Frequently Asked Questions,  Houseplant Pests and Problems,  Pilea

Pilea Black Spots

We run down solutions and remedies to pilea black spots and other common issues…

Pilea Black Spots (With Fixes To Common Issues)

Pileas get black spots when they are overwatered and/or do not get enough sun. Pileas can be really sensitive to overwatering, so add in a bout 20% perlite to your potting mix to ensure they drain well, and only water it when the soil is dry all the way down (you can check it with your finger once a week). After watering, tip out all the water from the external container, don’t let the plant sit in soggy soil.

Pileas like bright indirect sunlight, so give it as much as you can without letting them get burned from direct sun.

See also: Pilea Peperomioides Care, Pilea Propagation, Pilea Glauca, and our guide to Fungus Gnats.

Tip: we recommend Etsy for buying plants. Look for the best rated seller you can, and try to buy as close to your home as possible so the plant does not travel too far.

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Pilea Sunburn

Pileas can burn if given too much direct sun. This can cause yellow patches on the leaves or leaf edges, so be careful. They like plenty of indirect sunlight but do not like direct sunlight which can burn the leaves. So a good place for them is off to the side of a bright south facing window.

Pilea Brown Spots

Brown spots on a pilea indicate overwatering and possible root rot. Pilea can be really sensitive to overwatering and get root rot easily. Take the plant out of it’s soil and let it dry out for a day, then plant it up in dry soil. Make sure the new soil is well draining, like a mix of half cactus soil and half normal soil, or normal compost with some perlite added in (about a fifth of it should be perlite).

What Does Pilea Root Rot Look Like?

If you pilea gets root rot it will get brown or black patches on it’s leaves. Follow the instructions below to resolve the issue…

Overwatered Pilea

If you do over water your pilea, the best thing to do is to take it out of it’s soil and check the roots. They should be white, if they are brown it is a sign that root could have set in. If rot has set in I would take some cuttings of the plant just in case (see our guide to pilea propagation).

Then let the roots dry out and plant the pilea back up in a well draining medium and hope for the best! You might just be ok.

They are really nice plants, but can be very sensitive to over watering.

For more on pileas see our pilea category with all our pilea care and propagation guides. For more on pilea propagation see our guide: Pilea Propagation.

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Pilea Black Spots
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