It is very sad to see pilea drooping when you are doing your best to keep your plant healthy and thriving.
In some cases, it is normal to see drooping leaves in old and fully matured pilea plants.
But if your young plant is drooping its leaves then this means it is unhealthy and needs your immediate attention.
The most common causes are low light, temperature shock, wrong watering techniques, quality of water, damaged roots, fungus diseases, and pests.
But the good news is with minor changes in pilea daily care routine you can fix this problem.
It will take 4 to 7 days to fully heal your Chinese money plant.
In this article I will teach you how you can identify the cause and what are the solutions in your case.
1. Why is My Pilea Peperomioides Drooping its Leaves?
If your plant leaves are healthy and the overall plant is in good shape. Only the stems are curving downwards. Then this appearance of the plant is normal.
The main cause of this style of pilea is sided light.
When your plant gets light energy from a side. The other side stems start curving down due to low light.
For example, Pilea growing on the window sill get light from the side not from above.
Plants always grow towards the light source. To change its shape back to normal you must place it where pilea can get plenty of light from above.
Then within 6 to 9 days all the drooping stems and leaves will start growing towards the light.
Note: To prevent droopiness in healthy Chinese money plants you must rotate them once a week. So that all sides of the plants get an equal amount of light.
2. Other Causes of Droopy Pilea
In this case, your plant looks sad and unhealthy. There will be signs of leaf infections, soil contamination, etc.
If your plant is struggling to grow, this indicates that something is wrong that needs to be fixed ASAP.
(a) Under Watering
This is the common cause in 85% of the cases. When you do not give enough water to your plant. Its roots become unable to transport the nutrient from the soil to the plant.
Due to a lack of water and nutrients, none of the plants can stand firm and healthy?
In dry conditions, pilea Peperomioides start using the moisture stored in the leaves and stems, for photosynthesis.
This action increases the dehydration in the plants and the result is droopy pilea.
How to Fix?
Dehydrated pilea is easy to fix. All you need to do is water it thoroughly until you see water going out through the drainage hole.
To prevent underwatering you need to make a routine of checking your plant soil moisture level. Once in a week in winter and once in 3 days in summer is good practice.
To check the soil moisture, you can use a soil moisture testing meter. If you have a good budget. This device is very helpful for beginners and is easily available on Amazon.
Overwatering is very dangerous for plants like pilea Peperomioides. It has a small root ball that is soft and cannot stand healthy in lots of water.
The soil that is saturated with water increase the chances of root rot in Pilea Peperomioides.
These are fungus diseases that infect the plant roots. The fungus bacteria slowly eat the plant roots and your plant becomes sick.
Dropping leaves due to overwatering is the first sign of a root rot problem.
If your plant has some yellow leaves with some leaves having small brown spots. This is the sure sign that root rot is set in.
At this stage, you need to act fast to save your plant or it will die in less than 7 days.
How to fix Overwatered Pilea?
The first thing is to confirm the problem:
To confirm overwatering, you need to check the plant and soil. If the leaves are turning yellow with or without brown spots.
The soil is waterlogged and also releases a foul smell. Then it is confirmed that pilea roots are suffering from root fungus.
In this case, you need to repot the plant and also prune the yellow, brown, and other dead parts of it.
If the stems also show fungus signs, then you need to use fungicide after repotting it.
Here are the steps:
- Take the plant out of its pot.
- Inspect the root and cut the damaged parts with a sterilized knife or shears.
- Empty the pot and wash it with dishwashing soap.
- Fill it with fresh potting soil.
- Plant your treated pile in it and do not give water for 8 hours.
- After 8 hours give a little bit of water to keep the soil moist.
- Prune yellow leaves and apply fungicide on infected stems.
- Place the pot in an airy location to speed up the healing process.
- Within 10 days you will see the healthy signs in your droopy pilea plant.
(c) Quality of Water
Water quality is another factor that decides your plant health. It should be clean and free of chemicals like chlorine, copper, and fluorides.
But in many cities, tap water contains a high amount of chlorine and fluoride. Copper-like metals in water are high in hilly areas.
When you give heavy water to your plants. The unwanted materials in the water get collected at the bottom of the pot.
After a few watering applications, they stick to the root and block nutrient absorption.
Hence your pilea become nutrient deficient and it stops growing. Droopy pilea is the result of using hard water.
How to fix the hard water issue?
To solve this problem stop giving hard water to your Chinese money plant. You should shift to filtered water for watering pilea.
Filtered water is light water and does not contain unnecessary ingredients.
The next step is to flush the soil to drain all the heavy substances. If your plant is turning yellow then it is best to change the soil.
I think changing the soil and using the filtered water is best for pilea drooping appearance. Your plant will heal in 3 to 5 days.
(d) Insufficient Light
In the low light growing areas, Chinese money plant often drop their leaves. This is due to the weak photosynthesis that directly depends on the amount of light your plant is getting.
If there is not sufficient for proper photosynthesis, then your plant becomes unable to make its food in large quantities.
This makes your Chinese money plant weak and due to low energy; its stems get bent downwards.
Low light also affects the water absorption rate. Plants use light energy to convert water and nutrients into their food.
