The pancake-like leave of bright green Pilea Peperomioides or Chinese Money plant makes it one of the trendiest houseplants around the world. It is native to the foot of the Himalayas mountains in Southen Yunnan Province of China. Moreover, It is a laidback and terrific plant to care beyond the fact that it produces a lot of small daughter plants that you can easily separate and share with family members or friends.
To care for a Pilea Peperomiodides, keep it under indirect bright light and water it once or twice per week. Keep in temperatures between 55ºF-85ºF (13ºC-30ºC). Also, it requires well-drained and adequately aerated soil, preferably peat moss or coir fiber.
The soft vines of the Chinese money plant allow you to create any indoor botanical spectacle through trimming and shaping. It also does not intensely demand your attention in terms of care but will capture the attention of anyone who walks into your house or office with its lush bright-green foliage.
How then do you create this spectacle to wow anyone who steps into your house? Here are a few tips to consider.
Basic Care Guide for Pilea Peperomioides (Chinese Money Plant)
Chinese money plant likes thorough watering followed by a period of drought. However, the amount of watering required will depend on the level of light and temperature. If you live in a reasonably warm environment, you might need to water the plant twice a week. Remember, during the cold winter, twice a month could still mean too much water.
Check the moisture of two to three inches below the surface before deciding to water your Pilea Peperomioides. Too much water or denying the plant enough water will cause the leaves to turn yellow and fall. Nevertheless, other factors could cause yellowing.
Chinese money plant roots are also sensitive to the quality of water offered. Fluoridated water will alter the pH of the soil and affect the availability of nutrients. Such infested waters increase the frequency of repotting, causes stunted growth, and will eventually kill your plant. Use filtered water or allow tap water to settle for a night before watering.
Reduce watering during winter because the temperatures are low and your money plant is at a dormant phase. Too much water will lead to soggy soil that causes the leaves to turn yellow and eventually wilt. Balancing watering with proper drainage will result in healthy soil. Such balancing will guarantee robust and spectacular growth of the vigorous foliage.
The moderately dry indoor office or home environment is the best for your Chinese money plant. The plant will, therefore, not require a lot of humidifying attention. Moreover, it struggles a lot if the humidity is too high.
Humidity requirements have to balance with temperature and lighting. It can get worse when you mix excess humidity with low heat and low light: the plant will soon die. It would be best if you attempted to imitate the environment at the feet of the native Himalayan mountains where the plant originates.
The biggest challenge with humidity indoors comes when you have to use air conditioning systems. You are likely to end up with a warm and dry environment that will affect the robust growth of the foliage. The draft generated by air conditioning systems also affects humidity and temperature around the Chinese money plant.
In a hot and dry interior environment, your money plant will require daily misting. Do not overdo the misting to protect the leaves from fungal infections and pest infestation. Too much misting will also result in brown spots on the leaves, causing them to fall eventually.
Because the Chinese money plant can grow into a glorious bush, plant grouping is a viable alternative to misting. A humidifying tray at the base of the plant can also help to maintain the right moisture around this sensitive plant. If you do not want to worry about manual misting, an electronic humidifier will also help.
How do you know that your Chinese money plant is having humidity issues? The leaves will begin to turn yellow and then develop mold issues. Other leaves, stem, and root problems might also emerge. With such conditions, you could be on the way to losing the entire plant.
The Chinese money plant requires well aerated and adequately drained soil. Your ordinary garden soil might not be the best unless you come from the Himalayan region. The best option is to lean towards a high-quality organic mix that will hold sufficient nutrients for the roots without retaining too much water.
Buy peat moss or coir based potting mixture if you need the best results. You will be lucky if you purchase an already potted Chinese money plant because they will mix the soil for you. However, repotting and the maintenance of high quality as well as productive soil will be your responsibility.
Chinese money plant usually has a small root structure but grows vigorous foliage. You will, therefore, require a large container with more soil than you anticipate it needs. The large vase also complements the excessively growing foliage of this Himalayan native.
Remember, the health of your soil will reflect on the leaves and stems.
Good light care is one of the essential requirements that you must get right about the Chinese money plant. To understand the lighting needs, you should look at the lush characteristics on its leaves. Afterward, you’ll realize that the Chinese plant that can handle a lot of indirect bright light, and even some direct sunlight.
Some nurseries will tell you that the Chinese money plant does not require too much lighting. This is because it is not as straightforward as it may sound.
Pilea Peperomioides requires a lot of bright light and will suffer pretty fast in the absence of this light. The leaves will begin to curl and bend, losing the healthy flat appearance.
However, if the plant gets too much sunlight, the leaves will start to lose their tone, or they will have a washed-out appearance. Rapid increase or decrease in lighting also results in disastrous brown spots on the leaves, leading to eventual loss. This information points to an extremely light-sensitive plant.
