How Do I Revive My Dying Chinese Money Plant (Pilea Peperomioides)?

Last Updated on August 13, 2022 by Stephanie

The most frequent reason that pilea peperomioides dies is due to excessive watering. The plant requires the top of the medium for potting to dry between watering sessions. If the soil is constantly wet, the leaves of the pilea can change color from brown to yellow with the appearance of drooping and dying due to root rot.

Pilea plants are susceptible to a variety of environmental conditions that can result in a dying or drooping appearance.

To bring back the dying pilea peperomioides, it is crucial to recreate what is typical of pileas natural habitat by planting the pilea in well-draining potting soil. Water only when you can tell that the upper inch the soil is dry. Mist on the leaf to boost the humidity, and then place the pilea in a place that is bright and indirect lighting.

Here is a reference table that lists the most frequent causes and signs for dying piperomioides (also called Chinese cash plant):

Continue reading to find out the reason for the dying pilea peperomioides plant and how you can apply the strategies to revive the dying plant of pilea peperomioides…

Pilea Peperomioides (Chinese Money Plant) Drooping

  • Symptoms. The leaves and stems from the plant become down or leggy, sometimes with a light color.
  • Causes. Insufficient sun, and tiny pots that dry too fast between waterings.

The reason you see a drooping pilea is due to inadequate levels of sunlight. Pilea plants thrive in indirect, bright sunlight. If the plant is in shade, the stems will grow larger and stronger because the leaves are looking for a more powerful source of light, which can cause an appearance of drooping.

Pilea plants thrive naturally in limestone outcrops of limestone on the hillsides of the temperate climates of China and elsewhere, in which they are shielded from direct sunlight , but they also receive intense indirect light.

The lighting inside can be too dim to be a good pilea especially when they are located in a space with windows facing north and many dark surfaces.

In the absence of light, the pilea to channel its efforts to grow its stems first to search for more light. The stems become sluggish and weak, causing the pileas leaves and stems to drop.

Pilea peperomioides may also slump over, mainly on one side and the other, if theyre not rotated regularly, so that the entire plant gets an equal quantity of sunlight.

Another reason for drooping pilea plants could be due to dry soil.

Pilea plants are usually offered as smaller plants that could be found in smaller pots. Small pots have smaller soil capacity and, consequently, holds less moisture and dry out faster.

If the soil is drying out completely, the pilea begins to droop in a sign of tension.

Take note of whether your pilea is located near an area of heat that could contribute to the soil drying out too quickly or is in the vicinity of an air flow that can suck moisture from the leaves (pileas like a little humidity).

Pilea peperomioides can also grow to become a slender plant over time. The attractive, Instagram worthy appearance may be only for a couple of years or so, before the lower leaves begin declining while the plant gets bigger, the overall appearance of the plant tends to droop.

It is the timeframe of growth as wild plants with regards to becoming droopy as time passes.

How to Revive a Drooping and Dying Pilea Peperomioides

  • Pilea is a fan of temperatures between 65oF and 80oF (18oC up to 27oC). The high temperatures dehydrate the soil and remove moisture off the leaves, which causes the leaves to drop, so ensure that your pilea is kept away from any source of heating in the indoors to ensure that it is within its ideal temperature range.
  • Make sure the pilea isnt within direct air flow from draughts, air conditioning and forced air. The plants of the pilea are adapted to extreme amounts of moisture in their natural environments and the dry air inside can cause excessive moisture, causing the stems and leaves to drop.
  • Increase the amount of humidity, by spraying the pilea every couple of days or using an in-plant humidifier that will precisely replicate the ideal level of humidity that is required for pilea as well as other tropical plants to ensure that they remain healthy. This creates a humid microclimate that mimics the humid climate of pilea peperomioides native habitat .
  • Examine whether the roots of the pilea are bound to the pot through lifting it out from the pot with a gentle lift. If you see a lot of roots that appear like theyre pressed against the sides of the pot while they battle for space, I suggest repotting the pilea in the size of a pot that is one size larger from the pot currently. A bigger pot will have the capacity to hold more soil, which means that the roots will be able to draw in the nutrients and water they need.
  • Find your pilea inside a space that has indirect, bright light to stop it from the stems from drooping. A bright, well-lit room will ensure that the stems of the pilea dont have to get tall and leggy in order to search for a more powerful lighting source. This helps the pilea to keep its slim and uniform appearance for a longer time. Avoid direct sunlight because it can cause burns to the delicate leaves.
  • Rotate the pot of your pile every when you irrigation to guarantee that it has even growth. By turning the pot 45 degrees each time or every time you water to ensure that every part of the plant gets sufficient light, which will ensure more uniform growth and stops the plant from falling down.

