How to Fix a Leggy Pilea & How to Prevent it in the Future

A pilea on the article What is the Ideal Humidity for a Pilea

Many gardeners have concerns and questions regarding the plant Pilea Peperomioides.

Pilea also known as Chinese money plant can be easy to take care of but due to its decorative structural appearance can make it sometimes a bit demanding.

One of the major concerns about the pilea is it becoming leggy and what factors cause it to become leggy?

Many people are worried about the reasons and are looking for the right answer. This article will discuss every single detail related about the leggy pilea and will solve all your queries.

A Leggy pilea is caused by many reasons; primarily the inadequate amount of light, not being repotted enough, and a lack of nutrients however these two are secondary reasons.

A leggy pilea can be fixed by placing or relocating in bright indirect sunlight. Pilea does not show the right shape and growth in direct sunlight or indirect light.  

In this article we will go on to elaborate on every aspect to help you to get to the root of your problem and help you fix your leggy pilea.

As we all know and believe, plants take time to grow as well as to revive, and yes, it is more difficult to redeem your plant rather than its first growth.

Pilea is not a difficult plant to take care of. As a matter of fact, pilea is one of the easiest indoor plants to take care of. The only obstacle is that it gets leggy every now and then. Which needs to be treated as soon as possible.

Pilea is native to Southern China and a modern indoor plant. Like every other plant, pilea is also an attention seeking plant.

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What Does having a Leggy Pilea Mean?

A pileaA leggy plant is defined as a long bare stem and has few leaves at the top of the stem. The plants who get leggy, usually become weak and start falling.

The stems become unable to stand properly and balance their structure. Leggy plants are not sick or dying plants, it just becomes weak due to the inefficient amount of food.

Plants make their food from sunlight and when these plants don’t get enough light which is also the main source of food, they become weak or leggy like humans.

Leggy pilea means long bare pilea stems falling towards down with only a few coin-shaped leaves on the top. In easy words, you just need to observe pilea closely for recognizing leggy pilea.

If pilea’s stems are growing or standing upwards, then there’s no need to be worried. But if you’re feeling that pilea’s stems are directed downwards and leaves are shredding down then it means you have leggy pilea.

It is not difficult to recognize if pilea is getting leggy. But pilea itself is a slightly leggy plant. Pilea has little long neat stems with evergreen leaves. Pilea’s structure is bewitching and perfect for home décor.

It is pilea’s structural appearance that makes people misconceive between leggy pilea and healthy pilea.

The only and best way to see the difference is to spot the direction of the stems.

Because according to the characteristics of pilea Peperomioides, its stems are strong enough to carry the weight of leaves in an upward direction.

Now, let’s see what those factors are causing pilea (Chinese money plant) to become leggy.

If you are enjoying this article, check out our article on what are the common problems with a pilea.

What Causes a Pilea to Become Leggy?

Primarily low or indirect light is causing a pilea to become leggy. The equation is quite simple to understand. Pilea is an indoor plant with some specific conditions.

Many other indoor plants survive and thrive gradually in low light. But Pilea has several protocols to bring its shape and color.

Like other green plants, Pilea also receives its food or energy from sunlight or bright light but in a unique way. Let’s begin from step one to better comprehend leggy Pilea’s theory.

We all know that Pilea takes energy from sunlight. But pilea will die in direct sunlight that is the main reason why it is called an indoor plant.

Now, what do we do with such a plant? Neither we put Pilea in direct sunlight outdoor nor we will place it under any harsh light in our homes.

Pilea is usually positioned in such places where it effortlessly gets normal to bright indirect sunlight. These areas are promising directions for favorable growth.

Now, what causes leggy Pilea? Aren’t we on the right track? There is a point here to be noticed to learn the cause of leggy Pilea.

In order to save the Pilea from dying, we might keep it somewhere too far from the source of light. As a result, you see your plant getting leggy.

Now, are you thinking about how exactly it works? Are you questioning that if the plant is not getting energy from the sun, then why stems are getting long? Let me tell you more briefly about it.

Pilea fights to obtain its food from the sun, and during the process, the plant stretches out towards the little source of light. And in that process, the stems become leggy.

They lose the energy or power to reach out to the light and become unstable, shaky, and leggy. In that case, Pilea is not growing tall or anything, it is getting leggy.

