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Pilea Peperomioides: How to Care for the Most Popular Plant on Instagram

By March 24, 2018How to Care

Pilea passion is all over Instagram where the simple hashtag #pilea garners over 100,000 posts on any given day, and the universal question is: Why?

The answer may lie in the ease and beauty of this unique plant to grow and photograph for the perfect Instagram or Pinterest post. Also known as the Chinese money plant, it is tagged with hashtags like #plantporn, #plantsofinstagram, and #insidegardening. Initially, the plant was introduced by missionaries who obtained it from China. There is everything to love about the member of the peperomioide family. It has an irregular shape; a beautiful silhouette is minimalistic. And relatively easy to care for once you learn the basics.

To help you care for your Instagram superstar, I have made these care instructions to help you keep your pilea plant healthy. It is essential to learn how to care for it since you don’t want to find it accidentally dead one day.

Your Pilea and Sunlight

These plants grow best when exposed to indirect sunlight. Although it is very responsive to sunlight, you shouldn’t be tempted to place them in direct sun rays. If possible, use a sheer curtain to reduce the intensity of the light.

The stem and leaves will eventually start to grow in the direction of the sun. To prevent the plant from becoming slanted, you should rotate the containers. In my experience, the plant will have to be turned more than twice every week as it grows rapidly in the direction of the sun.

How to Water Your Pilea

Overwatering is the most common mistake owners make. The way you water your plants can quickly lead to their death. Like other life forms, the Chinese money plant is almost entirely made of water, and this also serves as the medium for most internal processes. Since these plants grow in pots indoors, you will be responsible for the water it has available.

Generally, you will need to water the plant once in a week. I use fresh and slightly warm tap water, but any other source of clean and fresh water should work perfectly. The frequency of watering will depend on the prevailing environmental conditions and the state of the soil. If the room is warm, you might have to water them more often since the high temperatures will quickly dry the soil.

Another vital point to remember is to drain out the remaining water. Your pilea will need a limited amount of water, and some will remain at the end of the day. Excess water should be drained if you wish to keep their roots healthy. Otherwise, your plant’s roots will not be able to take in air and will eventually die. The containers used to hold them must have holes at the bottom for drainage of excess water.

Once the leaves start to look droopy, be sure to water the plant as it may be dehydrated.

It is better to apply water to the soil directly. Pouring water to the leaves can cause fungal diseases. It is also inefficient as most of the water will evaporate. A dependable way to prevent this would be to practice bottom watering.

To do this, you will have to fill a different container with water. You can even fill your kitchen sink with water if you don’t want to improvise a new solution. Then take the pot containing your houseplant and place it in the water gently. Of course, this container should have holes at the bottom and should not have any pebbles blocking the spaces. You can remove this container from the water once the surface of the soil becomes moist.

Propagating New Pilea Babies

This plant likes to poke babies from the dirt, so you shouldn’t cover the soil completely with rocks. Leave some room for the new plant to get through. If you are interested in propagating new babies, you can cut the new ones with a sharp knife to preserve the tissues, then transplant it into the soil. Alternatively, you can keep it in water for some time. Make sure the new plant is at least 2 inches tall before you separate it from the mother.

I usually put them directly in the soil since they already have little roots that will overgrow. In a few weeks, they will be entirely stable in the soil. They will take about a month to sprout new leaves. That being said, if they are not big enough to survive in the soil, you should give them some time to develop their roots in water.

Propagation occurs at any time of the year, but the best time would be around spring. In this season, the growth rate is at its peak. It is important to always cut the babies at about one centimeter below the soil. To do it, you will have to follow the stem of the new baby all the way into the soil.

Floral enthusiasts had to propagate the pilea for the species to survive. Through proper propagation, it will survive forever.

Pilea’s Favorite Soil

Ideally, you should use lightly well-drained soil to ensure that they thrive. As I noted above, the roots should not be allowed to sit in water for long as they need to breathe. The water will drain out of the soil slowly and eventually leave the container through the holes at the bottom. Personally, I use a mixture of potting soil and perlite, and the plant has been growing correctly.

Enjoy your new friend and be sure to take a picture of your #pilea to share with your fellow enthusiasts on Instagram or Pinterest. Use some of the more familiar hashtags, like #plantporn, #homedecor, #insidegardening, #plantsofinstagram and #insidegardening to share it far and wide. Remember to follow us on Instagram @greenflorals, on Twitter @greenfloralsd, and on Facebook @greenfreshflorals.

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