The main reason behind the popularity of Pilea peperomioides is the fact that it’s very easy to maintain. That, coupled with its beauty and uniqueness, make Pilea or Chinese money plants an excellent addition to any space. But just as with many houseplants, humans tend to make a couple of mistakes while growing Pilea too, the most common being overwatering. They don’t realize but most of the problems faced by Pilea plants or Chinese money plants, whether it’s drooping or yellowing or spotting of the leaves is a result of overwatering.
So what are the water requirements of Pilea peperomioides? How often should I water my Pilea or Chinese money plant? And how much water should I give to my Pilea? We’ll answer all these questions in this article.
Pilea plants are very similar to succulents so water them only when the top few inches of the soil feel completely dry. And whenever you water, just ensure that the water goes through the soil and comes out of the drainage hole that’s located at the bottom of the container. If you overwater, you will put it at risk of root rot, pests, mold growth, and other issues.
How Often Should I Water Pilea Peperomioides Or Chinese Money Plant?
Water Your Pilea When It Feels Dry:
Most people, especially the new plant parents believe that they need to regularly plant the water in order to keep them healthy and happy. And it is this very misconception that leads to stunted plant growth, flooding and of course, root rot. You should water your Pilea plant only when the top two inches of the soil feel dry. Push your finger or a stick into the soil. If the first inch of the soil feels dry, but damp or moist beyond, you do not have to water your plant. But if the soil post one inch or 2 inches also feels dry, it’s time for you to water your plant.
If you want, you can invest in a soil moisture gauge. It’s a fairly inexpensive tool and will tell you whether the soil is wet, dry, or damp just by inserting it.
Water Your Plant More During Summers:
The water requirement of a plant is never constant. It depends on several factors, including the season, weather, and the home environment. You’ll need to water your Pilea plant a bit more during summers. That doesn’t mean you can stop watering it in winters. You can slow the watering routine, but ensure that you provide regular moisture to the plant.
Water It Deeply Not Lightly:
Two of the most common methods for watering plants are light watering and deep water. In light watering, the plant is watered with small quantities of water frequently. Whereas in deep watering, the plant is given large quantities of water, but less frequently. It’s recommended to go deep watering for houseplants. Therefore, water your Pilea plant thoroughly, until you see 20% of water running through the drainage hole. This is a sign that the water has reached the entire soil and root system of the plant. Let it drain completely before putting it back on the saucer. We’d suggest you keep an eye on the drainage saucer, just to be on the safe side. Discard the excess water, if there’s any because standing water is an enemy of Pilea peperomioides
Best Watering Technique For Pilea Peperomioides Or Chinese Money Plant:
The best and most effective way to water your Pilea plant is bottom watering. Very few people know that pouring or sprinkling water from the top is an incorrect way of watering plants. It may lead to overwatering or under watering, both of which are harmful to plants.
When you water your plants from the bottom, it lets the plant take up as much water as it needs. The moisture reaches the roots and soil directly instead of being stuck at the leaves or topmost portion of the soil.
How To Do Bottom Watering?
There are three ways to do bottom watering, provided your pot has drainage holes. You can try each of the methods to see which one works best for your plant.
If you’re trying out this method, you’ll have to keep a close eye on your plant. Add water to a tub, or sink and immerse your Pilea in it. You need to ensure that the water touches the top of the plant. As the plant soaks in water, you will find bubbles appearing on the surface. Once the bubbling stops, which shouldn’t take more than a minute, take out the water from the sink. This method will come in handy if you have to water several plants at a go.
This is the simplest of all the bottom watering methods. Fill a bowl or saucer with water and put your Pilea inside it. This way, your plant will soak up all the required moisture through the drainage hole. Remove the plant from the saucer after 30 minutes and let it drain completely.
This is a wonderful method for those people who keep forgetting to water their plants. A self-watering pot lets the plant get all the required moisture, without you having to fill any tub or saucer with water. We think it’s an excellent method to try in case you’re going out for a couple of days.
