Pilea plants have been becoming quite popular houseplants over the last couple of years. A good number of people keeping them around claim they’re doing so because they bring good luck.
Now, whether you believe in the idea of good fortune or not, I guarantee it’s nice to have this aesthetically appealing plant in your home, thanks to its pretty round foliage that stands out among most other houseplants.
That said, like all other house plants, pilea also come with their fair share of problems. One of them includes the one ringing in your mind right now, i.e., why is my pilea drooping?
Why Is My Pilea Dropping?
Note that it’s usual for pilea to have their leaves naturally curving downward, which makes it hard to tell whether your drooping plant is experiencing a bigger issues or is just relaxing. If you confirm that the plant is indeed drooping, it’s good to pay closer attention and ascertain the issue.
Here are several reasons pilea plants will droop.
Temperature and Draft Changes
Environmental shocks and sudden temperature changes can cause drooping on your pilea plants. If you’re keeping the pilea in temperatures below 55 degrees F, chances are it’s suffering from a cold shock, which tends to cause the whole plant to go limp and droop.
This will primarily affect pilea plants left in the outdoors during summer but brought back inside the house when the nights start getting colder. Another thing that can give similar results is placing your Pilea plant near a drafty window or air conditioning vent.
As you pilea plants grow, their older leaves on the lower stems will usually start drying. They’ll usually start by changing their shade to yellow before drooping and falling off. If you notice this happening, remember it’s natural for all pilea plants.
That said, to ascertain that it’s just old foliage falling, you’ll usually notice that just a few of the leaves are falling off and healthy ones keep coming back almost right away.
You’ll also usually notice this taking place during autumn when the surrounding light and temperature levels drop. It is basically the plant’s way of preserving its health for the upcoming winter season.
Pest infestations can harm any house plant in more ways than one, and the pilea plant is no exception. Pests like spider mites, fungus gnats, thrips, mealybug, and scale enjoy sucking sups out of the plump leaves of the pilea plants.
This not only dehydrates the entire plant, but also damages the leaves, resulting in the pilea plant dropping. If left untreated, pests can also cause irregular yellow spots on the plant’s leaves.
Did you recently re-pot your pilea plant? If yes, then your pilea plant could be undergoing transplant stress that is causing it to droop and lose its leaves. Chances are you accidentally disturbed or damaged the plant’s roots during the replanting process, and they now can’t function as required.
Once roots start finding it hard to absorb water (which is their prime reason), the plant will begin to droop.
Under-watering is, without a doubt, one of the most common causes behind drooping in pilea plants. While your healthy pilea plants might look robust with their thick stems and leaves, they are actually highly sensitives in their roots and do not respond well when underwatered.
If you do not water the plant as frequently as it needs to flourish and you let the soil dry out instead, the stalk will start drooping shortly after that. This can also result in leaves loss, particularly in mature leaves located at the lowest part of the plant.
While underwatering might not kill off your pilea plants, rest assured overwatering can. If you’re wondering how to differentiate between pilea plants drooping from underwatering and overwatering, it’s simple.
If a pilea plant is overwatered, its leaves will start turning yellow, followed by wilting or dropping of the foliage.
All these are usually signs of root rot, which can kill your plant entirely if not corrected right away. Root rots in plants happen when plants are left in soggy soils for an extended period of time because the plant cannot absorb the necessary nutrients it needs for photosynthesis.
If your pilea plant’s roots are rotten, the plant might also start emitting a rotting smell. Other symptoms of root rot you should watch out for include foliage with brown patches or new leaves coming out black, brown, or already dead.
Low sunlight is not really a direct cause of a pilea plant dropping. However, it can be a real problem when it’s coupled with other issues listed above. For instance, non-exposure to direct sunlight is one of the reasons we might end up over-watering our pilea plants and cause root rot.
In addition to minimized water abruption, low exposure to sunlight also slows down the pilea plant’s growth rate. This brings me to my next point.
Incorrect Positioning of the Pilea Plant
Another prevalent reason behind pilea plants that have started drooping is positioning your plants in a manner that only one of their sides receives sufficient light.
If the light source is only coming from one side, that could cause the plant’s entire stem to start turning toward that source in an effort to absorb as much light as possible.
This, in turn, causes the leaves to start growing in the same direction towards the source of light, which eventually gives the entire pilea plant a lopsided and droopy look. This is common in pilea plants kept indoors, where only a single window is the primary light source.
As one of the most resilient houseplants, the Pilea will usually show you what it needs or whenever it’s stressed and in need of extra attention.
When you water it too little, the leaves will start curling up to showcase the plant’s thirst, and when you have overwatered it, the plant will become limp and droopy.
If this unique ability for the plant to communicate doesn’t make it one of the best house plants out there, I do not know what does.