Do you enjoy low-growing miniature vines? Pilea depressa makes an excellent choice for terrariums, fairy gardens, and even just as a houseplant. This evergreen climber is a beautiful addition to any indoor and outdoor space with its scalloped leaves and creeping growth. Here’s how to care for the soft foliage of this plant!
Pilea Depressa Baby Tears Plant Overview
Plants in the Pilea genus are found in tropical and subtropical regions worldwide, while the Pilea depressa species is native to Mexico and Brazil. Despite its small size, Pilea depressa provides as much texture as it does color with soft pink stems and white petal-less flowers.
Pilea depressa is often called Depressed clearweed, Gunpowder plant, Artillery Plant, and Kiereweed. Overlapping the leaves on the vine creates a shield-like wall of soft, plump foliage. Because of this effect, Pilea depressa is one of the best ground cover plants for terrariums.
The Pilea depressa is a member of the Urticaceae family and has many ornamental plant relatives such as the Chinese Money Plant, Aluminum Plant, and the Artillery plant.
Chinese Money Plant: The Pilea peperomioides got its money nickname due to the green coin-shaped leaves that circle the main plant. This species is considered lucky.
Aluminum Plant: Botanically named the Pilea cadierei minima, this plant has oval-shaped leaves with metallic-colored veins.
Artillery Plant: Also called the Artillery Fern, the Pilea microphylla has similar features to ferns with small, fleshy leaves and thrives in similar conditions.
|Botanical Name||Pilea depressa|
|Sunlight||Bright indirect light|
|Soil||Well-draining, sandy, tropical|
|Temperature||60-70 degrees Fahrenheit|
|Re-Potting||Once per year or when root bound|
|Pests and Diseases||Whiteflies, aphids|
|Toxicity||Non-toxic to humans and pets|
Pilea Depressa Baby Tears Plant Features
The Pilea depressa is an evergreen creeper that is low-growing and has beautiful small foliage. The delicate vines of this plant make it perfect for terrarium cover and have been used as a grass replacement in outdoor spaces. The vines sport small scalloped leaf edges, light pink stems, and petal-less flowers.
The Pilea depressa plant is a fast-growing perennial, helping it cover a lot of ground in no time. Indoors, this species grows slower but still needs repotting around every 12 months. Another great feature for those looking to grow this plant indoors is that the Pilea depressa is non-toxic to humans and pets.
Since this plant is a creeping vine, it grows lower to the ground. Younger depressa plants have a height of around 10 centimeters and a spread of five centimeters, but more mature plants can reach 50-100 centimeters in height and a spread of 40 centimeters.
Pilea Depressa Care Guide
The Pilea depressa is native to Brazil and Mexico and grows best in an environment mimicking its natural habitat. This plant prefers temperatures in the 60-70 degree Fahrenheit range, high moisture in the soil, moderate humidity, and well-draining soil. Bright indirect light is best for this plant’s growth.
This plant can grow easily indoors worldwide but must be in the right growth zone to be planted outdoors. Spring and summer months show more growth for the Pilea depressa, while less growth occurs in the cooler fall and winter months.
Ideal Growing Place
Pilea depressa can grow in various environments. This plant can adapt to indoor spaces so long as they have the right care requirements. Baby tears plants are often used in indoor terrariums alongside other plants and do well in this environment.
Outdoors, the Pilea depressa does well in moderately humid areas in their temperature range, in bright but shaded spots. This plant can thrive in many places so long as its needs are met with watering, sunlight, temperature, soil, and humidity. Warmer times of the year, like spring and summer, promote growth; the fall and winter months bring slowed growth.
Water your plant about two to three times per week in the spring and summer. Reduce the watering frequency to about once per week in the fall and winter. This allows the soil to remain moist between watering without waterlogging, which can lead to root rot, especially in terrarium settings. The upper soil layers in the spring and summer should remain around 50%.
The Pilea depressa is too sensitive to bear direct sunlight and instead opts for bright indirect light. An area with partial shade but still gets a lot of sunlight is a great place to have your plant outdoors. Indoors, place your plant away from windows with direct light and ensure they receive light indirectly.
The optimum temperature range for the Pilea depressa is 60-70 degrees. If growing this species outdoors, watch the temperature throughout the year and bring your plant indoors when cooler temperatures arrive to avoid plant stress.
