Common Pilea peperomioides Care Problems – and how to fix them!

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Why are the leaves of your Pilea peperomioides plant curling inwards?

That is the most asked question I’ve heard about the popular Pilea plant.

There is some confusion that there are different answers being given on different websites.

There is no need for confusion.

The thing is, most plant problems can be caused by more than one issue.

It’s a matter of inspecting your Pilea, and thinking about the care it has been getting so far. That way you can eliminate possible reasons and come to what might be the issue for your particular plant.

Help your Pilea. Easy fixes for most common problems.

Pilea peperomioides Problems

The Pilea peperomioides plant is quite easy to grow and care for. It’s pretty forgiving and can handle an occasional missed watering session.

But there are a few problems you might run into. Like I mentioned, curling leaves is a common one. And droopy leaves. Figuring out what to do when your Pilea starts growing little Pilea babies.

Go through the signs and let’s find out what’s wrong with your plant and how to fix it.

Don’t see your Pilea peperomioides problem listed? Leave a comment with your question down below, and I will try to answer it asap. Let’s talk plants!

Leaves cupping and curling inward

Let’s start with why Pilea peperomioides leaves sometimes start to curl inwards. When those perfectly round, flat pancake leaves all of a sudden look cupped and curved, begin investigating.

Have you recently moved your Pilea? It could be that your plant is getting less light than it was used to getting before. Leaves can curl when they don’t have enough light. You see this happening a lot during the winter as well.

However, keeping your Pilea peperomioides in too much direct light can stress out your plant and have its leaves curl up.

Easy fix: Move your plant to where it gets more or less light as applicable.

Next, check the soil and think about when you last watered your Pilea. When the soil is consistently kept too dry, this too can cause the leaves to pucker and curl. On the other hand, overwatering can make the roots rot, which can then lead to cupped leaves as well.

Easy fix: Give your Pilea a good soak if i t was kept too dry. Let it dry out if you have overwatered it before. Adjust your watering schedule to keep the soil evenly moist. Reduce watering in winter.

If you have overwatered your Pilea peperomioides, it might be wise to repot your plant in dry soil. Add some perlite or pumice to the soil for better drainage.

Also, look carefully at the back of the leaves. You are looking for insects. Hopefully, you won’t find any, but an infestation of mealy bugs or spider mites can hurt your plant in a way that makes the leaves curl and bend.

Fix: To get rid of pests on your plants I would recommend attacking them with a natural pesticide. You can get neem oil spray and use that on your plant.

Pilea peperomioides common leaf problems and easy fixes!

Leaves Drooping

It is normal for older petioles to droop a little (petioles are the thin stems that connect the leaves to the main stem). These aged petioles on the bottom of the Pilea peperomioides might droop trying to lift the weight of larger leaves.

Easy Fix: Do nothing. Let those older leaves relax and hang out. Or if the look of them is really bothering you, you can carefully remove the petioles.

If it’s not just the older leaves drooping and you suspect that there is something else happening, it could be a watering issue.

Overwatering can cause wilting and drooping leaves, but a lack of water can make the petioles wilt as well.

Easy fix: Investigate the soil and adjust your watering schedule accordingly.

Pilea is not growing babies

Every Pilea parent wants to see the day that their Pilea starts growing little Pilea babies.

If your Pilea is not popping out babies left and right, it could be just a matter of time. Only mature Pilea plants can grow babies. Maybe your plant is just too young still.

Easy Fix: Keep caring for your plant and have patience. Your plant will mature and grow babies when it’s ready.

When you have a healthy, mature Pilea peperomioides and it is not producing any offspring, you got to take a look at its overall care.

Easy Fix: Make sure your plant is getting enough light and you are properly watering. If it’s spring or summer, you might want to treat your plant to a dose of fertilizer.

Don’t cover the top of the soil with pretty pebbles and rocks. This is not good for the soil and will make it harder for new babies to grow.

When your Pilea peperomioides has started growing new plants, you can leave them to fill up the pot, or propagate the Pilea babies and grow them into new plants.

Dropping Leaves

Don’t worry if your Pilea drops an occasional leaf from the bottom. Leaves might drop when they are older.

When more leaves are suddenly falling off, there is a problem. This is almost always because of a watering issue. Either too much or too little.

Easy Fix: Depending on if you have watered too little, or too often, you should water your plant, or let it dry out. Adjust your watering schedule going forward.

Pilea Leaves turning Brown

Over time some Pilea leaves can get some small imperfections and brown spots. This is normal and nothing to worry about.

Dry, crispy brown spots suddenly appearing on the leaves are caused by too much direct light.

Easy Fix: Move your plant away from the window, protect it with a sheer curtain, or make your own window sun diffuser.

Brown spots can also be a sign of fertilizer burn, caused by fertilizing too much.

Easy Fix: Hold off on fertilizing and dilute it by half next time you use it.

HELP YOUR PLANT BREATHE: Clean the leaves of your plant occasionally when you notice any dust on them. Use a soft dry cloth to clean them.

Leaves turning Yellow

As with a few other issues, if you have just one older leaf turning yellow and falling off, and new leaves are still being produced on top, nothing to worry about.

But if you see a lot of splotchy yellow leaves, often in combination with drooping petioles, it usually is an issue with overwatering and not enough drainage. Your Pilea might be in too big of a pot, in heavy soil, or has no drainage holes.

Sometimes yellow leaves are caused by a lack of fertilizer.

Easy Fix: Stop watering for a while and give the soil a chance to dry out more in between waterings. If the soil is really saturated you might want to repot your plant. Mind proper drainage.

YELLOW LEAVES: You can safely remove any leaves that have turned yellow. These leaves won’t revert back to green.

Where to buy Pilea peperomioides plants?

If you can, support your local plant nursery or go to a garden center and pick your new Pilea plant out in person. Find the best-looking plant and bring it home straight away.

If you can’t find a Pilea near you, there are a number of plant growers that sell them on Amazon and Etsy.

Let's talk plant. Pilea peperomioides problems and fixes.

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  1. Hey

    Bit random but I noticed this morning that my Pilea has all started leaning to one side. I’m pretty sure yesterday to look directly down on it, it was even. Now the petioles and leaves on one side are all leaning over to the opposite side.. I’ve never seen this before. Any ideas??
    It is possible my cat might of squeezed herself next to the pot last night but would the leaves react like that if something was next to it for a few hours?

    Please help I love this plant


    1. Hi Laura, without seeing the plant and knowing its care conditions, it’s hard to say. Did you recently move your plant to a new location maybe? It could be adjusting to a new light situation, or reaching for the light? Or it could have been the cat? I am not sure.

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