The Chinese money plant or pilea peperomioides is a Chinese member of the stinging nettle family that hails from the Yunnan and Sichuan provinces. You may not know that your Chinese money plant is actually a succulent and, thus by nature, a hardy plant with its specific methods of care and maintenance, including the appropriate time to repot it.
Repot your Chinese money plant if you see leaf discoloration, stunted growth, wilting, and compacted soil. Other signs may not be so easy to see, and you would need to examine your money plant’s root system. It would be best if you also aimed to repot your plant every 2 years.
If you want your Chinese money plant to keep bringing you fortune and riches, it is essential to care for the plant properly, and a necessary part of that care is repotting. To clarify whether your money plant needs to move house, we have provided some signs and tips to help you keep your plant happy and healthy. Read on.
It’s Time to Repot Your Chinese Money Plant When…
Your Money Plant Is Still in the Nursery Container
Garden centers and nurseries generally place their plants in peat-based mixes with little or no grit or soils necessary for your plant’s health. Succulents like the Chinese money plant don’t like too much moisture on their roots, and compost is slow to dry even when it may appear dry on the surface.
When repotting from your nursery, give your plant a couple of weeks to acclimatize to your home before transplanting it. Always bear in mind that Chinese money plants thrive in a well-drained and lightly moist medium.
Your Money Plant Has Overgrown Its Pot
If your plant looks like it is about to step out of its pot and walk away, it is a good time for repotting. An overgrown money plant may have roots starting to peer from the drainage holes to seek more space. Likewise, your money plant will look large and will cram the circumference of its pot. When your plant’s body fills the top of the pot with little or no soil visible, it is time to repot.
Your Money Plant Has Stunted Growth
If you have been watering your plant and giving it the right amount of sun and nutrients and it is still not growing, it is a good sign that your Money plant has become pot-bound and needs to be repotted. When the plant becomes too large for its pot, the roots can no longer take in the nutrients for proper growth and will become stunted.
The Leaves Are Wilted or Yellowed
One of the first signals that your Pilea is in distress is in the leaves. Yellow and brown discoloration and wilting combined with crowding in the pot are signs that your Pilea needs to be repotted.
Your Pot Is Cracked or Beginning to Bulge
When your Pilea grows too large for its container, the pressure of the root on the circumference of the pot may cause it to bulge or cracks to appear in the ceramic. This damage is a surefire sign that your Pileas has become pot-bound and in need of a new digs ASAP.
Internal Signs That You Need to Repot
If you are still unsure as to whether it is time to re-house your Pilea, you can carefully remove the plant from its container by holding the sides of the soil, tipping it upside down and gently shaking and tapping it loose from the pot (if the pot is not too large.) Make sure you have a newspaper handy, or you may do this outside.
If the plant is hard to dislodge from the pot in all likelihood, your plant is pot bound. Once you have freed your plant, you may examine the roots to check for rot or pests. If the Pilea is pot-bound, you will observe the roots have taken the shape of the container completely. If so, gently tease apart tangled roots before repotting.
When to Leave Your Money Plant to Grow
- Your plant is growing well. Most succulents such as your money plant grow relatively slowly and don’t have a large root system, so they don’t need to be repotted too frequently. If your Pilea is healthy and growing well while maintaining a regular shape, it may not be the time for potting up.
- Your plant still has plenty of space. There is still a reasonable amount of space between your Pilea and the edges of your pot.
- Your water is still draining at a steady level. If there are no changes in your plant’s water needs, or you find that the water is draining through the pot at a consistent rate, your Pilea should be fine for a while. When water runs through your container faster, it signifies that your Pilea might be potbound and unable to absorb sufficient moisture.
- It has been less than 18 months since you last repotted it. Generally, your Pileas only needs repotting after two years.
- It is winter. The best time to repot your money plant is in spring or early summer. If it is not a matter of urgency, such as in the case of a severely pot bound plant, rather wait until spring to repot your Pilea.
The Three Most Important Factors in Repotting Your Pilea
If you’re repotting your Pilea, there are three things you absolutely must consider:
Your Pilea will be fine in plastic or ceramic pots, but terracotta is your best option for a healthy money plant. Terracotta is porous and absorbs excess water from the soil and prevents your plant from overly soggy soil. Terracotta will help dry out the soil in between waterings.
Size does matter for your Pilea. The pot that you transplant your money plant into should be 1” to 3” wider than your plants’ original pot. The money plant’s roots do not grow too large or complex, and an inch or three should suffice.
Pilea Peperomioides are succulents, so they need a soil that is quick draining to be healthy. To create the perfect soil for your Pilea, check out our perfect Pilea Peperomioides soil recipe.
It is always a good tip to keep the same soil composition when you repot your Pilea. Include a section from your old pot to reduce the plant’s stress during the replanting stage. Ensure that you don’t fertilize the soil for your money plant for a couple of weeks after transplanting, as the roots are especially sensitive after repotting.
Your Pilea Peperomioides can die from overwatering, so there must be drainage holes for your plant. If your ceramic pot does not have drainage, you may drill a hole with a masonry, tile, or glass drill bit.
Repotting is essential because your potting soil loses nutrients over time and may become compacted. Repotting not only gives your Pilea room to grow but refreshes the soil for optimal growth.
Pilea Peperomioides thrive in bright indirect sunlight and will grow towards the light source, so be sure to rotate your plant for even growth. Ideally, you should water your plant once a week and allow the top couple of inches of soil to dry between waterings. If you follow the above tips, your money plant will thrive and hopefully bring you the money and good fortune.