How to Propagate Pilea Peperomioides (Chinese Money plant)


Did you know that propagating Pilea can be super easy? Before, it was a hard houseplant to find in local nurseries and plant shops. But now, you can reproduce this beautiful plant and give offsets and cuttings away, making it a perfect gift for family and friends. You can even build your own Pilea garden and even sell them.

If you’re thinking about passing Pilea on to your family and friends, here’s everything you need to know about how to propagate Pilea peperomioides.

Best Ways to Propagate Pilea

Pilea peperomioides, also known as the Chinese Money Plant, pancake plant, UFO plant, or coin plant, is very easy to propagate. It also got its nickname “Friendship Plant” because it’s been a tradition to pass it on from one friend to another.

Propagating your Pilea is a great way to get new and healthier plants. Generally, Pilea propagation is done in two ways: soil propagation or water propagation.

Soil Propagation

You can go for shoot propagation and stem or leaf cuttings for soil propagation. It’s necessary to consider several factors when taking good care of newly propagated Pilea, such as the soil type, sunlight, water, temperature and humidity, and pest management.

The three methods of soil propagation include:

  • Shoot propagation
  • Stem-cutting propagation
  • Leaf-cutting propagation

Among these three, the stem-cutting propagation method is the easiest way to propagate your Pilea.

Water Propagation

Water propagation is another method to get new Pilea plants. You can choose this method if soil propagation is tedious and time-consuming for you. With water propagation, you don’t have to be concerned about getting your hands dirty, repotting, or mixing soil and mud.

This method is more manageable and cleaner than soil propagation because it doesn’t involve soil and the associated mess. However, it needs special care, and it might not consistently deliver the best results. The new plant’s roots won’t thrive unless the right conditions are met.

How to Propagate Pilea from Plantlets (Pups)

The easiest and fastest way to propagate Pilea is by using root plantlets from the mother plant. Usually, a healthy Pilea with an adequate pot space regularly produces these root plantlets. You can see them popping up from the soil, and once they already have at least four to five leaves, they can be used already.

Because these little babies have their root system, what’s left to do is cut their connection from the mother plant using a sharp knife. Then, transfer them to their own pots and make sure the soil is lightly moist. While the transfer might initially shock these root plantlets, they can still thrive and grow immediately because of their own root system.

Propagation from Stem Cuttings

While you propagate Pilea from stem cuttings, it’s rarely done because you still need to wait for the cuttings to have roots. This process may take a while and isn’t always a success.

However, propagation from stem cuttings becomes very handy in two situations. First, you can always behead the plant if it grows too tall. Second, you can discard the plant’s rotting parts that suffer from stem rot. Don’t worry about beheading your Pilea. If the original plant is still healthy, it will resprout in time.

Propagation from stem cuttings is basically the same as propagation from a plantlet with no roots yet. Just put the stem in slightly moist soil and take care of it until it grows roots. Depending on several factors, it may take up to three weeks to see a root structure forming, such as how much light is getting in and how large the plant is.

Is it Better to Propagate Pilea in Water or Soil?

You might wonder which method is better: soil propagation or water propagation. The answer all depends on your preference. If you don’t like watering your plants, perhaps propagating them in water is a great idea. This solves some of the most common problems that new plant parents encounter: underwatering and overwatering. Another issue addressed is that you no longer need to worry about other headaches such as fungus gnats and root rots.

Another reason why some plant parents prefer water propagation is that clean water is more readily available than finding good potting soil. If you’re not fond of repotting Pileas annually plus disposing of old soil responsibly, then water propagation is a better option for you.

But if you’re the type that doesn’t mind getting their hands dirty, then soil propagation is the way to go. For many plants like the Pilea, propagation is best done in good potting soil over the long term. This is primarily because they evolve in an environment allowing them to. Just remember that Pileas love slightly moist soil rather than soggy. Make sure to use a well-draining potting soil mix to avoid root rots.

How Long Should Pilea Roots Be Before Planting?

Pilea must have rooted before potting. Usually, it would be best to wait for the roots to grow between one to two inches long before potting. Depending on various conditions, it takes around ten days to grow roots in water. Surprisingly, soil propagation is slower, taking about one to two weeks.

Why Is My Pilea Not Producing Pups?

If you find your plants not producing pups, it’s probably because of inadequate lighting. It should have enough access to indirect light. Otherwise, it needs to expel lots of energy to stretch itself and change the direction it’s growing to find the nearest light source. It redirects its energy and focuses more on producing new pups if it receives enough sunlight.

Final Thoughts on How to Propagate Pilea

Now you know the different ways of how to propagate Pilea. Remember, you might not get the desired results in your first attempt. But, this shouldn’t discourage you from growing a new and healthy Chinese money plant. Go back to the basic Pilea care guide and check if the plant has suitable conditions to encourage new growth.

Once you’ve successfully propagated a new Pilea, you need to continue taking good care of it to ensure the baby plant is growing at its best. You may find it tiring, but the reward of seeing a newly propagated Pilea grow up to be a bushy and healthy plant is always worth it.

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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