Pilea Depressa Care

pilea depressa

The Pilea depressa has the slightly unsettling nickname, Baby Tears, but it’s a lovely vining plant. Pilea Baby Tears care is easy, as is expected from a Pilea. Give this beauty a good location, plenty of water and humidity, and leave it alone.

Plant Details

Pilea depressa is a vining succulent native to Mexico. The thin stems are dotted with delicate, scalloped-edged leaves. The medium green foliage often grows in pairs with sets of leaves alternating around the stem, creating a dense and plump appearance. This plant looks delicate, but it holds up very well.

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The Pilea Baby Tears is not to be confused with Soleirolia soleirolii, which also has the same nickname. The Soleirolia soleirolii is a creeping, mat-forming plant that looks stunning in a hanging planter but has different care needs than the Pilea depressa. Confirm which plant you have to ensure you are providing the proper care.

Pilea Baby Tears Light Needs

Give the Pilea Baby Tears bright indirect sunlight. Close to a south or east-facing window is often a good location. Direct light will damage the plant. Keep an eye on the foliage and look for dark markings which indicate sunburn. Remove sun-damaged foliage and relocate the plant to a spot that does not receive direct light if necessary.

The foliage will grow more dense and close together in bright sunlight. While this Pilea can live in medium light, the plant will become leggy. A leggy plant has significant gaps or spaces between sets of leaves, giving the plant a lanky appearance. There is nothing wrong with a leggy plant; some people may even prefer that look, so figure out what you like and ensure the plant receives the appropriate amount of sunlight.

Spin the plant every couple of weeks or when you give it water so each side receives sunlight. Failing to rotate the pot may cause the stems to grow towards the sunlight, creating a lopsided appearance.

pilea baby tears

How Often to Water Pilea Depressa

Wait until the top few inches of potting mix have dried out before giving the Pilea depressa a drink. This plant has increased water needs, but it’s still a succulent, so it stores water in its foliage, and it only needs more water when it has depleted most of its reserve. 

The amount of sunlight the plant receives and the humidity impact how quickly the soil dries out and how often the plant needs water. Be mindful of the conditions and water when necessary. Plan to water the Pilea depressa as often as every few days or about every ten days, depending on the conditions and the time of the year.

Bottoms Up

The Pilea Baby Tears does well with bottom watering, which allows the plant to soak up the water it needs and reduces the risk of root rot. Underwatered plants will grow stunted, and the leaves will dry up and fall off. Early signs of overwatered plants include dying foliage, starting with lower leaves and spreading up and out.

Best Soil for Pilea Depressa

The Pilea Baby Tears loves moisture, but too much is trouble, so use a moist but well-drained potting mix. Most pre-made potting mixes are a good choice.

Temperature for Pilea Depressa

The Pilea depressa can live in temperatures between 55° and 80° F. This succulent can handle temperatures as low as 50° F, but damage is possible if the temperature dips any further.

A covered patio or outdoor space protected from direct sunlight will provide a nice summer vacation for this Pilea. Wait until the temperature is warm enough before moving the plant outside, and get it back inside before the weather turns chilly in the fall.

Pilea Depressa Humidity Needs

Increased humidity is ideal for the Pilea depressa Baby Tears. Humidity between 60-90% will keep this plant happy. Kitchens and bathrooms have higher humidity than other rooms in a home, so as long as the lighting is acceptable, those rooms tend to be a good fit.

The leaves will dry out and drop when the humidity is too low, so do what you can to keep the dampness high. Place several plants nearby to create a microclimate of increased humidity, or use a pebble tray or humidifier to give the plant the moisture it needs.

pilea baby tears

Pilea Baby Tears Fertilizer

The Pilea depressa proliferates with proper care but help this dainty beauty reach its full potential with regular doses of fertilizer. Use a balanced, water-soluble plant food monthly during the spring and summer when the plant is actively growing. Don’t feed dormant plants during the fall and winter.

Does Pilea Depressa Baby Tears Bloom?

The Pilea Baby Tears feature tiny white flowers that bloom in clusters at the terminal ends of the stems. The blooms are lovely, but houseplants seldom flower. Like most plants, the conditions need to be perfect for the plant to set buds, and while this Pilea can live inside a home, the conditions aren’t conducive to blooming.

Pilea Pruning Tips

The Baby Tears is a fast-growing plant when it receives proper Pilea care. If you want a full, bushy plant, leave it be or prune it to fit your space or the desired look. Trim the stems using clean, sharp shears and hold on to those offcuts to propagate.

When to Repot Pilea Baby Tears 

Despite being a fast-grower, the Pilea Baby Tears is in no rush for a new container. Plan to repot every three years or sooner if the plant shows signs that it’s time to repot.

Drainage is vital to growing a healthy Pilea, so always select a new container with drainage holes. Consider a terra cotta or unglazed ceramic pot, allowing the soil to dry completely reducing the risk of root rot. A wide, shallow container isn’t necessary but is a better fit for the Pilea depressa.

Pilea Depressa Baby Tears Propagation

Pileas are easy to propagate, so get ready for a bunch of plants. Propagate the Pilea depressa by stem cuttings. Trim a section of stem that measures at least five inches long. Remove the lower leaves to expose the nodes. Place the cut end and nodes in water, soil, or sphagnum moss. Potting mix or moss should be kept damp but not soggy.

Cuttings need excellent care to grow roots, so locate the cutting in a warm spot with bright, indirect sunlight and increased humidity. Roots will emerge in a few weeks. Water or sphagnum moss cuttings can be transplanted into a potting mix when the roots are a couple of inches long. Keep the potting mix damp for the first week or two before transitioning into a water routine for an established plant.

pilea depressa

Is the Pilea Depressa Pet Safe?

The Pilea depressa is pet-safe, so you can enjoy this leafy beauty in your home without worrying about your cats or dogs. The leaves and foliage of the Pilea Baby Tears are non-toxic, so your pet will be safe if they eat or nibble on the plant. Eating too much of anything can be trouble, so take steps to keep a noisy pet away from the trailing stems.

Pilea Baby Tears Styling Tips

The Pilea depressa grows as a ground cover in nature, making it a wonderful hanging plant when grown indoors. The Pilea Baby Tears looks fantastic on a high perch, like on top of a cabinet, on the upper shelf of a bookcase, or in a hanging planter. 

Pilea Baby Tears Care Tips

The Pilea Baby Tears is a charming trailing plant that likes lots of sunlight and moisture. Be careful not to overwater, and the higher the humidity, the better, but otherwise, this is an easy-care houseplant.