How to Successfully Repot a Pilea Peperomioides Plant

In my experience, Pilea peperomioides (aka the Chinese Money Plant) typically need repotting every 18 to 24 months. I wait until the plant’s roots have filled their current vessel and then choose a pot that’s 1.5 times the size of the current container. I find it best to transfer the plant with most of the old soil undisturbed and fill the new container with fresh, well-draining soil mix. Repot only during spring and summer unless you need to repot due to plant health issues.

How to Successfully Repot a Pilea peperomioides Plant

Why Repotting Your Pilea peperomioides Might be Necessary

Let’s review the reasons you may need to repot your Pilea peperomioides. These popular and beneficial houseplants don’t grow too quickly, and they do tend to prefer a smaller, rather than larger, container. But there likely will come a time when you need to repot your P. peperomioides.

The most common reason to repot a Pilea peperomioides is plant growth. The plant’s mature size is about 12 inches, and it’ll take a few years to get there under ideal circumstances. At a standard growth rate, that means repotting every other year.

However, sometimes, a plant’s growth necessitates repotting sooner rather than waiting. What are some indications that your P. peperomioides needs more space? You may see roots protruding through the surface of the soil.

This shows that the plant’s root system has outgrown the pot and is seeking more space. Similarly, if you see roots peeking out from the container’s drainage holes, it’s likely time to repot.

If the roots continue to crowd, they may start to wrap around the inside of the pot or form a dense mat. This is what’s known as being root bound. Over time, the roots compact the soil. Water then runs freely through the dirt, and the plant’s health suffers.

The bound roots can’t absorb water. They also can’t take in the nutrients and air that the plant needs to survive. If left too long, the plant will start to drop leaves and will die from being root bound.

Your Pilea peperomioides may also need repotting due to health issues. A pest infestation or disease requires fresh soil and a clean container. Mold, root rot, fungus gnats, and soil issues may all make repotting necessary.

Finally, your Chinese money plant may need fresh soil due to a lack of nutrients. Over time, plants grown in containers use up the nutrients in the soil. While fertilizer can replace some nutrients, sometimes the soil simply must be replaced.

How Often Do Pilea peperomioides Need Repotting?

A small Pilea plant in a clay plant pot on a side table indoors

When a Chinese money plant grows at a standard rate, it should be repotted every other year. Of course, the growth rate depends on several environmental factors.

For instance, if your P. peperomioides is in a site with lower light conditions, it may grow slowly. Under such circumstances, you won’t need to repot as frequently.

Of course, your P. peperomioides may also grow quickly. If you notice the following signs, you may need to repot more frequently:

  • Roots pushing up through soil surface
  • Roots circling pot or forming dense mat
  • Roots protruding from container drainage holes
  • Slower than expected growth (not due to environmental conditions)
  • Issues such as fungus gnats, mold, or root rot

Best Times of Year to Consider Repotting

The best time of year to repot most types of peperomia plants is during the plant’s growing season. In most cases, this means spring through summer.

Repotting while the plant is actively growing means it has resources and energy to put toward healing from the stress of replanting. During low- and no-growth periods(fall and winter), the move might cause undue stress or shock.

The Best Soil Mix When Repotting

A person mixing potting materials with their hands in a large plastic bowl on a wooden worktop

In their natural habitat, Chinese money plants grow in the rich soil under the forest canopy. Here, they experience both damp and dry and enjoy plenty of nutrients.

To replicate these conditions in a container, choose a well-draining soil rich in organic matter. P. peperomiodies prefer soil that’s slightly acidic. Aim for a pH level of 6.0 to 7.0.

To make your own potting mix for your Chinese money plant, consider blending:

  • 2 parts loamy soil
  • 1 part coco coir or peat moss
  • 1 part sand
  • 1 part perlite or pumice

What Tools Will I Need When Repotting?

Before starting to repot your Chinese money plant, gather a few items to make the process easier. You’ll need:

  • Gloves
  • Shears or snips in case you need to snip roots
  • Tarp or newspaper to protect surfaces
  • New container, no more than 1.5 times the size of the current container
  • Fresh potting soil

Size & Types of Potting Vessel Considerations

Choose a pot that’s no more than 1.5 times bigger than the current pot. For instance, if the current pot is 4 inches wide, choose no larger than a 6-inch pot.

