Live to Plant

How to Save a Dying Ufo Plant

Updated: July 9, 2023


The UFO plant, also known as the Pilea peperomioides, is a popular houseplant famous for its unique round leaves that resemble flying saucers. However, like any other plant, it is prone to certain issues that can cause it to wither and decline. If you find your UFO plant looking sad and droopy, don’t panic! With a little care and attention, you can save your dying UFO plant and restore it to its former beauty. In this article, we will discuss some common reasons why UFO plants may struggle and provide practical tips on how to revive them.

Understanding the Causes of a Dying UFO Plant

Before diving into the steps to save your dying UFO plant, it’s essential to understand the potential causes behind its decline. Here are a few common reasons why your UFO plant may be struggling:

1. Overwatering or Underwatering

Overwatering is one of the most common mistakes made by plant owners. UFO plants prefer moderately moist soil but can suffer if their roots are constantly sitting in water. On the other hand, underwatering can lead to dryness and wilting of the leaves.

2. Lack of Light

UFO plants thrive in bright, indirect light. If your plant is not receiving sufficient light, it may start to show signs of distress such as yellowing leaves or stunted growth.

3. Poor Drainage

UFO plants require well-draining soil to prevent waterlogged roots. If the potting mix used for your plant does not provide adequate drainage, it can lead to root rot and overall decline.

4. Nutrient Deficiency

Like all living organisms, plants need proper nutrition to thrive. A lack of essential nutrients can weaken your UFO plant and make it more susceptible to diseases and pests.

Steps to Save a Dying UFO Plant

Now that we have a better understanding of the potential causes of your UFO plant’s decline, let’s explore some practical steps to revive it:

1. Assess the Watering Routine

The first step in saving your dying UFO plant is to assess its watering routine. Check the moisture level of the soil by sticking your finger about an inch into the potting mix. If it feels dry, it’s time to water your plant. However, if it feels moist or wet, hold off on watering until the soil dries out slightly.

2. Adjust the Lighting Conditions

Place your UFO plant in a location that receives bright, indirect light. Avoid exposing it to direct sunlight as it can scorch the leaves. If natural light is not sufficient, consider using artificial grow lights to supplement the lighting conditions.

3. Repot with Well-draining Soil

If your UFO plant is suffering from poor drainage, it’s time to repot it with a well-draining soil mix. Choose a pot that has drainage holes and use a blend of regular potting soil and perlite or sand to improve drainage. Gently remove the plant from its current pot, loosen the roots, and place it in the new pot with fresh soil.

4. Address Nutrient Deficiency

To address any potential nutrient deficiencies, consider fertilizing your UFO plant with a balanced houseplant fertilizer. Follow the instructions on the fertilizer package for the correct dosage and frequency of application. Be careful not to over-fertilize as this can damage the roots.

5. Prune and Propagate

If your UFO plant has severely wilted or damaged leaves, prune them off to encourage new growth. Use clean pruning shears to make clean cuts just above a node or leaf junction. You can also take this opportunity to propagate your plant by taking stem cuttings and placing them in water or moist soil.

6. Monitor and Adjust

After implementing the above steps, closely monitor your UFO plant’s progress. Check the soil moisture regularly, observe the new growth, and look out for any signs of improvement or deterioration. Adjust your care routine accordingly to meet the specific needs of your plant.


Saving a dying UFO plant requires a combination of patience, observation, and adjustment. By understanding the common causes behind its decline and following the steps outlined in this article, you can give your UFO plant a fighting chance at recovery. Remember to provide appropriate watering, proper lighting, well-draining soil, adequate nutrients, and occasional pruning to ensure the health and longevity of your beloved UFO plant. With a little care and attention, you can revive your dying UFO plant and enjoy its unique beauty for years to come.