Propagating Pilea

Pilea plants are so easy to propagate that they often go by the name friendship plant. You may end up with so many plants that you will have plenty to give away to friends and family. Propagating pilea plants is easy for inexperienced or beginner plant owners. The entire process of propagating pilea plants can typically take several weeks, so not only is it easy, but it is also rather quick.


Methods To Propagate Pilea

Propagate pilea plants by division or stem cuttings. Both pilea propagation methods are easy, so it comes down to preference or what works best in a given situation. Pilea plants naturally send out offshoots or pups, which are small plants that grow from the parent plant. Division is the process of removing the offshoot from the parent plant. Propagating pilea plants through division is easy because the new plant already has roots and can grow on its own. Division is the best method to propagate pilea. 

Stem cuttings are a bit more involved, but the entire process is still easy. Remove a stem and place the cut end in water. Roots will grow from the cut stem in 1 to 2 weeks. New leaves will also grow, and the initial leaf may wither once the new growth takes over.


Best Rooting Media To Propagate Pilea

A rich, well-drained potting mix is the best rooting medium to propagate pilea plants. Amend a general potting mix with perlite to increase drainage. Pilea plants like damp conditions, but too much moisture may rot the cuttings. Soil that sheds excess water is best because it will reduce the risk of rot and root damage. 

Steps To Propagate Pilea

Step 1 - Inspect a pilea plant for signs of new offshoots growing alongside the parent plant.

Step 2 - Gently remove the offshoot from the parent plant. It may be easiest to do this while repotting the pilea plant. 

Step 3 - Leave as many roots as possible on the offshoot. Trim any roots connecting the offshoot to the parent plant using clean, sharp shears.

Step 4 - Plant the offshoot in rich, moist, well-drained soil.

Step 5 - Place the new plant in bright, indirect sunlight and high humidity. Water with the top inch of the potting mix is dry.

Caring For Pilea Cuttings

Pilea cuttings need care similar to established plants, except cuttings are not as forgiving as mature plants. Water-propagated cuttings need a sunny spot, but take care that the cuttings do not receive direct sunlight. 

The care is similar once the cuttings adjust to the soil. Lots of bright, indirect sunlight helps the new plant thrive. Recently planted pilea cuttings also need well-drained, evenly moist soil and increased humidity.


Transplanting Pilea Cuttings

Pilea offshoots or pups can be transplanted right away. Offshoots grow best with as many roots as possible, but these are fast-growing plants, so don’t worry if some roots are damaged during the division process.

Pilea stem cuttings propagated in water can be moved to soil when the roots are at least one inch long. A new tiny pilea plant will sprout, and the old leaves may wither and die as the new plant takes off. Use clean, sharp shears to remove the faded leaf.

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Author Alison Cotsonas - Published 11-16-2023