If the plant is old and appears droopy because of the age of the plant , it may be difficult to restore it to its original form, however I still suggest rotating the plant regularly and placing it in a light space.

Pilea are commonly referred to as the friendship plant because they tend to produce offshoots that can easily propagate. This could result in a new pilea plant that has an appearance that is not droopy.

Pilea Peperomioides

Pilea Peperomioides (Chinese Money Plant) Turning Yellow and Brown

  • Symptoms. The leaves can become yellow and to wilt or look droopy with an appearance of dying.
  • Causes. Lower leaves are naturally yellow as the pilea peperomioides develops. A lot of moisture around the roots or the soil that is compacted can cause root rot, which can cause the leaves to turn brown and yellow. Insufficient light can cause the pilea leaves to become limp and appear yellow. A lot of sun can burn the leaves and turn them brown.

The reason that leaves of pilea are becoming yellow is typically due to root rot, which is usually caused by to excessive water around the roots. Pilea peperomioides is evolved to thrive in sandy soils, and requires well-drained conditions. When the soil becomes too dense or damp, the leaves will turn yellow and have the appearance of dying.

It is important to note the leaves on lower the stems of the pilea become yellow and dried out as the plant grows.

It is a completely natural process that does not necessarily mean there is any strain on your plant, especially when the other leaves appear healthy and green.

The leaves of Pilea can change color if they are placed in an area with dim lighting. Pilea prefer bright, indirect light that encourages even growth , and healthy, dark green leaves.

If the pilea is located in an area that is very shaded (such as a room that has an North looking windows) The leaves can become sagging and the leaves can turn pale when they search for an even brighter source of light.

The most likely cause of the leaves of the pilea peperomioides turning brown and yellow is that the soil is not sufficiently moist that could be a consequence of:

  • Too often watering.
  • Slow draining soils or compacted soils.
  • Trays and saucers under the pileas container, which stop the water from draining properly following the watering.

Pileas can be found in soils that are rocky or grity with a porous, and aerated structure that allows the excess liquid to flow away from the roots quickly following a rain.

If the potting medium is compacted or is not drain efficiently, it could block oxygen from the roots, which hinders respiration.

If the roots are unable to breathe, and therefore hinder their capacity to absorb the nutrients and moisture that the pilea needs, resulting in the leaves turning yellow and the appearance of dying.

