The infamous Pilea peperomioides a.k.a. “Money Plant” is a very easy-care and beautiful smaller plant. They really gained some notoriety in Australia these last few years, due to even the tiniest Money Plants having a huge price tag. Now that they are more available, the price has finally dropped to a reasonable level and we can all enjoy them! Before getting one of these, I didn’t understand the hype, but after having one for a year I really get it. These little plants have a lot of personality, and once they mature will become the star of your plant collection.
- Super easy care
- Pet safe
- Fast growing
These plants like to be kept in a well-lit position. Morning direct sun is totally fine to give them a good boost, but it’s not necessary for them to thrive. I have grown these in South-, East-, and North-facing windows with great success. Afternoon sun is great but once Summer hits it’s best to move all your plants away from the window, or they will get burnt.
Temperature & Humidity:
Pilea peps are fine with cold temperatures as long as they are sheltered from frost. The natural humidity of Melbourne is totally adequate for them due to their thick waxy leaves, which resemble a succulent. These plants are totally fine to be grown inside or outside in Melbourne.
I have grown these outdoors all year round on my balcony and found them to be totally fine with harsh winds, and cold winters. If you do decide to try it, I recommend keeping them out of the rain to avoid them receiving too much water. Otherwise, indoor conditions are always going to be fine as long as the heater isn’t blowing directly onto your plant!
Typically when you see a plant with thick, waxy, succulent leaves it means that they are well-adapted to dry conditions. This is a common feature of the genus pilea. Think of these plants like little camels. They have a big drink at the oasis and then it’s back to the dry, sandy desert.
Water once at least half of the soil is dry during the warmer seasons, and wait till 100% of the soil is dry in winter. Always give them a good soak with heaps of water. I usually let them sit in a few cm of water for a few hours while also watering them from above to clean off the leaves. This allows for full hydration of any hydrophobic soil as the water can slowly wick up through the base.
If this plant gets too dry it will start to wilt. The leaves will curl and the stem will start to bend over slightly. Your plant is not getting damaged but it is definitely time to water. Larger plants may have several weeks of water stored while smaller once only a few days. You don’t want to wait for this to happen before you water, but keep in mind that too little water will not kill your pilea. Too much water will cause the roots to rot, and leaves to yellow and die off.
Pot Size & Soil:
I generally use a cacti mix for this plant to make sure the soil is going to dry out fast enough, although a premium potting mix is totally fine. If you are worried about overwatering, use a terracotta pot to help your soil dry out faster.
As wit most indoor plants, they like to be nice and snug in their pots. Allow your plant to become slightly root bound before thinking about upgrading the size. The pilea will still get very large in a small pot and does not need more space to become larger.
Once your pilea starts to mature, it will very readily send out pups that you can propagate. By removing the pups, you are allowing the main plant to focus more on itself and grow larger, as well as improving the aesthetics of the plant and creating more babies! Once a pup starts to get a few cm tall you can scrape back the soil to find where it connects to the mother plant. Cut it as close to the mother plant as you can. Place the cutting in water and wait for roots to form. In Spring, my pilea cuttings only took a few days to start forming a new root system, which is extremely fast relative to other indoor plants.
I’ve read that a period of cold weather can trigger the Pilea peperomioides flower, which would make sense seeing as all the Pilea grown around Melbourne flower very uniformly at the beginning of Spring. The flower isn’t particularly showy in a classic sense but I think it’s branching form is very beautiful in its own architectural way. The flowers will persist for several weeks.
The money plant is part of genus Pilea and the species is peperomioides. The species is so named because it looks very similar to plants in the genus Peperomia. These plants are often called ‘Friendship Plants’ because of how easy they are to propagate and share.
As your plant grows, the longer the stem will be become and the more impressive your Pilea will be!
Greener House is an indoor plant nursery based in Melbourne, Australia. Find us at 95 Sydney Road, Brunswick. We focus on houseplants but also stock a great range of pots, and accessories!