What Kind Of Water Is Best For Pilea Peperomioides?
If your Pilea plant isn’t responding well to your current watering treatment, you may need to change the water. As weird as it may sound right now, but the fact is that city water contains too much chlorine and fluoride, which might be too much for your plant to handle. Even tap water is quite alkaline, which can have an adverse effect on your plant.
Distilled water is the best option for the Pilea plant as it is free of chemicals and minerals that may end up on plants. The only issue is that you’ll have to keep running to the store to get it. Or keep a huge stock of it, which can get a bit expensive for some. In such cases, the best you can do is fill the tap water in a container and let it sit out for about a day or two. Ensure that the container is left open. This will allow all the chemicals present in the water to evaporate. Just remember to use room temperature water. Hold or cold water can do irreparable damage to your plant.
Rainwater would also be an excellent option for watering your plant. Put a container outside whenever it’s raining and use the water for your plant. Please do not store rainwater if you live in places that get acid rain.
Many don’t know, but you can also use melted snow for watering your Pilea. It’s all-natural.
How To Avoid Overwatering Pilea Peperomioides Or Chinese Money Plant?
Pilea peperomioides are perennial, evergreen succulents belonging to the Urticaceae family. They may not exactly be like the other commonly found succulents, but just like other plants in their family, even Pileas are very sensitive to water. And that’s despite being very hardy and forgiving.
Overwatering can kill your Pilea plant faster than you can ever imagine. When the roots get too wet, they fail to absorb nutrients and oxygen, which results in sad-looking plants with yellow and limp leaves and root rot.
Overwatering isn’t just limited to providing too much water to your plant. It could also be due to poor drainage. Poor drainage is connected directly to the container and soil used for your pilea plant.
When picking pots for your Chinese money plant or pilea plant, ensure that they have drainage holes. Apart from that, do not pick bigger pots for your plants. Pots that are bigger than plants prevent the soil from drying out faster between watering. The same is the case with pots without drainage holes. Drainage holes in pots help discard excess water from the soil, thereby keeping the soil healthy and non-soggy. These terracotta pots are inexpensive and perfect for Pileas.
And always plant Pilea peperomioides in well-drained soil to facilitate quick drainage between watering. Potting soil meant for succulents would be perfect for Chinese money plants as they are very similar in characteristics. Or if you want, you can whip up your own Pilea soil mix.
Another thing, always put a drainage pan under the pot. You can either use a drainage pan designed especially for your plants or any saucer or plate. You must always empty the pan after half an hour after watering. In case you fail to do so, you Pilea will soak up too much water, and that will not work in its favor.
FAQs About Watering Requirements Of Pilea Peperomioides
How would I know it’s time to water my Pilea plant?
As mentioned above, dry soil is your best cue for watering Pilea plant. Other than that, if the leaves look dry, crispy, and droopy, you should water your plant. However, if the leaves are turning yellow, it’s a sign of overwatering. Excessively droopy leaves are also a sign of an overwatered plant. So you need to be careful here. Testing the top few inches of the soil would be your best option here.
We hope you got an idea of how often should you water your Chinese money plant. Remember, the goal is to provide a sufficient amount of water to your plant. Do not overwater or under-water your pilea. It’s not just overwatering that poses a risk to your plant. Underwatering can prevent the plant from growing and will shrivel the leaves. You should strive to maintain the balance to keep your plant happy and healthy. And if you can balance that, you will master a great deal of what it takes to grow a healthy houseplant. For any queries, leave us a comment below.
Aiza Siddiqui is one of the content providers in Gardener’s Toolbox. From a very young age, Aiza has been passionate about gardening, which explains her choice of major in studies. She holds a BSc Degree in Botany from the University of Calcutta. Aiza is a green thumb through and through and owns more than 100 different types of plants. Every article that she contributes to Gardener’s Toolbox is written by doing extensive research and from her own experience with planting and gardening. Hoping that you will find her articles on different houseplants helpful.