Found at the foot of the Himalayas, the Pilea peperomioides plant is an Asian perennial herb native to the Yunnan Province in Southern China. They belong to the stinging-nettle family, Urticaceae, characterized by hairs filled with histamines that often cause sneezing. Most of the plants in this category are considered weedy, and some plants are also used to alleviate symptoms of blood and menstrual issues.
Also known as the missionary, friendship, or Chinese money plant, this plant has garnered significant interest due to the mystery surrounding its identification.
The Pilea plant is quite fond of the sun. What it requires is bright indirect sunlight. Avoid placing your plant on your front porch with the sun shining directly over it since this could cause burning.
The pilea requires moderate watering, and the key is to find the right balance. Ideally, you should water it once every one to two weeks, with plenty of time in between to ensure the soil has dried out. In between these sessions, ensure the plant has dried out and doesn’t remain soggy. You should stick your finger in the soil and raise the pot to see if there isn’t water remaining from the last session. If your plant is exposed to brighter light, expect to water it more often.
Temperature and Humidity
As an indoor plant, the pilea requires temperatures between 60- and 75-degrees Fahrenheit, the generally favorable range for indoor plants. They also enjoy 50 to 75 percent humidity levels. If exposed to low humidity, the plant will grow brown spots on its tips or the side of the leaves.
You should fertilize the plant in spring and summer if you want to give your plant an additional growth boost. There is some controversy about fertilizer, but you have to use a basic formula of 10-10-10. You have to pour a little liquid fertilizer into the watering pot when watering the plant. Ensure you check the back of your fertilizer and follow the directions on the bottle.
The plant isn’t known to be toxic to birds, dogs, other pets, and humans. So, if you have a new puppy running around screaming who likes to nibble on your potted plants, or a little kid who likes to use his mouth to explore the world, this plant is a great option for the house. It is important to note that any plant ingestion can lead to an upset stomach in pets.
There’s a risk it could cause some vomiting or diarrhea if your cat or dog munched on your Pilea and has eaten a good chunk of it. It won’t cause any extreme side effects, though. Cats, after all, also use their reaction to eating plants naturally to get rid of hairballs! Gross, but not too alarming unless it occurs after ingestion more than once or twice.
As an indoor plant, it can help filter out the pollutants present in the households.
Pour some tiny stones about an inch deep on the bottom to repot your pilea. These stones help with drainage and ensure your plant doesn’t fall prey to root rot. For soil, use a high-quality potting mix that is well-drained. This should be available at your local greenhouse or nearby hardware store because it has some fine sand in the mix.
Pilea peperomioides is a relatively inexpensive species that flourishes in a shining light near a window, but since too much direct sun will cause the leaves to burn, it is best to keep the plant out of direct sunlight. However, almost no light will cause the plants to die and the overall health of the plant to suffer, so take time to find a position that’s just right.
It’s a very straightforward plant in general. It can sometimes be affected by spider mites and mealybugs. You can prevent this infestation with regular sprays of horticultural oil (Neem) and daily wipe-downs of the plant as soon as they appear.
Just like other plants, pilea peperomioides are also prone to some diseases. Not taking care of it appropriately, like overwatering, could result in the following issues:
- Brown spots
- Drooping leaves
This houseplant will be an excellent addition to any space due to its relatively low toxicity. It’s also not too high maintenance, ensuring you can care for it even if you have a busy schedule. It’s an excellent option to consider if you’re currently searching for a new plant to add to your home.