Home Plants Pilea Depressa ‘Baby Tears’- Features, How to Grow and Care

Pilea Depressa ‘Baby Tears’- Features, How to Grow and Care

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Pilea Depressa

Pilea Depressa is an adorable, gorgeous plant with its bright green foliage and climbing vines. While this flowering plant is not popular in terms of its economic value, house-plant enthusiasts love it for its easy maintenance and low-profile lifestyle. It is great for ornamental purposes and is one of the easiest plants to style and display around the house. To know more of such favorable features of this specie, keep on reading!

Classification

  • Family: Urticaceae
  • Genus: Pilea

About the Genus Pilea

The word Pilea comes from the Latin language and translates to “felt cap.” The name comes from the fact that the plant’s calyx covers its achene. This genus is the largest in its family. It covers about 600 to 700 species of flowering plants. While these plants have little importance in terms of economy, they are well-loved as ornamental plants. Some of these species have great horticultural value, while others are popular in traditional Chinese medicine. These popular Pilea plants include Pilea Plataniflora, Pilea Glauca, and Pilea Grandifolia.

Common Names and Synonyms

  • Pilea Depressa tiny tears
  • Pilea Depressa baby tears
  • Shiny Creeping Charlie
  • Giant Baby’s Tears
  • Artillery plant Baby Tears

Origin and Distribution

These plants grow in tropical and subtropical areas and prefer regions with warmer temperatures. Apart from Australia and New Zealand, botanical enthusiasts cultivate these plants worldwide. Pilea Depressa, in particular, is native to the temperate areas of the Caribbean.

Pilea Depressa Plant Features

Foliage and Stem

These plants have bright green foliage with small but thick leaves. These leaves are as big as 40cm. The stalks grow downwards, so a Pilea Depressa terrarium is truly a sight to behold. However, this species can also develop as a climbing plant if given the right support.

Evergreen

Lucky for ornamental plant-lovers, the foliage of Pilea Depressa plants are evergreen and stay nice and bushy throughout the year.

Height

Pilea Depressa plants are very low-growing. They grow as tall as 10 cm and spread as wide as 5cm on average. The size of a mature Pilea Depressa can vary from 50 to 100cm in height and about 40 cm in width.

Temperature Tolerance

Because of tropical and subtropical origin, you can expect good tolerance in terms of warm temperatures. However, rapid or unhealthy fluctuations in the environment can stunt its growth. Keeping it indoors in well-maintained conditions can prove beneficial for its health and beauty.

Humidity Tolerance

Pilea Depressa plants are very fond of humidity and appreciate extra efforts in terms of moisture in their surroundings. You can spray the plant occasionally or put it in a water-filled pebble tray. Installing an indoor humidifier can also be a good idea if you’re very dedicated.

Flowers

Pilea Depressa plants grow tiny, star-shaped,  white flowers during late spring. However, these flowers are quite insignificant, and the plant is primarily known for its foliage.

Drought-resistance

Again, because of their origins, these plants are not resistant to drought and love moisture. Therefore, avoid keeping it dry or water-deprived. It will start to dehydrate in a couple of weeks.

Pressure Tolerance

The small, delicate size of this plant will not be able to tolerate a lot of pressure. It is best to keep it high somewhere safe where no one could step on it or nibble on its vines.

Pest Resistance

These plants are especially prone to whitefly, scale, and aphid attacks. Whiteflies are notorious insects that hide underneath the leaves and cause a lot of damage to the plant. These flying pests, however, can be caught using yellow sticky cards and commercial insecticides.

Growth

If given the right conditions, these plants are reasonably normal to fast-growing.

Toxicity

Pilea Depressa baby tears plants are not toxic. So, you can keep them in your child’s room or anywhere in the house. Your pets and kids are safe from it.  Even still, it is best if they do not ingest it. You never know what dust or germs lie on the surface of a plant.

Maintenance

Overall, the plant is low-maintenance because of its simple lifestyle and care requirements.

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Pilea Depressa Care

Pilea Depressa care requires partial sun to full shade, lots of humidity, and water every couple of days a week. Then, watch it grow into a beautiful, bushy plant. You can prune it to maintain its shape, but you don’t have to worry about any extravagant needs.

Water Requirements

If you are a busy person and cannot water the plant frequently, you’re in luck. Pilea Depressa doesn’t have extravagant watering needs. You can water the plant every few days when you feel like the soil is getting dry. An important thing to remember is to water the plant from above. Plus, you must make sure that the soil remains damp but not soggy. Wet soil can quickly kill your plant by suffocating the roots and stems.

Soil Requirements

The ideal kind of soil composition for a Pilea Depressa is a mixed type. The substrate should be well-draining and should contain a moderate amount of peat moss.

