The Pilea peperomioides is also known amongst plant circles as “the friendship plant”. That’s because it is one of the easiest to propagate and share with your friends. There are three main methods of Pilea peperomioides propagation: repotting root plantlets, harvesting stem offshoots, and rooting stem cuttings.
There are numerous benefits why you should consider growing your plant collection indoors. It can improve your home’s indoor air quality, relieve you from stress, or just boost your interiors’ aesthetic appeal. However, we can probably all agree that buying new plants isn’t always the most cost-efficient route. After all, we’re always tempted to buy more than we have initially intended every time we visit our local nursery. Fortunately, there are plants like Pilea peperomioides that are very easy to propagate.
In this article, we are going to share with you how to go about Pilea peperomioides propagation using each of the three main methods, answer some of the most frequently asked questions we get from our readers and share even more tips later on (including one bonus propagation technique!). Let’s get started!
Pilea Peperomioides: Plant Overview
The Pilea peperomioides is a flowering perennial that belongs to the nettle family. It has remained as one of the most popularly grown houseplants, known for its rich green and almost perfectly round leaves. A native to Southern China, this plant is also commonly referred to as the “Chinese Money Plant” for two reasons.
First, the iconic look of its foliage is associated with coins, and thus, wealth. Meanwhile, its unique ability to propagate on its own that allows you to share its baby plants with others is said to signify abundance.
Aside from the Chinese Money Plant and friendship plant, the Pilea peperomioides also goes by other names including Bender Plant, UFO Plant, Pancake Plant, and Missionary Plant just to name a few.
Pilea Peperomioides Propagation Methods
As we have mentioned, there are three ways to grow your Chinese Money Plant collection. Here they are:
Propagating Chinese Money Plant by Repotting Root Plantlets
The easiest way to propagate your Pilea is to just allow it to grow and thrive. Eventually, it will produce a lot of baby plants on its own. You have two choices once that happens. You can either choose to let them grow to get a fuller plant or trim each of them to create baby Pilea plants.
Should you choose to propagate using this method, then here are the steps you can follow:
1. Wait for your root offshoots to grow. We recommend waiting until your plantlets are at least a couple of inches tall. This will give them more time to prepare for the stress of getting repotted.
2. Make some space. Once your plantlets are ready, gently dig around the soil to expose the roots of your plantlets. You can use a hand trowel, a clean knife, or even your fingers to do this. Just remember to be extra careful when doing so. Even if your plantlets are already a couple of inches tall, they can still be quite delicate.
3. Cut off the plantlet from the mother plant. You can do this with a clean knife or a pair of pruning shears. We recommend using a sharp tool for a cleaner, faster, cut. This will also minimize bruising. To do so, cut the root system of your plantlet an inch or two below the soil.
4. Repot your new plant. Next, have your new pots ready with moist, well-draining soil. Keep your soil constantly moist until you notice that your new plant already has a well-established root system in its new home.
Propagating Chinese Money Plant by Harvesting Stem Offshoots
Pilea plants don’t just produce pups from their roots. They can sometimes produce offshoots from their stem as well. This method will require almost the same procedure as we have shared above. Select the offshoot you want to harvest, cut it from the mother plant with a clean and sharp knife or pruning shears, and plant them in a separate pot with moist soil.
We understand why some Pilea owners don’t always opt for this method, though. After all, stem offshoots won’t have an existing root system as the pups that have sprouted from the base of the plant.
If you have the same concern, then here’s an alternative trick that you can try. Instead of just planting your new pup directly into the soil, you can put it in a clear vase with water instead. In this way, you will be able to monitor how the new root system is developing before potting your plant.
Propagating Chinese Money Plant Through Stem Cuttings
Here’s a question that a lot of other plant lovers ask us: why do you need to propagate Chinese Money Plants from stem cuttings if you can just wait for offshoots to sprout? Wouldn’t it be easier that way? The earlier methods also won’t change how your mother plant looks.
Yes, those concerns are certainly right on all points. These are also the reasons why this propagation method isn’t as commonly preferred as the other ones. However, there are two situations when we believe that knowing this technique will come in handy:
- If you want to improve the look of your plant. Has your mother plant grown too tall to your liking? Or has it grown to a point that it won’t fit your container anymore but you have no plans to repot it? If you’ve answered yes to any of these questions, then this propagation method is just the thing.
- If your plant is suffering from stem rot. Another situation when this technique is going to prove helpful is if your plant is suffering from stem rot. Stem rot is a fungal disease that is usually caused by overwatering or poor drainage (or both).
Quick Side Note: If your Pilea is suffering from stem rot, then we highly recommend removing the plant from its pot to check if the problem has already reached its roots. If it did, then, unfortunately, the best solution is usually to let the plant go. Dispose of the soil and don’t forget to wash the pot thoroughly to prevent cross-contamination.
