Why Are My Chinese Money Plant Leaves Falling Off?

If you have a Chinese money plant (Pilea peperomioides), consider yourself lucky. This plant is famous all over the world because of its glossy deep green color. But what should you do when you notice Chinese money plant leaves falling off?

The good news is that it’s often possible to find out the cause of problem. Leaves falling off a Pilea can often be due to incorrect watering, pest damage or temperature changes.

In this article we will go into these causes in detail and cover how to fix the issues. Let’s get your plant looking great again!

Top Reasons for Pilea Losing Its Leaves

Here are the most common causes of Chinese money plant leaves falling off.


One of the major reasons why your Chinese plant leaves are falling off is because of underwatering. Once the soil dries out, the leaves of your plant will start to droop and then fall. This will affect the older leaves first.


Just as underwatering can be detrimental for your Chinese money plant, overwatering can also cause the same problem. If you leave your Chinese money plant in a pot with not enough drainage and the soil becomes too soggy, it will cause root rot. Before the leaves start to fall, you will notice that they will look yellow.

Temperature change

When your Pilea experiences a sudden temperature change, it can suffer. This can happen if you leave your Chinese money plant outside in the summer or winter or leave it near your air conditioning unit.

Low light

Although it’s not a direct cause of Chinese money plant leaves falling off, low light can lead to overwatering. In time, your Pilea will simply wilt. When there is low light, evaporation will decrease, so the soil of your Pilea will be wet for a longer time.

Pest attack

Another common reason why your Chinese plant leaves are falling is because of pests. This plant is prone to various pests such as spider mites and mealybugs. These pests suck the sap from the leaves, which make them dehydrated. If your plant is experiencing a pest infestation, you need to isolate it right away.

Old foliage

As your plant begins to grow, the older leaves can die and fall off. Normally, these leaves will turn yellow before they fall off. If only one or two leaves fall at a time, do not worry about it. This is very common during autumn.

Is It Normal for Pilea to Drop Bottom Leaves?

It’s so easy to fall into panic if you see leaves on your Chinese money plant falling off. However, don’t worry too much. It is normal for this plant to experience some leaf loss.

Pileas shed their lower leaves, especially those that are far from the light source or leaves that are no longer useful to the plant because they are too old.

You only need to take action if the leaf loss has become intense and there is more loss than growth on your plant during the growing season.

Will Chinese Money Plant Leaves Grow Back?

Pileas are strong plants, and they will surely recover. As long as there is one leaf attached to the plant, it should photosynthesize as well as grow new leaves.

Usually, your plant will be able to bounce back on its own. But depending on the main cause of the falling leaves, you need to take a few steps to revive your Pilea.

How Do You Revive a Dying Pilea?

Here are the steps you need to take to revive your Chinese money plant.

Water it

If you have been neglecting your plant for quite a while, this should be the first thing on your list. But before you do this, double-check if your Pilea needs watering. If your plant has dry and brown leaves, and if the soil is dry, it needs more water.

The best way to water your dehydrated plant is to fill up a bucket with water, preferably room temperature, and soak the Pilea for 3 minutes. Then, let it drip dry in the sink before returning it to its pot. Over a week, continue to water your plant.

Exercise leaf care

When you see your Chinese plant leaves falling off, give its leaves some care. Get rid of grime and dust by wiping it with warm and soapy water. This will maximize the sunlight your plant gets to foster photosynthesis.

Increase humidity

Aside from watering and taking care of the leaves, increase the humidity in the area to revive your Pileas. If you live in an area with dry air, or if you are noticing your plant’s health suffering in the winter months, try to mist your plant’s leaves a few times a week. Making a water-filled pebble tray can also help.

Other ways to increase humidity include popping your plant in the sink or shower to wash it down with lukewarm water, getting a humidifier, and moving your plant somewhere with naturally high humidity.

Assess the lighting condition

One reason why your Pilea plant’s leaves are falling may be because direct sunlight is burning your plant. If your Chinese money plant is just left near a window for a long period, this may be behind the falling leaves. If you are noticing burnt-looking patches on the leaf, move it away from the window.

If your plant is growing in a darker area, you may also need to adjust the light to revive the falling leaves. Stunted growth is a sign that your money plant lacks sunlight. Do not forget to monitor the light level in the area where your plant is at different times during the day because your Pilea may be getting a good amount of light during the morning, but too much at noon.

Check the temperature

Extreme temperatures may be causing your plant leaves to fall off. This is common with Pileas placed near an air conditioning system, radiator, or heating vent. Ideally, your Pilea should be in a spot with a temperature between 60-75°F (15-24°C).

Final Thoughts on Chinese Money Plant Leaves Falling Off

Generally, the maintenance of your Pilea plant is straightforward. While the plant may look fragile, it’s tough if you know how to take care of it.

Whilst the odd leaf leaf falling off is natural and not a cause for concern, multiple leaves falling can be the sign that the environmental conditions are not right for your plant. Now that you know what to do when you see Chinese money plant leaves falling off, simply apply the tips listed above.

About the author 

Paul - Better Houseplants

Loves orchids and foliage houseplants. Always trying to be a better plant parent. Let's get growing!

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