Pilea peperomioides naturally grows in mountainous regions in China. The plants often grow in damp, rocky areas under the tree canopy. Indoor plants thrive in conditions that replicate what these plants experience in nature. The native rocky soil of pileas drains quickly, so these plants cannot grow in overly moist or wet conditions. Pilea houseplants have medium water needs and prefer to mostly dry out before getting water. These plants need well-drained, fast-drying soil and a container with drainage.
How To Tell If Pilea Needs Water
Water Pilea plants when the top inch or two of the potting mix is dry. The soil further down in the container may still be damp, but the upper layer should feel dry. Stick your finger in the potting mix to gauge the dampness. The plant will alert you when it’s too dry with drooping stems and a wilted appearance. The goal is to water the plant before it shows signs of dehydration, but water immediately if these signs appear.
Water less often during the winter when the pilea is resting. You can still use your finger to test the dampness of the soil. It will take longer for the soil to dry since there will be less sunlight. Using a fine mister can be beneficial because the humidity is often lower during the winter.
How To Water Pilea
Water pilea plants using room temperature tap water. Hot or cold water can shock the plant, so avoid either extreme. Some plant owners prefer to use filtered or distilled water free from minerals and chemicals often found in tap water.
Water the entire circumference of the pot, soaking the root ball when watering. Allow water to drain through the pot, and remove any leftover water from the saucer or cover pot. Pilea plants often need water every 7 to 10 days during the spring and summer. Water pilea plants every 10 to 14 days during the fall and winter.
Pilea Watering Tips
- Feel the soil by sticking your finger into the potting mix
- Water the pilea when the top 2 inches of the potting mix are dry
- Water the entire surface of the soil so the whole root ball is wet
- Stop applying water when water drains through the pot
- Dump any standing water from the saucer or cover pot
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