How To Fix Leggy Pilea: 4 Remarkable Tips to Fix It

A picture showing the leggy pilea

Having plants at your home enhances the positive energy around you. One of the most famous house plants is the pilea, aka Chinese plant. It is easy to take care of, but with planting comes responsibility. Many people face leggy pilea and worry about how to fix it. Some see Chinese money plants dropping leaves, and they get insanely worried. There is nothing to worry about. It is not hard to fix leggy pilea. You may wonder why is my money plat leggy. We have the answer to all of your questions. Keep reading to learn more about growing a Chinese money plant and Pilea plant care.

Pilea- Overview

In short, Pilea peperomioides

is often referred to simply as “pilea” for short since it has a long name. The plant is indigenous to the Yunnan Province of China and is mainly found in the region.

This is a beautiful, unique, and easy-to-grow houseplant that is sure to provide you with years of enjoyment. As this plant is slow to propagate and has only recently gained worldwide attention, one of the most challenging aspects of growing this plant is finding one that is not too difficult to propagate.

What Is Leggy Pilea?

There are numerous pilea peperomioides problems, but one of the most occurring ones is the plant getting leggy. Leggy houseplants have become arthritic and stretched out due to being stretched out and bare. Having a loose and untidy plant causes it to look messy, so you would not want it to be that loose or untidy. Among scientists, the study of this phenomenon has been referred to as etiolation, an acronym for etiology. Plants grown in inadequate light gradually lose their strength over time, becoming weak, developing smaller leaves, and sometimes even turning pale yellow, which may indicate etiolation.

Regarding Pileas, leggy plants can be easily distinguished by their sparse foliage and elongated stems that are more like droopy leaves than the bushy, round shape we are accustomed to.

What Causes Pilea to Get Leggy?


There is a straightforward method of propagating Pileas, which you can follow here. Most of the time, it is done by removing pups from a mature Pilea; however, cutting it can be a very effective way to get two larger and healthier Pileas. There will always be a bottom portion of a tall Pilea that will live on until the top portion is repotted by itself so that you can have two Pileas from a single Pilea.

Limited Light

Whenever there is a variety of Pilea that is genetically inclined to etiolate or to become leggy, it may happen. An example of a leggy Pilea has long, extended petioles and small leaves due to their growth. Both of these traits result from the plant having to reach out for more light, which can lead to the plant becoming unmanageable because it has to extend and take up more space.

The Pileas get sparse and spread out when they don’t have access to the light they need to thrive. If it is leggy, the best bet for your Pilea plant might be to chop it in half and restart it from scratch. If you chop off the bottom of the Pilea, it will start to produce new growth, which may help to fill in the leggy parts of the Pilea.

Having a leggy Pilea means that you will probably have to chop it and move it to a more suitable spot if it is too leggy. Two leggy plants will result from the chop if your plant cannot obtain more bright light because it has been placed in the same spot.

Unhealthy Roots

Having overwatered your Pilea at some point in the past, you might have damaged its root system due to overwatering. There is a possibility of chopping the plant, which can then be rooted in water before repotting its top part if the top part is still healthy enough to do so.

Those with damaged root systems cannot absorb oxygen, nutrients, and water from the soil and push it to the rest of the plant. Those with brown, mushy, or dark roots on their Pilea plant might best cut it in half and re-root the top portion.

Boost new growth

Chopping your Pilea in half can boost energy and refresh if it hasn’t produced pups or new foliage.

In addition to stimulating the growth hormones in the Pilea, cutting the stem will stimulate the plant to produce new leaves and pups. The act of beheading stagnant plants can rejuvenate them.

How to Fix Leggy Pilea?

fix leggy pilea

Only a bright, indirect light can cure the leggy Pilea issue, so it will not require any special equipment. Relocate the pot toward the closed window to solve the problem of a leggy Pilea. For Pilea to heal correctly, it is ideal to have windows in the southeast direction.

The following things need to be considered when fixing a leggy Pilea.

Avoid Bright Light Exposure

Avoid exposing a leggy Pilea to bright direct light if you want it to recover faster. This is not the way things work at all. As a result, the plant only becomes discolored. Place it in an area where indirect sunlight can reach the plant. Pilea grows steadily when it receives indirect sunlight.

Change Direction

Twice a week or every third day, change the direction towards the light. Nevertheless, Pilea also dislikes abrupt changes in temperature and light. For pilea to adjust to the light, slowly and gradually shift its direction.

