How to Propagate Pilea Plants from Leaves?

The Pilea Peperomioides, or the Chinese money plant, is an ornamental plant with rounded, dark-green leaves. This plant species naturally occurs only in China but is quite popular amongst planters all over the world. It has been named as the friendship plant as well.

How can these houseplants be propagated to adorn any space beautifully? Well, they are not very demanding and multiply quickly. Apart from being found in China’s shady and damp rocks, it propagates through its leaves.

The process is simple and relatively easy to follow, but specific guidelines have to abided by diligently. Even though they are now almost endangered in China, we can cultivate them at home. This article will take you through the process of propagating Pilea plants from leaflets…

How To Propagate Pilea Plants From Leaves?

The following steps, when performed with precision, will result in beautiful houseplants. As a bonus, we can recycle them without any further investments.

1)   Before Starting

The parent plant has to be healthy, and only then will baby plants flower from it. To maintain vitality, use a good potting mix, and the drainage has to be great as well.

The better the plant, the better the babies! For it to be flourishing, make sure it receives adequate sunlight and only water it when necessary. Pilea plants are not thirsty all the time. Additionally, the best time for starting this process is spring, although these plants grow all-round the year.

2)   When To Cut?

Firstly, a mistake that people make is they take out just the cutting of a leaf. That will simply not work as a leaf can be kept alive in the water, but it will not bear new ones. The leaf cut out cannot be a fallen one as it proves that it was unhealthy. Why would it have fallen otherwise?

The best time to get started is when the parent plant appears to be happy and growing. Observe both the top and the roots, as tiny leaves should be sprouting from both ends. About 2-3″ is a good size to get going, and if it’s cut before that, it won’t survive.

3)   Cutting The Leaves

This step makes all the difference, and simply cutting the leaf isn’t going to cut it (if you pardon the pun). The baby leaf that’s cut out should have a little bit of the stem as well. That is because the stem constitutes the tissue that is necessary for not just survival but even propagation.

Use a sharp and clean knife to make a confident and precise cut. Cut it from a minimum of 1 cm under the soil. Carving an even bigger baby will have better chances of propagating. 

pilea leaf cuttings

4)   Propagation Style

There are two main ways of propagating a pilea plant. One is through water propagation, and the other is through soil propagation. We can take either route based on the leaves cut out.

Soil Propagation

Planting them into moist soil will ensure healthy growth. After a few weeks, the roots will grow further and grip the soil firmly.

Water Propagation

That is another not-so-popular yet surefire way to sprout new leaves. Prop the leaves in a bottle or a mug of clean water.

Ensure that the leaves are not submerged, but only the stem and the roots are. This vessel needs to be placed under indirect sunlight to promote healthy growth. After this, remember to change the water diligently. This process ideally takes up to 1 or 2 months, but the results will show within a few weeks.

How to Root a Baby Pilea Plant from Water?

If the baby Pilea plant propped in water has grown and matured to about 1-2”, it can be taken out and placed in soil. It is common for the original leaf to fall off and die, and there is no need to be alarmed. After planting in soil, these lovely plantlets will transform into beautiful and healthy plants.

The Final Step

The last but the most important step is that now that we have a healthy Pilea plant share it with friends and family. It is called the friendship plant for a reason, after all. Complete the cycle by sharing the borrowed or gifted leaflet to harvest happy relationships.

Top Tips

Even though the Pilea plants are easy to take care of, practicing some caution will bear great results. The following tips will help in making the process even smoother and more fool-proof.

• The water needs to be changed regularly and regularly means, at least once a week, or before if it appears to be dirty.

• The water needs to be changed carefully as the baby roots and sprouting leaves will be immature and delicate. Don’t put them under any pressure or they will break.

• As mentioned before, springtime is the ideal one to commence this wonderful process as the results will be quick and better.

• Ensure that the leaves do not go under the water as they will suffocate and die. The leaves need oxygen to grow.

• For replanting, select the healthiest leaves and strictly avoid dead or fallen leaves.

• Don’t rely on only one cutting. A few leaves need to be planted separately for better and more promising results.

• While plotting it into the soil, the soil must be lightly patted and not be tightly set. It will ensure more breathability for the plant.

• The final pot needs to have good drainage, so place it under indirect sunlight that is bright enough. Also, use a great potting mix.

• The Pilea plant grows in the direction of the source of sunlight. So change the direction appropriately for straight and steady growth.

Pilea Plant Uses

Since the Pilea plant occurs naturally on some rocks in China, it has a few medicinal uses. You may use it as a diuretic after being infused in water. Even the leaves, for that matter, when crushed, can be used for treating bruises and sore spots.

The coin-shaped leaves make the plants quite pleasing to the eye, and understandably, we can use them for decorative purposes. Since they are adaptable and don’t demand much, pretty much any household can grow them. They are also associated with sharing and other friendly gestures.


Looking at the process mentioned above, it’s evident that we don’t have to be gardeners to propagate Pilea leaves. Anyone can achieve this, given that you follow the instructions properly.

Cutting the leaves and propping them into water are the only tricky steps. Thus, for better results, cut out multiple leaves. So, now that the process is no longer intimidating let’s start planting!