how to grow and care for pilea depressa

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Pilea depressa is one of the most beautiful, evergreen ornamental climbing plants that you can grow indoors. These are gaining popularity as they’re easy to care for and suitable to grow indoor and outdoor environments.

This house plant is known by different names and has a striking denser green leaves appearance that you can plant outdoor as ground cover to replace the grass. The small dark green leaves are also suitable to grow compactly in a container or hanging baskets. 

What is Pilea Depressa?

Pilea depressa is an excellent indoor bright green plant due to its tiny, small thick leaves and scalloped edges growing on the soft stems. It’s a ground cover plant that can be grown easily indoors in a container or hanging pot.

It belongs to the Urticaceae family of plants in a Pilea genus with over 780 different types of perennial plants. It has a botanical name of Soleirolia soleirolii (Helxine soleirolli.

But it’s also known as Baby Tear, Angel’s Tear, Jacob’s Tear, Corsican creeper, Mother of thousands, Paddy’s wig, and pollyanna vine.

Pilea depressa has small serrated leaves around 1/4 inch long that grow in multiple leaves, giving a dense appearance. This makes it suitable to grow in hanging baskets or create a terrarium or small dish garden.

What are varieties of Pilea Depressa?

The Pilea genus has several different types of plants found in the wild and grown indoors. Here are some popular varieties.

Pilea cadierei

This is also known as an aluminum plant that is a perennial from Southeast Asia. It has distinct silver stripes on the leaves, and the plant grows up to 18 inches high. There are also dwarf species available that you can grow indoor in planters.

This is a great plant for ground cover, bank cover, or planter box. It grows well in medium shade in moist, well-drained soil.

pilea cadierei

Pilea nummulariifolia

It’s also known as Creeping Charlie, a low, creeping perennial that grows up to 8 inches high. It’s a native species from Peru, Panama, and the West Indies.

It forms roots at each node, developing a thick mat that makes it suitable for the ground cover plants. It grows best in partial shade with moist but well-drained soil. Many people like to grow it in a container or hanging basket plant.

Pilea serpyllacea

This is also known as an Artillery plant that has an almost fern-like succulent perennial. It’s native to tropical America and grows up to 10 inches high. This species forms a thick ground cover with its many spreading branches.

You can grow it as a houseplant in a container and hanging baskets inside or use it for edging or borders outdoor. It grows best in light shade and well-drained soil with moisture.

Difference between Pilea Baby Tears Vs. Soleirolia soleirolli (Original Baby Tears)
Many people get confused due to the similarity between these plants. You can identify it by looking closely at their leaves.

The Pilea Baby Tears leaves are large, thicker, and fleshy, while the Original baby tears leaves are short and thin with a smooth upper edge.

Plant growing summary

FactorGrowth Condition
SoilPartial sandy moist soil 
Water2 – 3times a week (Summer) once a week (Winter)
SunlightPartial sunlight
Temperature15 °C to 25 °C (60 °F to 70 °F)
FertilizerDiluted liquid fertilizer once a month
PropagationStem cutting
USDA ZoneZones 10 to 12

How to propagate Pilea depressa (Giant Baby Tears)

There are two ways to propagate Pilea depressa, stem cuttings or seeds. Stem cutting is the easiest and most popular way to propagate it.

To get started:

  1. Choose a healthy plant with a vigorous vine that has multiple leaves on it.
  2. Snip the plant’s stem with a few leaves intact.
  3. Make sure you have a couple of nodes available when you’re snipping the step.
  4. Place the cutting in a small glass of water or vase and move it to an area where it can get natural but indirect sunlight. The best place is near the window but shouldn’t place it in direct sunlight.
  5. In 1 to 3 weeks, the nodes start growing roots to transplant into a bigger pot
tiny tears plant in a pot

How to care for Pilea Depressa

Pilea depressa has been gaining popularity. This is because of its small size and ability to grow without needing much care or becoming too out of control.

They look beautiful regardless of where you grow them. Follow these instructions to care for the Pilea Depressa plant properly:


It needs moist soil, but you shouldn’t overwater. If you’re planting it inside a container, ensure it has a drainage hole at the bottom to allow the excess water to drain. A slightly sandy soil helps it retain moisture without holding too much water inside it.

The optimal soil pH for growing the Baby Tear plant is from 6 to 7.5 (slightly acidic to neutral). You can add compost and humus to the soil to provide it with organic nutrients and add perlite for better water drainage.