Look For the Right Spot

Would you like to know how to fix your Pilea if it is too leggy? In the first place, placing the pot in the right spot will aid the plant in recovering, but the process will be slow and gradual. The only time you may need to top Pilea for better posture is if it becomes too leggy.

Properly Propagate

A sharp and neat knife is necessary to cut the plant’s stem and then separate the top and bottom portions of the plant. A short time after planting, new branches and leaves will appear on the bottom of the plant. Having a new Pilea plant with flawless leaves and a perfect shape is excellent. Additionally, it is possible to recover the top of the plant. In a few days, you’ll see roots growing from the top of the plastic bottle when filled with water. Replant the Pilea after its top part has developed many roots. This will result in it going back up again in a short period. So, if you take a leggy Pilea plant and divide it in half, you will end up with two healthy Pilea plants.

Benefits of having a pilea 

Well, you might not be aware, but having a healthy pilea possesses numerous benefits if you are a plant enthusiast. Let’s have a look at some of them:

Easy to care

The first and foremost thing a gardener like me would love about a plant is its ease of care. Pilea is one of those plants that does not require heavy maintenance and grows independently. 

However, some essential factors (like light and water) might affect growth. Besides that, you will not face any difficulty caring for this plant.

Health benefits

If you are not a gardener, it may come to you as a shock that a pilea can boost your mood, improve mental health and enhance productivity. However, as a gardener, you will be aware of such health benefits a plant can provide, and pilea is one of those.

If you are a work-from-home person, make sure to keep a small pot of pilea on your desk to boost your mood.

Purifying properties

Like many other plants, pilea is responsible for the purification of air. It absorbs many chemicals you don’t know are around you, like formaldehyde, ammonia, and benzene. So make sure to keep a bunch of pilea so it can save you from potential health risks.

Remedy for allergy 

Did you know pilea can be effective in managing seasonal allergies? As mentioned above, a pilea purifies the air from seasonal pollutants and helps you not to contract any allergy like pollen.

Aesthetically pleasing

Suppose you are aesthetic and love to keep small plant pots inside your home. It will not only increase the aesthetic value but can fit the decor style of your home.

Pilea Maintenance

When you follow these simple care instructions, this amazing plant will grow indefinitely and require very little maintenance. Eventually, its dark green leaves form a thick canopy from a single stem.

Over time, sprouts will naturally grow in the house environment when the plant settles down. The pups can be cut easily and multiplied to breed more Pilea. You can now start your own Pilea family by cutting off the sprouts and planting them in new pots!

If the Pilea grows too big in the pot you gave it, you can repot it in a larger one after one year. Repotting your Pilea is best done with an all-purpose or tropical soil mixture that drains well.

It would help if you repot your Pilea every two years, or change the soil, for optimal health. Your Pilea is a voracious grower, so it’s not surprising if it’s covered in roots.

How do I Stop my Pilea from Becoming Leggy in the Future?

Well, the foremost important thing is to know why pilea is becoming leggy. Once you have found the answer, you must act accordingly.

Avoid mistakes that can cause pilea to become leggy, as mentioned above. You can follow the below-mentioned tips:

  • Water when it’s dry
  • Change position after every three or four days
  • Do not leave it unchecked
  • Avoid water logging the soil
  • Set the right temperature

What To Do When You First Notice Pilea Becoming Leggy?

Once the damage is done, there is no going back. Once your pilae starts becoming leggy, it is essential to find the underlying cause because every problem requires a different solution. 

For instance, you may have overwatered the pilea, resulting in its leaves wilting or inadequate light. Therefore, your first instinct must be “pinpoint the cause.”

Once you have understood the cause, you must act accordingly. Repot the plant if there is too much water in its roots, or you may cut half of the pilea and repot in another pot leaving its rotten roots in the previous one.

Adjust the water needs and allow it to have adequate light so it can function correctly. 

Bottom Line

If you see Chinese money plant leaves falling off, you must take care immediately before it gets bare. By following the tips mentioned in this article, you will be able to take great care of leggy pilea. Instead of worrying about the Chinese money plant losing leaves, you must look for ways how you can fix it. For more tips follow kitchenandgardening!


How do you fix lanky Pilea?

To fix a lanky pilea, provide adequate light, water and temperature. Make sure to keep a check on its roots to avoid rotting.

How do you reverse a leggy plant?

To reverse a leggy plant, provide proper light to it, fertilise it regularly and prune the stem back.

Can I cut off the top of Pilea?

You can cut the top of the pilea if the roots are rotten due to overwatering. 

How do you strengthen Pilea stems?

To strengthen a pilea, follow its health requirements to keep it protected from problems.