How to Resurrect a Dying Pilea Peperomioides that has yellow leaves

  • Reduce the amount of watering to ensure that the top layer of the soil is dry between every watering session. Pilea generally require watering every week during summer and spring, and every two weeks during Autumn and Winter, when the growth slows due to cooler temperatures and less sunlight. If youre frequenting watering, more than every week, and your soil is always damp, this could be the reason why the leaves are changing color to yellow.
  • Repot pilea peperomioides using a new soil that is well-draining and gritty medium. Pilea peperomioides thrives naturally in well-draining, aerated that are important to reproduce this when you grow pilea indoors. Make use of 2/3s peat-free compost or potting soil with 1/3 horticultural grit to achieve the best soil moisture balance and drainage. Cacti and succulent soils as well as pine bark based potting media could be utilized in place of than grit to build an ideal soil structure.
  • Clear the empty saucers and trays of water that are not being used regularly, and make sure the pot is equipped with drainage holes at the base. If water collects under the pot, the soil is damp and the leaves of the pilea turn yellow because of root decay.
  • Transfer your pilea peperomioides into an area with direct, bright lighting. They are ideally suited for being able to thrive in the most bright rooms of your home to encourage healthy growth. Pilea peperomioides that receive enough sunlight have dark green, healthy leaves that keep their shape for a longer time. The pilea plant should be rotated 45 degrees each when you water it to ensure that every side of the plant receives enough light , and the plant will have an uniform shape. Avoid direct sunlight since it could cause burns to the leaves.
  • When your peperomioides pile has begun to turn brown and is in direct sunlight, then you should relocate the pilea to an area with a lot of sunlight. The leaves of the Pilea are sensitive and could burn even in the full sun. Pilea is a natural plant that grows in the shade of the montane forests of China therefore its leaves are shielded from intense sunlight, yet they still get large areas of indirect light. Remove any sunburnt leaves since they dont normally recover.

Recreate the well-draining soil conditions using a granular pots and watering as the top inch is dry, provides the pilea with the conditions needed to rejuvenate.

If the pilea has been in moist soil or sitting in water for too long , it is likely to have been affected by root rot, at which the point it becomes difficult to keep.

Pileas that turn yellow and become swollen because of lack of sunlight may re-grow once they move to a brighter area.

Remove any yellowing or leaf or stems that dont recover to encourage new growth. If the entire plant is healthy but is a bit sagging, I suggest propagating your pilea with healthy growing plants.

How to Revivify Dying Pilea Peperomioides by Curling Leaves

In order to revive curling pilea peperomioides leaves, it essential to recreate what is typical of natural habitat, with temperatures of 65deg and 85degF as well as high humidity. regularly water the pilea every week. After that, let the top inch of the dirt to become dry prior to applying water again.

  • Make sure you are sure that the upper inch the soil is dry prior to giving your pilea plants an adequate soak. If youve been overwatering your pilea and suspect that this is the cause of curly leaves, allow the top inch to dry out before watering it again. Clear any trays or saucers under the pot that you have placed your pilea in of water frequently so that it doesnt collect around the bottom in the container. Make sure to plant your pilea in pots that have drainage holes at the base.
  • Grow pilea in a draining potting mix, and avoid compacting the potting soil. A well-aerated soil that is draining is essential for the growth of pilea and preventing issues that come with excessive watering, such as curly leaves. If the soil is compacted , plant the pilea again as well as amending the soil using 1/3 of grit, succulents and Cacti soil, or orchid potting medium using 2/3 of ordinary compost or potting soil. This mimics the soil conditions in the native habitat of the pilea,
  • Be sure to keep piles away from drafts and air circulation from forced air, and away from the direct flow of air conditioning. All of these can dry out the air and remove the moisture of the leaves, which could cause them to curl.
  • Mist the pilea at least once every two days. The plants thrive in humid conditions, so misting your plant helps create a humid microclimate around the plant. Misting the leaves of your pilea helps to minimize water loss and return the curled leaves back to their original appearance.
  • Pilea prefer temperatures between 65degF-85degF (18degC up to 30degC). Maintain pilea in the desired temperature range to revive curly leaves. Excessive temperatures removes the leaves of moisture and cause soil to dry too fast.

If the reason for the curling of your pilea leaves is the result of overwatering and damp soil, then the pilea will regenerate slowly over the course of weeks , as so long as your soil is able to dry out between periods of watering. This will restore the balance of drainage and moisture for the plant to flourish.

If the reason for curling leaves is because of dry conditions, then I suggest regular misting of your leaves, and a cooler climate (still at or above 18degC or 65degF) as well as keeping the pile away from direct sunlight and from dry air circulation.

The pilea will begin to heal well from stress caused by drought after an adequate soak.

Pilea Peperomioides (Chinese Money Plant) Leaves Curling

  • Symptoms. Leaves curving from their normal flat form.
  • Causes. Low humidity, waterlogging, excessive overwatering excessive sunlight and high temperatures.

