The Chinese Money plant or Pilea Peperomioides has to be one of the most rewarding plant experiences ever! I can see why they’re so popular and even for a plant that isn’t grown for flowers, it’s certainly entertaining with the way it grows it’s babies. Pilea grows a long central stem and the round, disk shaped glossy leaves grow in a circular pattern off of that stem. The leaves are waxy and somewhat succulent so it’s a champ at water storage.
Pilea Peperomioides is an easy care plant that’s fast growing. You can see just how much it’s grown in the 4 months I’ve had it. They might be tricky to find the right light for and I moved this one around the house until I found the perfect spot. Otherwise they aren’t difficult to care for and will tell you when they need water.
General Pilea Peperomioides Care Tips
Light: Chinese money plant likes quite a lot of light but prefers to stay out of direct sun and heat. Mine is about 6 to 8 ft across from my South West window and gets some direct sun in the late afternoon but it’s so far away from the window that it’s gentle and there’s no heat hitting the plant.
Water: What I LOVE most about this plant is that it’s pretty easy to tell when it should be watered. I let it dry out between waterings and watch for the leaves to droop slightly. When it’s ready, give it a good soak until water runs out the bottom of the pot. Make sure to discard of any water that collects in the cache pot or saucer. I also mostly use filtered water but do sometimes water from the tap.
Soil: I treat this plant much like a succulent or peperomia in that it really needs a well draining soil mix. Mine seems quite happy in a mix of potting soil and cactus soil with a bit of extra perlite thrown in for good measure. I’ve also put it in a terracotta pot which helps with moisture management. Before I re-potted this plant it had some leaves curling and I’m certain it was from too much retained water in the pot. Since re-potting in a better draining soil, there are no more curled leaves.
Humidity: Pilea Peperomioides does well in standard household humidity. And mine is fine here in southern Alberta which can be quite dry.
Fertilizer: I’m using a general houseplant fertilizer on my pilea plant every few weeks through the summer and then in the winter, I’ll fertilize half as often as long as it is showing new growth.
Pruning and propagation: Pilea peperomioides will grow babies around the base of the plant. You can leave them there to grow or, when they are large enough (about 2 inches tall) you can take a clean knife and slice the stem below the dirt. Plant into it’s own pot and water a bit more often than you’d water the mother plant.
Toxicity: This is a non-toxic plant however it’s best to not let curious mouths chew on it. One never knows when there may be a reaction. I will also say that this is one plant my cat is attracted to. She loves the bouncy leaves and I think she may enjoy the slight herby smell too.
Grow Pilea Peperomioides in Water
My lovely and mischievous cat unintentionally knocked my Pilea over and snapped off the main stem! Oh I was a bit sad at first but there was no need. I popped the stem in water and it soon rooted. I loved how incredibly fantastic it looked in the vase so I just left it there and it is growing so well in just water! I feed it a diluted liquid fertilizer – as shown in the video above – and it has been great for over 6 months now. I may eventually put it back into soil but I was happy to learn how easily this plant roots up in water and not only survives but thrives! Give it a try for yourself.
One thing to keep in mind when it comes to Pilea Peperomioides is that the disk shaped leaves will follow the sun. If you want your plant to be round and grow evenly, you’ll need to rotate it every few days. If you don’t, the leaves and stem will stretch out towards the light and it will grow wonky. I sort of like wonky and I might let one of it’s babies grow however it wants with no intervention just to see the different growth patterns this plant can have!
This is a must have plant in my eyes, it’s just too fun to pass up. Keep your eyes out for one on your next plant hunting excursion!