Reflections on Pilea peperomiodes and the resilience of plants

It’s been almost a year since I rescued this Pilea peperomiodes in response to a post on fbook. I think the post said ‘this plant no longer sparks joy - please take it. FREE.” At the time I picked it up it had four very tiny leaves, was infested with sooty mold and white flies, and smelled rotten.  No wonder it wasn’t sparking joy.

The discovery of pests on this plant was not good. I had other plants in the house I needed to consider, so this little bebe had to go in the back yard. I wiped its little leaves, replanted it in a terra cotta pot (the same one it’s still in, actually), and basically just said “good luck, dude!”

This was in late July of 2020 so it was FREEZING in San Francisco just like it is now and I assumed it would probably die but to my surprise it hung on. It did shed a leaf or two, I think it got down to three leaves total at one point.

After two weeks of being outside I examined it and was satisfied it didn’t have pest issues any longer so I brought it inside and placed it about 2 feet back from a Southern window in our house.  It took off almost immediately. The rest is history.

Every day this Pilea reminds me how tenacious plants are, and especially how resilient they can be.  It’s hard not to identify with and admire plants for being so determined, in their own little way, to survive.

But beyond that, this plant also reminds me that humans and plants impact each other. That we grow together, that we depend on each other, that living things are connected.

Also, not for nothing, this was the first plant I ever placed against my white wall for the purposes of being photographed for Instagram. My little muse! Thankful for you.

Not for sale ❤



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