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Hello, dear gardener, to a guide that will help you learn more about Chinese money plant care, but mostly about the propagation of this beautiful plant.
After reading this article, you will have all the necessary infos on “Chinese money plant propagation”, and much more!
Therefore, we’ve been talking more about how to propagate Chinese money plant propagation here and you will learn more about:
- basics chinese money plant care tips
- methods of propagation
- can you propagate this plant in water
With my simple tips and secrets, you will have enough Money plants for your whole family!
About Chinese Money
Chinese money plant, or Pilea peperomioides, is a popular potted houseplant that originates from a Chinese province called Yunnan.
Unknown in Europe until the middle of the 20th century, they quickly seized the hearts of many gardeners after a Norwegian man named Agnas Espergen, who was on a religious mission in China, brought some young plants home with him.
The man’s background has also led Pilea peperomioides to be known as missionary plants.
The plants go by many different names in colloquial tongues, such as pilea plant (for their Latin name), pancake plant (for the looks of their leaves), and friendship plant (the usual means of acquiring this plant when they were first introduced in Europe has been from a friend, and they are often shared between friends to this day).
The means of acquiring the young plants have led to the creation of a great need for understanding pilea peperomoides propagation methods, which will be the main topic of this guide.
However, we will first need to address some basic elements of Chinese money plant care as only a healthy pilea plant can be successfully propagated.
Basics Of Chinese Money Plant Care
In order to successfully propagate any plant, you must first make sure that it is healthy.
This is doubly true for a Chinese money plant as it will mostly provide you with its own means of propagation in way of stem plantlets, root plantlets, or even single leaf propagation (propagation by seeds is possible, but quite a bit more complicated than these other means).
The most important part of keeping Chinese money plants ready for propagation is to keep them indoors, near a source of bright but indirect light and temperatures that are not too low for the plant to handle (occasional bouts of cold are welcome, though, as they will cause the plant to flower).
Similarly, the plant prefers high humidity paired with a well-draining soil mix and a pot with ample drainage holes.
Soggy soil can cause root rot on both adult plants and plant babies, killing them off.
Finally, the plant isn’t a heavy feeder and can be fertilized sparsely with good results. If you have satisfied these conditions, your pilea peperomioides plants should be capable of propagation.
Related: Peperomia Care Guide
Chinese Money Plant Propagation Methods
As we already stated earlier, there are multiple methods you can use to propagate the chinese money plants that will provide you with new pilea plants to put in your terracotta pots and enhance the visual appeal of your living area.
Indeed, growing pilea babies is not at all difficult, and one plant can quickly become dozens of them if you carefully follow the instructions provided by this guide.
Still, before getting into the propagation methods themselves, there is one last thing to consider: how do you know the right time to start with the process?
There is a simple answer to this question: propagating pilea peperomioides should be done in early spring if possible, as this will allow the new plants to have an entire growing season to develop as much as they can, as well as provide the mother plant with ample time to recover from the propagation stress.
This is very important as pilea propagation is mostly done through parts of the parent plant, as you will soon see. This means that the propagation of new pilea plants will include some damage to the old one, especially the mother plant’s roots.
Pilea Propagation By Root Cuttings
Probably the easiest of pilea peperomioides propagation methods is that by root cuttings or root plantlets that the mother plant itself creates.
A healthy money tree will periodically create these plantlets, parts of the plant that can be disconnected from the main plant and then grow into a new pilea plant on their own, given the right conditions.
Because this is a completely natural process that can happen in the wild as well as with indoor plants, you won’t have to do much to make it happen, other than speed up the process a bit and provide the new root cuttings with a pot of their own to call home.
These cuttings have no need to develop roots of their own as they already have them, meaning that your main worry when it comes to providing them with optimal conditions for new growth will be choosing the right soil mix.
Thankfully, the regular potting soil works fine, just the same as the one that the adult plant was potted in.
The cuttings will usually start growing very quickly after being repoted.
Getting them planted is pretty simple as well. Use a sharp knife or garden shears, well sanitized to avoid spreading any plant diseases to cut them free from the mother pilea, then place them in the soil mixture about an inch deep.
Keep the soil slightly moist for a while, until the cuttings start growing leaves of their own. After that, keep them near a source of bright indirect light just like the plant they came from.
Propagating Pilea Peperomioides By Stem Plantlets
Pilea perperomioides propagation can be done with stem cuttings as well as root ones, though it is a little complicated to do so.
Once again, the old plant will periodically produce the stem offsets you can use to propagate it, but this time these new plants won’t have roots of their own and will thus be a little more delicate and vulnerable.
Thankfully, root growth isn’t a terribly difficult thing to accomplish and can be done by any moderately skilled gardener with surprisingly little issue.
You see, baby pilea grown from stem plantlets can develop a root system of their own pretty quickly in the right conditions, and those conditions are quite easy to meet.
However, you first need to create the plantlets you intend to use for propagation.
