Propagating is a fun and easy way to grow your plant collection, and few plants are easier to propagate than the Pilea peperomioides, or Chinese money plant. In fact, this tropical houseplant has even earned the nickname “friendship plant” because it is so easy to propagate and share with friends. That’s because these plants readily send out offshoots once they reach maturity which can easily be separated. Here are three easy ways to propagate your Pilea peperomioides.
When to Propagate Pilea Peperomioides
As with most houseplants, the best time to propagate Pilea peperomioides is during the active growing period. You can attempt to propagate these Pilea at any time of the year, but your attempts will be most successful if done during the spring and early summer.
Before Getting Started
Before you begin propagating, ensure that you move your plant to a location where you can remove it from its pot easily. If working indoors, set down some newspaper or a potting mat to protect the surface. Make sure that you have some fresh soil and pots/containers prepared and ready to go.
Equipment / Tools
- Sharp knife
- Well-draining soil
- Glass containers
Propagating Pilea by Division
Propagating pilea peperomioides by division is the easiest and most reliable method. As soon as you notice your plant starting to produce offshoots (small plants pushing up out of the soil) you can begin propagating by division. The larger you allow the offshoots to grow before separating, the better—however, you can remove small offshoots with success as well.
Separate Offshoots From the Mother Plant
Remove the mother plant from its pot so that you can see the root system and more easily separate the offshoots. Gently pull the offshoots from the soil, preserving as much of their root systems as possible. The offshoots grow from thick roots sent out by the mother plant and can still be attached, so you may need to break a few roots to get them out. Don’t worry—they will recover quickly! If you happen to pull out an offshoot and all of its roots break off, you can use the water propagating method to help it grow new roots.
Plant the Offshoots
Prepare a small pot with a well-draining potting mixture and plant the freshly separated plants in their own containers, patting the soil down firmly around the roots.
Water the Plants
Lastly, water the newly repotted plants well and place them in a location that receives bright, indirect light. Water the plants once the top 1 to 2-inches of soil is dry.
Propagating Pilea in Water
Sometimes, Pilea peperomioides begin growing offshoots from their stems. These offshoots will not have their own root system like the offshoots in the soil, but will instead gain their energy directly from the mother plant. When propagating these offshoots, it is best to grow them in water for a short period of time to help them establish roots before transferring them to soil.
Separate Offshoots From the Mother Plant
Separate the offshoots from the mother plant by holding the offshoots by the base of the stem and gently pulling them off. They should ‘snap’ off with the base of the offshoot completely intact.
Place the Offshoots in Water
Prepare a small container with fresh water and place the offshoots in the water so that the base of the stem is submerged and the leaves are above the surface of the water. Place the container in a location that receives bright, indirect light and change the water once a week. Roots should start growing within 1 to 2 weeks.
Transfer the Rooted Offshoots to Soil
Once the roots are around an inch long the offshoots can be transferred to soil. Prepare a small pot with a well-draining soil mix and plant the offshoots, patting the soil down firmly around the roots. Water the plant thoroughly and return it to a location with bright, indirect light. Keep the soil evenly moist for the first 1 to 2 weeks to help the Pilea’s roots acclimate to the soil, and then you can resume a regular watering schedule.
Propagating Pilea by Leaf Cuttings
Perhaps the coolest but also the least reliable method of propagating Pilea peperomioides is by leaf cuttings. While the process is still relatively simple, it is less reliable than the other two methods of propagation and takes much longer. However, this method may be preferred if you have a younger plant that is not yet producing offshoots.
Take Cuttings From a Healthy Plant
Using a sharp, non-serrated knife, take a leaf cutting from your mother plant. The leaf should be healthy and so should your mother plant. Using your knife, cut the leaf from the mother plant at the base of its stalk, taking a small portion of the mother plant’s stem with it.
Place the Cuttings in Water
Prepare a small container with fresh water and place the cutting in the water so that the portion of stem and the base of the stalk is submerged and the leaf is above the surface of the water. Place the container in a location that receives bright, indirect light and change the water once a week. Roots will start growing within 1 to 2 weeks, and eventually a small pup will start growing from the base of the stem. Don’t be alarmed if the original leaf begins to die off once the new pup has sprouted—this is normal and the pup should continue to grow without it.
Transfer the Rooted Cutting to Soil
Once the roots are at least an inch long, the new plant can be transferred to soil. Prepare a container with a well-draining soil mix and plant the rooted cutting in the soil. Water the plant thoroughly and return it to a location with bright, indirect light. Keep the soil evenly moist for the first 1 to 2 weeks to help the Pilea’s roots acclimate to the soil, and then you can resume a regular watering schedule.