Since P. peperomiodies don’t grow more than a foot wide and tall, that means the maximum size pot for a full-grown plant should be no more than 8 inches wide.

It’s a common mistake to choose a too-large pot. But plants aren’t like goldfish — they don’t grow to fit their container. Instead, a too-large container can actually harm plant health. When roots can’t fill the soil, they can’t reach enough moisture or nutrients. Water tends to linger. Over time, it leads to mold and fungal growth, which can cause root rot.

Choosing a container with adequate drainage is also key. In fact, drainage is more important than the material the pot is made of. Ceramic, plastic, or terra cotta are all fine for a Chinese money plant, as long as they have enough drainage holes.

How to Repot Your Pilea peperomioides

A person removing a Pilea peperomioides plant from it's existing grow pot surrounded by repotting tools, empty pots, and fresh soil

Now it’s time to create a new home for your P. peperomiodies. Here’s a step-by-step guide.

  1. Start by ensuring the plant is healthy and that it’s in its growing season (spring through summer)
  2. The day before you want to repot, water the plant
  3. Gather your supplies and lay down a tarp or newspaper
  4. Grasp your plant firmly around the base (at the soil line) and gently slide it out of its pot
  5. Shake gently to loosen any clumps of soil
  6. If root bound, carefully work the roots free and loosen with snips
  7. If root rot is present, clip away damaged roots
  8. Add a few inches of soil into the new container
  9. Place the P. peperomioides on top of the new soil
  10. Add or remove soil until it’s at the right level in the pot
  11. Add soil around the sides of the root ball to the desired level
  12. Gently tamp the soil to stabilize
  13. Sparingly water the plant

Post Repotting Care

A small vibrant Chinese Money Plant in a white plant pot displaying green circular leaves

Repotting is difficult for plants. It causes stress and may even cause plants to go into shock.

After repotting, place your Pilea peperomioides in their permanent spot in your home or office in a suitable environment for the plant to thrive. It’s important not to make any more changes to the plant’s environment at this time.

Give your plant time to recover. Avoid fertilizing your Pilea for a few weeks, and only water when the soil feels dry to two inches below the surface.

Repotting Pilea peperomioides FAQs:

Should I soak my Pilea peperomioides before repotting? 

It’s not necessary to soak your P. peperomioides before repotting. However, you should water it the day before to ease the transition.

Should you water a Pilea peperomioides immediately after repotting? 

Immediately after reporting, lightly water your plant. Don’t soak it, and ensure any excess water drains freely through the bottom of the container.

Do Pilea peperomioides plants like big pots?

No, Chinese money plants don’t like big pots. At full size – about a foot tall and wide — they should have no more than an 8-inch wide pot.

Why is Pilea peperomioides limp after repotting? 

Repotting puts stress on plants and can even make them go into shock. Treat your plant with extra care after repotting by placing it in its permanent spot, not fertilizing, and not watering until the top two inches of soil are dry.

Should I mist my Pilea peperomioides after repotting? 

You may mist after repotting, but it’s not necessary.

Should I fertilize my Pilea peperomioides after repotting? 

No, you should not fertilize after repotting. In fact, you should avoid fertilizing for a few weeks.

Wrapping Up

Pilea peperomioides add a cheerful aesthetic to any room. These easy-care plants only need to be repotted every other year or when they outgrow their pots. When sizing up, don’t go more than 1.5 times the width of the current pot. Finally, take care to repot during spring and summer only, and avoid repotting outside the plant’s active growing season.

For more, see our in-depth guide to Pilea peperomioides plant care at home.

Contributing Editor | | Full Bio

Linsay is an American copywriter based in the Pacific Northwest with a background in academic writing and research. Linsay holds Master's degree in both Anthropology and Library and Information Sciences and has written for numerous national and international publications including USA Today, SFGATE, Hunker, and The Bump across an array of topics in the gardening, green living, and travel sectors. When she's not writing, you'll usually find Linsay reading, kayaking, sailing, snowboarding, or working in her garden.

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