All About Pilea Peperomioides

Whoever said money doesn’t grow on trees, probably didn’t know about Pilea Peperomioides aka Chinese Money plant. Belonging to the family of Urticaceae, pilea pepromioides is also known by the following names - pancake plant, UFO plant, lefse plant, missionary plant, bender plant and mirror grass. It is quite a popular kind of a houseplant because of it requiring normal care and having a modern ornamental appeal.

All About Pilea Peperomioides

History Related To Pilea Peperomioides

As far as history is concerned, Pilea plant was first discovered in the Cang Mountain range in Yunnan Province by George Forrest in 1906 and 1910. Further, in 1945, this species of plant was founded by Norwegian missionary Agnar Espegren in Yunnan Province as he was fleeing away from the Hunan province. Agnar Espegren was said to take the cuttings of this plant to India on his way back to Norway, and this is how he spread this money plant species throughout Scandinavia. Until the 1980s, it was said that western botanists had no clue of this plant species. And it is only in recent times that Chinese money plant has been so popular amongst amateur gardeners via cuttings, which is what made it “well-known” in the eyes of western botanists. Also, one might find quite a few pictures of money plants online now, but Kew magazine was said to first publish the images of this plant species in the year 1984.

Physical Appearance Of Pilea Peperomioides

Talking about its physical description, Chinese money plants are said to grow about 30 cm (12 in) tall and wide. Some say it has got some superficial resemblance to pennyworts, a plant having round leaves and low-growing habit. It is an erect, succulent, evergreen perennial plant which has been blessed with round, dark green, peltate leaves. Its leaves grow up to 10 cm (4 in) in diameter on a long petiole. Its stem axis is green to somewhat dark brownish often standing upright. The leaves of this plant species are what makes this one of the most preferred houseplants. Large, circular, shiny leaves of about 15 centimetres in diameter are sure to take anyone’s breath away. While this plant species is said to be a flowering one, still the flowers remain mostly unnoticeable.

Benefits of Pilea Peperomioides

  • It is easy to maintain a houseplant which effortlessly matches any home decor.
  • One can witness the plant growing and living all its life phrases.
  • It can be easily propagated and can multiply, sooner than one quite has expected.
  • It is gift-worthy across various special occasions like birthdays, anniversaries, Mother’s day, etc.
  • Chinese money plants are easy-going and quite hardy or tolerant plant species.
Physical Appearance of Pilea Peperomioides

Care Tips For Pilea Peperomioides

A Chinese money plant care would include proper light, water, fertiliser, soil and temperature conditions to be met. Let’s discuss each of these conditions in detail.


Any plant would require proper natural light to grow in its fullest capacity. And a Chinese money plant is no different. As this plant has quite succulent like features, it will do great in bright light and at times, even in direct sunlight. This plant will suffer a lot and wither away if sufficient light isn’t provided to it for its growth. Its leaves will start bending and curling rather than remaining flat and coin-like, which we surely don’t want. Direct sunlight is also not fully advised, it should be more like a switch from bright to low light areas gradually, from time to time.


This plant likes to be watered thoroughly, every now and then till the topsoil dries out before watering again. One needs to water quite a few times a week, during the summertime. Whereas in wintertime, less watering is required. Once this plant tends to have a droopy look and starts to lose its stem’s strength, the plant is showing signs of it getting dried out. Also, the same signs are shown by the plant when it gets over-watered. But, this is how one can spot out the difference.

  • The plant is overwatered when the leaves start drooping and the soil seems moist - Wait for things to dry out.
  • The plant is under-watered when the leaves start drooping and the soil seems dry - It's time to get watering.

Humidity And Temperature:

The plant requires temperatures not lower than 13 °C (55°F). Warmer conditions are best to let the plant grow in its fullest capacity. So, one must make sure to keep the plant at bay from cooler places. Probably; this is the reason, this plant does so well in most homes and workplaces due to the presence of a decent level of humidity. Hence, it is advised to place this plant in an area with low light and cool temperatures. One can place it in their kitchens and bathrooms for optimum growth results.

Fertiliser And Soil:

One is advised to feed the plant a standard houseplant or cacti based fertilizer, once a month to help it grow in the best possible manner. As this plant outgrows now and then, the baby plant is advised to be repotted twice in the first year looking at how much it grows. In the coming years, once a year of repotting this plant will do. Pilea Peperomioides needs a standard all-purpose potting mix to have proper drainage.

Pilea Pepromioides - Chinese Money Plant

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