Have you taken a liking to the Chinese money plant? If you have, you’d be excited to know that propagating this species is simple, easy, and effective! If you follow a few straightforward steps—you can grow your army of Chinese money plants from only a single parent plant!
Before cutting off the offshoots for replantation, you want to wait until the time is right. Separate the baby money plants with the help of a knife or scissor, and then keep the offshoot in the water until it grows roots. After about a week, you can transfer the baby plant to a soil-based medium.
That’s the gist of it – if you want a more in-depth explanation, keep reading. In this article, I’ll explain how you can propagate and replant your Chinese money plant to multiply your collection each season.
1. Wait for the Right Time To Propagate Your Money Plant
And the first step is to wait until the time is right. Yes, not the most exciting step—but a necessary one.
Tiny offshoots can begin to develop mere weeks into the growth of a mature Chinese money plant. But that doesn’t mean that these offshoots are ready to be replanted. The essential factors to consider before replanting is the size of your money plant offshoots and the season. Let’s explore these factors in more detail!
Ideal Offshoot Size for Replanting
It’s best to wait until the offshoots are at least 3 inches (7.62) in length before separating them from the parent plant for replantation. The reason for this is quite simple—shoots that fall below this threshold have a considerably reduced chance of surviving the initial few weeks after being transplanted into a different pot.
The thing is, replantation is a stressful and uncomfortable process. Tiny plantlets that haven’t had enough time to develop may not be able to cope with the sudden, unexpected stress.
These plantlets don’t have a root system and hence, a way of supplying themselves with food. So they will be working overtime to develop a set of roots once you cut them off.
An excellent way to tell that the baby plant is ready for propagation is by comparing it to the size of your thumbnail. As you can imagine, measuring offshoots with a ruler is not convenient or practical.
Ideally, you should wait until the baby plant is four to five times the size of your thumbnail. That may seem like a lot, but remember, it does affect their likelihood of survival.
If you’re uncertain, it’s best to wait. You lose nothing by waiting for another few days, and the wait will increase the odds of a successful, healthier new growth.
Wait for the Suitable Growing Season Before Replanting
Mid-spring is the perfect time to propagate a Chinese money plant. At this point, any offshoots will have grown to our desired 3 inches (7.62 cm) in length, and most of the growing season will still be ahead of you. Planting your money plant at this time will give it a greater impetus to grow and result in a more robust plant.
2. Separate the Offshoots From the Parent Plant
Once the offshoots have grown to an ideal 3 inches (7.62 cm), it’s time to cut them off. I recommend using a pair of scissors for this, although a sharp knife will suffice too.
Plantlets on the Chinese money plant can grow on either the roots or the stem of the parent plant. You can use cuttings from both of these locations for replanting.
All you need to do for stem plantlets is make a simple cut at the point where the offshoot meets the parent plant. The idea is to secure as much of the plantlet’s stem as possible you don’t want the baby plant to lose more living area than necessary.
Before removing the plantlet, you should remove any excess soil that covers its base is best for a more precise cut.
To do this:
- Gently grab the plantlet with your fingers.
- Follow its stem down into the soil.
- Loosen the surrounding soil with gentle movements of your finger to expose more of the plantlet’s base.
- Cut at the point where the plantlet ends and the root begins.
You do want to be careful here—too much force can hurt the parent plant’s roots.
3. Keep the Removed Plantlet in Water
Dip the now-removed plantlet’s lower half in some water to clean it off. Make sure the leaves of the baby plant don’t come in contact with the water; you only want to wet the stem and roots (if any).
It’s a best practice to grow Chinese money plant babies in water for their first week of growth before transferring them to the soil.
Baby plants don’t have a root system, so they can’t acquire nutrients from the soil anyway. Being in water also helps them develop their roots faster.
If you notice that your plantlet already has some roots, you can plant it directly into the soil.
However, most plantlets won’t have their roots, so it is beneficial to grow them in water first. My recommendation is to go through with this step.
You could plant it directly into the soil—but the risk of the new cutting succumbing to starvation before developing its roots becomes more likely.
Tap water is fine for water growing. Although, hard water or water with a high concentration of salt compounds can be somewhat of an issue. So, if you’re looking for the best results, use distilled water. Then follow these simple steps:
- Don’t submerge the entirety of the plantlet. Only the bottom part of the stem (the cut surface) must be in contact with the water.
- In a week or two, you’ll see roots begin to grow.
- Once there’s noticeable root growth, you can transfer it to the soil.
Here’s a fun fact: Chinese money plants can be grown in only water. You’ll frequently have to supply them with fertilizer to make this possible, though. They also won’t grow as big and healthy as they would in soil.
If you’ve made it this far, congrats – your tiny Chinese money plant will grow exponentially in the coming few months.
4. Transfer the Baby Money Plant to the Soil
Handle the baby plant carefully; it’s still delicate at this point, and any damage to the roots can be life-threatening. Here are some tips for s successful transition to soil:
- Consider rooting hormone: Before committing to establishing the baby plant in the soil, you have the option of using some rooting hormone to aid in further root growth. This powder isn’t necessary, though, since your plantlet already has roots and can sustain itself at this point.
- Use the proper potting mix: Plant the cutting about an inch (2.54 cm) deep into your chosen potting mix. Use the right potting mix from the get-go. While further transplantation isn’t out of the question, it is undesirable until your baby plant has grown to a healthy size.
- Choose the correct container size: Use well-draining, nutrient-rich soil in a small-size pot. Don’t use a container that’s too large because too much soil can lead to some complications.
- Ensure adequate drainage: The presence of drainage holes is imperative for long-term survival. Damage caused by overwatered soils is deadly and almost irreversible once it sets in. It would be best to ensure your container has adequate drainage holes.
5. Give the Young Plantlet Care, Attention, and Time
It’s time to direct your attention toward the essentials your baby Chinese money plant needs to thrive in the coming days. You should take care of these primary plant needs to ensure your baby Chinese money plant will flourish:
Position the pot to expose the plant to bright but indirect sunlight. That may sound contradictory, but let me explain. Direct exposure to the sun is often too harsh for this species and can lead to burns.
As it happens, sunlight can bounce off surfaces. It becomes less intense with each bounce, but your Pilea can still use this indirect sunlight for photosynthesis.
For example, the vicinity of a south-facing window sill would be a great spot to grow your Chinese money plant.
Establish a Watering Routine
A handy guideline for formulating a watering routine is to wait until the soil dries before watering. Although this may sound very conservative, overwatering is more of a threat than underwatering. Overwatering may lead to issues such as root rot and encourage mold and fungal growth.
Something else to watch out for is low temperatures. If you start the propagation process in mid-spring, this won’t be as much of a concern because your cuttings will have the remainder of spring and the entirety of summer to grow up.
Once the plantlets are adults, they’ll handle low temperatures better.
I’ve provided you with a few tips regarding care, but that only scratches the surface of proper care practices for the Chinese money plant. This guide offers a complete overview and explains the steps you can take to help your Chinese money plant grow faster: How to Make a Chinese money plant Grow Faster
The Chinese money plant—or Pilea—is a quick-growing evergreen with excellent propagation capacity. You can multiply a single plant into a sizable assortment within a few years by propagating the offshoots every season.
The ideal time for propagation is mid-spring. Separate the plantlet from the main plant while retaining as much of the plantlet’s stem as possible. Grow it in water until the roots grow, then transfer it to the soil.
Manage sunlight and water levels, and watch for dangers such as overwatering and frosty temperatures.