Last Updated on December 6, 2022
According to legend, when you bury a coin in the soil of this pot plant, your household’s finances will improve! Hey, give it a whirl – you never know. Besides having a lucky backstory, Pilea Peperomioides is also visually appealing and suitable for small apartments.
As a bonus, this exotic-looking plant is easy to care for – even if you are a plant parent beginner. Our guide is packed with all the best tips to help you care for your money plant!
Table of Contents
Origins and Appearance
The name gives the native country away, doesn’t it? But if you are truly interested in the origins of your new money plant, let’s take a short detour through history. This interesting species hails from southern China. The plant became more widely known after George Forrest collected specimens in the 1900s in the Cang Mountain range in Yunnan Province.
Pilea Peperomioides usually has a single stem. From this, very distinctive leaves sprout on thin, reddish stems. The leaves, which are green to dark green, vary in shape but they are restricted to appearing either circular or oval. Either way, the leaves are shiny and leathery. The Chinese money plant can reach a height of 15 inches (40 cm). In rare cases, it can grow even taller.
Temperature and Humidity
This plant performs exceptionally well when exposed to medium or bright indirect sunlight. Harsh or direct sunlight will burn the leaves, sometimes to the point where they have to be removed via pruning. Keep in mind that your money plant will lean towards the sunlight. This habit requires you to turn the plant every now and again to keep it looking symmetrical.
Low light won’t harm this plant. However, it will cause your Pilea Peperomioides to develop leggy stems as the plant attempts to reach better lighting conditions. These plants also fare poorly when temperatures drop below 50 degrees Fahrenheit (10 degrees Celsius).
Your new Chinese money plant is hardy when it comes to humidity. Indeed, it can adapt to most levels of household humidity without any problems. That being said, avoid extremely high or low humidity.
Watering and Feeding
A Chinese money plant has medium watering needs. In other words, you only need to offer a drink when the pot’s soil feels dry near the top layer. Stick a finger in the soil to test the moisture and wait a few more days when it’s still wet. The leaves will also start to droop when the plant feels thirsty. When you notice hanging leaves, it’s time to water your Pilea Peperomioides.
When it comes to fertilizing, you can get wonderful results if you follow this plant’s seasonal needs. During the growing months, which are spring and summer, your money plant will flourish when given a good organic fertilizer once a month. Stop feeding the plant for the rest of the year as Pilea Peperomioides enters dormancy during the fall and winter.
Soil and Repotting
The Chinese money plant grows very well in soil that is well-draining, rich and has a pH of 6.0 to 7.0. You can use any organic potting soil that has a lot of coir, peat or perlite. Anything, really, that promotes good water drainage. Pilea Peperomioides does not fare well in soil that becomes waterlogged so avoid your local garden centre’s denser blends.
When given the correct care, your money plant will grow quickly! Even so, you only need to replace the container once a year. Choose a pot with adequate drainage holes and, if needed, choose a pot that is one size larger than the old container. The best time to repot is in the spring or summer.
Get all the best tips on how to re-pot your house plants.
When to Prune a Chinese Money Plant
This plant does not require constant pruning to ensure new growth or health. However, you are allowed to snip off dead leaves or leggy shoots. This will keep your money plant looking well-trimmed. When you decide to prune your plant, only do so during the growing months (spring and summer).
Pests and Diseases
The good news is that the Chinese money plant is not very susceptible to health problems. But any indoor pot plant has its fair share of bugs and illnesses – and Pilea Peperomioides is no different. Let’s look at the most common issues that you can expect with this plant.
Below, we cover the goobers that are the most likely to appear on your Pilea Peperomioides. Don’t worry, all of them can be zapped with a high-quality organic pesticide or horticultural soap. Nearly all pests can also be prevented by giving your plant enough air circulation and preventative applications of safe pesticides.
These creatures look mealy. They are white and powdery, often leaving puffy substances everywhere on the plant. They can multiply quickly and can be seen clustering together along the stem and the undersides of leaves.
Spider mites are arachnids that leave web-like structures on the plant. Signs of a heavy infestation include yellow or brown leaves that appear sickly.
When you notice unmoving, bump-like ovals on the stem of your plant, these might be scale insects. They literally just sit there in clusters and appear to do nothing. In reality, they are sucking the life out of your plant. Also, check the underside of leaves for this pest.
The chances are that you have already encountered this pest on other plants. If not, aphids are bright green insects that can appear out of nowhere. They group together, sometimes in large numbers. You can see them with the naked eye, so check the stem, under the leaves and wherever there is new growth (aphids tend to attack fresh shoots first).
Diseases and Problems
The Chinese money plant seldom has health issues but here is a rundown of possible problems that you might encounter.
The Leaves Look Wrong
Droopy leaves could indicate thirst or shock (the latter is common when the plant was shipped to you). Curling leaves could indicate too much cold, overfeeding, too much light or overwatering. Correct care will fix these issues.
The sudden appearance of brown blotches can have several causes. Assess your plant’s situation to determine if you recently gave too much fertilizer or whether the plant suffered cold conditions or sunburn.
Root or Stem Rot
Caused by overwatering, root or stem root’s symptoms include severe yellowing, drooping and an overall look of ill health. At this point, the plant cannot be saved. Rot is a fungal problem that is very difficult to treat.
Q: Is My Chinese Money Plant Safe Around Pets And Children?
Yes, Pilea Peperomioides is considered a safe option for pet owners and parents. This plant is particularly is a good choice for cat owners who are looking to add non-toxic plants to their homes.
Q: Can I Propagate My Pilea Peperomioides At Home?
Yes, you can definitely propagate your Chinese money plant at home. You can grow new plants by separating the “cuttings” from the stem of the parent plant. The cuttings can be successfully rooted in either water or soil.
Q: Does a Chinese Money Plant Produce Any Flowers?
Yes, this plant produces flowers but only when its needs are met. Once Pilea Peperomioides is happy in your care, tiny white flowers can sometimes appear on the stems.
Q: How Long Does A Chinese Money Plant Live?
Pilea Peperomioides is a perfect choice if you are looking for a long-lived house plant. When you provide the best care for your Chinese money plant it can live as long as 10 years.
Q: Can I Keep My Chinese Money Plant In The Bathroom?
Yes, you can indeed grow this lovely plant in the bathroom. However, that being said, make sure that your plant does not receive too much moisture and that its location provides enough medium to bright indirect sunlight.
Q: Can I Grow My Chinese Money Plant On The Balcony?
Yes, you can also grow your Pilea Peperomioides on a balcony. Always ensure that the plant is never left in direct sunlight because the leaves will burn quite badly. Choose a spot that is full of bright, indirect sunlight. The location of your plant must also be sheltered from strong winds.