How to Care For Pilea Peperomioides or Chinese Money Plant
Updated: Nov 12, 2020
Pilea Peperomioides, also known as the Chinese Money Plant, UFO Plant, or Missionary Plant, is apart of the "it" plant crowd! Discover what makes this lilypad esque plant an all-time favorite of many plant enthusiasts and gardeners.
The Chinese Money Plant is one of the first interesting plants that I recommend for beginners and seasoned houseplant people. They are so easy to care for and they give off that unique or exotic vibe everyone wants. Personally, that's the best of both worlds - Easy to care for AND catches the eyes of anyone who walks by it.
This plant was popular in Europe for a while before making it's way over to the United States. Quickly it became sought-after and a favorite of many plant enthusiasts. Read on to find out why that is and how to care for your own!
What Is Pilea Peperomioides?
Chinese Money Plant, or Pilea Peperomioides, comes from China and is known for its eye-catching pad-like leaves in bright hues of green. A Norwegian missionary took some cuttings and brought them back to Europe, where he helped cultivate and propagate it into the popular plant you know today. Only in recent years has this plant made its way into American homes, where it almost immediately made its way into our hearts as well (awe).
A Propagating Master
There is a reason why they call this houseplant the Friendship Plant. Its because it's the gift that keeps on giving. It's a self-propagating master. I mean the reason why this plant became so widespread in Europe and America, is because of that reason.
This plant is probably one of the easiest plants to propagate, because..well..they do it on their own! Pilea shoot out pups or new plant babies from the mother plant or stem. You can easily snip them and place them in their own pot to grow roots, or leave them there to grow and thrive (aesthetically, this is up to you).
Quick Tip: These plant buddies make wonderful gifts to friends and family. Since this plant grows so fast, you will always have new plant babies. I would honestly recommend giving away a lot the pups or your own plant jungle might just end up being all Pilea (nothing wrong with that, but I think you catch my drift)!
A Low-Maintenance Houseplant Biddy
I don't know anyone that doesn't like a low-maintenance plant...no matter how deep you are into your plant obsession. Because let's face it, no one has the time to be babying your plants all the time. You deserve a plant that lets you relax.
The Chinese Money Plant is the queen of low-maintenance. Just give her bright, indirect light and water and you are good to go. As if they could get any easier, they are also expressive plants. Meaning they will let you know when they need to be watered (or your plant talking to you). Simply water when their leaves start to droop!
And the icing on the cake...they grow so fast. You will have immediate satisfaction and happiness when you see new leaves and pups popping out.
Quick Tip: Rotate your Pilea to be facing the sun. This is important because the plant is growing so fast and towards the light, it can slump over. You want to make sure you are rotating the pot so that all sides of the plant are receiving light. This will cause the stem to sit upright and create that halo effect of foliage.
Quick Care Tips
Light: Bright, indirect light. A south-facing window is your best bet. This plant does not like direct sun or it will scorch the leaves. They can also survive in medium or low light, but the growth will not be as fast.
Temperature: This plant is able to tolerate warmth, but a less warm situation keeps this it happy. Give this plant a cool period after the growing season to encourage flowering (yes this plant flowers).
Watering: Because Pilea grow so fast you want to make sure it's getting enough water. Water liberally, allowing the soil to dry out between waterings. In the winter, try not to let the soil completely dry out. This plant is great for those who seem to overwater their houseplants (you know who are lol).
Special Notes: Make sure you are rotating your pot. Pilea reach out towards the sun so rotating it will keep the plant stem standing upright and ensure the entire plant is receiving enough light.
If you can't tell by now, I love me some Pilea Peperomioides! They are such fast growers, I am constantly being surprised by new leaves or plant babies. The impatient bone in me is very happy with this. You can't really go wrong with Chinese Money Plant, so go get one will ya!