The handsome Chinese Money Plant has taken the world (and internet) by storm, famous for its unique coin-shaped leaves and deep green colour. But don’t let its delicacies intimidate you! These gorgeous plants are easy to care for and, with a little patience, will make an excellent, propagation-friendly addition to your indoor jungle.
Meet the Chinese Money Plant
The Chinese Money Plant, or Pilea peperomioides, originates from the Yunnan and Sichuan provinces in southern China, where it loves to grow on rocky mountainsides. This flowering beauty belongs to the nettle family, but don’t worry, it won’t sting you!
In fact, it was once believed to bring good fortune due to its distinct, coin-like leaves. It is also commonly called Pilea, Pancake Plant, UFO Plant, or Friendship Plant.
These plants typically grow to reach 30cm in height and in the right conditions can double in size in only a yearmaking them perfect and rewarding indoor companions for both home and apartment dwellers.
If you’re willing to invest extra care into this plant, you could even see it bloom, revealing delicate white or pink flowers grown from a purple stem. Below I’ll show you how easy it is to help your pilea thrive.
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Chinese Money Plant Care
Looking to keep your Chinese Money Plant looking as beautiful as when you bought it? This plant loves a bright room kept between 13°C to 30°C—If you have an east-facing window, this little guy would love to be near it in a ceramic pot with a good drainage hole.
The Chinese Money plant loves bright, indirect light. It’ll love a window, but not the scorching sun! If placed in a west-facing window that gets intense afternoon sun, you’ll see the leaves burn and lighten, and in too much shade the plant could grow tall and lanky.
If your only window options get a lot of direct sunlight, fear not! Investing in a simple, sheer curtain will do this plant a world of good.
Year-round you can let pilea almost dry out between waterings (but not bone dry!), as it doesn’t like to be soaked. Typically you can expect to water your Chinese Money Plant once a week, but make sure to give the soil a quick touch before watering to make sure it isn’t already damp. If you lift your plant and it feels very light, you might have waited too long between waterings and it could use a good drink.
If one day you spot some of the leaves yellowing—the worst, I know!—it’s likely due to overwatering. Try not to panic and make sure to let the soil dry out before giving it its next water. If your plant is sitting on a saucer that fills after watering, don’t let it sit in that extra water for more than a couple of hours.
Your plant will thank you if given well-drained potting soil, as it doesn’t like to be soggy. Ideally, to soil based on peat coir fiber and perlite will give your plant all the nutrients and drainage it needs to stay happy and growing.
Though it might be tempting to generously fertilize this pretty plant in the hope of speedy growth and new daughter plants, the Chinese Money Plant only needs fertilization once a month during spring and summer when it is actively growing. It’s best not to fertilize dry soil, so try adding your diluted fertilizer a day after your usual watering.
A common problem you might face with Pilea is yellowing leaves, often due to overwatering. If you see this start to happen, don’t panic! Gently remove the yellow leaves and allow the soil to dry out before your next watering.
If you’re noticing your plant start to droop, it’s thirsty! Give it a good drink and allow the water to drain out of the pot.
How to Propagate Chinese Money Plants
Chinese Money Plants are generous propagators, hence its nickname the Friendship Plant! As your plant grows, you might start to see small daughter plants, also called offsets or pups, growing near the base of the original plant that you can separate and share with your fellow plant-lovers.
Once these offsets grow to an inch or two tallyou’ll be able to separate them into their own pot. Dig gently into the dirt around the daughter plant to expose the rootsthen snip it free from the original plant with a clean, sharp pair of scissors.
There should be a small number of roots attached to the new plant to be planted in its new pot with fresh soil. If you accidentally cut off all the roots of this new offset, all is not lost. Pop the cut end of the plant into a little bit of water and wait for new roots to grow, then repot into the new soil.
Frequently Asked Questions About Chinese Money Plants
The Chinese Money Plant earned its name from its round, circular leaves that resemble coins. They used to be considered good luck and capable of bringing their owner’s good fortuneand with how easy it is to propagate them, I like to believe they still can!
If you notice your plant’s leaves start to curl, there could be a number of causes. Most commonly this indicates too little light—your leafy friend might need a brighter spot in your home.
It could also be due to temperatures being too low or too high (this plant’s sweet spot is typically 13°C to 20°C) or incorrect watering. Make sure to follow the care tips above and given a little time and correction, these curled leaves should unfurl.
Note: new leaves will always grow in curled, but they should flatten out over time as they get bigger.
Chinese Money Plants are really a good fortune for pet lovers! These beauties are non-toxic to both cats and dogs and thus are safe to keep in your home with curious furry friends.
Do you have a Chinese Money Plant at home? Let me know any other care questions you may have in the comments below!
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