Top 5 Pilea Care Tips

Welcome, Pilea Lover! You've got your new baby and you want to keep it happy, right? Here are a few tips we've picked up growing hundreds and hundreds of Pileas. And remember, we're always happy to answer any care questions you might have! Just shoot us an email! Still Looking for a Pilea? Get one here!! And if you're ready to start sharing your Pilea babies, check out our Propagation blog post!

1. Let your Pilea dry out between watering!

pilea dry soil ready to water
Nice, dry potting mix, ready to be watered!

When new Pilea parents come to us and say their baby is having trouble, nine times out of ten, this is where they’ve gone wrong. Pileas need to be treated much like a succulent—they're actually scientifically classified as succulents, so that makes sense! They thrive when their potting mix dries out completely between waterings. So if you’re having trouble with your little bundle of green, start by letting it dry out before watering again!

2. Bottom Watering!

pilea in saucer of water for bottom watering
Place your pot in a saucer of water and let it hydrate away!

Every plant, from hardy succulents to delicate maidenhair ferns, needs a complete and thorough soak when they’re watered. The difference should be in how frequently you’re doing the soaking, not how saturated the potting mix gets. Here’s how you do it: fill a shallow container with1-2 inches of water. It should be large enough for your pot to fit in comfortably—a sink works great! Make sure your pot has a drainage hole and no pebbles at the bottom so the water can actually get to the potting mix. Allow the plant to sit in the water until the top of the potting mix is moist. This means the mix has wicked up exactly the amount it needs to be fully saturated. It can take a little while if the potting mix has totally dried out, so be patient! Remove it from the water and then allow it to drain before returning to it normal post! Easy breezy!

3. Plenty of Indirect Sun!

The Piep Plant Shop in Downton Riverside, CA
Our storefront gets lots of bright, indirect light—and we'd love to see you there ;)

While they may not need quite the amounts that their succulent brethren enjoy, Pileas love lots of bright, cheerful, indirect light! But be warned, too much direct light will burn the leaves and leave you with a unhappy Pilea. 

4. Rotate, Rotate, Rotate!

pilea facing the sun
This little Pilea has been facing one direction a little too long...time to rotate!

Because Pileas love that sun so much, they tend to reach for it. Which is cute, but assuming you want it to stay nice and symmetrical, you’ll want to rotate it incrementally on a regular basis!

5. The Right Potting Mix...Like Ours!

pilea in well watered potting mix
Happy, perfectly saturated potting mix, happy Pilea!

Because Pileas are so sensitive to overwatering, it’s important to use well-drainging soil that allows plenty of air and water thru and doesn’t compact easily. We sell 1 lb bags of our own special mix here at Piep, the same stuff we use on the hundreds of Pileas in our greenhouses, just in case you’re looking... ;)


And there you have it! All the basics you need to keep your Pilea baby happy and thriving and hopefully producing lots of new babies for you to share soon!

xoxo - The Piep Team

Comments (6 Responses)

11 December, 2018

Sharon Alexander

Do pilea pepermioides babies come up from the root system?

11 December, 2018


What about planting the offspring? That’s the main thing that got me to buy it in the first place, the promise of MORE! I bought my Pilea “Pass-Along Plant” at Trader Joe’s, for way more than a person should pay for a houseplant. It was so cute with several babies already started, I could not resist. The packaging even included two mini-pots for potting up the babies, but no instructions. Are the babies actually seedlings? Or do they sprout from the root system? Any additional info would be very much appreciated. Thanks for the article, which was very helpful, as I’d never seen or heard of Pilea before I saw them at Trader Joes.

11 December, 2018


Hi! Lovely post. New pilea parent here. After reading this I think I overwatered my baby and now the stem and the leaves that are growing on top are coming out penny-colored. What can I do to salvage my new plant? Just let it dry out or repot?

11 December, 2018

Michael Horton

This is my new favorite plant, I have 3 new pups from one plant should I put the pups in water or potting mix?

11 December, 2018


I am so excited to get a Pilea Peperomioides for my growing hoard, err collection. My #summergoals sheet has “Visit PIEP Co” on it. I have a question regarding bottom watering. I have always ran water through until it comes out of the bottom holes, gravity does this. When you bottom water, will the top of the soil be moist or wet when finished? Is there an estimate of time to let sit in the water, so as not create root rot?
Thank you so much!

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