How to propagate a Pilea Peperomioides through cuttings

Last Updated: May 17, 2022

Chinese Money Plants, also known by their latin name Pilea, are one of the easiest plants to propagate. So much so that many people call it the Pass On Plant because they make the perfect gift for friends and family. There is only really one successful method and that is through the growth of babies/pups. These can either grow directly off the stem or as offshoots under the soil which pop up next to the mother plant.

Pilea plants after propagation

3 Pilea plants

Why propagate a Pilea Peperomioides?

Before we get started you might be wondering why it’s beneficial to propagate your plant? Well here are a few good reasons:


  • Create more plants for free!

    This will multiply your plant collection without needing to spend any more money! They also make great gifts for friends and family if your home is already overflowing with plants.

  • To save a dying plant

    If you accidentally overwatered, over-fertilised or mistreated your plant and it has started to die, sometimes the best way to save it is by taking the healthy pups off the mother plant.

  • To avoid your Pilea becoming root-bound.

    When more and more pups start to grow out from the mother plant, the whole plant will become pot bound very quickly. There will be a lack of nutrients for the plant and will stunt growth if not removed.

  • To make your plant fit its environment.

    If your Pilea has become too big for your space or you simply want to prune the shape a little then propagating the pups you cut off is a great way to stop them from going to waste. 

Mature Pilea plants are easy to propagate

Pilea plants

How to propagate a Pilea peperomioides through cuttings

Taking cuttings of Pilea pups is the only way to propagate your plant with high chances of success. The only downside to this method is that not all plants will have pups growing off them if they aren’t mature plants. But it shouldn’t take too long before your plant starts to grow offshoots so just be a little patient and make sure your Pilea is getting the right care.   

It’s always exciting when we see the first signs of a little pups popping up from the soil or stem and our first instinct might be to remove it straight away. However, you need to sit tight for a little while to allow the pup to strengthen and grow about 5-7cm tall with several leaves before starting to think about separating it from the mother plant. If you repot the pup too early, chances are it won’t survive on its own for very long as the roots won’t have fully developed.

Propagating a Pilea through pups

Pilea cuttings
  1. Locate a healthy Pilea pup

    When taking a cutting you want to make sure that the pup is healthy to give you the best chance of success. Avoid any sign of disease or pests as this will hinder healthy growth.

  2. Take your plant out of its pot 

    In order to cut the pup from the mother plant we recommend taking the mother plant out of its pot and remove the potting mix around the pup. This means you can take a longer cutting and include some of the roots if it has started to grow any.

  3. Make the cut 

    You want to use clean scissors/ shears or a knife to make the cut to avoid passing on dirt or any infection to the cuttings. Use your tools to make a clean cut across the stem. Try to make the cut as close to the mother plant as possible. Avoid breaking it off or tugging at the pup as this can damage the main stem.

  4. Fill up your container with water 

    Next, you want to fill up a glass with fresh temperate water to place your Pilea pup(s) into. Make sure the water isn’t super cold or hot as this will shock or burn the cutting and weaken your chances at a successful propagation.

    It’s best to use purified water so the levels of chlorine and fluoride aren’t as high as in the water straight out of the tap as Pilea plants can be a little sensitive to this. A great way to do this naturally is to leave the water out for 24 hours to allow the chemicals to evaporate. You can also use filtered water or collected rainwater to avoid this sensitivity.

  5. Place your cuttings in water

    Make sure that the water is covering about half of the cutting to boost root growth. Keep all of the leaves out of the water as they will start to rot. Place your glass in bright but indirect sunlight. Intense light will damage the cutting and prevent a successful propagation.

  6. Change out the water regularly 

    One of the most important steps in the Pilea propagation process is to switch out the water in your glass regularly. You want to be doing this every 2-3 days. This keeps the water free from bacteria and stops it from stagnating which is harmful to your cutting. Stagnant water will also start to smell so it’s something you really want to avoid. 

  7. Be patient 

    Luckily Pilea plants are one of the quicker plants when it comes to growing roots. After a couple of weeks, you should start to see some thin roots growing from your pups. Timing can be a little unpredictable though and depends a lot on your cutting and its environment so just make sure your pups are getting enough light, warmth and fresh water and you should start to see roots soon.

  8. Plant your cuttings into fresh potting mix

    Keep an eye on root growth and when your pup’s roots are several inches long you can pot them into soil! We recommend using a high-quality potting mix to make sure your new plants are getting the right mix and level of nutrients. Carefully place your cuttings a few centimetres into the soil, making sure not to damage the newly formed roots as they will be very delicate at this stage. 

  9. Resume usual plant care

    For the first few weeks of your new plants living in potting mix, we recommend keeping the soil a little more moist than usual. This is because your cuttings are used to living in water and will need some time to adapt. But after a few weeks, you can go back to regular Pilea care and soon those pups will be mature enough to grow offshoots of their own – and the cycle starts again!

Use sharp scissors to cut off your Pilea baby

Scissors cutting off a Pilea plant

A Pilea pup cutting

A Pilea pup cutting

Pilea Propagation FAQs

Here’s some answers to the most common questions we get on this subject, hopefully something here can help!

Make sure to use high quality mix when propagating your Pilea plant

Repotting a Pilea

Common problems when propagating Pilea Peperomioides

Propagating plants doesn’t always have a 100% success rate and you may encounter some problems along the way. But don’t worry, below we have all the main problems you may face so you can figure out what is causing these problems to arise and hopefully solve them before it kills your plant cuttings.

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