Ask a Question forum→Pilea peperomioides - yellow leaves

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Northern California (Zone 9b)
coolmom1016
May 22, 2020 3:34 PM CST
I love my Chinese Money Plants! I've had them since last fall and they've been doing great. All 3 have produced pups and I even separated one which is doing fine. Recently, however, the lower older leaves are becoming discolored. They're not falling off, just splotchy looking. Any advice?


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Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
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DaisyI
May 22, 2020 8:21 PM CST
It would be nice if, in this country, we had more experience with Pilea peperomiodes, but we don't. Its a learning experience. I've had mine for a couple years now and it has gotten quite large. But this spring, I am having the yellow leaf problem. I have never fertilized so I will start there. Its in an inconvenient, easily forgotten spot so maybe I'm not watering enough... My only other thought is I need to repot - that hasn't happened yet. Tomorrow...

I don't know. And until we can find someone who speaks Norwegian, we may be in the middle of a giant science experiment.

There will be 'experts' along soon to tell you how to fix all this but, really, they don't know any more than I do. Smiling

Lets have a conversation with people who own Pilea peperomiodes. Maybe, as a group, we can figure something out.

Show us your Pilea peperomiodes and tell us how you take care of it.
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and proclaiming...."WOW What a Ride!!" -Mark Frost

President: Orchid Society of Northern Nevada
Webmaster: osnnv.org
Name: Will Creed
NYC
Prof. plant consultant & educator
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WillC
May 23, 2020 8:30 AM CST
Your plant may be getting too much direct sun. It does best in very bright, but indirect sunlight.

Another thing to check is your water quality. If your tap water is hard, use filtered or distilled water instead.
Will Creed
Horticultural Help, NYC
www.HorticulturalHelp.com
Contact me directly at [email protected]
I now have a book available on indoor plant care
Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
Not all who wander are lost
Garden Sages Plant Identifier
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DaisyI
May 23, 2020 10:34 AM CST
WillC, are you growing this plant? A plant doing fine for a year suddenly doesn't grow an allergy to the water and the light.

I have noticed the blotchy yellow leaf problem usually occurs in the spring.
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and proclaiming...."WOW What a Ride!!" -Mark Frost

President: Orchid Society of Northern Nevada
Webmaster: osnnv.org
Name: Will Creed
NYC
Prof. plant consultant & educator
Image
WillC
May 23, 2020 1:39 PM CST
Daisy - Yes, I care for about a half dozen of them in a variety of indoor locations. The effects of excess light and water quality can take a while to show up. Just because a plant has been doing well previously does not necessarily mean that everything is okay with it.

I have suggested excess light because I have observed similar symptoms with this plant when it is given too much direct sunlight. Fortunately, NYC water is not hard, so I am only making an educated guess that the tap water could be a problem. That is because I know from experience that hard water alters the soil pH and can render some nutrients insoluble and unavailable to the plant.
Will Creed
Horticultural Help, NYC
www.HorticulturalHelp.com
Contact me directly at [email protected]
I now have a book available on indoor plant care
Northern California (Zone 9b)
coolmom1016
May 23, 2020 4:13 PM CST
Thank you for your comments. My plants are in a northeast facing window with no direct sunlight, just bright light all day. I use tapwater that has been set out for at least of 72 hours or longer, only watering when almost dry. I'm careful not to overwater.

I would guess that the splotches have gotten progressively more pronounced ever since I got the plants last fall. I've given them a little diluted liquid succulent fertilizer about once a month since early spring. All 3 plants have produced healthy pups.

Any more thoughts to keep them healthy?
[Last edited by coolmom1016 - May 23, 2020 4:34 PM (+)]
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Name: Will Creed
NYC
Prof. plant consultant & educator
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WillC
May 23, 2020 5:06 PM CST
If your tap water is hard, setting it out only concentrates the mineral slats that much more as the water evaporates a bit.

A northeast window sill usually gets at least some direct sun during the morning.

How dry does the soil get before you water?

Will Creed
Horticultural Help, NYC
www.HorticulturalHelp.com
Contact me directly at [email protected]
I now have a book available on indoor plant care
Northern California (Zone 9b)
coolmom1016
May 23, 2020 10:32 PM CST
I let the soil get pretty dry as I'm afraid of overwatering. Using a water meter stick, it's all the way to the dry side before I water. Could I be under watering? Is it ok to use water that has been boiled and set out for a few days?
Should I fertilize?
Thanks again for your input.
[Last edited by coolmom1016 - May 23, 2020 10:34 PM (+)]
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Name: Will Creed
NYC
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WillC
May 24, 2020 8:36 AM CST
Moisture meters are unreliable because they vary from one potting mix to another. I suspect your fear of overwatering is causing you to underwater it.

