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How to Care for Chinese Money Plants (Pilea Genus)

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10 Reasons to Have Chinese Money Plants as Houseplants

About Chinese Money Plants

Chinese Money Plants are one of the most popular indoor plants because they are relatively easy to care for, have quick growth rates, and is a gorgeous plant. They are also known as Pancake Plant, Missionary Plant, and UFO Plant. These plants aren’t too needy when it comes to watering or maintenance and can do well in various growing environments.

It is botanically known as Pilea peperomioides, and sometimes just Pilea plant for short. Pilea Plant is native to southern China. Specifically, they are found in the southwest of Sichuan province and the west of Yunnan province. They are also known for their fascinating glossy leaves.

They are rounded – like a coin cascading down a waterfall – and have petioles attached to a central stem that allow them to “cascade” down from the pot. They will make great indoor plants because they purify the air and enhance your home’s ambiance with their unique leaf shape and beautiful greens.

Additionally, research has shown that having plants in your house will have amazing benefits for you! Visit our article Amazing Psychological Effects of Nature in Pet-Friendly Interiors to find out more!

How to Care for Chinese Money Plants (Pilea Genus)

Thorsen’s Greenhouse Live Chinese Money Plant

The best soil for Chinese Money Plants

While it is not picky about so, Chinese Money Plants thrive in a rich, well-draining potting mix. They should be kept in an evenly moist (but not soggy) environment – watering about once a week should suffice. Overwatering is one of the most common reasons they die, so it’s important to make sure the potting mix is well-drained.

When the potting mix is too wet, the roots of the plant can drown. To avoid this, make sure to evenly moisten the potting mix, but do not water to the point of sogginess.

A high-quality organic potting mix that’s based on peat moss or coir fiber and perlite is best. Avoid using regular garden soil, topsoil, or other heavy soils. Any store-bought potting mix will work just fine such as Harris Premium Succulent and Cactus Potting Soil Mix, which contains a professional quality mix of forest humus, pumice, compost, perlite, peat moss, fishbone meal, and limestone. It also promotes fast-draining formula that prevents root compaction.

How to Care for Chinese Money Plants (Pilea Genus)

Thorsen’s Greenhouse Live Chinese Money Plant

The best pot for your Chinese Money Plants

When it comes to potting your Chinese money plant, you have a few options. Most houseplants are sold in plastic pots, but occasionally you can find them in terracotta pots. Terracotta is a very porous material, so it tends to dry out quickly. For this reason, it’s best to repot your Chinese money plant into a plastic or ceramic container.

Suppose you like the look of a terracotta pot. In that case, you can try hiding the plastic pot inside or painting the inside of the terracotta pot with a spray sealant. Just be sure that the pot has a drainage hole in the bottom. They do not like to have their roots sitting in water, so it’s important to make sure that the pot has good drainage. Otherwise, this could cause root rot.

Best Lighting conditions for Chinese Money Plants

Chinese Money Plants, also known as Pilea Peperomioides, are attractive, low-maintenance houseplants that are native to Southwestern China. They are easy to care for and thrive in bright, indirect light.

However, they will also grow in shadier locations, although they will grow more slowly, and the leaves will turn a darker green. Additionally, while they prefer east-facing windows, they will also do well in west-facing windows.

These plants are perfect for those who are looking for a low-maintenance houseplant that is easy to care for and adds a touch of beauty to any room, and will also work well with grow lights. If you do use a Grow Light, make sure that the leaves are not touching the bulbs to avoid scorching the leaves and are at least a few inches below the light.

Anything between 8 to 14 hours a day seems to do the trick. If you are using grow lights as a supplement to indirect sunlight, you can keep the lights on even less. They are typically low-light plants, so they won’t need as much bright light as other houseplants.

However, if you live in a particularly dark apartment or your plant friends aren’t getting direct sun, a grow light can help it out. Just be sure to follow the instructions above to avoid damaging your plant!

How to Care for Chinese Money Plants (Pilea Genus)

Pilea Peperomioides ‘Chinese Money’

How to Water Chinese Money Plants

One of the most important things to keep in mind when caring for a Chinese money plant is how and when to water it. They do best in evenly moist potting soil that is not sopping wet. If roots are submerged in water or are in waterlogged soil, they will drown, die off, and start to rot. However, if the soil is allowed to completely dry out, the plant will also suffer.

The best way to tell if your Chinese money plant needs water is with the finger test. Push your finger 1 to 2 inches into the moist soil. If it’s dry, you need to water them. For baby plants, check the soil about 1/2 inch deep for moisture. They like to be misted, so you can mist your plants daily all around the leaves and stem.

