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Pilea Care 101: How Often to Water Your Pilea?

The coin-shaped leaves of Pilea are a famous fortune-bringing indoor plant that thrives in any corner until you provide bright indirect light and water it properly.

Generally, the perennial herb Pilea demands water when the top inch of the soil is dry, with weekly watering during spring and summer. Also, reducing the watering schedule when the days become shorter, distinctly in winter, makes the plant livelier.

Ensure to water them thoroughly so that it reaches through the soil and drains out of the hole.

Read on to learn the entire technique to water Pilea correctly.

How Often To Water Pilea?

All varieties of Pilea, including Pilea glauca and Pilea peperomia, prefer to be dry before watering, but sometimes the timing might go wrong, letting your plant suffer.

So, better to water the Pilea once weekly during the active growing season and reduce it to once fortnightly in winter months.

However, you can check for yourself to determine the exact timing, as the requirement might vary depending on the location, temperature, and plant size.

Know When To Water Pilea

Insufficient water causes soil dryness, drooping, and browning in Pilea. In addition, the leaves become thin, and the soil becomes dusty.

If you notice any of the above problems, you should know that your Pilea needs water.

On the other hand, you can perform some basic tests to determine the moisture level and water it accordingly.

  • Place the finger or stick two inches deep in the soil to check the dryness of the soil. If the stick feels dry, water the Pilea.
  • Pick up the pot with the Pilea plant and check the weight. Water your plant if you feel the pot is lightweight.
  • Touch the leaves of the Pilea plant; if it feels thin, water it immediately.
  • Water Pilea if you see the color of the soil turning dusty or light grey as a sign of dry soil.
  • Crisping and curling up with the browning of the Pilea leaves also indicate underwatered plant.

Factors That Impact The Frequency of Watering Pilea

The watering need of the Pilea differs according to the environmental condition and material you have used for your plant.

1. Location and Light Intensity

Pilea is a lover of medium bright indirect light that they receive primarily from the east or west-facing window.

The light provides the source of energy that Pilea requires to survive, grow, and perform photosynthesis to maintain its vigor green leaves.

However, if the plant receives too much bright or direct light, the leaves absorption and water loss rate increases, causing faster drying of soil water.

As a result, you will have to water Pliea more often.

On the contrary, if you have placed the Pilea plant in a shady area, you should water the plant less.

2. Temperature and Humidity of Room

Through speedy transpiration, Pilea balances the dry air led by low-humid conditions and higher temperatures.

However, while maintaining the balance, the Pilea might consume the water more vigorously than on other days, needing you to increase the water frequency.

On the other hand, the Pilea placed in the bathroom and kitchen demands less frequent watering as the area is filled with humidity and has low temperatures.

Next, if you are in a moderately hot place, water the plant by checking its weight every 2-3 days, as lightweight refers to less water.

3. Growing Seasons

The Pilea plants’ watering frequency varies monthly depending on their water consumption rate, which is affected by the season.

Generally, Pilea plants require more water during their growing seasons in spring as they actively produce new leaves by utilizing the water rapidly and leading to drying out soon.

However, in winter, the plants remain dormant and slow down their growth pace, so they require less water at this time. Else, they may be overwatered.

4. Pot Type

It might seem shocking, but it is true that the pot type also affects Pilea’s water requirements.

The terracotta or clay pot is porous in structure, allowing faster water evaporation. So you need to water the Pilea in terracotta more often.

Meanwhile, the plastic and ceramic pot has water retention ability and works as a water reservoir for Pilea, demanding less frequent watering.

The same applies to terrarium Pilea, as water evaporation slows down, so you can water the plant less often.

5. Size of Plant

Do not focus on the watering schedule if you have Pilea of different sizes, as their requirement might differ depending on their growth pace.

Smaller plants need to be watered more as they have less soil, and water dries quickly.

In contrast, larger plants need less frequent watering as they can hold more moisture due to the bulk of soil, which takes additional time to dry out.
A person is holding on the crown of the Pilea detached from its pot.
The root balls of Pilea are much smaller than the crown size, so water it accordingly.