You need to keep an eye to notice the change or modification occurring in the plant, so you can take precautions measures to save Pilea from getting leggy.

How to Fix a Leggy Pilea?

In order to fix a leggy Pilea, you only need bright indirect light. To fix your leggy Pilea, relocate the pot towards the close window. Southeast direction windows do well for Pilea to heal.

During fixing a leggy Pilea, you need to keep a few things in mind, such as.

  • Never put a leggy Pilea in bright direct light, so it recovers soon. That’s not how it works. It only discolors the plant. Put it somewhere where the plant gets indirect sunlight. Indirect sunlight is sufficient for Pilea to grow steadily.


  • Change the position or direction towards the light every third or fourth day. But like many other plants, Pilea also doesn’t like an unexpected shift in the environment. Change the direction of the plant slowly and gradually for pilea to adjust to the light it gets.


  • Now, are you worried that your Pilea is too leggy and not sure how to fix that? First of all, placing the pot in the right place will help the plant to recover however it is a slow process and will take time. But in case, Pilea becomes too leggy, then you can consider topping Pilea for better posture.


  • A pileaTopping Pilea is another way to fix a leggy Pilea. Are you thinking about how exactly it works? Let me share more insight into it.


  • You need to cut the stem with a sharp and neat knife and separate the top and bottom parts of the plant.


  • The bottom part of the plant will start showing new stems and leaves in a very short time. And you have a fresh Pilea plant with flawless shape and leaves.


  • Secondly, the top part of the plant can also be retrieved. Just put the top part in any plastic bottle, filled with water, and in a few days, it will start having roots. When you identify that the top part of Pilea has grown a good number of roots then replant it another pot. And it will start rising again. In that way, you will get two healthy Pilea plants from one leggy Pilea.
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How do I Stop my Pilea from Becoming Leggy in the Future?

Pilea thrives well with little care, you need to keep in mind a few things in the future to prevent leggy pilea, such as.


  • Shift the position of Pilea ninety-degree every third or fourth day.


  • Do not water it too much, only when it gets dry, it is like neutral to medium watering level.


  • Never leave it alone for a long time. If you are leaving for vacation, give it to someone to take care of.


  • It is spring to summer, it reflects reasonable growth and takes less your time but in winters, it grows slowly and needs more your attention.


  • In winters, find a spot of bright indirect light in your home, so Pilea doesn’t become leggy. Pilea mostly becomes leggy in winter due to low light.


  • Root the Pilea in well-draining soil and never let the soil be waterlogged.


  • Water the plant when you see the soil is getting dry. Pilea requires a medium level of water.


  • The average home temperature is good for Pilea growth. Neither too warm nor too cold temperature do well with the plant.


  • Pilea prefers fertilizers on monthly basis in summer and spring because it is the blooming time for the plant. You can skip fertilization in the winter months.


  • Repotting Pilea every year in the summer or spring seasons. it will save the plant from getting leggy.

By following a few rules, you can save Pilea from getting leggy in the future.

The plant has its codes and conditions which we need to consider for its growth. Once, the Pilea plant becomes familiar with the environment, it will become easier for you to take care of it.

Final Thoughts

A pileaPilea’s coined shaped green leaves, add glorious colors to your household. It blooms white flowers in the spring season. A mature pilea plant can get to 12 ft in height.

Pilea is not only an easy plant to take care of, but it is also manageable to re-shape it in your desired position. You can use a thread to modify its shape or position.

After that you can remove the thread. Many gardeners use this technique to re-shape the plants. Do not lose heart, if you see your Pilea getting leggy. It can easily be dealt with a change of light, repotting, and fertilization.

Treating leggy Pilea is easy, but it takes time. Most of the time especially in winters, it doesn’t show development in most weeks. Because the plant has lost energy and in order to refill it, it takes time.

But you will see improvement in a month or two. Otherwise, you can use an alternative method topping, for timely growth. The Pilea plant is also perceived as a UFO plant and pancake plant due to its unique shape.

Related articles:

Why are my Pilea Leaves Turning Brown & How to Fix it

Why is my Pilea Drooping? Causes & How to Fix Them

Pilea Light Requirements: What Type, How Much & Much More

How Big Can a Pilea Get: How Fast & Tips to Grow Them Bigger

What is the Ideal Humidity for a Pilea? Misting Tips & More

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