Pilea Plant Care & Propagation Guide

Written by Ivy

Dec 02 2021

Pilea Plant Care & Propagation Guide
Pilea plant is a popular small foliage plant. Due to its strong adaptability, easy reproduction and easy maintenance, Pilea plant has small and elegant plants, clear green and white leaves and beautiful patterns. So, how do we propagate the Pilea plant?

Pilea Plant Quick Info

Botanical/Scientific Name Pilea
Common Name Artillery Plant
Varieties Chinese Money Plant,Aluminum Plant,Friendship Plant
Uses Air purification, easy propagation and symbolism
Origin Yunnan Province of China
Light Care Bright, indirect light
Soil Care Moderately rich, well-draining potting mix
Temperature Care Between 65-75 degrees
Humidity Care 50-75%
Watering Watered when the top inch of soil is completely dry
Pruning Care Pruned at least once a year
Fertilizer Care All-purpose 20-20-20 fertilizer diluted to half strength
Propagation Using plantlets that grow
Toxic Non-toxic to cats, dogs, other pets and humans

Pilea Plant Care in Detail

Pilea Plant Care & Propagation Guide

Pilea Plant Watering

When we water the Pilea plant, we should pay attention to the basin soil of the Pilea plant, and usually wait until the soil surface has a visible dry condition before water supply. Pilea plant likes to be wet, but doesn't like too much water, so it can avoid ponding.
The amount and frequency of watering for Pilea plant can be adjusted according to different seasons and climate. The climatic conditions in spring and autumn are similar. Watering can ensure the growth of Pilea plant. The water evaporation is large in summer, so it is necessary to replenish water in time and sufficient. The temperature is too low in winter, so it is better to keep the basin soil dry.
We need to choose the water quality for the irrigation of Pilea plant. We can choose rainwater or snow water collected in nature, or clean mineral water or purified water. Tap water is often selected for family maintenance, and tap water can only be used after 1 ~ 2 days of standing and volatilizing chlorine.
We should also note that in the process of watering Pilea plant, the water body can not be directly watered on its plant, and it is best to feed water around the basin soil in the shape of a compass. If you water in winter, you should pay attention to adjusting the water temperature to the same as the room temperature to avoid planting roots, because watering is freezing damage.

Pilea Plant Soil

It is best for us to plant Pilea plant with loose and fertile humus soil. The basin soil shall be kept moist enough, but there shall be no ponding, otherwise it will cause root rot of Pilea plant.

Pilea Plant Light

Pilea plant is a foliage viewing indoor Flower with certain shade resistance. Although it has strong ability, it still has its own preferences. Pilea plant likes the sun, but it still can't direct under strong light, which is a common problem of many flowers and plants. Too strong light will burn the leaves. If the light is not drunk, the color of leaf patterns will fade. Therefore, we'd better put the Pilea plant in the North window in summer and in the south window in winter.

Pilea Plant Temperature

The temperature of 18-25 degrees is more conducive to the growth of Pilea plant. In winter, we need to control the temperature at about 7 degrees to make it survive the winter safely.

Pilea Plant Humidity

We cultivate Pilea plant to keep the soil in a slightly dry but not cracked, wet but not ponding humidity state. In summer, we can spray water mist on the leaves of Pilea plant to reduce the temperature, increase the humidity, and clean the leaf surface to keep it bright. In winter, we can occasionally spray some water mist on the leaves of Pilea plant. We can't be too frequent. It will cause black spots on the leaves. If it is serious, it may rot.