And, when the soil of the larger plant dries out, they need to be watered thoroughly till the excess drains out from the holes to ensure it reaches deep down to the roots.

What Kind of Water To Use to Water Pilea?

The water you consume daily is best for your Pilea or any other plant, including the filtered water from the purifier.

Some of the other safest options for Pilea is distilled water free from chemical minerals and impurities that might build up in the soil.

As for the tap water, you can make it de-chlorinated by letting it stand overnight in a bucket to let the impurities settle down or dissipate away.

The treatment helps remove complex chemicals like chlorine and fluorine from the tap water, which might be too much for Pilea.

In addition, you can use rainwater too if you have a rain barrel.

The Best Techniques to Water Pilea

Typically, watering the plants from above with a canister and pouring the water over the leaves may lead to pests and fungal infections.

Hence, you should know the exact methods to avoid any future mishaps, for which you can try the given three ways and find the best for your Pilea.

1. Saucer Method

The saucer method is the simplest method of watering a plant.

Place your Pilea plant inside a saucer or bowl filled with water and leave the plant there for 30 minutes.

In the meantime, the soil will soak the moisture through the pot and drainage holes.

Then after 30 minutes, remove the plant from the water and let the excess water drain.

2. Soaking Method

The soaking method requires more water. In addition, you have to keep a close eye on your plants.

To apply, first, place your Pilea plant in a large container like a sink or tub full of water so that the water level touches the top of the pot.

After a minute, bubbles will disappear from the surface, indicating the plant has stopped soaking water. Now you can remove the plant from the water.

This method works best if you have lots of plants in your home. You can soak as many pots as your sink or tub can withstand to make your work quicker.

3. Self-watering Pot Method

This method is ideal for those who don’t stay home, have no time to water the plant as needed, and forget to water the plants in time.

A self-watering pot will allow your plant to get the moisture needed without any aid from your side.

Here you need to plant the Pilea in the inner terracotta pot and place an outer ceramic pot filled with water at half its height.

All you need to do here is water the plant once, and the self-watering pot will take care of the rest.

Take reference from the video below for any visual aid!

How To Know That The Water Is Too Much for Pilea Plant?

Being a succulent plant, your Pilea plant won’t need more water. Too much water means drowning the plant’s roots, which can no longer absorb oxygen and nutrients.

However, if you identify the situation sooner, you can save your overwatered Pilea plant.

Check out a few methods of finding that the water is too much for the plant.

  • Examine The Plant: Check your plant thoroughly and look for any leaves that are yellowing, drooping, or prematurely falling, which is a sign of overwatering.
  • Check the Bottom of The Pot: If your pot lacks drainage holes, your plant suffers from overwatering. The excess water sits in the bottom of the pot, drowning the root later, resulting in root rot. So, repot your plant in a pot with enough drainage holes.
  • Look At The Roots: Pull the plant from the pot and observe the roots properly. If the root looks brown, mushy, and has an unpleasant smell, then you will need to prune them away.

Tips to Take Care of Pilea Plants

Pilea can be tricky to care for, but keeping all the requirements at the optimum level is not difficult.

  • Provide 8-12 hours of bright indirect light, as direct light can burn the leaves.
  • Rotate the plant 2-3 times a week to provide balanced light to each part of the plant.
  • Water your Pilea plant when the top 75% of the soil becomes dry.
  • Pilea plant does not require humidity, but mist the plant in the morning using tepid water as the leaves may dry during the day.
  • Keep the Pilea plant in temperatures between 65-75ºF.
  • Feed your Pilea plant monthly during spring and summer with balanced liquid fertilizer.
  • Salts and chemicals in your tap water can cause white spots on your Pilea plant, so use normal chloride and fluoride-free water.

From Editorial Team


Pilea plant is easy to care for, and with a green thumb knowledge on watering alone can make you about 95% perfectionist in keeping it healthy.

Use a pot with enough drainage holes and a well-draining porous soil mix to prevent salt accumulation and root rot.

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