wall.
A huge Dischidia Ovata trailing down a wall.

Dischidia Ovata Propagation

Watermelon dischidias are really easy to propagate and root, just follow these steps. This will get you a lot more than just one new plant.:

  1. Cut off one branch / stem of your plant.
  2. Cut the stem cutting into separate pieces, one for each node with leaves.
  3. Leave them to callous over for an hour. This will mean the wound seals and is less likely to rot.
  4. Get a tub of wet sphagnum moss and put the cuttings on the top.
  5. Try to tuck the nodes into the moss as much as possible with tweezers or similar. You want the moss to surround the nodes to encourage root growth.
  6. Make sure the moss is wet and then put a clear lid on the tub, or cover the whole thing in a clear plastic bag. Make sure there are at least two small holes to allow some air flow and avoid rot, but keep humidity high and the moss moist.
  7. Put the tub in warm place out of direct sun and wait for the plants to root. It can take 1 to 2 months.
  8. You can pot them up into a better potting mix once the root is established.

Tip: It is really easy to break the roots when taking them out of the sphagnum moss. What I like to do is put the roots and moss in a bowl of water and pull them apart gently.

Good luck!

Dischidia Propagation In Water

To propagate your dischidia in water you need to take a long stem with about 4 or 5 nodes on it, and then trim the leaves from the bottom few nodes, then lets the wounds callous over for an hour. Put the stems in water to root, a good way to do this is put plastic wrap over the top of the jar and poke holes in it for the cuttings. This will keep them in place. Put the jar in a warm place with some indirect sunlight and wait for the cuttings to root over a month or two, then you can plant them up into soil.

See also: Succulent Propagation (with pictures).

is dischidia a succulent?

The dischidia ovata is both an epiphyte and a succulent. They grow in tree bark in the wild and hold on to moisture in their fleshy leaves.

Dischidia Ovata USDA Zone

Zones 9-11

FAQs and Common Problems

Overwatering is the biggest killer of these plants as they do not like their roots to sit in wet soil. Use an extremely well draining potting medium like orchid bark, as they plants are epiphytic.

Are They Toxic To Cats?

They can be toxic to pets if eaten, seek vets advice immediately if your cat eats any.

Dischidia Ovata Yellow Leaves

Be really careful of overwatering as it can cause yellow leaves. These plants must not site in wet soil, they really hate it, most so than cacti. Be sure to use a potting mix suitable for epiphytes and avoid wet,soggy soil.

Dischidia Ovata Variegata

The dischidia ovata has white stripes on it already. There is no other variegated dischidia ovata version for sale. However there is a variegated dischidia oiantha, which has white borders to its leaves and this dischidia oiantha variegata is sometimes mistaken for the ovata. Hope this clears it up!

Is Dischidia Ovata A Hoya?

No it is not a hoya, although they are really similar to some hoyas and are even sometimes called a water melon hoya. They are epiphtyes and so they are very similar to care for in many respects.

Dischidia Ovata Flower

They flower occasionally with small tubular yellow flowers with some purple on them.

Dischidia Ovata Vs Peperomia Quadrangularis

The easiest way to tell the difference between a dischidia ovata and peperomia quadrangularis is when they are flowering: the d ovata has small bell shaped white flowers and the peperomia’s flowers are like small spikes.

Additional Resources


Other Articles You Might Like

Hope you found our dischidia ovata guide useful, you might also like our other articles on epiphytes Hoya Linearis, Dischidia Nummularia, Hoya Carnosa.

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Dischidia Ovata
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