While the Pilea depressa enjoys moist soil, it does not want too much water lingering. A light, well-draining soil is necessary to hold the right moisture. Sandy soils work well with this species to allow drainage. Baby tears enjoy a soil pH level of 6-7.5, which is slightly acidic to neutral.
Pilea depressa plants enjoy their humidity level at around 50%. On drier days or in a terrarium placement, using a mister or humidifier does wonders for your plant to receive extra humidity. This moderate humidity level requirement makes the baby tears plant a popular houseplant.
During the spring and summer months, feed your plant with fertilizer per the instructions about once per month. Winter and fall months bring slower growth to your plant, and extra fertilizer is not required.
Many creeping vines like the Pilea depressa can grow quickly and take over a space. To prune your plant, cut the dead leaves and other vine areas from the lower side of the plant. Cutting away dead sections is a great way to keep a healthy plant.
Potting and Re-potting
Repot your Pilea depressa when you notice thick and dense roots in your pot or holder. This will be needed around every 12 months or so, depending on growth. To repot, get a slightly larger container and place the plant in about four inches of fresh soil, spread the roots, cover the rest, and water slightly.
The Pilea depressa plant can successfully grow outdoors in the USDA Plant Hardiness Zones 10-11. This area encompasses the west coast states and southernmost states. Check your local climate and the hardiness map to see if you can successfully grow Pilea depressa outdoors.
Common Pests, Toxins, Diseases & Other Problems
Common pests affecting Pilea depressa include white flies and aphids. Whiteflies are pests that look like tiny moths and secrete a substance onto your plants that can lead to harmful mildew.
Aphids can be dangerous as they suck up the nutrient-rich sap from your plants, causing them to wilt, wither, or even die. Both aphids and white flies can be treated with neem oil.
The best way to propagate Pilea depressa is through stem cuttings. First, take a mature, healthy depressa plant and locate a cutting with two to three nodes. Your cutting should be around six to eight inches in length. For this step, use sterilized gardening shears or shape knives to make the cut to ensure no new bacteria is introduced to your healthy plant.
Place the cutting in warm water, with at least one node fully covered. Over time if water becomes dirty, replace it and keep watching for new roots to grow.
Pilea Depressa Baby Tears Plant Mature Timeline
Day 1-42: In the first six weeks after Pilea depressa propagation, root growth occurs as the plant develops and expands.
Day 42+: Once the roots reach two to three inches in length, you can transplant them into a fresh pot with new soil. Begin caring for this beautiful plant, as mentioned above.
Once your plant has reached maturity over time, it will gain the ability to produce flowers. Look for its small, round, and white flowers in the springtime.
Pilea Depressa Baby Tears Plant FAQ
Where Can I Buy the Pilea Depressa Plant?
Well-known companies like Amazon, Etsy, and Walmart have Pilea depressa plants available for purchase and can be shipped to you.
Should You Mist the Baby Tears Plant?
You can mist your baby tears plant on dry days where humidity is below the 50% level to offer more moisture.
Why Is My Pilea Depressa Dying?
The main cause for Pilea depressa death is allowing the soil to become too dry. This species should be watered often to keep the soil moist. Other issues can come from improper watering, sunlight, or soil type.
Is Pilea Depressa Toxic?
Pilea depressa is non-toxic for humans and pets making it a popular indoor houseplant.
Is Pilea Depressa a Succulent?
Plants in the Pilea genus are often referred to as shade-loving succulents.
Is Pilea Depressa a Perennial?
The Pilea depressa is an evergreen perennial, meaning it will keep coming back to grow year after year.
Do Pilea Baby Tears Climb?
Baby tears plants are often called climbers and creepers due to their vine-like nature.
Is Pilea Depressa an Indoor Plant?
Pilea depressa is a common indoor plant for many people due to its non-toxic nature and easy care requirements.
Is Pilea Depressa Easy to Care For?
Many believe the Pilea depressa has an easier care guide than other plants as it is not as picky as other species regarding watering, lighting, soil, and humidity.
The Bottom Line
Pilea depressa baby tears plant is a beautiful vining climber that stands out in any space. Terrariums, fairy gardens, and indoor spaces are more vibrant due to the Pilea depressa’s glossy scalloped leaves, delicate white flowers, and soft pink stems. Consider adding this plant to your home or garden and watch it thrive under your care!
Last Updated on August 26, 2022 by Gustaf Johansson