Pilea leaves suddenly withering/blackening at stem and dropping


Hi there,
Over the summer I picked up a Chinese Money Plant and have happily been watching it grow over the months. It seemed to be thriving on the sunny south-facing window ledge in my fifth floor apartment. In the summer, I was watering it about once a week with a spray in between. In the winter, I’ve pared it down to just went the soil feels dry, although I do still spray occasionally to try and offer some humidity. All was going well until about the last week. There hasn’t been any change of conditions that I can notice, but suddenly my Pilea has been losing her beautiful leaves! Even previously strong healthy ones will seemingly overnight droop, blacken and wither just at the base where the leaf meets the plant stem, and then fall off (see photo) It’s happened to about four leaves now and I’m worried the rest will go too. There’s still new leaves growing out the top so I don’t think it’s a total lost cause but it’s been devastating to see. Please Master Gardener – Help!!


Thank you for contacting Toronto Master Gardeners.

The Toronto Master Gardener website has had similar questions in regards to Pilea Peperomioides that you can review to compare to what is happening with your Pilea.  Looking at your plant, I do not see spider mites, gnats or white flies. These sucking insects can cause black sooty mold, which I do not see in the photo.

Leaves Falling off:


Stem is turning black :


Tips turning black:


Pull the Pilea out of the pot check the roots. If they are rotten, along with the stem, you will need to cut out the rotted parts. If possible, take a cutting away from the rotting stem section, and place the cutting in new soil.  I have attached a you tube video on how to propagate Pilea from a leaf or from a stem part.