How to fertilize Chinese Money Plants

Chinese money plants have been shown to grow best when using a balanced liquid fertilizer, fed once every 1 to 2 months. It’s important not to overdo it. It’s also important to only feed the plant when it is in a state of active growth – typically from early spring through early fall.

Use a diluted organic houseplant fertilizer at half the recommended strength for best results. Another tip is to make sure not to fertilize a dry plant; water it first and then fertilize the next day.

If you notice a white crust developing on the soil, it’s likely salt buildup, so hold off on your fertilization for a few months. When watering your Chinese money plant, be sure to flush water through the pot each time in order to prevent salt buildup.

How to Care for Chinese Money Plants (Pilea Genus)

Pilea Peperomioides ‘Chinese Money’

Best Temperature and Humidity for Chinese Money Plants (Pilea Genus)

Chinese Money Plant thrives in warm weather and high humidity. The optimum temperature for Chinese Money Plants is between 60°F to 86°F (16°C to 30°C) with an average humidity of 40-50%. They don’t do well in temperatures below 10°C, so if you live in a colder climate, make sure to bring your plant indoors during the winter months.

You’ll also want to avoid drafts from air conditioning systems, which can negatively affect the humidity and temperature around your Chinese Money Plant.

A consistent temperature will help your plant balance its other growth requirements, such as water needs. If the temperatures are on the higher end, the soil will dry out faster, so make sure to water your plant more frequently. Drastic changes in temperature can also harm your Chinese Money Plant, so it’s best to keep it in a stable environment.

How to propagate Chinese Money Plants (Pilea Genus)

If you’re looking for a simple way to multiply your plant collection, propagation by cuttings is a great option. Chinese money plants are especially easy to propagate, as the mother plant produces lots of “baby plant” shoots. All you need is a Chinese money plant, a sharp blade, and a small vessel to hold water to hold the baby plants. With a few easy steps, you can have your very own Chinese money plant offspring. 

1.- First, locate some small baby plants on your Chinese money mother plant. Once you’ve found a few, use a clean blade to cut an offset as close to the soil as possible.

2.- Next, place the baby plant in a small container with water. It’s important that only the stem or shoot is submerged; if any leaves are underwater, they will rot. 

3.- After that, find an area with indirect bright light and place your container there. Now all you have to do is wait. Within a few weeks, roots should start growing out of the base of the plantlet.

4.- Once they’ve grown to about an inch long, it’s time to transplant them into a small pot filled with fresh soil. Be sure to keep the soil moist for the first few weeks until the plant has taken root. Make sure your plant’s pot has plenty of drainages. And that’s it! You can easily propagate Chinese money plants with a little patience and some basic supplies.

As a side note, this plant gets its nickname, “friendship plant,” from the tradition of passing it along from one friend to another via cuttings. So if you have a friend who’s willing to part with a Chinese money plant cutting, consider yourself lucky! Not only will you get a free plant, but you’ll also be continuing a time-honored tradition.

How to Care for Chinese Money Plants (Pilea Genus)

Pilea Peperomioides ‘Chinese Money’

Chinese Money Plants (Pilea Genus) Potential pests and diseases

Chinese money plants are a trendy houseplant that is known for their easy care requirements and unique appearance. However, there are two pests that can sometimes cause problems for Chinese money plants: spider mites and mealybugs.

Spider mites are tiny, spider-like creatures that feed on plant leaves. They can cause yellowing and stippling of the leaves, and heavy infestations can lead to leaf drops.

Mealybugs are small, wingless insects that are covered in a white, waxy coating. They feed on plant sap, which can cause leaves to be yellow and eventually drop off. If you think your Chinese money plant has either of these pests, it’s important to take action quickly.

Both spider mites and mealybugs are difficult to control once they get established, but there are a few things you can do to rid your plant of them. For example, you can try spraying the affected leaves with water or rubbing alcohol or applying a commercial pesticide designed specifically for use on Chinese money plants.

Additionally, even the best of us run into problems from time to time. Here are some common problems and how to fix them.

Drooping leaves can be caused by either too much direct sun or not enough water. If your plant is in a sunny spot, try moving it to a shady spot or vice versa. If that doesn’t work, check your watering schedule. They like to be kept moist but not wet, so make sure you’re not overwatering or underwatering.

Leaves may curl if you aren’t rotating your plant on a weekly basis so that all sides of it are exposed to an adequate and equal amount of sunlight. They are sun lovers, so make sure it’s getting its fill.

If your plant develops white spots, it’s probably reacting negatively to the minerals in the tap water you are feeding it. To fix this, switch to distilled or filtered water and see if that makes a difference. They are pretty tough, but they can be sensitive to chemicals.

