The pilea peperomioides is one of my favourite little house plants. Its unique round leaves did major rounds on Pinterest before they were available in most countries in the world, especially Australia. I still remember my first pilea peperomioides. I purchased it in around February 2016 from one of the first nurseries in Melbourne to stock the plant. It was tiny and cost a whopping $85. I was so keen to keep it healthy that I followed the nursery’s instructions to the word. Something went wrong there and two months later, it died. I didn’t get my next few pileas until a year later – they were still so rare that I had to wait that long before I found another. Since then, I’ve been experimenting with this plant and am proud to report back that they are all doing much better than my first!
I’ve put together a guide on how to take care of pilea peperomioides, based on my own experience living in Melbourne. Do note that care suggestions may differ based on your city’s weather and seasons. Also, I’m not a plant expert, just a person who spends a lot of time with her plants.
Place your pilea in bright, indirect light. By this I mean a spot where it would be bright enough to read a book during the day. A lot of people often ask me ‘what direction should the window face then?’ It’s hard to say what direction the window should face because you could have a north window that has indirect sunlight if the light is filtered through tall trees, or you could have a completely dark room overall but put your plant right next to the window where it is quite bright. Basically, any spot where it itself is bright with indirect light will be fine..
Water your pilea when the top layer of soil appears dry. You’ll often notice that if the plant has dried out that its leaves will droop, indicating it’s definitely time to water. These plants are often known as being able to thrive on neglect. I wouldn’t recommend you neglect it as such, but they are definitely quite hardy compared to others. Never keep your pilea’s soil permanently wet as this can cause issues such as root rot, fungus gnats and white mould.
Pilea leaves often turn to face the light source, making the plant stem eventually arch towards the window. So if you have lots of light hitting one side of your plant, but not much hitting the other side, then you may find your leaves all facing one direction. If this happens to your pilea and you want to grow a straight plant, turn your pilea a little every now and then to ensure it grows more evenly.
POT & REPOTTING
As with all plants, it is best to re-pot during spring/warmer days, so the plant doesn’t get too shocked. Repotting is also a great time to pluck out any pilea babies you might be rewarded with too. Pilea perperomioides do have really small root systems though, so don’t worry, it’s highly unlikely to ever be root bound when in a small pot.
Once your pilea is mature enough, it will start shooting out little baby plants from underneath the soil. A really mature plant might also grow babies along its stem. This is such an exciting stage of pilea parenthood! I recommend leaving these babies in the soil until you are confident enough that they are established enough to survive on their own – let them get big so they don’t die once transplanted. Once they’re ready, gently remove the baby from the mama plant and plant in a fresh pot of soil!
All in all, I’ve found the pilea peperomioides quite easy to take care of and a stunning sight to look at. Hope you all find this guide helpful for caring for your plants. If you’re ever looking for a pilea peperomioides in Melbourne, I have pilea babies every now and then – just send me a message!