Meet The Family: Pilea Peperomioides And The Repotting Horror

This post started out as an introduction to my Pilea Peperomioides, but turned into a discussion about the struggle I have about deciding when to repot a new plant. It turned into a bit of a rant so I might rewrite the second topic as a separate post. 

Apparently the Pilea Peperomioides was a big trend in the plant community and especially on Instagram around 2017. But even now I see Pileas everywhere and I completely understand why. Mine is definitely one of my easier plants to care for, but you might have noticed that I didn’t include it in my top 10. 

With my “Meet The Family” series of posts I will be introducing you to my plants and tell you a little bit more about the story behind each plant. I will also attempt to share more about my plant care, and how the plant responds to the conditions in our apartment.

On the second weekend of January I went plant shopping AGAIN! I initially only wanted to get a Pilea from Hanleys of Cork but left with four plants instead. I remember going in while my husband waited in the car. I probably would have bought more plants if I could carry them all. When I walked out with the bags filled with plants I remember he just shook his head and laughed at me. 

I was very excited to get a Pilea Peperomioides, also known as the Chinese Money Plant, because I wanted to see what all the hype was about. Personally I find them fascinating. You can’t argue, they are quite funny looking with the large round leaves while growing upwards like a tree. Well, I am happy to report that this plant has pleasantly surprised me. The hype is definitely warranted. If you are looking for a fun plant that also functions as a decorative item I would go for the Pilea Peperomioides. 

They are super fast growers if they are kept in the right conditions. Mine has a few marks from before I got her, but she has been giving me so much new growth! At first I moved her around a lot to find the right spot for her. She is now home in my plant corner and since she got more light those new leaves just started to pop out. She also has two pups, but I am too scared to remove them just yet. 

Did you know the mother plant produces small baby plants known as pups? This is probably one of my favourite things about this plant. Now, if I love her so much why didn’t I include her in my Top 10 Easy To Care For Plants list?

Well, this might be more about my inexperience as a plant parent than the plant itself. At first I over watered her once or twice because I didn’t repot her into my own soil mix when I brought her home. As a new plant parent I only repotted my new plants if it seemed like their current pot was too small or if the soil was moldy or seemed to be of poor quality. This was one thing I was a bit confused about and probably still is as there are loads of conflicting opinions. Do you repot immediately when you bring the plant home or do you wait a while to see how she settles in? I tend to lean towards repotting almost immediately because I like to know what I am dealing with.  I will elaborate on this topic in a separate post as it is a much longer discussion. 

In April I decided to finally repot her because I wanted to remove the two pups from the mother plant and she was growing out of her drainage holes. Now this might not be true for everyone and might just be because of the soil the nursery used. But boy was that a mission! I had a really hard time repotting her because I couldn’t remove the medium she was planted in. This was not like any soil I have seen before and it was all sticky. For the life of me I couldn’t get the soil and roots separated.

Unfortunately a lot of her roots broke off very easily, especially the larger roots and that scared me a bit. I removed as much soil as I could and rinsed the roots before put her in new soil. I was unable to remove the pups as I thought this was traumatising enough for one day. 

About a week or two later she hasn’t shown any worrying signs so I think she will be okay. She is still growing new leaves and the pups are also growing. I will wait till next Spring before I attempt to repot her again. If all goes well she might move on to my easiest plant list. 

Do you have any idea why the soil would have been sticky? Do you think Pilea Peperomioides is overrated or are you a believer? I would love to hear from you. Leave a reply by commenting below! 

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