The most common reason for curling of the leaves on pilea peperomioides is due to the soil being too wet from excessive watering. The plants of the pilea require the top layer of soil to dry out between watering sessions. If the leaves of the pilea are curled inwards, it is a sign of stress caused by the soil being damp and watering too much.

The leaves of pilea peperomioides can also droop and curl due to excessively dry conditions.

Pileas thrive in well-draining sandy soils. They are able to withstand drought between watering. However, when the humidity is low it can suck the moisture out of the leaves.

Temperatures that are too high and too much sunlight can also cause the loss of water and evaporation from the leaves , which contributes to the appearance of curling leaves.

It is also essential to thoroughly water the pile each time you water so that the excess water drips off the bottom of your pot. If you are watering too lightly it is likely that only the upper inch or two of the potting medium gets wet, and the water will not get to the root where it is needed.

The reason that pilea leaves grow larger in response the dry conditions of air and soil is to decrease their surface. When the leaves are having a smaller surface area, it helps preserve moisture since it reduces the the amount of water that is lost from the leaves.

Why is My Pilea Peperomioides Not Growing?

The reason that pilea peperomioides is not growing is typically due to the fact that the potting soil is too compacted for roots to develop correctly. Pilea plants need aerated soil to grow. When the soil becomes not dense enough, the root system of the pilea is unable to establish itself and gain access to the water and nutrients that they need for proper growth.

Pilea thrive in well-draining, porous and grittier soils in their natural habitat. This lets water drain efficiently , and also provides adequate oxygen to allow for the respiration of roots to allow the plant to develop properly.

The best solution for a pilea that isnt growing properly is to recreate the soil of the native habitat of the pilea by altering it by adding 1/3 horticultural grit and cacti soil , or orchid pots.

Each of these methods helps to enhance the structure and quality of potting soil, making it more favorable for the pilea peperomioides to thrive.

I also suggest repotting the pilea into an area that is the next size up, in the event that pot root boundaries are restricting the growth of the pilea.

It is also advisable to apply a regular houseplant fertilizer , half strength every four weeks during the spring and Summer , which will aid in growth, especially when the pilea has was in one pot for a lengthy period of time or the soil is particularly deficient in nutrients.

Key Takeaways:

  • The reason for a dying pilea is typically caused by root rot caused by overwatering. Pilea plants need the top layer of soil to dry out between watering sessions. If the pilea peperomioides plant is watered frequently, the leaves will turn brown and yellow with a drooping, dying look.
  • The reason for a falling pilea peperomioides usually is because of the absence of lighting. Pilea plants require bright, indirect light. If the pilea peperomioides is too shaded, their can grow taller and the stems become leggy and become yellow, giving an appearance of drooping.
  • The reason behind the leaves of a pilea peperomioides changing color from brown to yellow is typically a lack of sunlight or excessive watering. When the soil remains constantly wet, the leaves will turn yellow and drop down due to root decay. Pilea peperomioides becomes yellow, becomes swollen and loses sufficient light.
  • The leaves of Pilea peperomioides turn yellow with a dying appearance near the base of the plant as it matures. As the pilea matures and matures, it puts the energy, resources and effort into new growth in the stem, which results in the lower leaves to change to yellow and an appearance of dying.
  • The reason that the curling of leaves on pilea peperomioides is typically due to the low level of humidity or temperatures and excessive watering that causes the leaves to curl in order to preserve water. Pilea peperomioides likes high humidity, temperatures ranging from 65deg and 85degF, as well as a ample amount of watering to stop the leaves from curling.
  • The most frequent reason why pilea peperomioides isnt growing is that it is because the soil has become too compact and roots are unable to grow. The roots arent able to grow properly in a soil that is dense, which blocks the roots of pilea peperomioides from getting the moisture and nutrients they need to develop.


Went from an inexperienced gardener to a half-decent one over 10+ years. I cover anything from general indoor plant guides and lawn care, to succulents and flowers. Super happy to share my tips and tricks with you :)