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Pilea, Chinese Money Plant,’ Pass it on plant’, Pancake Plant, UFO Plant
Flowering succulents, Herbaceous Perennials and Annuals, Houseplants
Every couple of weeks in spring and summer
Bright light, no direct sun
Generally pest free
Generally disease free
Loam based compost
Pilea peperomioides was spread amongst amateur gardeners without being well-known to western botanists; that earned it the nickname ‘pass it on plant’. The first known published image appeared in the Kew magazine in 1984
Pilea peperomioides is native to the Yunnan and Sichuan provinces in southern China. Its leaves are round, flat and coin shaped; this is what gave it it’s common name “Chinese Money Plant”. It is also known as the missionary plant because it was first brought to the west by missionary George Forrest in 1906.
It is an upright, evergreen perennial, can grow to 30cm tall, and its dark green leaves can grow to over 10cm across. A Chinese Money Plant needs to be fed every couple of weeks in spring and summer. Pilea peperomioides is a great choice for a kitchen or bathroom because it will thrive in the humidity. If you’re keeping it somewhere drier, be sure to mist its leave occasionally. Allow the top inch of soil to dry out a bit before watering - your Chinese Money Plant will not be happy if you leave it in wet compost! Soggy soil can cause root rot and kill the plant so be sure to use a well-draining potting mix. If your Chinese Money Plant is not in the right growing conditions, they will lose leaves from the lower parts of their branches, so look out for this! Don’t leave Pilea peperomioides in direct summer sun because they leaves can get burned; a bright spot out of direct sunshine, such as a windowsill, will be best. The plant will stretch toward the sun so if you don’t want a lopsided plant you must remember to rotate the pot at least a couple times each week. If they don’t get enough light, the foliage will turn dark green and may become leggy.
Wipe the leaves occasionally to keep them dust-free and shiny, but you don’t need to prune. Pilea peperomioides is safe for both pets and young children and will purify the air in your home. They usually stay pest and disease free.