PILEA PEPEROMIOIDES (CHINESE MONEY PLANT) is an Asiatic perennial herb that is native to Yunnan Province in Southern China at the foot of the Himalayas. Pileas are a part of the stinging-nettle family, Urticaceae. Plants in this family usually have STINGING HAIRS filled with IRRITATING HISTAMINES . INFLORESCENCES consist of clusters of HIGHLY REDUCED (missing more than one whorl), unshowy, unisexual flowers. Many plants in this family are considered weedy. Some Urticaceae are used as an HERBAL TEA for various blood and menstrual ailments.
PILEA PEPEROMIOIDES (CHINESE MONEY PLANT) is an easy to grow modern looking houseplant. Also called the Chinese Money Plant or Pancake Plant, it’s straightforward to care for and simple to propagate. Whether you’re a newbie to houseplants or a seasoned expert, a Pilea peperomioides plant is sure to be a welcome addition to any indoor plant collection. It originally came from China and has flat round coin shaped leaves. Together these things gave rise to its common name of the “Chinese Money Plant”.
Each of its lily pad like leaves float on dainty looking stems that will bob around independently in a GENTLE BREEZE. Towards the upper part of every single leaf will be a white, or lighter shade of green, dot where the stem meets the leaf and holds it in place.
HOW TO TAKE CARE OF PILEA PEPEROMIOIDES (CHINESE MONEY PLANT)
WHERE TO GROW?
Light-wise, the best situation for a Chinese money plant is BRIGHT LIGHT, WITH NO DIRECT SUNLIGHT. DIRECT LIGHT SCORCHES LEAVES, and LIGHT SHADE may ENCOURAGE LARGER LEAVES. They’re said to be HARDY DOWN TO FREEZING, and a period of cool temperatures may make them more likely to produce their tiny white flowers on pink stems.
CARE AND MAINTENANCE
The Chinese money plant PREFERS A WELL DRAINING POT SOIL, and a pot with drainage holes is NECESSARY. The soil needs TO MOSTLY DRY OUT BETWEEN WATERING, with MORE WATERING REQUIRED IN WARMER, SUNNIER WEATHER. If the leaves start to look slightly droopy, that’s a sign that the plant needs water. To keep your Chinese money plant nicely shaped, ROTATE IT AT LEAST ONCE A WEEK TO PREVENT IT FROM GETTING LOPSIDED. The large leaves tend to accumulate dust, so these plants benefit from regular showers, or at least wiping down of their leaves. TREAT MONTHLY with an ALL-PURPOSE PLANT FERTILIZER DURING THE SPRING AND SUMMER GROWING SEASONS. You may also want to put your plant OUTDOORS AS TEMPERATURES WARM warm, but again, take care to KEEP IT OUT OF DIRECT SUNLIGHT.
HOW TO PROPAGATE PILEA PEPEROMIOIDES (CHINESE MONEY PLANT)
Part of the reason that this plant has spread so far without being widely sold commercially is that it is FAIRLY EASY TO PROPAGATE. A happy plant will eventually SEND PLANT LETS UP THROUGH THEM, which you can SEPARATE FROM THE MOTHER PLANT. Follow the stem about an inch under the soil, and use a clean, sharp knife to cut the baby plant free. PLANT IN A NEW POT and KEEP THE SOIL MOIST until the plant is well-anchored and begins to produce NEW LEAVES. New plantlets also GROW STRAIGHT FROM THE STEM, and you can cut these free, place in water until ROOTS DEVELOP IN A WEEK OR TWO.
COMMON PROBLEMS OF PILEA PEPEROMIOIDES (CHINESE MONEY PLANT)
It is generally a VERY EASY-GOING PLANT. May get spider mites and mealybugs. Treat spider mites and mealybugs as soon as they appear with weekly sprays of horticultural (Neem) oil and regular wipe-downs of the plant. Its symptom is that the LEAVES ARE TURNING BROWN AND CRISPY AT LEAF EDGES AND ALSO THE LEAVES ARE GETTING CURLED OR DROOPY. The other PROBLEM is UNDER WATER, so MAKE SURE that you water your plant correctly, because if NOT it will RESULT IN YELLOWING, POSSIBLE BLACK STEMS, MUSHINESS AND FALLING APART.