Since we featured my favorite plant of the month last month I figured it would only be fair to feature my sister’s favorite plant this month. Many of you have probably seen many, many pictures of this plant on Instagram and Pinterest. This month we’re featuring the Pilea peperomioides, and no I don’t know how to pronounce that in real life. But luckily, I do know how to take care of it and I’m going to go over everything you need to know to have a thriving Pilea.
Introducing… Pilea Peperomioides
Winner of the Best Plant Mother Award (awarded by us)
Plant Level: Intermediate
Price: $10 – $30
Pilea peperomioides have many names/nicknames; Chinese money plant, coin plant, UFO plant, pancake plant, and missionary plant. Native to southern China, this plant was primarily spread through regular gardeners sharing cuttings. A Scandanavian missionary once took one of these cuttings back to Norway and spread the planty love with many people there. This sweet story is what led to the nickname missionary plant.
Purchasing Your Pilea
Only a few years ago this plant became super trendy and sought after. It wasn’t being mass-produced at the time and was hardly ever found in nurseries. This plant has a long and unique history of solely being available through sharing. They were passed down from person to person by sharing a pup (baby Pilea) with a plant friend. Therefore once it started trending on social media, people were paying the big bucks to get their hands on one of these cuties. Luckily for all of us who don’t have those kinds of funds, you can now find them in most nurseries and even the big box stores.
A couple of days ago, I went into my local Walmart and there were about 25 of them all lined up. Be wary of paying large amounts for a plant. Once they start gaining popularity, commercial growers start propagating them like crazy until they’re readily available. If you’re patient enough you’ll be able to get the plant you want for a fraction of the cost. But who am I to talk, I just purchased a Monstera Thai Constellation on
Side note on purchasing a Pilea peperomioides, if you’re superstitious you might want to hold back on purchasing this plant. It’s known as bad juju in the plant world to buy yourself a
The Pilea plant loves bright indirect light. A spot close to a sunny window will spur rapid growth in these plants. We think of the pilea as the perfect window sill plant. Make sure they don’t get direct sunlight as this will scorch the leaves.
Pilea’s are especially susceptible to growing unevenly. They will reach for the sunlight quicker than most other plants. You will need to rotate this plant every couple of days in order to get even growth.
Pilea peperomioides prefer drying out a bit between waterings, but not drying out all the way. Dropping/drooping leaves might be a sign you’ve waited a day or two too long between drinks. I use this moisture meter to determine if it’s time to water. If you’re a new plant parent I highly recommend purchasing one. It will help you learn how often to water your plant babies.
Don’t keep the soil of your plant wet. This will cause rot root and if not corrected, will kill your plant. Make sure the container you’ve chosen for your pilea has a drainage hole or better yet, check out this simple trick for beginner plant parents that will make watering your houseplant a breeze.
I water my Pilea about once a week but as always check your plant routinely. Your specific plant and your home environment might be a lot different than mine. When you first bring your planty friend home check on it every day to see how dry the soil is. Once you know how long it takes to get a little dry but not too dry, knowing when to water will become automatic.
Use any quality houseplant soil for your Pilea peperomioides. Once it’s outgrown its container be sure to repot it into a bigger home to encourage new growth.
Unlike a lot of common houseplants this plant doesn’t prefer a higher humidity environment. It thrives in lower humidity, which makes it the perfect plant for most homes.
Fertilize sparingly with houseplant fertilizer during spring and summer.
This plant is pet and children safe! Generally non-toxic, however, always be careful with any houseplant that it’s not being eaten in large quantities by pets or people.
One of my favorite parts about this plant is that it continually puts out little baby Pileas, called pups. Once they get pretty big you can simply use a clean knife to separate them from the mother plant and now you have a new Pilea plant to keep for yourself or pass along to a friend!
Whether the Pilea peperomioides rise to social media stardom continues or wanes, this gorgeous plant’s super unique leaves will always be stunning! It makes a huge statement. Now that you have all the care info you need we hope you considering buying one for yourself. Or better yet find a generous plant parent to share with you! Plant people are the best people and they are usually more than willing to share the love when it comes to
Get your Pilea peperomiodies here.
Our favorite way to display a Chinese money plant is in a terracotta pot!
Drop us a comment below and let us know if you like to separate the pups from the mother or keep them all together in the pot. Here’s some monthly pilea plant inspiration: