Pilea Peperomioides in plastic pot

Pilea peperomioides grow guide

This plant burst onto the scene a few years ago, around 2017, and becoming an Instagram hit because of its unique design. Pilea pepermoioides also known as Chinese Money plant (I’m sure there are at least 3 other plants I know that are called Chinese money plant!). It’s found in the limestone mountains of southern China, growing on the rocks.

This plant is part of the succulent family, this should immediately give you a hint that this plant does not like to be overpowered. In my opinion it’s a great plant for beginners, its can tolerate a fair amount of neglect as long as you don’t overwater it.

How to care for it:

Light: Pileas grow well in bright indirect sunny light. In lower light conditions the Pilea leaves will turn a darker shade of green they may also tend to grow a bit leggy with fewer leaves. In very bright direct sunlight the leaves will get scorched. Slight shade encourages larger leaves. The Pilea works well in an east window where it gets a few hours of direct morning sun and then indirect sun for the rest of the morning.

They are not a low light plant so make sure they are within 2 meters of a window.

Water: Ensure the soil is dry between watering. Stick your finger 2cm into the soil, if it’s slightly damp then don’t water it, wait for it to be completely dry. The leaves will often start to droop slightly when it needs water.

Soil: A lot of sites recommend using cactus potting mix and terracotta pots to make sure the roots stay dry and the water dries quickly. I tried this myself and my Pilea got extremely dry, it needed to be watered every 2-3 days. Once I used a Plantmaid to automatically water it was fine as it would regularly water.

However Pileas do well in a general organic all purpose potting mix, I added some Perlite to my potting mix to give it a bit more aeration. Just don’t over water them.

Pot: A lot of people plant Pileas in terracotta pots which dry out the soil even quicker. I have a Pilea in a plastic pot and it grows just fine. You can use either pot, just make sure they have a drainage hole at the bottom.

Temperature: 15-26 degrees Celsius (60°-80°F). Avoid temperatures below 13° Celsius (55°F) or above 35° Celsius (100°F).

Fertiliser: I don’t find fertiliser necessary in new plants, premium potting mixes usually contain slow release fertiliser that last for the first 4 months. If your plant is older than a year old use a liquid fertilizer (20:20:20) once a month.

Pilea Peperomioides on book
Pilea Peperomioides in ceramic pot
Pilea with flowers
Pilea behind curtain

Interesting facts

Peperomia Polybotrya
Peperomia Polybotrya

Pilea or Peperomia? Pileas looks similar to a Peperomia Plybotrya and are often mistaken for the same plant to the inexperienced.

Pilea in a white potBurying a coin – It’s a common belief in China that if you bury a coin in the soil of a Pilea it will bring wealth. This has yet to be proved 😊

Examples of Pilea in good lighting positions

Pilea in living room
Pilea in the living room
Pilea on a shelf
Pilea on a desk

Some interesting potting ideas

Pilea in Whale Pot
insta @bloom.and.fiddle
Pilea in funny pot
insta @houseplantmomdee

PlantMaid IconIf you want to keep your Pilea alive then use a PlantMaid. PlantMaid is an automatic plant watering device that takes the guesswork out of watering your indoor plants. Click here to find out how it works.

Happy Growing.

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