Pilea Plant Fertilizer

Pilea plant does not have a high demand for fertilizer because it is afraid of low temperature. Therefore, it cannot apply fertilizer for pilea plant in early spring, late autumn or winter. Because the temperature is too low, fertilization will easily affect its growth.
The fertilization of Pilea plant is mainly in spring and summer, and the fertilization frequency can be controlled once every half a month. Generally speaking, it is OK to use water-soluble fertilizer and organic liquid fertilizer every half a month. We should pay attention to the nutrient balance of fertilizer, and do not use too much nitrogen, otherwise it will easily lead to the growth of Pilea plant.
In the process of maintaining Pilea plant, we should apply different fertilizers at different stages. During the growth process of Pilea plant, it is best to apply nitrogen liquid fertilizer once every half a month or so, which can promote the health of the plant. However, when applying nitrogen fertilizer, pay attention to the consumption amount and concentration, so as not to lead to overgrowth.
When the temperature exceeds 30 degrees Celsius in summer, we should not fertilize the Pilea plant. At this time, it absorbs less nutrients. After autumn, we can apply more phosphorus and potassium fertilizer to Pilea plant, which can make its stem stronger and prevent lodging.

Pilea Plant Pruning

When we cultivate cold water flower, we should often prune it. After cutting in a pot, we should prune it for the first time. After the new lateral branches grow four leaves, we should prune it, leaving only two complete leaves composed of stipules, petioles and leaves, and pick the heart. Repeated Pilea plant pruning can make its branches flourish. If the old plant grows very large, we can truncate it to only two or three sections at the base in the spring when the Pilea plant repotting is carried out. After the new branches germinate, we can continue to pick the leaves for two or three times to turn it into the previous dwarf plant shape.

Pilea Plant Repotting

During the maintenance of cold water flowers, if the Pilea plant repotting is not carried out for a long time, the soil will inevitably harden, the drainage permeability will be greatly reduced, and the nutrients can not keep up with the growth of plants. At this time, we are going to carry out Pilea plant repotting. Pilea plant repotting is very simple and can be completed in only four steps. A reasonable basin change can make the plant grow better.
The best Pilea plant repotting time is spring. At this time, both climate and air humidity are more suitable for the growth of cold water flowers, which can reduce the damage to cold water flowers caused by changing pots. The best cycle for changing pots is once a year, because the soil is easy to harden after a long time, and the cold water flower grows faster, so it needs to grow on the roots of a large pot.
Before Pilea plant repotting, we can cut off some over dense and withered leaves, which can save nutrient consumption and improve the speed of pot change adaptation. In addition, after the cold water flower is taken out from the pot soil, the soil on the root system can be scattered, and the roots can be pruned appropriately to cut off all the dead and rotten roots, so as to promote the growth of the plant in the later stage.
A larger flowerpot and fertile and loose new soil are required for Pilea plant repotting. The requirements of the new soil are good drainage and air permeability, rich in humus and plant growth.
We can pour water once after Pilea plant repotting to make the root system more closely combined with the new soil, and then put it in a cool and ventilated place for maintenance. In addition, we often spray water mist around the plant to maintain humidity. After a period of time, it can adapt to the new basin soil. This is the Pilea plant repotting method.
Read more:
Pilea Peperomioides Care & Growing Guide

Pilea Plant Pest & Disease Control

Leaf spot

Pilea plant has common leaf spot hazards, which can be prevented by spraying 200 times Bordeaux liquid. If the basin soil is too wet, it is easy to produce root rot. it can be watered with 1000 times of tobuzin solution.
Root nodule nematode
Pilea plant may suffer from root nodule nematodes. We can control them with 3% carbofuran.


Pilea plant is endangered by scale insects. We can spray 40% Omethoate 1000 times.


Beetles mainly parasitize on the leaves of Pilea plant and eat the leaves. A beetle is not terrible. What is terrible is a group of beetles. If it is not prevented and controlled in time, the plant will soon become a net and all the leaves of Pilea plant will fall off!
Beetle larvae usually live in the soil, so we should disinfect the soil all year round before planting. If a larva is found, it should be removed in time. Once it propagates, it is difficult to eliminate it. When there are many scarabs, it can be treated with chemicals. Remember to choose insecticides instead of pure pesticides. Although the insecticidal effect is better, it will have a certain impact on the growth after flowers. After spraying the agent, we should irrigate the roots to avoid residual insect eggs in the soil.

