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What Do Watermelon Leaves Look Like? (Essential Tips For Beginner Gardeners)

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Watermelons are the summer fruits every gardener wants in their backyard. But, for first-time planters, it can be a bit difficult to identify watermelon leaves and the plant as a whole since they are quite similar to cucumbers.

That being said, this article will help you answer what do watermelon leaves look like and provide other helpful tips on how to zero in on watermelons. Therefore, make sure you read what we have here thoroughly until the very end! 

What do watermelon leaves look like
“Watermelon with leaves in the garden” via Flickr

What Do Watermelon Leaves Look Like?

  • Color: Watermelon leaves have a light green color with a “special” dash of silvery white. In addition, upon closer inspection, you will notice that it has a slight tint of yellow. 
  • Shape: The leaves are rounded and have irregular edges. Moreover, they have three lobes. These lobes are deep cut and divided into additional smaller leaves. Watermelon leaves look somewhat like oak leaves. 
  • Texture: Watermelon leaves are hairy and feel like sandpaper. They have a central vein and many smaller veins that branch out to the leaves’ lobes.
  • Structure: Watermelon leaves are associated with long vines. The foliage, as a whole, does not form a thick canopy and thus, cannot provide shade. Watermelon vines also have distinct, string-like tendrils. 

More Details On Identifying Watermelon Leaves

Watermelons are vine plants. 

Although we can easily recognize the green and red appearance of this tropical fruit, it is not as simple to identify their leaves. It is easy to mistake watermelon leaves with cucumber leaves and others in the same plant family, like melons, gourds, and squash. 

1. Color 

Color is the first criterion we can look at to identify watermelon leaves. Take a look at this photo: 

As you can see, watermelon leaves are light green in color with a bit of white. To the untrained eye, it might look like any other plants’ color. However, it is critical that you carefully examine and juxtapose the watermelons’ shade of green. 

Below is a photo of cucumber leaves. 

What do cucumber leaves look like
cucumber leaves via Pixabay

When looking at the two leaves, one after the other, you can see that watermelon leaves are a lot lighter and have a tint of yellow. 

2. Shape 

At first glance, you may be spooked off by watermelons; they have leaves that look just like a human hand with fingers! Indeed, watermelon leaves are eery- and weird-looking. This is because they have lobes. 

What do watermelon leaves look like 3
watermelon leaves via wikimedia

Lobes are the parts of a blade of leaf that project or protrude. They usually have gaps between them. However, every blade of leaf with lobes are still joined as a single leaf. 

The shape of the leaves as a whole is rounded, but because of the lobes, there are irregular edges. Specifically, there are three deep cut lobes, and they are sectioned further into smaller leaves. 

Here is a photo of oak leaves: 

What do oak leaves look like
oak leaves via Pixabay

Watermelon leaves are quite similar to oak leaves, right?  

Unlike watermelon leaves, cucumber leaves are somewhat triangular and have serrated edges. Cucumber leaves a more like maple leaves. 

3. Texture 

If you cannot trust your eyes, try touching the leaves. Watermelon leaves should be hairy and feel like sandpaper.

On the leaf cover, you will notice a central vein running from the bottom of the leaf to the top. Then, from that central vein, there are many other smaller veins that branch out the lobes of the leaves. 

Here is a picture to help you visualize the texture: 

Young watermelon leaf What do watermelon leaves look like
Young watermelon leaf via Wikimedia

If you find all of these texture qualities on your leaves, you can confirm that they are watermelon leaves. 

4. Structure 

As mentioned earlier, watermelons are vine plants. As a result, they have a long and thin stem that climbs or trails, where leaves come outward from. 

Even though watermelons have long vines, their foliage in general cannot form a thick canopy. By the same token, they cannot shade the soil beneath them. Their vines possess distinct tendrils that are just like strings. They take up lots of space and can grow up to 12 feet in length! 

What do watermelon leaves look like 4
via Pxhere

It is easier to distinguish watermelon leaves from cucumber leaves when you can watch their vining action. Contrary to watermelon leaves, cucumber leaves tend to create very dense covers, and you will not be able to spot the soil underneath. 

5. Other Aspects

If you are still struggling to pinpoint watermelon leaves, why not look at the seeds and the flowers? 

  • Seeds: Watermelon seeds are flat and oval. They have many colors, from creamy white to black. There are also some seeds with speckled patterns. The seeds are typically smooth and slippery. 
  • Flowers: Watermelon flowers have five petals and are oblong-shaped. They are usually yellow, but there are also cases of pink. The flowers will start to bloom after the true leaves and vines appear. 
What do watermelon leaves look like 5
via Pixabay


How long does it take for watermelon seeds to germinate?

It can take between 3 days and 2 weeks for the seeds to germinate. This is also when the seedlings will appear. After this period, you will be able to notice the true leaves. 

When do watermelon vines start to grow? 

Watermelon vines usually appear 1 or 2 weeks after the true leaves sprout. They can grow for a while before flowers start to bloom. These vines require a lot of space to grow to their full potential. 

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Now, you know the answer to “What do watermelon leaves look like?” You should no longer have trouble identifying watermelon leaves and telling them apart from cucumber leaves.

Good luck on your gardening endeavor; we hope that you will have a plentiful harvest with many well-grown watermelons. 

If there is anything else we can help with this topic, we would be happy to assist. So, please do not hesitate to reach out to us in the comments below.