Black Leaves on Pilea peperomioides


Hello. You helped me once before with my Pilea peperomioide and now I have another question. The lower (but not always the lowest) leaves regularly turn black and fall off. The plant is way too tall and gangly and I want to take cuttings and over start again, but first I want to know what is causing this problem. Any ideas?


Thank you for contacting Toronto Master Gardeners with your question.

From your picture, before turning black, leaves become yellow. It is generally agreed that overwatering causes about 90% of houseplant problems or death. Too little water will dry out the roots and too much will rot them.

The easiest way to determine when to water is to carefully look at the surface of the soil each week during the fall and winter months. As the temperature rises, during spring through summer, increase the frequency of monitoring and watering. Insert your finger to the top of your fingernail into the growing medium. If it remains dry then it is time to water. It is not appropriate to wait until leaves have wilted because this is usually a sign of considerable stress.

When watering, it is good practice to add water to the pot until the water runs out the bottom of the pot and then remove the extra water. Remember that the entire surface of the soil/growing medium should be covered with water. Never leave the pot standing in water. Watering should leave the growing medium slightly moist but not saturated. Pilea peperomioides benefits from allowing the soil to dry out between waterings but also don’t let it dry out completely, either.

Here are some helpful articles on general care for your plant.  The third article also explains how to propagate this plant from cuttings.

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