Pilea Plant Propagation

Pilea Plant Care & Propagation Guide

Pilea Plant Propagation By Cutting

When it comes to Pilea plant propagation by cutting, cutting matrix is indispensable. We can prepare the cutting substrate before cutting the cuttings to avoid excessive water loss from the branches. The cutting matrix of Pilea plant cutting propagation can be river sand, peat soil, etc. or a mixture of the two. It is best to disinfect before use to remove bacteria and insect eggs in the soil.
We can select the cuttings from the strong mother branches of the Pilea plant. The length of each cuttings is 5 to 8 cm. It should be noted that young and healthy leaves should be selected to ensure normal rooting and growth after cutting.
We can first put the matrix into the basin, and then insert the selected cuttings into the cutting matrix. We should also pay attention to pouring enough water after Pilea plant cutting propagation.
After Pilea plant cutting propagation, it should be placed at a suitable temperature to grow, generally between 18 and 25 degrees Celsius. When the temperature is too high, it should be cooled, such as blocking the sun or spraying fog water; When the temperature is too low, it should be insulated, which can be wrapped with a layer of plastic film. It is not suitable to have no light or too much sunshine, so it is necessary to block 50% to 80% of the sunshine in the process of growth. (Read More about Pilea Propagation.)

Pilea Plant Propagation By Division

Pilea plant propagation by division is also a way of plant reproduction. The Pilea plant is very clumpy. We can take the plant out of the pot in combination with turning the pot and changing the soil, divide it into several clumps, cut the old stem short, retain 2 ~ 3 nodes of the stem and plant it in pots. New branches and buds will sprout soon after the survival of Pilea plant division propagation!

Pilea Plant Propagation in Water

The common cultivation method of Pilea plant is soil culture. Hydroponic Pilea plant is relatively rare. Many people don't know that this kind of flower can be hydroponically cultured. The Pilea plant cultured by hydroponic method has bright color and silvery white stripes, which is more and more clear, lined with clear water and exquisite containers.
As for Pilea plant, we only need to cut off a section of branches and stems with terminal buds and directly put them into water for cultivation. New roots can be produced in about ten days, and the survival rate is very high.
We can also directly wash the roots with potted plants and then conduct water Pilea plant culture. Select a healthy Pilea plant, dig the plant out of the soil, gently shake off the excess soil on the root system, and then rinse the root with water close to the soil temperature. Then, use scissors to cut off the messy residual roots, diseased roots and rotten roots, leaving only some healthy and strong roots. Soak the trimmed roots in diluted potassium permanganate solution for more than ten minutes, and then transplant them into hydroponic vessels.
The newly transplanted Pilea plant should change the water every day and trim some roots with poor growth and rotten symptoms in time until the plant begins to produce new roots about a week later. At this time, the frequency of water change can be reduced.
Pilea plant likes a humid semi shade environment, and the most suitable temperature for its growth is about 18-22 ℃. Water shall be sprayed frequently during the growth period of Pilea plant to ensure the wetness of leaves.
We should also pay attention to avoid direct strong light. It is best to breed it in a place with bright scattered light. It should be properly protected from light in summer, but it should not be placed in a completely dark place, which will make the leaf color of Pilea plant dim and the branches and stems grow in vain.
After the seedlings survive, the bud center should be removed in time, which can make the overall shape of the plant more plump. Pay attention to regular pruning to reduce the soft lodging of plants, promote branching and make the appearance more lush and beautiful, but do not prune too much, otherwise the leaves of Pilea plant will be large and small, reducing its ornamental value.

Pilea Plant Varieties

  • Pilea Peperomioides 
  • Pilea Cadierei
  • Pilea Involucrata & Pilea Mollis 
  • Pilea Microphylla 
  • Pilea Nummulariifolia
  • Pilea Depressa 

Pilea Plant Benefits

Ornamental Function

Pilea plant is highly adaptable, easy to reproduce, easy to raise, small and elegant plants, clear green and white leaves and beautiful patterns. We can display the Pilea plant in the study and bedroom, which is elegant and pleasant; Or hanging in front of the window, green leaves hanging down, charming and lovely. The inflorescence is drawn from the leaf axil, the peduncle is light brown, translucent, and the terminal cyme is pleasant.

