Home Plant guides How to care for a Pilea Peperomioides

Pilea Peperomioides from above

How to care for a Pilea Peperomioides

The Pilea Peperomioides, also known as the Chinese Money Plant, is a fast-growing succulent-like houseplant that's great for beginning plant owners. The Pilea might seem like a succulent, with its fleshy leaves, but you shouldn't mistake it for one, as it has very different needs.

In this plant care guide for the Pilea Peperomioides, we'll explore what this plant needs to thrive in your home. It's quite an easy plant to take care of, but it does have a few things you should be aware of.

In this guide, we'll look at:

  1. Watering your Pilea
  2. Light requirements for a Pilea
  3. The best soil for a Pilea
  4. Fertilizing your Pilea
  5. The ideal pot size

Let's explore how to best take care of your Pilea and help be happy in your house.

Watering your Pilea

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Dried water drop on Pilea Peperomioides leaf

The Pilea is an easy plant when it comes to watering. The Pilea Peperomioides likes to be in moist soil, but should also dry out for 1-2 days. This makes it very easy to water, because you can stick to an easy watering schedule: water it once per week. When you water your Pilea once per week, when it's planted in its ideal soil, it will be in moist soil for about 5 days.

When you water your Pilea, it's important to have drainage holes in your pot. These drainage holes make sure that any excess water drains out of the pot. It's important to get rid of any excess water, because water that stays behind in the pot could cause root rot. If you don't have any pots with a drainage hole, you can also plant your Pilea in a plastic nursery pot with drainage holes and put that inside of your pot.

Curling leaves on your Pilea

If you notice that your Pilea's leaves are curling up, it's thirsty and you should water it. The leaves curl up because they don't contain enough moisture any more. By watering it, the leaves will fill up with moisture and become flat again.

Drooping leaves on a Pilea

If the top leaves start to droop or become limp, you have overwatered your Pilea. The best thing to do in this situation is to let the soil dry out completely before watering again. It's also important is to check if you have the proper pot size for your plant, because this can have a huge impact.

Misting your Pilea

The Pilea Peperomioides shouldn't get any water on its leaves, because this will leave water marks. This doesn't harm the plant in any way, but it doesn't look great. This means that you shouldn't mist your Pilea and be careful when watering it, making sure to avoid getting water drops on the leaves.

Light requirements for a Pilea

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Pilea Peperomioides leaf

The Pilea Peperomioides is an amazing plant for those place that get bright indirect sunlight. It needs sunlight to grow properly and doesn't do well in low-light places. It's also important to not expose the Pilea to bright sunlight.

When you expose your Pilea to direct sunlight, it will get sunburns. These sunburns look like small yellow spots on the leaves. If they're very small spots and your Pilea hasn't been in direct sunlight for too long, they might heal over time.

When you put your Pilea in place where it's not getting enough sunlight, your Pilea will tell you. Like succulents, a Pilea will become leggy and grow towards the light, just to get enough of it. When you see this happen, make sure to move it to a brighter spot. Unfortunately, your Pilea won't turn back to its non-leggy shape, but you can propagate it to try again with a new plant.

The best soil for a Pilea

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New Pilea Peperomioides growth

The best soil for a Pilea is a soil that can retain moisture for a few days and drain excess water quickly. This type of soil often contains coconut coir and Perlite. Coconut Coir and Perlite help the soil to retain moisture for longer, but also makes sure that any excess water drains to the bottom of the pot. If the excess water were to stay in the soil, around your plant, it could overwater your plant. The Coconut Coir and Perlite also help to give your soil good structure to prevent the soil from compacting.

When the soil compacts and/or never dries out, oxygen doesn't get a chance to reach your plant's roots. If this happens often, this will cause root rot and could kill your plant. It's also important that the soil dries out for a day or two before you water your Pilea again. When the soil is dry it's much easier for oxygen to reach your Pilea's roots.

This type of soil isn't hard to find. You can buy this soil pre-mixed or mix it yourself. If you want to mix it yourself, you can find some more help in this guide: How to make your soil retain more water?. If you prefer to buy pre-mixed soil, you can use the same soil as you would for a Palm.

Fertilizing your Pilea

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Flower on Pilea Peperomioides

In the introduction we've seen that the Pilea is a fast-growing houseplant. Like most other fast-growing plants, the Pilea needs a lot of energy to grow. You can help to give it this much needed energy by fertilizing.

Fertilizing your Pilea is straight-forward: fertilize it once per month in the Spring and Summer. In the fall and winter, don't fertilize your Pilea, as it will be dormant and needs to rest. The best fertilizer to use is liquid fertilizer, as your Pilea will absorb this more quickly and it can use this new energy to grow.

If you keep fertilizing your Pilea in the fall and winter, it won't be able to absorb all nutrients. Any leftover nutrients stay behind in the soil and make it salty over time. This is a bad place for the plant to grow. You can correct this by watering your Pilea plentiful and washing the leftover fertilizer away.

The ideal pot size for a Pilea

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For a lot of plants, the size of the pot isn't that important, but it is for the Pilea. If you notice that your Pilea isn't growing (quickly), it might be in a pot that's either too small or too large. If your pot is too small, your Pilea won't have any space to grow, so it won't grow. If your pot is too large, it's quite easy to overwater your plant. It's easy to overwater your plant, because the Pilea might not have roots all over the pot yet, so that soil will likely never dry out. As we've already discovered, your soil needs to dry out to prevent root rot.

The ideal pot size is this: slightly smaller than the plant is wide. If you need a reference, you can have a look at the very first picture in this plant care guide. The pot is slightly smaller than the plant, which gives the plant plenty of space to grow. This size pot also helps to avoid overwatering your plant.

Conclusion

The Pilea Peperomioides or Chinese Money Plant is a great houseplant for beginning plant owners, because it shows you what it needs. When you water it too much, it will become droopy and limp. When you water your Pilea too little, it's leaves will curl up to show you it's thirsty.

Your Pilea will even tell you if it's not happy with the amount of sunlight it's getting. When it's getting too much sunlight, yellow spots will show up on its leaves. When it's getting too little sunlight, your Pilea will become leggy and stretch out to grow towards the light.

This beginner-friendly houseplant shows you what it needs, but it's also a very fast-growing plant. This is great for beginning plant owners, because you get a lot of exciting growth really quickly. Can you think of a better way to start your plant journey?

Thank you for reading this post! I hope it helps you to keep your plants healthy and beautiful! If you're looking for more guides on specific plants, you can always request a plant guide or donate a plant in order to get a guide for the plant you have trouble with.

Tags: beginner-friendly, fast-growing

Posted on: May 8, 2021

Other common names for this plant

  • Chinese Money plant

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