How to Propagate Pilea Pups: A Simple Step-by-Step Guide

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Pilea peperomioides, also known as the Chinese money plant or pancake plant, is a popular houseplant that is known for its round, coin-like leaves and easy propagation process. One way of propagating pilea plants is through their pups or offshoots, which are the small plants that emerge from the base of the mother plant. Propagating pilea pups allows you to grow multiple plants from a single parent plant, making it an enjoyable and budget-friendly hobby for plant enthusiasts.

Propagating pilea pups has a high success rate since they naturally grow roots while still attached to the mother plant. Before starting the propagation process, ensure that the offshoot is mature enough and has a couple of leaves. The pups can be removed from the mother plant and carefully placed directly into the soil or rooted in water for a few weeks to further encourage root growth.

Once you have decided to propagate your pilea pups, it is helpful to gather all necessary supplies, including well-draining soil, a small pot, and a clean, sharp knife or scissors. Being prepared and following the steps diligently will increase your chances of successful propagation and encourage the growth of healthy, strong plants.

Plant Identification

When it comes to propagating pilea pups, it’s essential to first identify and recognize them. Pilea peperomioides, also known as the Chinese money plant or Pancake plant, is a popular houseplant known for its round, coin-like leaves and easy propagation process.

Recognizing Pilea Pups

Pilea pups, also referred to as offshoots, are small plants that emerge from the mother plant’s base or roots. They grow around the main plant, making it relatively simple to identify them. Here’s a step-by-step guide to recognizing pilea pups:

  1. Look for small, round leaves surrounded by the larger leaves of the mother plant. Pups typically have a similar appearance to the mother plant but are smaller in size.
  2. Observe the location of the potential pup. If it’s growing from the soil near the base of the mother plant, it’s likely a pup, according to The Spruce.
  3. Check for roots or a connection to the mother plant’s root system. Pups will often have their roots or be attached to the main plant’s roots, whereas new leaves growing on the mother plant won’t have this connection.

Once you’ve successfully identified the pilea pups, you can propagate them using methods such as division or water rooting. Remember always to be gentle when handling the pups and the mother plant to prevent any damage during the propagation process.

Propagation Techniques

Pilea peperomioides, also known as the Chinese Money Plant, can be propagated in several ways. In this section, we’ll explore three common methods: the Division Method, the Leaf Cutting Method, and Using Water Propagation.

Division Method

The easiest and most reliable technique for propagating pilea is by division, which involves separating the small offshoots, or pups, that push up out of the soil around the mother plant ( First, gently remove the offshoot from the mother plant. It’s best to choose a sizeable offshoot, about 2-3 inches tall, with several leaves around 1 inch wide. Once separated, simply plant the offshoot into an appropriate pot, taking care that the root system remains intact.

Leaf Cutting Method

Another way to propagate pilea is using a single leaf ( For this method, carefully cut off a leaf with a small portion of the stem or trunk it’s attached to. Using a sharp knife, make a clean cut at the base of the stem. It’s important to include some stem or trunk tissue, as this is where new roots will grow. Then, place the leaf cutting in a pot with well-draining soil, ensuring that the stem portion is buried in the soil. Keep the cutting in a warm and bright area, without direct sunlight, while it establishes itself.

Using Water Propagation

Water propagation is another method for transforming a pilea pup into a separate, thriving plant ( Start by removing the pup from its mother plant, as you would in the Division Method. Next, place the removed pup in a small bottle or container of water, ensuring that only the cut stem end is submerged. When the plant has developed 1-2 inch long roots in the water, it’s ready to be transferred to a pot with soil.

Remember to use well-draining soil and appropriate lighting conditions for your new pilea plants, regardless of the propagation method you choose. With the right care, your propagated pilea pups will grow into strong, healthy plants.

Plant Care After Propagation


After propagating your pilea pups, it’s important to repot them into an appropriate container. Choose a small pot with drainage holes and fill it with well-draining soil mix, like one containing perlite or vermiculite. Gently place the propagated pup in the center of the new pot and cover its roots with soil. Make sure not to plant it too deep, as the base of the stem should be just above the soil line. Press down the soil around the pup to secure it in the pot. For more information on propagating pilea pups, visit The Healthy Houseplant.


Watering newly propagated pilea pups is crucial to their growth. Initially, water the plant thoroughly so that the soil is evenly moist. Then, allow the soil to dry out slightly before watering again. Pilea plants prefer slightly damp soil, but be careful not to overwater, as this can lead to root rot. As the pups grow, you can gradually decrease the frequency of watering.

Light and Temperature

After propagation, pilea pups need bright, indirect light to thrive. Avoid direct sunlight, which may scorch their delicate leaves. Place them in a location that receives ample natural light, such as a north or east-facing windowsill. The ideal temperature for young pileas is between 60°F and 75°F (16°C and 24°C). Keep your plants away from cold drafts or heat sources, which may cause the temperature to fluctuate.


To encourage healthy growth in your propagated pilea pups, fertilize them with a balanced, water-soluble fertilizer, diluted to half-strength. Fertilize your pilea once a month during the growing season (spring and summer). Avoid fertilizing during the winter when the plant’s growth slows down. Always follow the recommended application rates on the fertilizer label.


Lastly, pruning is an essential aspect of pilea care after propagation. Pruning helps maintain the plant’s size and promotes bushier growth. Use clean, sharp scissors or pruning shears to snip off any leggy stems or yellowing leaves as the plant grows. When pruning, make a clean cut just above a leaf node to encourage new growth in that area. Periodically check for pests and treat them as soon as possible to keep your new pilea plants healthy and thriving.

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