The Chinese Money Plant
A much sought after indoor plant Pilea pepperomioides is commonly called the Chinese Money plant. It grows well in light shade and with its very attractive rounded mid green foliage is a houseplant used as feature.
It is the rounded foliage and airy growth habit that make this cute little plant so desirable.
This is a plant that has been around for many years, originally from China. However it never seemed to make it into cultivation.
One established it is fairly fast growing, and indoors in good filtered light and a moist well drained soil it thrives. It will reach around 30 cm (12 inches) in height over time.
A related plant for hanging baskets is Pilea libanensis.
Pilea pepperomioides Care
Best grown in a container, indoors and in good filtered light, however not direct sun. Hot direct sun will burn the foliage fairly quickly.
Bright indirect light is best.
Water once or twice a week, always checking the soil first, if its moist do not water. Watering is best carried out when the top of the soil dries a little.
Misting once a week is a good idea in homes that have central heating on through the winter. Central heating drys the air and this is plant that likes a little humidity. The same with air conditioning, as this also dries the air, so mist once, maybe twice a week.
Fertilise from spring right through to winter, every 4 weeks will do, we use an indoor liquid fertiliser and water the soil, not the foliage.
Less fertiliser in low lights best otherwise the plant can get a bit leggy.
- This a plant that prefers a slightly acidic soil and yellow leaves are a sign of a soil with too much alkalinity.
When repotting use a good quality potting soil mix with around 1 part perlite to 5 parts potting mix. Perlite opens up the soil and encourages good root growth. You can also add some medium to to fine pine bark added to assist with drainage.
Repotting each year will keep the plant growing strongly.
Prune back and long lax leaders in spring to help keep the plant more compact.
- Pots and Containers
Ensure that the containers have good drainage. Avoid having the container sit in a saucer of water as this can cause problems.
- Top Tip for keeping the foliage clean
Every 4 – 5 weeks, place the plant outside in the rain to help clean the foliage, however not overnight in cold weather, and not in direct sun.
OR – place it under the shower (cold water please) just for a 30 seconds or so.
As Pilea pepperomioides sends up side shoots, the easiest method of propagation is by careful removal of these shoots and repotting them.
You can try putting these offsets into water until they send out roots, and then potting them up.
You can also propagate from stem cuttings if you wish.
To encourage offsets or baby plants try these 5 tricks.
- Do not use decorative pebbles or rocks around the plant.
- Remember to fertilise the plant.
- Keep it healthy by proper watering.
- Behead the plant. Simply cut the top out of the plant, this forces energy into new growth from the base.
- Remove the offsets (baby plants) as they appear, when large enough. This disturbs the roots a little and encourages more offsets.