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Pilea Peperomioides water propagation

Pilea Peperomioides water propagation

Pilea Peperomioides water propagation

Pilea pups – they are part of what makes Pilea Peperomioides such a joyful houseplant to have. But for the pups to start growing, they need roots. There are several different ways of getting a Pilea to grow roots, and in this post, we’ll look into Pilea Peperomioides water propagation.


What is water propagation?

Plant propagation is the process of creating a new plant. Propagation can be done in many different ways, all depending on the type of plant you have, and one of the commonly used mediums is water.

When you take a cutting from a plant, it instantly loses access to water and nutrients as it has no roots. For vascular plants, which Pilea Peperomioides is, this means it has no way of distributing food to its cells to maintain or fuel growth.

Therefore, the cutting first and foremost needs to grow a new root system. And that is what water propagation is about.

Pilea cuttings ready for propagation

How long does it take for Pilea to root in water?

Propagation can be a longsome process, but I find that with Pilea Peperomioides water propagation, it typically takes 2-3 weeks before you start to see roots.

You may also be surprised to all of a sudden notice a lot of roots have appeared out of nowhere. When rooting cuttings in water, they can be easy to oversee as they are very thin and transparent. So keep an eye out for weekly progress.

After a few weeks to a month, your Pilea cutting should look something like the image below, and be ready for soil:

Pilea Mojito water propagation
Pilea Mojito with roots, after using water propagation

How long can you keep Pilea in water?

You can technically keep the Pilea cutting in water for as long as you’d like if you continue to change the water ever so often. This is to avoid the risk of fungus. In spring-summer, you can feed it with a bit of fertilizer to give the plant some nutrients.

I would however recommend transferring the cutting to the soil once you see roots have been developed, as soil is the natural habitat for Pilea Peperomioides.

Does cutting size matter when rooting in water?

Can a Pilea cutting be too small or too big for water propagation?

Yes and no.

Tiny Pileas (Less than 1 cm) can be close to impossible to place in water without them falling into the water and rotting. You can have cuttings that are less than half a centimeter, and they can survive! But the easiest way to root tiny Pilea cuttings, in my opinion, would be using soil.

For larger Pilea cuttings (10 cm and above), they can absolutely be water propagated, but you increase the success rate (and reduce time spent), by removing excess foliage.

If the cutting has a lot of foliage, it will spend too much energy maintaining it, instead of growing roots.

Small Pilea cuttings
From tiny to small Pilea cuttings

Do Pilea cuttings need light to root?

For a plant to grow it needs light. The plant will use the sun to turn water and CO2 into sugar. This sugar, is what the plant uses for growing – the process you know as photosynthesis.

When using water propagation as a method, you also need light.

Does this mean cuttings should be placed in full sun to grow? No. The best place for your Pilea cuttings is in indirect light. You can get away with dappled sun without worries but keep the cuttings away from any south-facing window.

How do I know if my cuttings have rooted in water?

The great thing about using water for propagation is, that you can clearly see when roots are forming. If in doubt, hold the glass with the cutting up in front of light – this makes it easier to see the thin and transparent roots.


Pilea Peperomioides water propagation in x steps

  1. Take a fresh cutting from a healthy Pilea Peperomioides plant
  2. If the cutting has a lot of foliage, remove excess leaves
  3. Find a suitable, clean glass container and fill with room temperature water
  4. Place the Pilea cutting in the water in indirect light, and wait 2-4 weeks
  5. Change water at least once a week to avoid any fungal infection
  6. Transfer the Pilea cuttings to the soil when the roots are about 5cm long


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