Caring for Pilea Plants – A Beautiful Mess

The pilea peperomioides, also referred to as the Chinese language cash plant, is a real gem. It’s playful, very pleasing to the attention, and pretty simple to take care of.

The plant grows like loopy after which grows little infants so you possibly can share it with mates! Every time I take a look at mine, I can’t assist however smile. Their quirky kind is like no different plant.

The plant slowly unfold via folks sharing its “pups,” and throughout the final a number of years, it has made its approach right here to the States. I like studying/studying the historical past about this plant. You may actually observe it again to its actual location and the one that introduced it and shared it.

Apart from being an aesthetically pleasing plant, it’s additionally very simple to take care of, and it’s fairly hardy! Listed below are some suggestions for caring for the pilea:


I discover that repotting a pilea can actually encourage progress—giving it some wiggle room will encourage the pups to unfold out. To assist forestall root rot, use a pot with a drainage gap.

In case you have a pot that you simply love and it doesn’t have a gap, these drill bits are nice for drilling a gap on the underside of an earthenware pot. I like the trusty terracotta pot since they’re utilitarian and easy. The terracotta is great as a result of it’s a pure clay and can let the soil breathe a bit (in contrast to a plastic pot).

Don’t get me flawed, you should use a plastic pot or a closely glazed pot that has a drainage gap, however in the event you unintentionally overwater your pilea, the terracotta might be extra forgiving because it dries out a bit quicker. In case you have an ornamental pot that you simply love, merely stick your terracotta pot inside your ornamental one.

I’ll take the terracotta pot out of the ornamental one for waterings, let it drain fully, after which stick it again within the ornamental pot.

To repot your pilea, pour some small stones on the underside about 1-inch deep. The rocks help with drainage and can assist your plant not succumb to root rot. For soil, I exploit a high quality, effectively draining potting combine.

Your native greenhouse ought to have this, or you possibly can choose some up at your native ironmongery store. My combine has a little bit of advantageous sand in it. We have now some fairly humid months the place I dwell (in southern Missouri), so the sand helps dry the plant out a bit quicker.


It’s a must to water your pilea reasonably, however don’t overwater it. They wish to dry out in-between waterings and so they don’t like to remain soggy. I stick my finger within the dust and raise the pot to see if it nonetheless feels heavy from the final watering.

If it feels dry to the contact, then I water it once more. Let it dry out between waterings however make sure that it doesn’t get bone dry (though it’s fairly hardy and might deal with it). I water mine as soon as per week.

If I test the plant and it nonetheless feels moist, I’ll wait a pair extra days and test once more. The opposite day, a good friend texted me an image of her pilea which was drooping fairly a bit. We got here to the conclusion that it wanted to be watered. It had dried out a bit too lengthy!

The plant will let you know what it wants and when it wants it, so simply preserve a watchful eye. I requested an area greenhouse in regards to the pilea and watering and so they mentioned one of many solely methods to kill it’s by overwatering.

If you water your pilea, by no means let it sit in water. When you’ve watered it, just be sure you empty the surplus water that catches in your backside dish. If the dust stays moist/soggy for too lengthy, then the roots truly rot, which may probably result in the demise of the plant.

I’m vulnerable to overwatering, and it has taken me a very good bit to rein in my have to “nurture” (aka overwater) the plant.


The pilea loves the sunshine! Vibrant oblique daylight is what it wants. What does that imply? Should you put your pilea in your entrance porch with the solar beaming down on it, then that may be direct mild and it’ll burn.

Maintain them indoors close to a brilliant window (which is oblique mild). I put mine within the brightest window in my home and so they adore it. My mother had a pilea on her eating room desk (it was low mild) and it began getting lengthy and leggy—a really lengthy center stem with only a few branches.

It was attempting to succeed in for the sunshine and appeared prefer it wouldn’t make it for much longer. She put it outdoors below her lined porch the place it will get lot of oblique mild and it’s thriving once more. It’s not lengthy and leggy! It’s superb how they adapt as soon as you determine what they want.

I’ve run out of window house in the home and I’ve put a few of my pileas outdoors below a lined porch. They appear to like the summer season air and are rising fantastically! As quickly because the temperature begins to drop, I’ll convey them again in.

One other tip about lighting is that the pilea will comply with the sunshine and begin leaning in direction of it. It’s type of humorous to see them reaching for the window like they’re attempting to interrupt free!

I rotate mine every watering and that helps to maintain them straight and balanced. Conserving the leaves dusted helps them get extra mild as effectively. Use a humid material and evenly rub off any mud to maintain the leaves wholesome and glossy.


Probably the greatest components of a pilea plant is how briskly it reproduces child crops! Because it matures, little infants will come out of the soil or develop from the stem (close to the dust). These infants are referred to as “pups.” The pups truly develop from the foundation system and come out of the dust on prime.

When the pups begin rising, you possibly can both minimize them off of the mom plant or allow them to develop. Letting them develop creates a full mom plant (which is gorgeous)!

It’s loopy how briskly and full they’ll develop while you don’t make any cuttings. I even have a pilea that’s particularly for “sharing” that I’ll propagate and provides to mates. I like to attend till the pup is at the very least three inches tall earlier than I minimize it. My favourite software to make use of is an X-Acto knife, however any sharp utensil will work.

Give your slicing utensil a very good rinse earlier than slicing into your pilea. I as soon as heard that you must consider pruning or propagating your plant like actual surgical procedure and all the time wash your instruments beforehand. When you’re prepared to chop off a pup, bear in mind that the foundation system may be very delicate.

There isn’t any have to tug or pull on the pup. Gently minimize the pup the place it meets the dust and it ought to come proper up. Upon getting minimize it off, you possibly can both stick the pup in water or pot it in dust.

I desire the water technique as a result of I wish to see the roots rising via the glass. For greatest outcomes, stick your little glass or vase in oblique however brilliant daylight. When you see some roots rising, you possibly can pot it.


If you wish to give your pilea an additional enhance of progress, you possibly can fertilize within the spring and summer season months. There may be some debate on fertilizer, however I like to make use of a easy 10-10-10 system. I desire a liquid fertilizer as a result of it spreads evenly via the plant.

Once I water, I pour slightly liquid fertilizer into the watering can. Be sure you test the again of your fertilizer and comply with the label directions.

Should you’re into podcasts, Bloom and Develop Radio is tremendous informative and fulfilling!

Make sure you go away a remark when you have any favourite suggestions or strategies for caring to your pilea! xo, Janae

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Credit // Creator and Pictures: Janae Hardy.

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