10 Pilea Tips You Probably Didn't Know
Updated: Jun 29
Every single Pilea Peperomioides is different and unique, and it takes time and effort to get to know your plant. The following tips will take your Pilea parenting skills to the next level!
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1. It Is Important That Your Pilea's Roots Are Healthy
When buying a new Pilea, check the roots to make sure they are healthy.
Then, every once in a while, remove the plant from its pot and cut away any circled or tangled root. Also, when the plant looks sad, remember to take a look at the root system.
Healthy roots should look white, numerous, hardy, and long enough to hold the soil in the shape of the pot. They should not be brown, mushy, or crumbly. Damaged roots can cause new growth to be wilting or dying.
The root system is very delicate! When propagating babies, there is no need to tug or pull on the pups. Gently cut the pup where it meets the dirt and it should come right up!
2. It Is Possible To Recover Your Pilea From Root Rot
Then, flush the plant: water it from the top until the water runs out the bottom, and repeat this four times to remove excess fertilizer salts from the soil.
If the soil stays soggy for more than a few minutes, you should consider re-potting the plant. In the following days, pay close attention to how often you fertilize and water your plant: too much is just as bad as too little. Water only when the plant’s soil surface feels dry, and feed only when the plant appears to need it, such as when the leaves start to lighten in color. Never leave your plant in standing water, as this will undo the work you’ve done to save it!
3. Over-Watering Doesn't Only Mean Watering The Plant Too Much
The plant could suffer from the same symptoms of over-watering if the pot or the soil don't have enough drainage.
Excess water should drain away quickly: make sure to choose a well-draining soil and that your pot has a drainage hole. If your favorite pot doesn't have a hole at the bottom, you can make one following this tutorial.
Also, don't put a small Pilea in a big container, or the soil will hold extra moisture.
4. When Leaves Start Curling, There Is Some Things You Can Do
Different factors can cause curling leaves. The first and most common reason is over-watering and not enough drainage. Ask yourself these questions: how often are you watering your plant? Is there a drainage hole at the bottom of the pot? Giving better drainage to your Pilea may help to stop the leaves from curling downward.
Also, what is the temperature in the room where you keep Pilea? Is the plant receiving indirect sunlight only? Your Pilea could be getting too much light or suffering from heat stress. Try giving your plant a new spot to change the amount of sun and heat it is receiving.
Another reason why your plant is sad could be a nitrogen deficiency, that can be prevented by feeding the plant regularly: do it once a month, using an all-purpose fertilizer (20-20-20) diluted to half strength.
5. Wishing For A Bushier Plant?
If you wish for a bushier plant, you can try avoiding cutting off pups. Letting the babies grow, could create a full and beautiful mother plant.
However, we all know that the best thing about Pilea is propagating and sharing babies. So, here's a suggestion: have a lot of Pilea plants and build a diverse and multipurpose family!
Also, never forget to feed your plant once a month, because it will promote growth.
6. Don't Forget To Pamper Your Pilea
Pampering your Pilea can be a calming ritual that gives you a purpose, and has a positive effect on your mind and emotions.
Give a name to your Pilea. Spend some time talking or singing to it. Listen to some music together with your plant. It will relax you and make you feel better, and your Pilea will love your attention.
Also, remember to keep the leaves healthy and shiny. They tend to accumulate dust, so wipe them down using a damp cloth once a week: it will help them get more light!
Loving your plant will be a source of joy: it will be rewarding to see your plant growing and thriving.
7. You Can Treat Pests In A Natural Way
If your Pilea has been invaded by pests, you can apply either Neem Oil or Silicon Dioxide (also known as diatomaceous earth - a type of powder) for 7 days. Both products are organic insecticides that can be found in most garden centers and are perfectly safe.
Spray the oil or sprinkle the powder on your plant so that there is a light layer on the leaves and the soil. The bugs will walk through it and die shortly after contact.
8. Terracotta Pots Are A Great Choice For Pilea
Terracotta pots could be a great choice for your Pilea.
Terracotta is a very porous material that allows the plant roots to breathe well in the soil.
It also helps the plant to absorb exceeding water and moisture and prevents the roots from rotting.
9. Never Forget To Pinch Your Plant
Dead leaves should regularly be removed to encourage a bushy plant! Pinching off brown or yellow leaves will encourage new growth.
10. You Can Use a Lamp If Your House Is On The Dark Side
For the darker periods of the year or spots with almost no sunlight, you can use a lamp. LED and CFL bulbs work great; choose one that has 1000 Lumens of output minimum, and make sure to place it about 1-3 feet away from the plant!
Care tips are always general rules. Each Pilea has different needs, and each home environment is different.
Plants always tell us what they need: observe your Pilea closely. Knowledge is key: getting to know your plant will take some practice and work to be successful, but the more you know about the requirements of your Pilea, the happier you both will be.
Observe your plant patiently, keep trying, and don't panic. Try different methods and solutions and see what works best. Find your own way to make your Pilea happy!