Purified Air

Pilea plant absorbs harmful gases in the air and can absorb oil fume. Pot friends with smokers at home can plant a pot. Pilea plant can also absorb carbon dioxide and release oxygen, increase the content of negative ions in indoor air and improve indoor air humidity.


Pilea plant can not only be viewed, but also used as medicine. The whole plant is treasure. The medicine has the effects of clearing away heat and dampness, generating saliva and relieving thirst, reducing jaundice and protecting the liver. It can reduce jaundice, reduce swelling and knot, and strengthen the spleen and stomach. For damp heat jaundice, red leucorrhea, drenching turbidity, blood in urine, children's summer fever, malaria mother, dyspepsia, traumatic injury, traumatic infection, it has a good curative effect!

Pilea Plant Care FAQs

Is pilea plant toxic to cats?

Pilea plant is non-toxic to cats. Pilea plant is non-toxic in medicine. Moreover, we usually plant it in our mouth, so we can plant it without fear.
The leaves of Pilea plant are bright, with clear texture and look very shiny, which may have something to do with its wet and shade tolerance. With more water, it will naturally be more bright and shiny. With such an explanation, you may understand that Pilea plant is suitable for growing in cool places with high air humidity, such as bedrooms, study or tea tables.
When the temperature is too high, we should block the sun, covering 60% to 80% of the sun. When the air is dry, we should spray water around it to keep the air moist, so as to facilitate the better growth of Pilea plant.

Why my pilea plant leaves curling?

There are many reasons for the curly leaves of cold water flower. If it is due to insufficient light, it needs to be placed where there is scattered light. If it is because of too much watering, it is necessary to drain the excess water and pay attention to ventilation. If the temperature is too low, you need to put the Pilea plant in a warm place. If it is because of excessive fertilization, we need to wash the basin soil with clean water.
1. Insufficient light
Pilea plant is more shade resistant, but it prefers light. If the plant grows in too dark environment, it cannot carry out photosynthesis, which will lead to leaf curling. In this case, it needs to be placed in a bright place in time so that the plant can accept the scattered light. If the light is too strong, it can be properly shaded to prevent the leaves from being burned.
2. Watering too much
The Pilea plant does not need much water and is afraid of moisture. Once watered excessively, it is easy to cause the root to be flooded, thus affecting its respiration, and the leaves will curl and hang. The water volume must be controlled to ensure that the soil is moist without moisture. At the same time, it cannot be too dry. If there is ponding, it should be discharged in time and pay attention to ventilation.
3. The temperature is too low
Pilea plant is not resistant to low temperature. It cannot be lower than 5 ℃ in winter, otherwise the plant is easy to be frostbitten. Once frozen, the leaves will curl. Usually before winter, it needs to be moved to a warm place indoors in time. In the north, it can be placed in a heated place, but don't get too close. You can also cover the upper part of the plant with a bag to prevent cold.
4. Excessive fertilization
If we fertilize Pilea plant too much, the thick fertilizer will burn its roots, affect the absorption of water and nutrients, and cause its leaves to curl. In view of this situation, it is necessary to wash the basin soil with clean water to wash away the residual fertilizer. If the root burns seriously, we should remove the pot in time, trim the rotten roots with scissors, and replant after cutting.

Why my pilea plant drooping?

Pilea plant drooping is mainly due to water shortage. Pilea plant is a semi cloudy environment. In summer, the branches and buckets shall not be exposed to direct sunlight.
It may also be that the basin is large and the flowers are small, and the water absorption capacity of the plants is relatively weak. After watering, the basin soil must be kept wet for a long time, the flowers and trees have difficulty breathing, which is easy to lead to rotten roots. Without watering, the plant will suffer from water shortage and the surface soil will be dry and cracked, but you can try to dig deep into the soil to see if the lower soil is still relatively wet. Therefore, the amount of watering is difficult to master.
It is also possible that the soil is not good. We can use Garden soil, rotten leaf soil and river sand to mix well as Pilea plant basin soil.