But when there is low light, plants do not absorb sufficient water.
High amount of water stays in the soil for long time, make it waterlogged. Invites many fungus problems along with stunted growth.
How to fix low light in the Chinese money plant?
In dark corners of your home, you can use grow lights to full fill the light energy needs of your pilea.
If you do not want to use grow light then the option left is sunny window.
For equal light distribution rotate your plant sitting on the window sill once in 5 days. Make sure only morning sunrays are directly falling on your plant. They are not harmful.
Generally, pilea plants are considered strong plants against pest infestations. But sap-sucking insects are stronger than plants.
Spider mites, aphids, and scales are the common enemies of houseplants.
They suck the plant juice and increase their population. As a result, your plant loses all its glucose and becomes very weak.
Due to loss of water, glucose, and nutrients pilea plants become unable to stand firm. They have less energy than normal and cannot hold the weight of their leaves.
As a result, the stems curved downwards and give a droopy appearance.
How to fix it?
- Closely inspect your plant, and check both sides of the leaves.
- Use rubbing alcohol and cotton to wipe them manually.
- In worst cases, use insecticidal soap and rinse your plant.
- Spray neem oil + water solution to speed up the healing process.
- If 70% of your plant is damaged it is best to propagate it and trash the old infected plant.
(f) Temperature Shock
Cold winds and sudden change in temperature also affect the appearance of pilea plant.
The ideal temperature for a healthy pilea is between 55 to 90 degrees F. If it goes up or down your plant will face negative effects.
The regular flow of cold winds shrinks the cell size of pilea leaves. This shrinks the overall leaf size and reduces the glucose storage space.
You must keep the plant in a safe place where the sudden hot or cold temperature cannot affect the plant’s health.
In the winter season bring your outdoor pila plants inside to keep them warm.
How to fix it?
To avoid cold drafts, you must keep your plant away from the door entrance and window sill.
Do not prune your plant on winter days even if it has some damaged leaves. They give nice protection to your plants. But you must remove dead parts of the plant.
The too hot temperature is also not beneficial therefore, keep eye on the room humidity. Give extra water to the plant in the summers.
(g) Repotting Shock
If you see a droopy Chinese money plant after a few days of repotting. Then this is not normal for it. Leaf loss along with droopy plant is a sure sign of transplant shock.
Repotting is not a problem with this plant. In fact, after 2 years, it needs repotting for its further growth.
The problem is with the roots that get damaged while repotting. And damaged roots do not absorb sufficient water hence your Chinese money plant is drooping and wilting.
To prevent transplant shock, you should not touch the roots without any reason. Don’t try to lose the tightly packed roots of pilea plant.
Let them densely packed over each other. This is natural behaviour of pilea Peperomioides. Just repot it in large size pot and the roots will entangle by themselves.
But on the other hand,
If you think your plant will not survive in its new home. Then immediately take it out of the soil and place it in water.
Use water as a growing medium until it develops some new roots.
It will take some days for pilea to develop new tiny roots. Once the new roots grow 1 to 2 inches long then you can repot it back in potting soil.
(h) Wrong Place
This is another common reason why is your pilea drooping? If you put it in such a place where the only one side of plant gets enough light. Then definitely your plant becomes droopy.
The side that is not receiving enough light bends its stems. Whereas the other half of the plant stand firm.
You will have half droopy and half healthy plant.
Fewer leaves and leggy growth are other side effects of low light in grow room.
To prevent this condition, you must place your plant in an appropriate place. Where it can get a sufficient amount of bright light each day.
Remember that it needs the same amount of light energy in the summer, spring, and winter seasons.
If a single sunny window is the only source of light in the room. Then do not place your plant on such a window.
If you want to place it in the same room. Then you need to rotate the plant pot once in 2 days. This way all parts of your plant will get an equal amount of light energy
(i) Fungal Infection
Fungal diseases like Southern Blight, Pythium Root Rot, and Rhizoctonia Aerial Blight are also responsible for pilea drooping.
All these are dangerous for your plant. You must identify them on time and fix them before they kill your plant.
Brown leaves with mushy roots, Collar region rots, and Brown and reddish Lesions on leaves and stems are common signs of these fungal diseases.
Hot to fix?
- First of all, separate your infected plant from other healthy plants.
- Use a copper-based fungicide to clean the infected part. Then spray neem oil on the treated part.
- For Southern blight, you should use Propiconazole.
- For Rhizoctonia Aerial Blight you must use Fludioxonil solution.
- Add some bio-fungicide into the soil for full-proof healing treatment.
(j) Natural Drooping
When your pilea Peperomioides grow older its older leaves die naturally. First, they turn yellow then droop and fall off the plant.
This is the natural leaf shredding process of plants.
Leaves at the bottom of the plant are old leaves. The top and side leaves are new and young.
Once your plant drops its old leaves you will see new tiny leaves in 10 to 15 days.
Autumn is the season when you experience the natural shredding of Chinese money plants.
I hope now it is clear how to identify healthy leaf drooping and unhealthy pilea drooping. If your Chinese money plant is drooping then don’t think it is natural.
Inspect your plant first to identify the cause and then come to any decision.