How to Look After Pilea peperomioides (Chinese Money Plant) - A Care Guide

Here's some tips on how to care for Pilea peperomioides , so that you can keep your Chinese Money Plant looking prosperous.

A Pilea peperomioides being held up at the Garden Geeks store. | Garden Geeks UK
Pilea peperomioides at the Garden Geeks store.

Chinese Money Plant


Pilea peperomioides, also commonly known as the UFO Plant, Pancake Plant, Missionary Plant or, more often, Chinese Money Plant, is known for its satisfyingly round, coin shaped leaves.


A member of the nettle family, Pilea peperomioides is native to Southern China, where it can be found at the base of the Himalayas. This houseplant will add some interesting shape and greenery to a home or plant collection.

Light


Your Chinese Money Plant will enjoy medium to bright, indirect sunlight (preferably bright). On a stand close to a window that gets lots of light is an ideal location.


Pilea peperomioides will grow towards the light, so make sure to rotate your plant if you want to keep it looking nice and symmetrical.


Avoid harsh direct sunlight which can scorch your houseplant's fleshy leaves. Also avoid too low light conditions which will make your Money Plant grow smaller leaved and leggy.


Soil


Pilea peperomioides enjoy organically rich and well-draining soil that doesn't become waterlogged.


Adding about 1/3 perlite to a decent peat or coir potting mix should give your Chinese Money Plant enough drainage, while providing some aeration for the roots and room for the plants offspring to push up easily through the soil.


Watering


Your Chinese Money Plant is relatively easy to care for on the water front and has moderate needs. Water your Pilea peperomioides when the soil is almost dry and the pot feels light when you pick it up.


When watering, give the plant a good soak and let the excess moisture run out from the drainage holes in the pot.


When your Money Plant is feeling dry, its iconic round leaves will droop and fold inwards, this is a sure sign it needs a drink. Give it a good soak and it will be nice and springy in no time.


Humidity


While they can survive just in normal household humidity, Pilea peperomioides prefer humidity levels of 50-75% to thrive. Give your Chinese Money plant a mist a couple of times a week for a little boost. Placing it on a gravel and water tray or near other humidity loving plants can help with humidity too.


In overly dry conditions, you may notice the leaves of your Pilea begin to get some brown spots here and there on the leaf tips, so keep your Money Plant away form dry heat sources where possible.


Temperature


Pilea peperomioides will grow just fine in normal household temperatures of 15-21 degrees Celsius. Just remember to avoid placing your houseplant near radiators and heat vents, which will suck humidity our of the nearby air.


In the wild, Chinese Money plants are hardy to freezing conditions, although indoor plants from a Nursery may be a little less resilient. Aim to keep temperatures above 10 degrees where possible, though don't panic if your indoor tempertaure drops below this a little in the winter months.


Toxicity


Pilea peperomioides / Chinese Money Plant / Coin Plant / UFO Plant are non-toxic and pet safe. Your cat might like to play with their springy stems though, so keep them out the way if you want to maintain their satisfyingly disc shaped foliage.

Growth


While this evergreen perennial does produce small white, flowers during the Spring, the main attraction of the Chinese Money Plant is its foliage.


Pilea Peperomioides will grow to around 12 inches tall when mature and will often spring up lots of little plantlets around the mother plant that can be easily propagated.


Due to the abundance of shoots this plant produces, and its relatively quick growth, repotting yearly during spring and upgrading to a larger pot size as needed is recommended.


Sometimes called the 'sharing plant' due to the abundance of offshoots it produces, this Pilea sends plantlets up from its roots (you may notice little leaves on the earlier stages of some of the pink, wormlike offshoots when repotting) as well as from nodes along the main plant's stem.


The fact that the Chinese Money Plant is so propagation friendly is rather convenient, as it's traditionally considered to bring good luck, fortune and prosperity to the recipient!


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