Sunlight Requirements

These plants thrive indoors and prefer shady corners of the house. Semi sun or indirect sun can do well, but direct exposure to sunlight is a no-no. However, you can use artificial growing lights for the plant because they give you more control over the intensity and timing.

Temperature Requirements

The minimum temperature for the healthy growth of these plants is 5 degrees Celsius, while the maximum is 35. Because these are warmth-loving plants, they prefer the higher temperatures as compared to the frosty ones.

Humidity Requirements

During the day, 60 to 90% of humidity in the air is optimum for this species. During the night, this requirement ranges from 70 to 90%. Occasionally misting a Pilea Depressa baby tears is a good idea. Simply take a water spraying bottle and spray a generous amount on the plant’s leaves. However, do make sure that the plant sits in moderate air circulation. It is essential to ensure that any moisture on the plant surface dries out in a few hours. Otherwise, the Pilea Depressa is prone to diseases and pest attacks.

Fertilizer Requirements

Even though these plants do not require frequent fertilizing, liquid fertilizers for house-plants can work best for a Pilea Depressa. Make sure the ratio of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium in the fertilizers is 3:1:2. You can do this once a month or during the growing season.

Re-potting

You can shift your Pilea Depressa tiny tears plant into a bigger or different pot at the end of each year. Just avoid doing this during the winter season. Plus, because these plants are small, their usual pot sizes are 4 to 6 inches.

Grooming and Pruning

Because of their bushy growth habit, Pilea Depressa tiny tears plants tend to grow in every direction. You can prune them to maintain a neat and clean appearance. Use sharp scissors, but be careful during the process.

Cultivation and Propagation

Pilea Depressa plants can successfully root on water. Their propagation is very simple and easy. All you need is a cutting tool, a container with water, and lots of sunlight.

  • Take a few cuttings from a healthy plant. Make sure you take pieces from between two nodes.
  • Keep these cuttings in a jar filled with water.
  • Put the jar under natural but indirect sunlight and make sure the temperature is warm.
  • Prepare a pot with damp, fertile soil and transfer the plant into it once you see roots developing nicely.

Timeline

Day 1-7: Place the cuttings in the jar and let it sit under warm temperatures and indirect sunlight.

Week 1-3: You should see tiny roots developing from the nodes. Keep the temperature and humidity in check.

Week 3-4: The roots should be in good shape by now. You can move the plant into a proper pot with moist soil in it. Water it weekly and keep the environment favorable.

Common Growing Problems with Pilea Depressa

Black Leaves

The most common reason behind Pilea leaves turning black is over-watering the plant. When the roots are suffocating in waterlogged soil, the leaves start to look unwell. They turn from green to yellow too, eventually, black. Ultimately, the plant begins to die. The easiest way to make this right is by correcting your watering sessions. Notice the frequency of these sessions as well as the amount of water you’re giving the plant. Only water the plant when you feel like the top layer is drying out. Re-watering wet soil is the key reason behind a dying plant.

Mushy Roots

If the roots of your Pilea Depressa plants look soft and mushy, there is something wrong with them. Ideally, a plant’s roots should be firm and pliable. When they gain too much moisture and are constantly surrounded by it, they will start to change color and texture. A diseased plant’s roots will look black and mushy.

The best way to handle this situation is by figuring out the underlying problem. Whether it is inappropriate watering or fungal infection, the sooner you pinpoint it, the sooner you can fix it. The faster you fix the problem, the more likely it is that your plant can survive.

White Spots

Your Pilea can have white spots if it has caught a condition called Oedema. The problem is relevant to low light and increased water around the plant. If the moisture level is high around the plant or inside its soil, it is prone to this condition. The key to fixing these spots is by setting the underlying cause. Pay close attention to your watering sessions and the environment of the plant in terms of sunlight exposure. If anyone of these doesn’t seem to be optimum, fix it as soon as possible.

Displaying Pilea Depressa Plant

Because of its bright, bushy appearance, Pilea Depressa plants can bring color and life to any room. They are great climbing plants. So, you can plant them in a pot and give them sturdy support to climb on to. Or, you can put them in hanging baskets and let them grow downwards.

A Pilea Depressa terrarium is also a popular trend among houseplant enthusiasts. The plants like to live in humid environments and indirect light, so they are ideal for keeping inside terrariums. They are perfect as table plants or shelf ornaments. They also look very stylish creeping down a shelf or cabinet in your kitchen or the bathroom. In short, you can be very creative with these plants in terms of styling them.

Final Thoughts

Pilea Depressa plants are a perfect combination of looks and comfort. They’re a sight to behold, and they are equally easy to maintain indoors. You don’t have to do much to keep them alive and beautiful. Plus, they’re non-toxic, so your kids and children are safe.

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