Pilea Peperomioides

A Beginner's Guide to Pilea peperomioides Plant Care | All you Need to Grow!

Family: Urticaceae
Common Name: Chinese Money Plant, Pancake Plant, UFO Plant, Missionary Plant, Friendship Plant
Botanical Name: Pilea peperomioides

This indoor plant is the original trailblazer for trendy indoor gardening. Once hard to find and highly sought after, it has become a go-to-houseplant because of its ease of care and interesting growth habit. Chinese Money Plants are prolific growers and develop unique sculptural forms that add a bit of quirky fun to your life. They develop adorable little off-shoots that, when separated from the mother plant, are perfect for sharing with your friends and family! Learn how to care for these low-maintenance houseplants!


Chinese Money Plant prefers bright indirect light for at least 7 hours daily. For this type of light, it is best to place them near a south- or west-facing window or very close to a north- or east-facing window. Be sure the foliage is protected from the harsh afternoon direct rays of the sun, as direct sunlight will cause leaf scorch or discolor the leaves. They can tolerate medium light but become weaker and leggy and produce fewer leaves in low light. Learn more about light requirements for indoor plants.


Pilea peperomioides like to have the soil dry out between watering and should never leave in moist or waterlogged soil. Over-watering is the leading cause of death for this hardy houseplant! A moisture meter can help determine when to water your plants, but sometimes your finger is a better gauge! Leaves will begin to turn yellow and brown and drop if you are watering too frequently or infrequently! It is common to find small white dots on the leaves undersides caused by the minerals found in tap water. Gently scrape the mineral deposits with a damp cloth to unclog the leaf pours.


Chinese Money Plants need good drainage and a soil mixture containing pumice, perlite, or wood chips to provide the soil drainage they need! Most bagged potting soils will be adequate for transplanting your Pilea peperomioides. Consider mixing in cactus potting soil to help with drainage. If you decide to transplant them (we do not recommend transplanting your new plants for at least 3-6 months after receiving them), make sure you do not damage the roots as they are shallow and sensitive to being disturbed.


Temperatures between 60-80℉ are ideal, and they can withstand temps as low as 55℉.  However, these tropical houseplants love warmer conditions, so the warmer, the better! Keep them away from cold drafts and frequently used doors in the winter time to avoid shocking the foliage.


As with most tropical indoor plants, Pilea peperomioides benefit from higher humidity levels, but will do fine in average household air.


Chinese Money Plants are not heavy feeders, so you can fertilize them once a month during the growing season with a complete liquid fertilizer at 1/4 the recommended strength, or you can top dress the soil with worm castings, or a rich compost once in the early summer. Remember to water your plants after applying granular fertilizer and water them before adding liquid fertilizer!

Growth Rate

Pilea peperomioides are medium growers and can reach heights of 2' or higher in the right conditions! It is best to trim back leggy, overgrown plants to keep them compact and free-standing.

Pet Friend or Foe

Chinese Money Plants are non-toxic. Friend!

Pro Tips

  1. When re-potting your pilea, use a soil that has good drainage to discourage water-logged soil and do not disturb the roots!
  2. Chinese Money Plants do flower occasionally indoors when they receive ample amounts of indirect light!
  3. Leach the soil once a season to flush out salt build up. Fertilize with a complete liquid fertilizer or top dressing of worm castings after leaching the soil.
  4. If you find your pilea is not growing or dropping leaves, consider moving it to a brighter setting and monitor the soil for dryness.
  5. It is always better to lean toward dry soil if you are unsure whether or not to water your Chinese Money Plant!
  6. If you notice the leaves developing yellow splotches then it may be developing bacterial problems due to over-watering. Let the soil dry out completely before watering sessions and remove any infected leaves.

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