Pilea peperomioides is an incredibly popular houseplant, beloved for its compact growth and interesting leaves that lend it many common names, including UFO plant and Pancake plant. However, it is most commonly known as the Chinese Money Plant after its native region and appearance.
If these indoor plants have become one of your favorites, there is an easy way to get many more of them at no cost – propagation. Pilea peperomioides is incredibly easy to propagate as it produces small offsets that simply need to be replanted whenever they appear.
Follow these easy steps to grow more Chinese Money Plants for free.
Step 1: Check for Offsets
Before you start propagating, you’ll need to determine whether there are any suitable offsets to propagate. This isn’t a difficult task – simply check for any new growth of gathered leaves that looks like a tiny version of the parent plant. They will typically pop up from the soil in spring and summer but they can also grow directly from the stem.
Suitable offsets should be about 5cm in length or larger. This ensures they have received enough nutrients from the main plant to survive on their own without additional support.
Step 2: Prepare the Soil
Pileas have succulent-like leaves that hold plenty of water. They prefer their soil to dry out before the next watering and can’t stand waterlogged soil. The soil mix should therefore be airy and well-draining to prevent rot and deliver oxygen to the roots.
Make your own specialized houseplant soil mix by amending potting soil with perlite and palm peat. The palm peat lightens the mixture and retains moisture while the perlite increases the spaces between soil particles, improving drainage.
Step 3: Expose the Roots
With all preparation done, you’re ready to start propagating. As your offset will more than likely start underneath the soil, you’ll need to expose the connection between it and the main plant for removal.
Gently pull away the top layer of soil, following the bottom of the offsets to where the roots are. This will give you a clear view of where to remove the offset without impacting the rest of the roots. Alternatively, you can check for offsets while repotting and remove them when the soil is completely gone before moving to the new pot.
Step 4: Remove the Offset
Using a knife, remove the offset from the main plant at root level. Make sure your knife is sharpened and cleaned with soap and water to prevent damage and the spread of disease. The cut should be as clean as possible to give your offset the best start at new growth.
Step 5: Replant
Fill a small pot with the pre-made potting mix up to a few centimeters below the rim. This will stop any soil from spilling out when watering. Make a small hole in the centre and bury the base of the offset, ensuring the stems are above the soil line to prevent rotting. Gently firm down around the soil to anchor the offset in place.
Step 6: Water
Once planted, water the soil to remove any large air pockets and encourage root growth. Keep the soil moist but not waterlogged until the roots have established, then limit your watering.
Place the pot in a warm spot with bright indirect light. Once you spot new growth, you’re on your way to a mature, fully-fledged Pilea peperomioides.