How to Propagate your Pilea Peperomioides Plant

Propagate Pilea Plants

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The Pilea peperomioides plant, Pilea for short, is known for its round leaves and goes by many fun names.

There is UFO or Pancake plant, obviously because of the shape of the leaves. It’s also called the Chinese money plant, with the leaves being the coins.

The Pilea peperomioides is also known as the Friendship plant or Pass it On plant. Those names fit perfectly with today’s topic.

Because a healthy, mature Pilea grows little baby plantlets that are great to share with or pass on to your friends and family.

The Pilea is a very popular houseplant that grows fast and is fairly easy to care for if you look after the basic plant care principles.

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How to take Pilea Peperomioides cuttings

Mature, healthy Pilea plants will grow little babies or pups. These can grow from the bottom of the main stem of the plant or pop up randomly from underneath the soil.

Multiple pups or babies can grow at the same time. When they start to grow a bit, you can cut them from the mother plant to create new plants, or let them grow right where they are.

When to remove Pilea babies from the mother plant

Don’t start chopping away babies as soon as you see tiny leaves appear. Be patient and make sure you wait long enough for the babies to be able to survive on their own.

Wait till they are at least about 2-3″ tall before removing them from the mother plant.

The longer you leave the baby attached to the mother to grow, the better chance you have of successfully growing a new thriving Pilea plant.

You can take baby cuttings of your Pilea any time of year, but the best period is spring when the plant has the most energy and is actively growing.

How to Propagate Pilea Babies

How to separate Pilea babies

As soon as the Pilea babies, or pups have grown to a decent 2-3″ size, you can start removing them from the mother plant.

To do this, gently dig your fingers in the soil around the baby plantlet. Feel where the root goes. Follow it about 1″ down under the soil.

You want to remove the baby with its roots attached. Don’t just tug or pull the baby out. You might want to carefully remove a bit of soil around it first, to expose the root connection for easier access.

Use a clean, sharp knife and cut the baby plant away from the mother.

Propagate Pilea Peperomioides in water

Let it Root

Now that the baby pup is separated from the mother plant, it already is a new plant ready to grow on its own.

Because the plantlet already came ready with roots, you can choose to either plant it directly into the soil, or you can opt to place it in water first to let more roots grow out.

If you choose to water root first, simply place the plantlet in a small rooting bottle of water. Make sure the leaves aren’t in the water, just the root part. And remember to regularly change the water.

Once you are satisfied with the root growth, you can move the plantlet to its own little pot.

Give it a lot of bright, indirect light. Don’t worry if your plantlet might drop a leaf right after potting, it went through some stress being removed from the mother and being potted up. Since it already has roots, it should show new growth fairly soon.

Pileas grow towards the light, so rotate your Pilea plantlet regularly for even growth.

You can also pot up two little plantlets in a bit bigger pot to have a fuller plant from the start.

When you see that your new Pilea plantlets are settling in well and showing new growth, the only thing left to do is to decide if you want to keep your new plant or share and Pass it On to a friend.

Pilea Peperomioides the Pass it On Plant

Can you propagate Pileas from a single leaf or stem cuttings?

One last thing. The question that comes up a lot regarding Pilea propagation is if you can grow a new plant from a single Pilea leaf.

I have heard stories of people who said to have success with it. But I must say I have never seen it and for me, it has never worked.

If you do want to take a chance at it, try it with a healthy, new leaf with the stalk attached. Let me know how it goes if you try it!

More to read about the rise in popularity of the Pilea peperomioides.

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5 Comments

  1. Do you know how often do the mother plants sprout pups? Is there a certain age the plant has to be to start propagation?

    Thank you so much for all the info!!

    1. Hi Edie! Pilea plants can sprout pups all year long. They don’t have a dormant period. My pileas do grow more babies in spring and summer, but I see new pups come up in fall and winter as well.

      Pilea plants do need to have matured for them to start sprouting pups. Although I got one that was still fairly small when it had its first pups. I call that one my Teen Mom Pilea. 🙂

  2. A few leaves broke off my Pilea when removing some pups. I put those leaves in a glass of water and they made roots in about three weeks. I don’t know how deep to plant them in soil. There is a leaf, about three inches of stem, and then the roots at the end of the stem. Would I plant with the roots deep or near the surface? Maybe wait to see if leaves develop somewhere to guide me? Or toss them out as the mother plant has made over 30 pups in less than a year and the leaf cuttings aren’t really worth the time to bother with.

  3. I grew my Pilea from a single small leaf with some root attached. It took 8 months to start popping up new leaves, 4 months later its now a year old and it has sprouted 5 pups all at once. The original leaf died the other day.

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