Chinese Money Plant
Scientific name: Pilea Peperomioides
Synonyms: Pancake Plant, UFO Plant, Missionary Plant, Friendship Plant
Origin: Southwestern China
Height: 20 – 30cm
Pilea peperomioides is one of the trendiest houseplants on this god’s green planet. It is more commonly known as the Chinese money plant, Pancake Plant, UFO Plant, Missionary Plant, and Friendship Plant. This plant is adored not only for its unique names but also for its unique appearance. It has round, coin-sized leaves that are quite thick and glossy, and each one of them is attached to the crown of the plant by a petiole (leaf stem).
Pilea peperomioides are easy to grow modern-looking houseplants. It also has a tendency to create lots of small “daughter plants.” Which simply means that you can grow as many Pilea peperomioides from a single plant. Whether you’re a newbie in indoor gardening or already have many plants, the Chinese money plant will also be such a great addition. Today we have brought the ultimate guide on how to care for your Pilea plant, what are things that you should keep in mind while growing this cute plant at home, etc. So keep on reading. Let’s start with the benefits of the Pilea peperomioides plant.
Pilea Peperomioides Benefits
This unique plant has pretty amazing advantages. Let’s see what they are:
- It is one of the most effortless and good-natured houseplants. It’s super easy to care for.
- The plant really grows fast when grown in proper conditions.
- You can easily propagate this plant and make your own mini Pilea family in no time.
- Cute and unique looks make them a great present for any occasion.
Pilea Peperomioides Problems
If you already have a Chinese money plant and it has the below problems, then it’s time to take care of them in a proper way:
- Curled Leaves / Domed Leaves
- Yellow Leaves
- Brown / Black Spots (not crispy)
How to Care for the Pilea Peperomioides
If your Pilea plant is having the above symptoms, that means something is wrong. So what are the things that you should take care of? Below are 10 important things that you should be careful about while growing a Chinese money plant:
|How to Care for the Pilea Recap|
|Bright Light||Avoid direct midday and early afternoon sunlight for a long time as well as very dark areas.|
|Moderate Watering||Once or twice a week in Summer and once a week in Winter|
|Temperature||Average room temperature and Not lower than 13 °C (55°F).|
|Feeding||Once every month|
Now let’s know all of the things in detail:
Pot or Containers
The first thing is the container in which you’re going to place your plant. Some nurseries sell Pileas in terra cotta pots, which are not good for them. In terra cotta pots, they can dry out quickly. Because Terra cotta is very porous and should only be used for those plants that are required to be kept on the dry side.
So, what type of pot is best for Pilea Peperomioides? The plastic or glazed ceramic pots are best for them. But no matter what container you use to place your plant, just make sure that there is a drainage hole at the bottom. If there is a saucer under the pot, always remove the excess water as Pilea peperomioides do not like to have their roots sitting in water, and they’ll start rotting.
To grow a healthy Pilea peperomioides, use a standard all-purpose potting mix. This type of soil is good for draining so that the plant does not remain overly wet after watering. Try to find that labeled as suitable for houseplants or garden plants. When the water drainage is good, it will give the roots space to grow.
Actually, there is no single way to water this plant, but there are certainly several wrong ways to do it. You can water the plant once a week as per the conditions of the soil. Don’t overwater it, but also don’t just sprinkle it lightly with water either. Don’t let Pilea peperomioides sit in wet soil; if you do, then roots will start to rot.
Take the pot to the sink and slowly run the water through the soil until 20% of the water drains out from the bottom hole. This will flush out the excess fertilizer salts. Use de-chlorinated tap water, never buy fancy de-chlorination tablets. You can also use rainwater. Watch your soil condition:
- Drooping and Moist soil means overwatered – Wait for things to dry out.
- Drooping and Dry soil means under-watered – It’s time to get watering.
Another important thing is sunlight, and you need to pay extra attention to the amount of light the plant receives. Every plant has various light levels based on their native growing conditions in the wild. Many people may have told you that these plants don’t like direct sunlight, but this isn’t completely true.
When you look at your Pilea closely, you’ll see a lot of succulent-like qualities such as tough, waxy leaves, thick stems, etc. Some plants prefer low light levels whereas others like bright, sunny locations. But Chinese money plant falls somewhere in the middle. So, try to place this plant in an east- or west-facing window for the best light level.
Also, you need to rotate the plant 2-3 times a week to avoid a slanted stem. As light is one of the plant’s basic requirements, so spend some time here and make sure that it gets the light in the right way.
Most places already have a decent level of humidity, and many people don’t think about this thing. But Pilea Peperomioides plants will struggle to grow in excessively humid locations. With the proper water and sunlight, humidity is also important.
To make the perfect humidity level around the Chinese money plant, especially in dry climates and homes, put a humidity tray beneath the plant’s pot.
The next thing that you have to take care of is fertilizers. Like any other houseplants, Pilea Peperomioides also requires some fertilizers to grow properly. But don’t overdo it. The Chinese money plant has a fair amount of growth and produces a load of pups on a regular basis, so occasionally feeding is necessary.
You only need to fertilize this plant once in a month and make sure you only feed it in a state of active growth. Which is typically from early spring through early fall). You can use a liquid organic houseplant fertilizer. Just dilute it to half of the recommended strength and then watering the plant with it. Never ever fertilize a dry plant; first water it properly and the next day fertilize it.
Note: If you see a white crust on the soil, that means there is fertilizer salt build-up in your plant. Whenever this occurs, stop fertilizing your plant for a couple of months.
The Pilea Peperomioides plant doesn’t like temperatures below 10°C. The favorable temperature is between 13°C to 30°C. The temperature should never be below 13 °C (55°F), as this plant needs to be warmer to actually grow healthy. Try to avoid placing the pot in colder places and where the temperature remains constant and keep it away from any risk of frost.
Another thing that you should keep in mind while growing a Pilea peperomioides is the regular division. This is necessary to keep the plant from being crowded in its pot. And with Chinese money plants, Propagation is very simple; that’s why it is also known as the pass-along plant. They produce small daughter plants called offsets or pups, which grow from the root system of the mother plant.
Obviously, you can grow Pilea Peperomioides from seed, but many people don’t prefer this method because it is pretty tricky. New plant takes more to grow from seeds. Thus it makes no sense unless you have not any mother plant.
To grow plants from a parent plant first, you have to look down at the type of growth of your Chinese money plant. Once a plant gets to a certain level of maturity, it starts to grow “offsets” or growth points. With the help of a sharp pair of needle-nose snips and separate these from the mother plant.
You can divide them and immediately put them in various pots. Accidently if any of the roots break, then immediately put them in a little cup or bottle of clear water. This will generate new roots, and later you can put them in any container.
Speed of Growth
These pancake plants are fairly vigorous and grow reasonably fast. But this may totally depend on their growing conditions. In short, you can expect your plant to rise double in size every year, and young plants sometimes grow around triple in size during their first year.
You may not find any showy blooms in the Pilea Peperomioides, but they’re known for its cute look and unusual pancake-like leaves. Some well-grown and mature plants will give some flowers, but they do not smell. But they will still look pretty awesome.
What Not to Do
- Never grow your Pilea Peperomioides plant in dark places for long periods. Because it will result in a sickly looking plant.
- They are entirely safe for pets but keep it away from the playful claws of cats.
All in One!
After reading this blog, we’re sure that you are now pro in growing Pilea peperomioides. The main reason why they’re so popular is that their care is not that challenging. When you provide your plant with the right amount of light, water, and nutrition, it will grow healthy. So include this in your indoor plant collection and also give this as presents to your friends and loved ones.