We are immensely blessed to have an abundance of life around us in unique forms. Each living creature has its features, requirements, and has to face specific problems related to its health and survival. Every region of the planet has its form of plants with their specific features and importance. Pilea peperomioides is one such plant popular as an indoor decorative plant. In this article, we will introduce the Pilea peperomioides and discuss the common Pelia peperomioides problems.
History of Pilea Peperomioides
Pilea peperomioides belong to the family Urticaceae and the genus Pilea. This is a flowering succulent family and the majority of the Urticaceaens have hairy structures, unlike the Pileas. These are popularly used in ancient medicine. This plant is native to the mountain ranges of South China and was introduced to Europe when it was first collected by George Forrest in the initial years of the 19th century.
This plant lacked the limelight for the next 30 years after the initial introduction to the West. Until Espegren took the cuttings to Norway in 1946 where people found the easy-to-grow ornamental plant and gifted the babies to their friends. This ultimately resulted in the spread of the plant in the Northwestern region of Europe and the rest of the world.
The botanists of the western region were ignorant of this plant species and its classification until the 1980s. The plant structure was confusing for the botanists of Europe as the leaves resembled the Peperomia( A round-leafed, small, perennial, and epiphytic plant) with typical Pelia inflorescence.
Then the botanists of Kew (a famous botanical garden in London with the world’s most wide botanical and mycological collection), W.Marais found some details and classification about the plant species written by the German botanist Friedrich Diels who introduced it to botanical researches in 1912. The term ‘peperomioides’ was derived from the Latin language meaning “like-peperomia”.
Pileas are evergreen perennial plants with beautiful, round, shiny dark green, peltate leaves which are usually 4 inches wide. The delicate indoor plants can grow up to a maximum height of 12 inches. These have generally got extinct from their natural native habitat in Chinese mountains but are found commonly as ornamental indoor plants throughout the world.
Common Names of Pilea Peperomioides
Pilea pepromioides are associated with good luck and financial gains in local cultures. They have many common names like the Pancake plant, Money plant of China, friendship plant, Coin plant, missionary plant, UFO plant, Bender, and the mirror grass.
Pilea Peperomioides Problems
The plant is typically considered to be easy to handle the plant. However, it can face certain problems due to unfavorable conditions of the environment. These problems can be easily solved by adjusting the place, watering routine, or simply adding fertilizer. Common Pilea peperomioides problems are discussed below:
One of the most common Pilea peperomioides problems is the pest attack.
Spider Mites, mealy Bugs, and fungus gnats are common pests that may attack the plant.
If the leaves have a spidery web on their lower sides, this is a sign of a spider mite attack.
Tiny dots on the leaf bases or crevices are a possible sign of a mealybug.
Flies around the plant and inside your home are known as Fungus gnats.
To save the plant from pests, it is important to control them on the initial levels. For this, you can use a herbal spray made up of oil and the popular Neem plant. This plant is strong and bitter enough to ward off pests.
Markets are also selling insecticidal soaps and sprays to solve this Pilea peperomioides problem of pesticides.
On the very initial level, you can also manually remove the pests and clean the leaves by wiping them off and water misting.
In case you consider removing the bugs manually, please don’t forget to wear protective gloves to avoid any kind of allergy or other health issues.
Curling Of Leaves of Upper Region
Curling of the leaves is also one of the common Pilea peperomioides problems. In this case, you need to check for two cases:
If the leaves of the upper region of the plant are getting curly, it is possible due to high sun exposure.
Exposure to heaters, Air conditioners, or nearby fans can also cause the curling of the leaves. Adjust the place of the plant accordingly to avoid drifting.
The simple solution is to change the place of the indoor pot to some area of the room with lesser and indirect exposure to the sunlight and see if it solves the issue.
Curling of Leaves of Lower Region
The other case is the curling of the leaves of the lower region.
The possible reason for this is that the plant is receiving higher amounts of water than needed.
You need to reduce the watering quantity to half and make sure that at least the upper 2 inches of the soil is completely dry before you water the plant for the next time.
Curling of leaves may also be due to the pest’s attack. So to find the reason, you have to look at the plant thoroughly.
Spotting of the lower surface of the leaves
One Pilea peperomioides problem is that the leaves get white spots on the lower side.
The possible reasons are Mineral deposits on the pores of the leaves or bug infestation.
Sometimes the water we use for watering the plants has heavy metals accumulation or other harmful materials that get stuck inside the pores of the leaves. This causes problems in the photosynthesis of the plant and the mineral gets deposited on the stomata of the leaves.
People tried using mineral or filtered water for watering and the problem was solved.
A pest infestation can also cause white spotting. You need to rule out the possibilities and find the solution accordingly.
Brown Spots on the Leaves
If you see brown spots on the leaves, it may be due to a few possible reasons;
The fertilizer used in excess quantity may burn out the plant leaves. These brown spots are actually “burnt” parts of the leaf.
Once the leaves are burnt, you can not particularly do anything to help the plant except for giving the natural healing time. So while fertilizing the plant, always be careful to do it in lesser quantity to avoid this Pilea peperomioides problem.
Pilea peperomioides don’t like wet soil. So discoloration of leaves could be due to overwatering. You need to check your watering schedule if you are watering more than once a week and keeping the soil moist.
Once you see this issue and you have ruled other possibilities of leaf browning, you need to be careful about the “2-inch dry soil” rule, mentioned above before watering.
