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Help with repotting and propogating pilea peperomioides

Dorset, United Kingdom

Hi, I recieved this plant today. It is incredibly root bound and has a lot of pups. Do you have any advice for me on how to repot and propogate it? The roots and soil are a solid mass. There is no way I can manipulate them. Thank you :)

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Albuquerque, NM(Zone 7a)

Did you figure out the pilea yet? I have several plants and am familiar with potting up the pups. Right now I'm experimenting on regular potting mix vs cactus and succulent mix, to see which one pileas prefer. :)

This message was edited Apr 17, 2018 12:33 AM

Dorset, United Kingdom

Hi, thank you for your reply :) I have since repotted the pilea and cut off 8 of the pups which are rooting in water. How long do you let the roots get before transplanting to soil? The mother pilea must have really appreciated the repotting as it has since produced 8 more leaves and several more babies. I repotted into a slightly bigger pot with houseplant compost and perlite. It seems to be very happy!! :)

Albuquerque, NM(Zone 7a)

I'm so glad you got it taken care of! The pileas have such personality, don't they!? I actually only ever root the pups in a soil medium, I've never rooted them first in water. This is simply because years ago I read that water roots are different than soil roots, so the plant just has to grow the new soil roots when they end up in soil. I actually don't know if this has any merit in real life, but it's the reason I do what I do.

Usually I don't cut off a pup until it's already it's own complete miniature plant, with it's own upright stem and at least 7 leaves. But most recently there were too many pups for the containers of the mama plants, so I cut them them off much smaller than usual, just root stems with a couple of leaves, and put them in seedling trays. They are so tiny but today I saw signs of growth when I checked on them. I used a cactus mix that has coir instead of peat, it holds water without being too wet, but I have to water much more than if I'd used the potting soil. I'm going to grow these to an appreciable size and then just take them in individual pots to the antique shop I visit regularly and drop them off for all the employees there. I want to spread the pilea love!

I'm generally using terra-cotta pots, although the baby plantlets are in the plastic trays, but I have one mature plant that is planted in one of those "root pouches", those fabric bags that encourage air pruning of roots (so the roots don't circle the pot). So far it seems to be growing a little bigger than the other mature plant, but the fabric bag is not attractive...it looks like I wrapped the pilea in moving blanket material!

Your mama pilea is so prolific and full, it's very lovely, such a wonderful acquisition! And your pilea family is growing exponentially! It's exciting to have a whole nursery of 8 babies at once! :)

This message was edited Apr 17, 2018 1:20 PM

Albuquerque, NM(Zone 7a)

I'm also rooting cuttings from my zz plant, and a whole bunch of the genuine christmas cactus cuttings which I bought from an Etsy vendor. These are all in my bathroom because it has a skylight so it gets the best diffused bright light. But there is hardly room for me anymore! :D

Dorset, United Kingdom

Can you leave the pups attached to the mother plant? It probably has at least another 6 growing on it curently. I don't really want to cut them off as I have nowhere for them to go. Its grown so much since I repotted it, as well as the the new pups, it has grown an additional 9 leaves!! All this growth in 4 weeks, it's insane :D

Albuquerque, NM(Zone 7a)

Your parent plant sounds so healthy, that's awesome! You can absolutely leave the pups attached. It might just outgrow the pot sooner. The only reason to remove the pups is if you want more plants, or you love the spare, minimalist, sculptural look of the bare stem as it gets taller. I have seen a plant that didn't have babies removed, and it looked incredible...very lush and full, more jungle and mysterious looking, some of the babies were full grown, almost as mature as the original parent plant, and sometimes the stems of the babies would grow at odd angles...I loved it! It's just a different look, based on the aesthetic you want.

I've left some of the babies on mine, just because I don't have room for more pots right now, but my mature plants are still not tall enough to get that leggy look of the bare bark-like stem. I still am wanting more plants to share, just not enough room! :)

Dorset, United Kingdom

Do you know what can cause the leaves to curl? You will be able to see what i mean in the pictures I posted.I can't seem to find an explanation anywhere, it doesn't seem to be affecting the health of the plan.y Thanks :)

This message was edited Apr 20, 2018 1:35 PM

Albuquerque, NM(Zone 7a)

I don't know what causes the plant leaves to curl!. On most of the plants I see online, as well as my own, the leaves can be flat or convex or concave, ranging in hue from dark green to almost chartreuse. It seems like it's more of the younger leaves th curl convex, while the older ones can be concave. I have seen some photos that are perfectly flat and dark green 100%, but those plants tend to be sparse and I always suspect that the photo stylist removed any leaves that didn't look perfect. Usually that plant is near a vintage peacock chair with only-in-California sunlight streaming in the window onto the pure white walls. :D

Dorset, United Kingdom

Hi, I have noticed that the new leaves are slightly lighter than the rest. My initial thought is not enough light. It is currently in a south facing window. Do you have any advice?

This message was edited May 17, 2018 7:39 AM

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