Plant Care Tips for Pilea Peperomioides (AKA Chinese Money Plant)


Pilea Peperomioides has a lot of unusual names, but most of them are right on the money. Sometimes called the Chinese Money Plant, this native to China is best known for its round, shiny, coin-shaped leaves. The surprising nature of the leaves makes some people call it a UFO Plant. With minor care and a good spot in a home, this plant will grow fast and easily. Since it is less toxic to pets than other common indoor plants, it may be a great option for families or pet owners who want a project and do not know much about gardening.

Quick Pilea Peperomioides Tips

People who want to grow Pilea Peperomioides with the least trouble should aim for an ideal soil environment and minimal watering. Otherwise, they may have quite a bit of flexibility, as long as they follow these tips:

  • Light and Placement: Moderate to bright, indirect sunlight is best for this plant.
  • Watering and Humidity: Pilea Peperomioides needs moderate watering, but a dry or moderately humid climate will be fine.
  • Soil Mixture: Soil for succulents is the ideal choice.
  • Common Issues: Overwatering and nutrient deficiencies can cause damage to the leaves.
  • Propagation: Separating the offshoots is easy to do once they have formed above the soil.

Regular attention to lighting will allow this plant to flourish.

Light and Placement for Pilea Peperomioides

Pilea Peperomioides needs moderate to high levels of sunlight, but always indirect. As a type of succulent, people might think that they can put the plant almost anywhere and it will thrive. However, with too much exposure, the leaves will burn or fall off. The best location for the plant is a warm area with bright sunlight that does not actually touch the plant, preferably coming from a north or east-facing window. Pilea Peperomioides can grow in lower lighting arrangements, but it will change. The leaves will turn a darker green to attempt to get more energy from the light, and it may grow longer more quickly.

The best placement for Pilea Peperomioides allows it to get sun in a balanced manner. People should position or hang the pot in an area that has access to indirect sunlight for a few hours a day. Periodically, they may need to turn or reposition the pot so that the other side gets light, as well. Pilea Peperomioides will start to grow in an imbalanced manner, even starting to lean over, if only one side is exposed to sunlight. This can also happen as a result of dust accumulation on the leaves.

Pilea Peperomioides Watering and Humidity Preferences

Pilea Peperomioides have succulent-type leaves, so they don’t need to be watered as often as you may think. As a succulent, it can thrive in a drier environment. It usually does not need additional humidity through misting or use of a plant humidifier. Overwatering can be one of the biggest problems people encounter with the plant. As such, they should take care not to overdo it.

Since Pilea Peperomioides needs mild to moderate watering to thrive, people should set a reminder to make sure that they check the soil for proper saturation. A moisture meter may be an effective tool here, as it can measure deeper without disrupting the root structure. If the moisture meter indicates that the soil level is at a 1 or 2, it is time to water. As a general rule, people should plan to water about once every two weeks. Sometimes, the leaves will droop due to insufficient water. This is particularly true if the plant is in a terra cotta pot, since it can wick away moisture. People should plan to water more frequently in this case, but usually no more than once every few weeks.

Pilea Peperomioides Ideal Soil Mixture

As a succulent, Pilea Peperomioides does best with a soil mixture that is aimed at cacti or succulents. It is prone to overwatering, so the soil can help to maintain this balance. People should start by selecting a pot with drainage holes at the bottom. Some experts recommend choosing a heavier, ceramic pot for this plant due to the delicate balance of watering needed. Pots made of terra cotta allow more air to pass through than those made of metal or plastic. As such, they are more forgiving for people who tend to overwater plants.

There is a fair degree of flexibility in the soil choices people can make for Pilea Peperomioides, as long as the soil drains well. Potting mix for succulents is lightweight and promotes drainage. People who want to increase the draining capacity can put a little pumice into the mix. The plant is also fairly flexible about how it handles fertilizer. Liquid fertilizer as often as once a month during the spring and summer, or twice a year, will help it to grow well.

Troubleshooting Pilea Peperomioides Issues

The best way that people can tell something is wrong with Pilea Peperomioides is the appearance of the leaves. When the plant is suffering, the leaves may do one of the following:

  • Turn yellow
  • Curl inward
  • Droop toward the base
  • Turn brown
  • Fall off

In most cases, changes in the leaves are the result of overwatering. People should check to ensure that they are not adding too much water or watering too frequently. Once these are managed, they may want to inspect the soil for quick drainage. Allowing the soil to completely dry out and then slowly adding water again can help the plant to rebound. If only some of the leaves are changing, it may be a sign that the plants needs nitrogen.

Otherwise, Pilea Peperomioides can suffer from too much bright sunlight or insect infestations. The leaves will often look burned around the edges if they are getting direct sunlight or if the temperature is too high. Overheating can also be a problem for plants placed near a heating vent in the winter. Insects can sometimes invade the plant, but cleaning the leaves with an insecticidal soap should solve it quickly.

Pilea Peperomioides Propagation

Propagating Pilea Peperomioides is even simpler than it might be for a variety of other indoor succulent plants. Each plant has a parent plant. As it matures, it will create one or more offshoots that look like a small version of the parent. Pilea Peperomioides is easy enough to propagate that some people call it the Friendship Plant. Because the offshoot grows relatively quickly, many find it a great way to give a gift while they are keeping their own plants trim and healthy.

In order to propagate, people only need to separate one of the children using a clean knife or pruning shears. The stem of the cutting should be placed in water. If the child plant is small, it may be necessary to remove one or two leaves to keep them from sitting in the water. Putting the bowl or vase in an area with bright, indirect light will allow the new root structure to grow. Once it reaches about one inch, it is safe to replant in a new pot with soil. People should plan to water to keep the soil lightly moist for the first few weeks, then shift to a less-frequent watering regimen.

Pilea Peperomioides is a delightful plant that makes many people feel like they are stacked high with green money. A relatively easy plant to grow with a little attention, this plant works well in most home environments. If people can find a good spot with some light and a moderate temperature, they will be rewarded by a thriving plant that produces new leaves quickly and provides a bit of bright green in the home.