The burning of leaves could be a simple sunburn. Pileas usually like indirect sun exposures.
If you have browned and you see that the plant is in direct and too much sun exposure, change the place of the pot to someplace of lesser sun exposure.
You need to have a closer look at the plant to check for any creepy crawlers.
If the leaves are getting droopy it is a sign of malnourishment. This Pilea peperomioides problem could be due to the unsuitable quantity of water.
You need to check the watering schedule and quantity. If you are watering more than once or twice a week and the soil remains wet, this means you need to cut out the watering amount.
On the other hand, if you just forget to water the plant for weeks, then the drooping is due to a lack of water. Add some water weekly and see the Pilea peperomioides dwelling beautifully.
Excess Fallout of Leaves
Falling out leaves in excess quantities especially in the growing season is a sign that something is unsuitable for the plant.
You need to check all the requirements and schedules of the plant. Root rot is mainly due to overwatering. The dry plant also leads to leaf loss.
Rotting in Pilea Peperomiodes
If you find rotting in the plant and you have tried the minor changes in watering and place of the plant, you need to check the roots. Just push the soil away from one side of the plant base and check the roots and rotting will be visible. If the roots are turning gray, black, and mushy, it is a sign of root rot.
Root rot is mainly due to overwatering and poor drainage of the soil.
At this stage, it is usually hard to save the mother plant. However, you can trim the rotten roots and replant the trimmed plant.
If the rot has reached the stem, simply you need to cut the rotten part of the plant and dip the plant in water. It will develop roots in about 3 weeks and you can plant it in the soil if you want.
Scarring on Pilea Peperomioides Leaves
This Pilea peperomioides problem may occur due to low temperatures. If you see discolored scars on the leaves and the plant is next to a window in the frosting season, it is the reason for the scarring.
You simply need to provide artificial light to the plant in moderate amounts and shift the plant to some moderately warm room in the house to save the plant from getting cold.
Low Reproduction in Pilea Peperomioides
Some people face a Pilea peperomioides problem of low multiplication rate. The plant is not making “babies”.
- Make sure you are providing appropriate sunlight, watering, and fertilizers.
- The soil should not be covered with decorative stuff like pebbles or beads; as such stuff hinders the growth of new plants.
- Cut at least one plantlet from the upper region of the plant to enhance the growth.
Poor Growth In Pilea peperomioides Babies
If you observe slow growth in the babies it may be due to malnourishment or improper potting of the baby plant.
See if the baby plant is receiving suitable indirect sunlight and water. Adjust the conditions of the temperature and other requirements accordingly.
If you received the plant through shipping, it will take some time to settle down. Just provide the optimum care like sunlight, weekly watering, and wait for the plant to adopt the new environment.
Yellowing and Fallout of Lower Leaves
If this is not happening on an abnormal level and the new leaves are growing on the upper tips of the stem, it is not a disease. This could be a natural process of aging in which the old leaves get mature and fall out while the plant is growing from the top.
You can simply pluck those yellow leaves to enhance the growth or simply leave them on their own to dry out naturally.
Please note that all the Pilea peperomioides plants are different from each other. Each plant has its own identity and you need to observe and manage the basic requirements by ‘check and balance’ methods.
Care of Pilea Peperomioides
Important Features related to Pilea peperomioides care are mentioned below:
You need to water the plant weekly but make sure the soil is dried as overwatering is the basic door to major problems of the plant. In hot summers, you should consider watering twice a week to avoid drying out the plant and related Pilea peperomioides problems.
The soil needs to well drain so always get the pot that has holes at the bottom. Or simply drill a few small holes to avoid standing water in the pot which could cause root rot.
The plant thrives well in constant temperature ranges. It should be between 50 to 85 degrees Fahrenheit.
Experts suggest using ‘slow-release fertilizers’ for the plant. Just simply sprinkle some fertilizer on the soil and it will spontaneously release the required nutrients.
You can also use a mild and diluted house plant fertilizer.
Please note that some soils already have added fertilizers, so fertilizing is not advised just after repotting the plant.
Pilea peperomioides prefers humid areas as it is native to the moist mountain ranges in the forests of the Chinese region. In dry weather or hot sunny days, you can mist the leaves to make them fresh and humid. It will enhance the health and growth of the plant.
Pileas prefer mild and indirect sun exposure.
It is a pretty fast-growing plant that even starts making new plants around the parent plant. If the conditions are suitable, the plant takes one month to get rooted successfully and even starts growing small new plantlets around it at this time. The baby plants can be easily repotted and gifted to your acquaintances.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why are the leaves on my pilea falling off?
Pilea leaves fall off if the surrounding temperature is very high or very low. It is a tropical plant and cannot survive in any extreme temperature so whenever it’s too hot or too cold pilea plant leaves start to die.
What does an overwatered pilea look like?
Overwatering any plant can be damaging and if you overwater your pilea plant its leaves will start to lose color. The leaves will change from lush green to pale yellow and slowly the color will fade away. It leads to drooping of leaves and eventually they fall off.
The beautiful round-leafed Pilea peperomioides are a popular choice for an ornamental indoor plant. These are easy to handle and are quick growers. However, they have basic requirements that need to be fulfilled for good growth and a healthy appearance.
The plant needs low quantities of water, well-drained soil, and indirect sunlight exposure. A disturbance in any of these needs especially an unsuitable quantity of water may welcome different issues in the health and the appearance of the plant.