You should only water the plant when the top two to three inches of soil has become dry. You may have to water two to three times a week during hot seasons, while you can get by watering only once during winter.

An essential rule is that you shouldn’t let the plant get too dry and don’t overwater it that may cause root rot. You will notice the plant leaves start wilting when the soil gets too dry. You can fill it with water till the water starts draining from the bottom of the drainage hole.

If you’re using a saucer pan under the container, make sure you empty it regularly to prevent any root rot.

How often should you mist the Pilea plant?

Pilea doesn’t need a misting as long as you’re providing enough water not to let the soil get dry for too long. Usually, if you’re planting it indoors, a normal to high humidity level is enough for it to grow healthy.

For arid conditions, you can mist it lightly with plain water every other day. Don’t over mist the plant that may cause the leaves to drench water as it increases the risk of developing fungus.


Light fertilization helps with the vines’ more vigorous growth and gives you a denser leave appearance. You can use a liquid fertilizer rich in nitrogen to stimulate growth. Half-dilute the concentration and lightly fertilize it once a month during early spring and summer.


Baby Teras grow best in the temperature 15 °C to 25 °C (60 °F to 70 °F). However, these are very sensitive to temperature fluctuations. You should bring it indoors if the outdoor temperature falls below freezing.


Pilea depressa needs 4 to 6 hours of partial sunlight to grow fully. Ensure that you don’t place it in direct bright light as it causes damage to the leaves, flowers, and foliage.

If you’re planting it indoors where you don’t get bright indirect light, you can use a grow light to keep it healthy.


Regular pruning of a baby’s tears plant can prevent it from looking leggy and unattractive. However, these are a small, low-growing succulent plant that makes a beautiful plant and doesn’t need much pruning for their health.

But pruning helps with the appearance of the overall shape of the plant. If you’re planting it in an overhanging basket, pruning helps vines spread in a vertical direction.

baby tear indoor plant

Pilea depressa Plant Care Tips & Tricks

Pilea depressa are easy-to-care plants that aren’t prone to any particular kind of disease but can suffer from usual infestations such as scale, aphids, and whiteflies.

You need to pay special attention to your plant and use some care to prevent it from getting killed by these bugs.

Scale insects are the ones that you should be more concerned about as often they start to form small brown spots on the leaves and feed on the sap of the plant. You can manually wipe off these bugs by rubbing alcohol with a cotton swab.

Why are your Pilea leaves falling off?

This is a widespread problem among Pilea owners to have the leaves falling off. Although it may be concerning but with the right diagnosis, you can bring it back to healthy growth.

As the Pilea plant is succulent, and as such, it needs to be watered regularly. But often, most people overwater it than underwater.

The soil has to be moist, but don’t let it sit in the wet soil for too long. You should allow the topsoil to get a bit dry before you water it again.

Too much water causes stress to the plant and, in extreme cases, may cause root rot that will result in the plant leaf wilt and eventually dying. The second most common reason for falling leaves is direct exposure to sunlight.

If you’ve planted it near the window where it’s getting direct bright sunlight, you should move it to a different place or get some shade to provide it indirect light.

Do Pilea depressa bloom flowers?

Baby’s tear plant bloom tiny white creamy color flower that blooms in late spring. These small flowers are not suitable for use as decoration but they give a nice appearance to the plant.

Can you use baby’s tear for a terrarium?

Yes, these make the right plant for a terrarium as they grow and spread well horizontally. You have to be a bit careful as these have invasive tendencies. Any unhindered growth and spread may cause them to overtake the entire terrarium.

You can plant them in a container or keep them regularly trimmed to prevent any overgrowth. If planting in a small hanging basket, spread leaves alternatively over the sides to give the waterfall appearance of the plant.

Is Pilea depressa Toxic to cats?

Many people like to grow pilea depressa as an indoor ornamental plant due to their attractive small heart-shaped leaves. Pets, such as cats and dogs, like to chew on the leaves and stems of the plant.

Fortunately, pilea depressa is non-toxic to cats and dogs. But you should make an effort not to let your pets chew it as it will cause irreparable damage to the plant.

Where to buy Pilea depressa?

You can buy these plants from your local garden center or home gardening stores. If you can’t find it locally, you can order it online from Amazon and several other gardening vendors.

When you’re buying it online, it’s usually shipped in a 2.5-inch pot or sent bare root with instructions on how to grow and care.

pilea baby tears

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