The good news is, you can remove the healthy parts and root them to propagate new plants. The process will then be similar to rooting stem plantlets. You will have the choice to either root them in water or directly into fresh soil.
Even more, if your mother plant was healthy, then you will be pleased to learn that the main stem will still continue growing. Just give it some time to sprout new growth.
Pilea Peperomioides Propagation FAQs
Now that you have a better idea of the most common Chinese Money Plant propagation techniques, allow us to answer some of the most frequently asked questions to give you further information:
Can Pilea be propagated in water?
Yes, you can. You can propagate your Pilea plant on both water and soil.
Is it better to propagate Pilea peperomioides in water or soil?
The answer really depends. We honestly haven’t encountered any problems developing our Pilea pups in soil, but we do understand the peace of mind that comes with seeing your root system grow.
One of the biggest benefits of placing your pups and cuttings in water is it eliminates one of the biggest struggles that beginner gardeners experience in Pilea propagation. It’s watering. You won’t have to worry about your new cuttings getting under or overwatered when they’re in the water. Just make sure to not let the leaves touch the water to prevent rot.
On the other hand, the biggest downside of propagating with water is you’re most likely to produce root-heavy plants. That’s because most of us place our new pups and cuttings on a clear vessel. Roots don’t really like a lot of sunlight. Hence, they will place all their effort in developing their roots to escape all the light that it’s getting, instead of developing new leaves.
You can consider placing your cuttings in an opaque vessel, which can help quite a bit. However, this still won’t replace the darkness that soil can provide.
Can you propagate Pilea from stem cuttings?
Yes, you can. Check out the tips we have shared above for more information.
How do you propagate Pilea in soil?
It’s very easy to propagate Pilea in soil. Just plant your cuttings and plantlets into your new pot as you would a regular plant. Don’t forget to keep the soil constantly moist to induce growth, but not overwatered that will risk root rot.
How long does Pilea propagation take?
Pilea propagation can take any time between a week to a month. So if you’ve been waiting for your roots to develop after having your cuttings in the water for a couple of weeks, then just be patient.
Why isn’t my Pilea propagating?
Have you had a Chinese Money Plant for a while but it has yet to produce pups? Then it just means that it’s not getting everything it needs to reproduce. Your Pilea might look like it’s growing well, but it’s probably only getting the bare minimum components it needs to survive. It will need much more than that to grow new plantlets.
Hence, if you really want to boost your plant’s chances of propagation, then here are some points to consider:
- Is your plant getting enough light? It needs bright yet indirect light all day.
- Is it spring? Pilea plants have their own growing and dormant seasons.
- Does it have space to grow? You might want to consider replanting it in a pot that’s one size larger to see if that will do the trick.
- Is it getting enough nutrients? Finally, fertilizing also gives your plant an added boost, especially during its active season.
Can you propagate a Pilea Leaf?
Bonus Propagation Technique: Yes, you can propagate your Pilea through single leaf cuttings!
Since we are already talking about the common struggles of a mother Pilea plant, did you know that this is actually an effective way to tell if it needs propagating and repotting?
When you notice that your mother plant is already needing more water than usual, or that its growth has notably slowed down, then this is a good time to check whether there are new pups growing on its roots and stems.
Freeing your mother plant from its pups will actually help it to focus on its own growth.
But what if your plant doesn’t have any pups, is within the right height, yet you still want to propagate it? Is this possible?
Yes, it is. This can be done through single-leaf cuttings. You are probably familiar with this technique already if you have experienced propagating succulents before. There are notable differences in the process, though.
Here are the steps:
1. Choose a healthy leaf. It should be deep in color and doesn’t show any signs of disease or stress.
2. Make the cutting. The critical part of this technique lies in making the right cut. We recommend checking out video demos to get a better idea. This is done by cutting the leaf along with its base and a little piece of the stem.
It should be enough to trigger root growth, but not too deep to sever the main stem. Don’t worry about harming your plant. It will heal the wound on its own.
3. Place the cutting in water. It should be enough to immerse the bottom part of your cutting in water. Don’t let the actual leaf get submerged.
4. Wait for the root system to develop. Take note that this technique will take a little bit longer compared to other propagation methods. Our experience has shown us that it can take up to a couple of months to grow a root system enough to pot your new pup.
5. Cut the main leaf. You will notice that the main leaf will eventually start to droop as the new plantlet emerges. You can leave it there or you can cut it from the base. Just make sure to avoid damaging the baby Pilea.
Growing Your Chinese Money Plant Collection
We don’t know about you, but for us, nothing beats the satisfaction of seeing your plant collection grow with your own efforts. Propagating gives us much joy, and more importantly, it saves our plant budget from getting spent on purchasing multiples of the same type.
We hope that this guide has helped you learn more about Pilea peperomioides propagation. In the end, it will all boil down to you which method will best fit your gardening needs, methods, and preferences. Happy gardening!
Bonus Video On Pilea Peperomioides Propagation: