All about the Chinese Money plant
Among the trendiest houseplants, Pilea peperomioides is adored for its remarkable appearance. Its flat round leaves look like coins, poffertjes, or small pancakes. Each leaf is attached to the tip of the plant by a leaf stem (known as a petiole), that connects directly to the leaf underside, giving it a unique appeal.
Pilea peperomioides go by many nicknames, including the Chinese money plant, the UFO plant, the friendship plant, missionary plant, coin plant, pass it on plant, and pancake plant.
Different types of the Pilea
The Pilea genus contains more than 600 species of tropical plants, one of which is the Pilea peperomioides. It is a member of the Urticaceae family. Most of this plant's varieties are suited to surfaces such as tabletops and countertops. Apart from this, they're also excellent choices for hanging baskets and other planters.
Origin of the Pilea
Pilea originates from China, where a Swedish missionary, Agnar Espegren, found it and brought it to Europe from China in 1946. The plant was originally growing on the CanShang Mountains in Yunnan province, so many people call it a Chinese Missionary Plant.
How to take care of the Pilea
Watering a Pilea peperomioides can be a challenging task to nail down. It doesn't like getting its feet wet and can easily die from overwatering. Watering too often causes more problems than not providing enough water; therefore, you must establish a strict schedule for Pilea's watering.
Generally, watering it once a week is fine. Pilea likes to dry between each watering and doesn't like its soil being soggy. Stick your finger in the soil, if it still feels heavy from the previous watering, wait some days before giving it a drink. If it feels dry to the touch, water it thoroughly.
How you water this plant is also essential. Watering it at a soil level allows time for the soil to absorb the moisture. Don't pour water on its leaves as it can damage them and cause fungal diseases. Soaking your pilea is another way to water.
The location has quite an impact on the shape and growth of a pilea plant. That is why you'll need to be extra vigilant when deciding which spot to place it in at your home.
- Sunlight exposure: Pilea is a big fan of light. A lot of indirect sunlight is what it needs. Place it in front of a window and rotate it 2-3 times a week to avoid it growing lopsided since it grows towards the sun. This plant can also adapt to low light conditions, but the leaves turn a darker green.
- Temperature requirements: Pilea can thrive in normal household temperatures between 13°C-30°C. However, make sure it isn't exposed to heating vents in the winter, as it may drop its leaves.
- Humidity preferences: Pilea plants can survive in regular household humilities but will like a bit of extra humidity if you have the option. They can also stay happy in a dry environment.
Once you're able to get the watering and location right, there are a few other things you need to take into consideration for healthy growth. During the spring and summer seasons, feed your pilea once to twice a month with a balanced liquid houseplant fertilizer at half the recommended dilution rate. Unlike other houseplants, it still needs food during the winter season, but less is more.
Too much fertilizer is as unhealthy as too little fertilizer. Overfeeding can burn its foliage and can also kill the plant, while under-feeding turns its leaves yellow.
Other than its endearing appeal, the round leaf of a Pilea peperomioides is great at purifying the surrounding air. To make a real impact, you should place more of these plants at home and ensure a safe environment.
Pilea is generally non-toxic to animals and humans. However, it contains a chemical substance that produces a harmful reaction in the body of humans or animals if ingested.
Propagating the Chinesse Money plant
Pilea peperomioides plant is fairly easy to propagate. You can do that by taking its cuttings and putting them in water or soil. But, how to take cuttings from pilea? Mature pileas grow little babies or pups. Wait till they're about 5 cm tall before removing them from the mother plant. Don't just tug or pull the baby put, but remove a bit of soil around it to expose the root connection. Use a clean, sharp knife for this purpose.
Soil propagation: Put a few cuttings in a small pot. Make sure these cuttings have some roots with them. You will need to monitor this plant more than the mother plant because its pot is smaller, and the plant requires more watering till its roots are built.
In a few weeks, the pup will get anchored to the soil and start growing new leaves.
Water propagation: This method can be used for the pups or cuttings that have no roots attached to them. You have to make sure it grows strong enough to survive on its own. Put the pup in water and leave it there for two weeks. Change the water frequently to keep it fresh.
After some time, you will see some roots growing. Once the pup has little roots, you can put it in some soil.