Why Are My Pilea Leaves So Small?

Why Are My Pilea Leaves So Small

You are at the right place, and here you will find information about Why my pilea leaves are so Small? You’ve noticed that your Pilea’s new leaves continue to be stubbornly tiny, just when you thought it was developing wonderfully.

Whether we’re talking about the foliage of young Pilea pups or, more commonly, the leaves that make up the top growth of a mature Pilea plant, it’s perfectly normal for the newborn leaves to be small and delicate.

When are tiny plant leaves a warning sign? After first appearing, the baby leaves remain small for several months.

Here is our quick troubleshooting guide because there are a few possible causes for this with your Pilea.

Why Does My Pilea Have Small Leaves?

Here are some reasons why your pilea has small leaves.
Why Are My Pilea Leaves So Small

There is Not Enough Light Reaching Your Pilea

Your indoor plants will etiolate if they don’t get enough light. The plant tends to stretch as quickly as it can towards the direction of a nearby source of sunlight when it isn’t getting enough light.

  • Your Pilea’s stem lengthens and becomes spindly throughout this phase as the plant tries to reach the light.
  • The plant stops focusing its energy on leaf growth when the space between the leaves grows more extensive and more prolonged.
  • As a result, the leaves stay short while the internodes—the vertical lengths between two leaves—grow longer.
  • Solution: Position your Pilea a few feet away from windows facing the south and east and in front of the west and east windows.
  • Even if your Pilea is farther away from the light source, it’s still a good idea to ensure that it’s roughly at eye level.
  • If you’ve put your plant on a high shelf or top of cupboards, try to avoid pushing it to face the light downward.

Similarly, positioning it significantly lower than the bottom of your window will prevent it from reaching too high toward the light.

You Have a Root-bound Pilea

If the pot your Pilea was planted in has gotten too tiny to accommodate the root system, it is bound.

Why Are My Pilea Leaves So Small

  • It was repotting your Pilea once a year is what we advise (in its growing season, from late spring to late summer).
  • However, if you’ve been putting off doing this or if you overfertilized and gave your plant a growth spurt, your Pilea may already be root-bound.
  • This causes the root ball to begin to twist around itself, which causes it to constrict inside the pot.
  • The expanding roots’ pressure compacts the soil in the container throughout this phase, which stops the roots from getting water, oxygen, and nutrients.

This causes weak new growth that continues to grow weakly throughout the weeks and months.

Your Pilea’s Roots Are Damaged

Like the last point, the plant will adapt and produce small leaves if your Pilea’s roots are harmed.

  • Overwatering is the biggest offender in this situation. Root rot will eventually develop if you overwater your plant or leave it in a wet dish for an extended period after you’ve watered it. And once it materializes, getting rid of it is challenging.
  • As the name suggests, root rot causes harm to the plant’s roots, making them incapable of collecting nutrients and water.
  • Always verify that your pot has sufficient drainage, which is equally crucial. The drainage holes must be evenly spaced apart; ideally, they shouldn’t be blocked by those saucers that snap into place.
  • Drain out this saucer before watering the plant, and avoid letting it soak in water for an extended period.
  • Let’s handle the consequence now that presumably the cause has been addressed.
  • Do a brief inspection to determine the severity of the root rot first. To better look at the root ball, gently take the plant by the stem and wriggle it out of the pot.
  • Any mushy roots that have turned slimy and black are there? Does it smell strong like rotting things?
  • If the answer is affirmative, you must eliminate the dead roots to stop the rot from spreading and give the plant space to develop new, healthy sources. The dead roots can be cut using scissors.
  • Ideally, only a third of the root ball will need to be pruned. Any more will reduce your Pilea’s chances of recovering.

Make sure your soil does not hold too much water while you are at it. Repotting the plant into fresh soil is also necessary. An overview of the ideal ground for your Pilea is provided below.

You’ve Overfertilized Your Pilea

This cause does occur less often, which is why we saved it for last. You add salts to the soil when fertilizing your Pilea (never during the dormant season, ok?).

  • These salts build up in the pot and produce clumps that keep the water locked in if you over-fertilize.
  • No matter how much water you give the plant, the roots still struggle to reach the water. The plant, therefore, slows the growth of its leaves in response to this shortage.
  • If you can’t get hold of some new potting soil, you can buy some time by trying to flush the salts out.
  • This is how to accomplish it: Put your Pilea pot in a vigorous stream of water, soak it thoroughly, and then allow the water to drain.
  • Several hours apart, repeat this procedure a few more times. This will remove any extra salts, but it will also remove the soil’s nutrients.

So, unless you have the time and means to transplant your Pilea to new soil, this will merely serve as a band-aid.

Your Pile is Inactive

Every plant experiences two seasons: a growing season and a dormant season.

  • The time of year when a plant can create new growth due to favorable climatic conditions is known as the growing season in nature.
  • The growing season of plants is not negated when they are brought indoors; instead, they are exposed to a continuous light source and temperature.
  • The warmest months of the year are when the growing season takes place.
  • The final and first frosts of the year serve as a marker for the growing season, which runs from spring through early October for most of us. Your plant will develop more quickly during this period as it converts sunlight into energy more quickly.
  • The growth season will be shorter the farther you are from the equator, and the contrary is also true.

While growing seasons are significantly shortened in areas further north or south of the equator due to insufficient heat or sunlight for a large portion of the year, tropical locations see growing seasons that last for most of the year.


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