The growth habit of your Chinese money plant also gives directions on what to do about lighting. The central stem will eventually turn based on the direction of light. Unless you are growing the plant outdoor where light comes from all directions, you will need to turn your plant regularly, as much as two to three times a week.
The Chinese money plant thrives in warm temperatures between 55ºF and 85ºF (13ºC and 30ºC). However, the temperatures may go slightly up or fall below 55ºF(13ºC), especially at night or during winter. The lowest temperature the Chinese money plant can handle is 50ºF or 10ºC. This cold should not be over a prolonged period because the roots and leaves will freeze.
The temperature will balance other growth requirements for your plant. If the temperatures are high, the soil dries faster, calling for frequent watering. Drastic changes in temperature also affect your plant’s health, where the leaves turn yellow and eventually fall off the stem.
Moreover, air conditioning systems create drafts that affect the temperature around your plant. Windows and doors will also interfere with the continuous temperature around your plant. While providing warm temperature, ensure that it is as constant as possible.
The Chinese money plant rarely flowers. But if you get temperature among other factors right, you will be rewarded with tiny white flowers on the pink-tinged stem.
Advanced Care for Pilea Peperomioides (Chinese Money Plant)
While the Chinese money plant does not demand a lot of attention, it tends to rewards owners who take care of it diligently.
There are minor yet crucial requirements that will give you a glorious Chinese money plant that goes forth to flower. Here is the secret to getting the most out of your Chinese money plant.
Let’s continue, shall we?
Pilea Peperomioides requires moderate feeding, once a month during the robust seasons of spring and summer. Because the plant produces a lot of daughters throughout the year, it will require fertile soil. Standard cacti fertilizer is all the plant needs once a month.
To avoid damaging the soil with the chemicals in the fertilizer, we recommend the use of organic compost. The manure also enhances aeration and soil drainage, giving you the best potting mixture for your plant.
The alternative is liquid organic houseplant fertilizer diluted to half-strength. Flush the soil three to four times a year to prevent chemical buildup on the soil. You will notice the buildup when white crust forms on the surface.
Chinese money plant is a robust growing houseplant that requires regular pruning. The exercise is necessary to control the style of growth while eliminating unfavorable leaves or stems. Hence, trimming should target new shoots, stems, and even the leaves.
Use a sharp object to make a clean cut on the stem or the base of the target leaf. Where news shoots are the target, uproot them since cutting will only accelerate the growth of new stems.
The best time to prune is early spring and summer. It gives the plant sufficient time to regrow with the warm weather facilitating quick recovery.
The lush and vibrant foliage could be the cause of repotting more than the roots. However, chemical-soaked soil and root rot infestation will also necessitate repotting. Still, it will take a year or more before you are required to repot, that is if you take good care of the plant.
Repot during spring when the plant can enjoy the stimulating warm weather. Use the next container size, but you can skip to two sizes higher to cater to the robust growth displayed by the Chinese money plant.
Chinese money plant produces a lot of daughters that propagation will never be an issue. Split the new shoots and place them in a fresh potting mix. The best time is during spring and summer where warm weather catalyzes root development. The baby shoots may also be placed on water to stimulate root development.
The common pests you are likely to encounter are spore-borne diseases that will cause brown spots on the leaves. The plant may also experience fungal attacks if it is subjected to excess humidity. The most common indicator of pest attacks is the yellowing of leaves that eventually fall.
Flowers are only a reward to the few owners who take great care of the plant by ticking every box. Chinese money plant will flower in summer by producing tiny pink-white-to pale green flowers that come from the stem.
If you follow all the instructions above, you will enjoy the reward of a flowering Chinese money plant.
Frequently Asked Questions about Chinese Money Plant (Pilea Peperomioides)
Is Pilea Peperomioides poisonous to pets?
No. The Chinese money plant is friendly to cats, dogs, and other pets found at home. This trait is why it is considered a perfect houseplant for beginners and experienced enthusiasts.
Why are my Pilea leaves falling off?
The leaves naturally appear to hang loose. However, if they droop too much, the plant probably needs water. You could also have overwatered your plant. Soggy soil or chemical saturated potting mix could also be to blame.
You might also want to check the amount of light you are providing and whether the room is too humid.
Troubleshoot on each of these factors to find the right turnaround.
Why is my Pilea so leggy?
The plant is lacking sufficient bright light. Please take it to the window or outside in the morning and late afternoon. It would help if you also turned it around so that all stems and leaves enjoy considerable and consistent sunshine. If the rotation is delayed, the plant will experience uneven growth, leading to a leggy appearance.
Why are my Pilea leaves cupping?
The leaves will curl or cup inwards because the Pilea Peperomioides is not receiving sufficient light. It is also likely that you are overwatering the plant.
More sore, the air could be too dry and requires a bit of mist.
Related Plant Guides:
- How to grow and care for a Raindrop Peperomia (Polybotrya)
- The Peperomia Obtusifolia Caring Guide
- How to grow a Watermelon Peperomia