The process is almost the same as with root cuttings: use a clean, sharp knife, making careful incisions on the mother plant to avoid damaging it too much.
Once you have done so, you will have fresh baby pilea that needs space to grow.
Providing it with one can be done in two distinct ways: You can either put it in a water-filled container that has some nutrients in it, or in a normal, preferably terracotta made pot filled with moist soil.
Either of these choices will provide the plantlet with everything it needs to start rooting, though you are advised to move ones grown in water into an actual pot once they have their own root system.
There is a benefit to putting them in water at first, however. It will provide you with a visual update on the plant’s root system’s progress, allowing you to know just how well is the plant taking its new environment.
You should wait until the plantlet develops tiny roots before repoting them.
In the end, here is a piece of advice.
Try not to propagate your pilea plants during the winter season, as the plant is usually not active in this part of the year and it will significantly slow down the root system development.
Propagation By Stem Cuttings
There is a third option when it comes to asexual propagation of pilea peperomionides, somewhat less viable than the first two, and that is propagation by stem cuttings.
The issue with growing a baby plant from stem cuttings is that before potting such a plant, you first have to wait until it has developed a root system of its own.
This isn’t a 100% sure thing to happen, however, and is thus somewhat unreliable. If given the option, it is nearly always better to use plantlets than to make your own cuttings, as those are naturally predisposed towards autonomous growth.
Still, there are exceptions, in which cutting off some of the mother plant’s stem is the more optimal choice.
One such situation in which you might choose to propagate pilea through stem cuttings is when the plant simply becomes too large to be manageable.
In that case, it is possible (and advisable, even) to cut off the top part of the mother plant, replanting the stem in its own pot, from where you would care of it the same way you would care of a stem plantlet.
If planted in fresh soil and properly looked after, the missionary plant should take root rather quickly.
Furthermore, the mother plant will continue growing from the height you cut it to, allowing it to, in time, reach its full size once again.
Finally, there is one more case in which propagation of pilea peperomioides by stem cuttings may indeed be the correct step to take.
Unfortunately, improper care of your pancake plant can cause stem rot. If this happens, affected parts of the plant will have to be removed to save the whole, in which case some of these saved cuttings can be repoted as baby plants.
Though quite vulnerable in the beginning, these stem offsets are capable of root growth.
Pilea Peperomioides Propagation By Leaves
Believe It or not, it is in fact possible to grow an entire Chinese money plant from nothing but a single leaf, though it is not easy to do so.
What you need to do is make a clean incision at the brown stem connecting the leaf to the main body of the plant, and then put it into a nutrient-filled water container.
After some time (this is somewhat slower than in the case of a stem cutting) the leaf will begin to sprout roots, after which you can find a pot with fresh, moist soil to plant it in.
In time, this single leaf can regrow an entire money plant (just make sure to make the incision in the correct place, as without the main body brown stem, which is responsible for plant growth, the leaf will only be able to survive, but not regenerate the rest of the plant as well).
Growing Pilea Peperomioides From Seeds
Finally, it is theoretically possible to grow missionary plants from their seed, but not many people choose to do so as propagation by other means is much simpler.
However, if you are for some reason intent on propagating the plants in this way, you will need to replicate their natural reproduction conditions as accurately as possible.
Firstly, you will need plants of both genders to allow for germination and subsequent creation of seeds (or just get the seeds from someone else, though this might not always be an option as it is advised that the seeds be fresh and few people actually manage to have their money plants grow seeds).
Once you have the seeds, plant them in moist soil and leave them like that until they sprout. From there you will have to care about the baby plant the same way you would care about those propagated by other means.
Frequently asked questions
Can you grow Chinese money plant from a cutting?
Of course! While not the most popular or the easiest way to grow one of these plants, stem cutting is a perfectly viable way to get a baby pilea. In case you are unfamiliar with the process of doing so in practice, there is an entire segment in this guide that will help you learn how to propagate pilea peperomioides using stem cuttings. Furthermore, there is a great benefit to being able to propagate your own plants: not only will you be able to enhance your living space with lush greenery, you will also have a cool, homemade gift for your friends!
Can you propagate Chinese money plant in water?
Yes, it is indeed possible to propagate Chinese money plants in a watery environment. This is best done with stem plantlets, as those often have leaves and need to grow roots (opposite from root plantlets, that prefer to be placed in the soil). You can also grow stem cuttings in a water container, where they can start growing roots before being planted into soil.
This can even be done with a single leaf with some main body stem. Indeed, it is fairly simple to propagate Chinese money plants in water with the right instructions.
Luckily for you, those instructions can be found in this guide!
How hard is it to propagate Chinese money plants?
Both due to their great resilience and hardiness and the existence of a variety of ways to propagate them, it is fairly simple to have your pilea peperomioides multiply. There are some rules that should be followed, however, different for each of the methods but also somewhat similar between all of them. This makes their propagation an easy task for the most part.