It looks like your plant is still in its nursery pot. If so, then it is safe to water it a soon as the top quarter-inch of soil feels dry to your touch. When you water, give it enough that some trickles through the drain holes. As long as you don't leave the pot sitting in water or try to water when the surface of the soil feels damp, then overwatering will not be a problem.

Boiling water does not reduce the minerals in the water nor does letting it stand in the open. The condensation from the steam of the boiling water is mineral-free but it is not very easy to capture so that is probably not a practical solution. Perhaps your water is not hard and that if you water a bit more often the problem will be resolved.

The already discolored leaves will not get green again. However, new leaf growth should come in green and remain so.

As long as it continues to add healthy new growth, you can fertilize it monthly but at half strength.
Will Creed
Horticultural Help, NYC
www.HorticulturalHelp.com
Contact me directly at [email protected]
I now have a book available on indoor plant care
Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
Not all who wander are lost
Garden Sages Plant Identifier
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DaisyI
May 24, 2020 12:02 PM CST
As none of us has actually seen a full grown or well grown Pilea peperomoides, I wonder if the yellowing bottom leaves are just what this plant does. The new growth on mine is always very healthy but the bottom leaves yellow and drop in the spring/early summer. I do wonder how tall they get before they reach their maximum height. I'm visuallizing a 5 ft tall plant sitting on my window sill. Rolling on the floor laughing
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and proclaiming...."WOW What a Ride!!" -Mark Frost

President: Orchid Society of Northern Nevada
Webmaster: osnnv.org
Name: Will Creed
NYC
Prof. plant consultant & educator
Image
WillC
May 24, 2020 12:23 PM CST
Not to worry, Daisy! Even in the wild they are unlikely to get that big. They have been used in cultivation as ornamental plants for many decdees but only recently have they become widely availble from growers. I suspect that follows the recent interest in small succulents.

They do tend to lose lower petipoles and leaves as they grow taller even when healthy. Because they end up looking spindly after a while, I usually prune mine back before they get more than about 8 inches tall. The pruning promotes more growth at the base.
Will Creed
Horticultural Help, NYC
www.HorticulturalHelp.com
Contact me directly at [email protected]
I now have a book available on indoor plant care
Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
Not all who wander are lost
Garden Sages Plant Identifier
Image
DaisyI
May 24, 2020 1:12 PM CST
I just found this great article while trying to figure out the natural habitat of P. peperomiodes, maybe giving me a clue to care.

http://www.wildchicken.com/nat...

Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and proclaiming...."WOW What a Ride!!" -Mark Frost

President: Orchid Society of Northern Nevada
Webmaster: osnnv.org
Northern California (Zone 9b)
coolmom1016
May 24, 2020 2:19 PM CST
Thanks again for your comments. I'll be sure to water my plants more carefully. Daisy, appreciate your reference for interesting reading about our plants.

Just thought I'd share a pic of one of them in February with a flower! It was lovely so see. It has since produced many pups and grows a new leaf in the center consistently.



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Name: Lin Vosbury
Sebastian, Florida (Zone 10a)

Region: United States of America Deer Region: Florida Charter ATP Member Million Pollinator Garden Challenge I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
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plantladylin
May 24, 2020 3:11 PM CST
I've had my Chinese Money Plant (Pilea peperomioides) for about 15 to 18 months and it's one that I have mixed feelings about. When it comes to watering, all of my plants are kept on the dry side but with this PIlea, I just couldn't seem to find a happy medium between too much and too little water, so I decided to try wick watering. I stuffed a small strip of nylon panty hose up through the drainage hole and I keep the plastic pot sitting on top of pebbles inside a more decorative container with a small amount of water in the pebbles at all times. It seems to be doing okay but I'm not real sure what a happy Pilea peperomoides is supposed to look like. Smiling I took a couple of pictures; there are actually four separate plants in the pot. The tallest one has lost all of the lower leaves.
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Editing my post to list the growing conditions of my plant:
Repotted: May, 2019 into a slightly larger pot with more drainage holes
Potting Medium: A combination of it's original soil and chopped coconut coir
Lighting: Growing in bright light, no direct sun
Watering: Wick watered with reverse osmosis, filtered water only
Fertilizer: None



~ I'm an old gal who still loves playing in the dirt!
~ Playing in the dirt is my therapy ... and I'm in therapy a lot!


[Last edited by plantladylin - May 24, 2020 4:49 PM (+)]
Give a thumbs up | Quote | Post #2250186 (14)
Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
Not all who wander are lost
Garden Sages Plant Identifier
Image
DaisyI
May 24, 2020 3:24 PM CST
coolmom1016 said:Just thought I'd share a pic of one of them in February with a flower! It was lovely so see. It has since produced many pups and grows a new leaf in the center consistently.
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Wow! You should be telling us how to care for Pilea. You got one to bloom! Lovey dubby
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and proclaiming...."WOW What a Ride!!" -Mark Frost

President: Orchid Society of Northern Nevada
Webmaster: osnnv.org

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