Brown spots on the leaves can just be a sign of old age. As your plant gets bigger, the lower leaves will naturally start to turn brown and die off. Just remove them as they happen, and your plant will be fine.

How to Care for Chinese Money Plants (Pilea Genus)

PERFECT PLANTS Pilea Peperomioides in a 4in. Growers Pot 

When should I repot my Chinese Money Plants (Pilea Genus)?

Spring is the perfect time to freshen up your Chinese money plant by repotting it. Not only will this give you a chance to refresh the potting soil, but it will also allow you to check for signs of root damage. If you see any roots poking out of the drainage holes or if the plant starts growing slower than usual, it’s time to repot. Repotting is also a good way to control the plant’s growth. Choosing a new pot that is only a couple of inches bigger than the last one can keep the plant from becoming rootbound.

How to prune Chinese Money Plants (Pilea Genus)

Look for signs of overgrowth, dead leaves, and other areas that need to be pruned. Once you’ve identified the problem areas, it’s time to start pruning. Chinese Money Plants have soft stems, so forget about using shears—pinching requires only your fingers.

You may want to wear gardening gloves to protect your hands during the process. The first step is removing dead leaves. Next, cut back any overgrowth that you want to trim down for aesthetic reasons. Avoid pruning healthy leaves and pruning too much at one time—you should only remove 20% of a plant’s total leaves at one time.

Once you’ve finished pruning, wait a few days to see how the plant responds before making any additional cuts in no less than a few weeks.

Pruning is important for keeping your Chinese money plant healthy and looking its best. By taking the time to prune away dead leaves and overgrowth, you can encourage your plant to produce new growth that is healthier and more aesthetically pleasing.

How to Care for Chinese Money Plants (Pilea Genus)

National Plant Network NPNAZ7190 AZ7235 Chinese Money Live Plant, Medium, Green

How to Care for Chinese Money Plants – FAQ

Do Chinese Money Plants need direct sunlight?

No, Chinese money plants do not need direct sunlight, and they can tolerate some sun, but too much sun will scorch the leaves.

Is it normal for Chinese Money Plants to lose leaves?

Yes, it is perfectly normal for a Chinese money plant to lose leaves. The lower leaves will naturally turn brown and die off as the plant gets bigger. Just remove them as they happen, and your plant will be fine.

Do Chinese Money Plants need to be watered every day?

No, Chinese money plants do not need to be watered every day. They like to be kept moist but not wet, so water them when the soil feels dry to the touch.

Do Chinese Money Plants need to be fertilized?

Yes, Chinese money plants need to be fertilized every month during the growing season. Use a balanced fertilizer that is low in nitrogen to avoid burning the roots.

Why are my Chinese Money Plant’s leaves turning yellow?

Yellow leaves on a Chinese money plant can be caused by several things, including too much sun, too much water, or a lack of nutrients. If the leaves are yellow with green veins, it’s probably due to a nutrient deficiency. If the leaves are uniformly yellow, it’s probably due to too much water or sun.

My Chinese Money Plant is wilting; what should I do?

If your Chinese money plant is wilting, it is probably due to a lack of water. Water the plant thoroughly and make sure the pot has drainage holes to allow excess water to escape.

My Chinese money plant is growing too tall. Can I trim it?

Yes, you can trim your Chinese money plant if it is getting too tall. Just use sharp, clean shears to cut away the excess growth. Make sure to only remove 20% of the plant’s total leaves at one time.

How often should I water my Chinese Money Plants?

Chinese Money Plants like to be kept moist but not wet. Water them when the soil feels dry to the touch. If you live in a humid climate, you may only need to water your plant once a week. If you live in a dry climate, you may need to water it every day.

Are Chinese Money Plant Care easy?

Yes, Chinese Money Plant Care is easy. They are tolerant of a wide range of conditions and only need to be watered when the soil is dry to the touch. Be sure to fertilize your plant every month during the growing season and prune it regularly to encourage new growth.

Do Chinese Money Plants have other names?

Yes, they are also known as Pancake Plant, Missionary Plant, and UFO plant.

Are Chinese Money Plants easy to propagate?

Yes, these mother plants will produce little plantlets on their leaves that can be removed and potted up to create new plants.

Which is the Chinese Money Plant’s most popular nickname?

Their most popular nicknames are Pancake Plant, Missionary Plant, and UFO plant.

How to Care for Chinese Money Plants (Pilea Genus)

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M.Arch. Julio Arco
M.Arch. Julio Arco

Bachelor of Architecture - ITESM University
Master of Architecture - McGill University
Architecture in Urban Context Certificate - LDM University
Interior Designer - Havenly
Architecture Professor - ITESM University

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