As the Pilea Peperomioides matures, little offshoots may be seen growing from the soil or from the stem of the plant. These offshoots are called “babies” or “pups.” Some Pileas are more prolific at producing babies compared to others, and sometimes, it becomes a bit concerning if you do not see any new babies from a mother Pilea for a while.
To encourage Pilea Peperomioides babies, it is important to first wait till the plant matures, and keep the plant healthy and happy. Once the plant is in an active state of growth, you may fertilize, repot, cut off a plantlet, or even chop the Pilea Peperomioides in half and replant it to encourage her to produce more babies.
Each Pilea Peperomioides plant is different, and it will reproduce in its own timeline. The key is to be patient and gentle with the plant in order to encourage the mature plants to produce Pilea babies more readily. In this article, you will find nine tips that will encourage Pilea babies.
Cut Off the Top Half
If your Pilea plant has matured and is healthy, you can try cutting off half of the plant to encourage new Pilea babies. Cutting off a portion of the plant will stimulate growth. This may take a few weeks, but the plant will tend to grow new Pilea babies where the top half used to be.
It is also helpful to keep the cut portion of your Pilea so that, once the roots sprout, you can replant it in soil and have a second Pilea.
Do Not Forget to Prune the Pilea
Any dead leaves on the Pilea would only be a cause for loss of energy and nutrients that the plant could use towards supporting new growth.
To avoid this, dead or rotting leaves should regularly be removed by pruning. Pinching off brown or yellow leaves will encourage new growth as the plant will now be able to divert more of its energy and nutrients towards producing new babies.
Water Your Pilea Peperomioides to Encourage Growth
Pilea plants need adequate conditions in order to propagate. Chief among them is their need to be watered. But, bear in mind that overwatering a Pilea will do more harm than good. When you water your Pilea, never let it sit in excess water as the plant does not thrive well in continuously wet soil.
Wet soil often leads to root rot in the plant, causing it to die. It is ideal if, after watering, the saucer kept at the bottom of the planter is also emptied out.
Provide Adequate Lighting to Your Pilea Peperomioides
Sometimes, the reason why the Pilea plant is not producing new babies, maybe because it does not have access to bright and indirect sunlight. A Pilea that does not get sufficient sunlight has to use up a lot of its energy to adapt to the low light. Just by changing the position of the pot to a place where it receives more light, it can use that same energy and grow new babies.
In case you live in a place with harsh winters or where you do not have access to direct sunlight for extended periods of time, you may consider investing in an artificial source of light to maintain your Pilea’s growth.
The Fauna 100W COB Plant Grow Light is designed for providing artificial light that is similar to natural sunlight and is ideal for all sorts of indoor plants at all growth stages.
Provide Adequate Fertilizer to the Pilea Peperomioides
Feeding your Pilea is another important step to encourage new Pilea babies. Providing fertilizer to your plant will help the soil refurbish any deficit in the nutrient level of the soil. Whenever you use a store-bought fertilizer, make sure that you follow the label instructions. When done correctly, fertilizing a Pilea will encourage it to grow new leaves and new babies.
Replant the Pileas Peperomioides in a Pot One Size Bigger
While things may look okay on the surface, it might be a whole different story below ground. The soil in which you have planted your Pileas could be fighting for more space to grow.
When you repot the plant, it is advisable to use fresh soil as that will be more nutrient-dense compared to the soil that is there in the current pot. The new soil will give the plant more room to grow and produce babies. Repotting the Pilea plants every two years in a container size that is one size bigger than the one in which the Pilea plant currently rests can further encourage growth.
It is also important that the planter does not retain unnecessary moisture. A terracotta pot comes in useful here. Due to its porous nature, it allows the plant roots to breathe.
For a well-drained planter pot, drill a hole at the base of the planter and place some rocks at the bottom of the planter. These rocks will help provide an efficient drainage system to the pot and prevent the Pilea from giving in to root rot.
This video shows how to repot and propagate a Pilea plant so that its babies get some extra space to grow:
Prune Some of the Existing Pilea Babies
As counterproductive as it might seem, pruning out some new Pilea babies may actually stimulate growth.
The Pilea plant will tend to produce new babies to fill up the area that has been pruned off, and you will end up getting a few new Pilea babies where you cut one. This happens because the plant sends out the energy it creates by photosynthesis to all areas of the plant.
When there is a baby attached to the plant, it drains this energy to sustain. But once it is cut off, the plant can use this excess energy to reproduce more plantlets.
Spring Is the Best Time for Growth
Pilea plants are mostly dormant during winters, and this is not conducive to producing new babies. If you are in the northern hemisphere and are reading this during the late fall or winter, the most likely reason that your Pilea is not producing babies is that it is in a dormant state right now.
The growing season takes place during the warmest months of the year, and the months from the onset of spring till fall will see some of the fastest growth in the plant. The warmer temperature and availability of light turns sunlight into energy far more quickly. This encourages the Pilea plant to produce more babies.
Avoid Stressing Your Pilea Peperomioides
Any exposure to stress, whether caused due to insufficient light, or underwatering, or some lack in the potting soil will affect the Pilea’s ability to produce babies. If the plant has to use all its energy reserves to overcome the fatigue caused due to overwatering, or if it needs to stretch and look for light, she is not in a position to produce babies. A happy and healthy Pilea is needed to create its offspring.
My Final Thoughts
It is important to always remember that a happy and healthy Pilea plant is more likely to produce babies. Watering the plant properly, giving it adequate sunlight, feeding it sufficient plant food, and taking care of the plant, in general, will help the Pilea plant feel more secure and strong and encourage her to produce more babies.
Once the plant flourishes, you can even take cuttings off the plant, propagate it and give them as gifts to friends.