When to Repot a Pilea (Chinese Money plant)


Pilea peperomioides, also known as the Chinese Money plant, is loved by many plant enthusiasts because it is easy to take care of. If you have this plant, you know that it’s a true gem. But how do you know when to repot a Pilea?

Signs You Need to Consider Repotting

If you are growing your Pilea in a container, you need to repot it at some point because the plant will eventually outgrow its original container.

When your Pilea outgrows its pot, the roots will become too compact and crowded. When left alone, this will make way for stunted growth. In time, your Pilea may become root-bound and then die.

But how do you know if your Plea is already overcrowded? Here are some signs:

  • The roots are growing through the drainage holes
  • The roots are rising above the soil
  • The leaves look unhealthy
  • The soil feels dry
  • The soil is unable to absorb moisture
  • The last time you repotted your Pilea was two years ago
  • The pot is starting to bulge
  • Your pot is already cracked

Internal signs that your Pilea needs to be repotted

Still not sure whether or not you should repot your plant? Try to see its condition by removing the plant from the container by tipping it upside down. Then, shake the soil to loosen the root ball.

If your plant is hard to dislodge, or if you see a mass of roots on removal, it’s likely to be pot bound. This is where the roots have grown to fill the pot and there is not further room for them to expand. If this is the case, it’s time to repot it.

How Often Should You Repot Your Pilea

If you notice any of the symptoms listed above on your Pilea, you should repot it. However, it’s important to remember that repotting your plant can be quite stressful, and it’s not something you should do all the time.

Even after you buy your Pilea plant, it doesn’t need to be repotted immediately. It can remain in its original pot for up to two years, although one year is recommended to maintain its health.

Best Time of Year for Repotting

The best time to repot your Pilea is in early spring, before your plant begins its growing season. This is the time of the year when your Pilea is in an active growth state. If your Pilea is already crowded in its pot, you won’t be able to maximize its growth. More than that, it will cause stress on your plant.

Despite this, it’s important to note that it is still possible to repot your Pilea at any time of the year, even during the colder months when it is dormant. This is because this plant is strong enough to survive a transplant at any time of the year. However, repotting your plant before the growing season is still recommended.

Steps to repotting a Pilea

Repotting your Pilea is easier than you think. Here’s how and when to repot a Pilea.

Prepare the pot

Choose a larger pot, preferably made from terracotta. Soak it ahead of time first because it may dry out the soil when it’s not soaked adequately.

Add a base layer

Put down some soil in your pot as its base layer. Do not add too much because the Pilea may not fit inside the pot.

Water the plant in the old pot

Before removing your Pilea from its old plant, lightly water it first. This will ensure the root ball stays together.

Remove the plant

Now, you are finally ready to remove your Pilea. You can use a trowel if you need help to remove it. Before repotting your Pilea, prune the root ball first.

Repot it

You can now place your Pilea inside your new pot. Place the root ball down carefully on the base layer of soil. Then, add more soil around the plant. Finally, gently pat down the soil that surrounds the plant before you give it a light watering. This will help the soil settle.

Best Soil for Repotting Pilea

Choose a well-draining soil for your Pileas. They do not like to be sitting in soggy soil. You can use a good quality all-purpose soil mix and then add perlite or sand to aid drainage. Use a soil to additive ratio of 2:1.

Some gardeners also recommend using succulent or cactus soil for Pileas because it drains very well.

Best Pots and Containers for a Pilea

Knowing when to repot a Pilea is crucial for maintaining its health. But choosing the right pot is also important.

Keep in mind that it’s all about the size, so the bigger your Pilea is, the bigger its pot should be. As a rule, choose a container that is 2 inches larger in diameter compared to your Pilea’s root ball.

Proper drainage is so important when it comes to the Pilea plant. In general, terracotta pots are the best for Pileas because they won’t retain moisture. Plastic containers or pots may retain too much water, and ceramic pots may not give proper water evaporation. Make sure to avoid spray-painted pots.

Whatever type of pot you choose, ensure that it has adequate drainage holes.

Common problems to Avoid when Repotting Pilea

Here are some of the most common mistakes to avoid when repotting your Pilea.

Pest invasion

Sometimes, your Pilea may have fungus gnats hiding underneath its leaves and the soil. If you repot it immediately, these pests will only transfer to the new soil, and it could affect the plant. Treat the problem first. Repotting can help the treatment as the you can replace the top layer of soil – which is where these insects reporoduce.

Repotting during the winter

Although your Pilea can still survive repotting during the winter, it is not recommended to do it unless it is really necessary. This is because its roots will not expand well when the weather is cold.

There is still plenty of space in the pot

If there is still a reasonable amount of space between your plant’s roots and the edges of your pot, there is no need to repot it.

Key Takeaways

Knowing when to repot a Pilea is crucial if you want a healthy plant. If you forgo this, your soil will lose nutrients, and your plant will not have enough room to grow. If you follow the tips listed above, your Pilea will thrive and bring you good fortune.

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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