Pilea peperomioides, also called the Chinese money plant, pancake plant, or UFO plant, is a species of flowering plant, native to southern China. As it is easy to care for and plant, it’s a popular houseplant in many temperate climates countries.
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Types Of Chinese Money Plants
There are several common varieties of pancake plants in the Pilea genus, all with their own unique looks. The leaves of the aluminum plant (Pilea cadierei) feel similar to pancake plants with a thick, waxy texture, but feature a darker shade of green with metallic silver variegation. Artillery plants (Pilea microphylla) have small, teardrop-shaped leaves with a sharp points. Pilea ‘The species known as “Moon Valley” has deep crevices with dark colors that contrast bright green hues, while “Dark Mystery” differs the most from pancake plants with dark, chocolate-brown leaves.
How To Care For Chinese Money Plants
The Pilea peperomioides prefer bright indirect light. To keep your plant looking symmetrical, rotate it frequently. Avoid locations that receive harsh, direct light as it will burn the delicate leaves.
Although this plant can adapt to lower light levels, it may become leggy, produce fewer offshoots, and have smaller coin-shaped leaves. Overall, when grown in conditions of bright light, this plant is at its healthiest and most beautiful.
The Chinese money plant needs a pot with drainage holes and prefers potting soil that drains well. Between waterings, the soil should mostly dry out, though warmer, sunnier weather necessitates more watering. The plant needs water if the leaves begin to appear a little bit droopy.
This perennial evergreen is thought to have medium water requirements. Between waterings, let the plant almost dry out before providing a good watering. The leaves of Pilea peperomioides will begin to droop when it dries out, which is a good indication that it’s time for watering.
Rotate your Chinese money plant at least once per week to keep it neatly shaped and keep it from becoming uneven. These plants benefit from routine showers or at the very least, wiping down their leaves because their large leaves have a tendency to collect dust.
During the spring and summer growing seasons, apply a monthly dose of all-purpose plant fertilizer. As the weather warms, you might want to move your plant outside, but remember to keep it out of direct sunlight this time.
Potting And Repotting Chinese Money Plants
When properly cared for a Chinese Money Plant is fast-growing and can quickly fill its pot with roots and offshoots. Repotting is advised once a year in the early spring or summer to upgrade the pot size, add fresh soil, and remove any unwanted offshoots.
The most crucial factor to consider when selecting a pot for your pancake plant is proper drainage. Simply check to see if the pot has a drainage hole!
The plant adapts well to plastic, ceramic, and terracotta pots, although, if you choose a terracotta pot, be aware that you may need to water your Pilea more frequently as terracotta absorbs water from the soil.
How To Propagate Chinese Money Plants
It is customary for home gardeners to share propagation from these plants because a healthy, happy pancake plant will readily produce offsets. Choose a full, healthy specimen of a pancake plant that already has offsets growing from the stem or in the soil when buying one so that you can propagate the plant much more quickly.
Stem or root offsets can be used to multiply pancake plants, and the growing season is the ideal time to do this. Pancake plant offsets that have been propagated can grow in water for up to a month. It’s time to transplant the stem into a pot once it has developed new roots and leaves while submerged in water. After two to three weeks, offsets ought to be ready to be removed. Here’s how:
How To Propagate Chinese Money Plants Via Stem Offsets
Step 1: With clean, sharp gardening shears, cut offsets away from the mother plant as closely as possible. Take care not to harm the central stem.
2: Water-root the offsets. The stem of your cutting should be below the waterline in a small glass. To determine when the offset is ready to pot, observe root development through the glass.
Step 3: Your offset is ready to be planted once it has developed new leaves in addition to new roots. With well-draining potting soil, pot the young plant in an appropriate-sized container. Put it somewhere that gets plenty of bright, indirect light and take normal care of it.
How To Propagate Chinese Money Plants Via Root Offsets
The first step is to wait to remove offsets from your plant until they have sprouted several leaves. To separate the baby’s root system from the mother’s, make a cut beneath the soil using clean, precise gardening shears.
Step 2: These offsets don’t need to be propagated in water because they already have their own root system. Plant root offsets in a container that is the right size and has potting soil that drains well.
Step 3: Water the plants and set them in an area with strong, indirect light. Prior to repotting in a bigger container as necessary, take care of them as usual.
How To Get Chinese Money Plant To Bloom
Occasionally, mature Chinese Money Plants will bloom with the tiniest of flowers on stalks that extend from the plant’s base. To ensure that the plant’s energy is directed toward leaf growth, many growers simply cut them off because they are not particularly attractive. Encouraging flowering is typically only done by growers who want to try out seed propagation, which is a difficult exercise.
Try relocating your Chinese Money Plant to a colder room over the winter if you want it to bloom. A plant will occasionally produce flowers as a means of self-propagation as a result of this mild shock to the system. A plant that is happily flourishing in ideal circumstances rarely experiences this. And only fully-grown plants typically flower.
Common Problems With Pancake Plants
Inexperienced plant parents should consider pancake plants because they don’t pose many growing difficulties. Here’s how to treat a few common problems you may encounter:
A pancake plant’s brown leaves could be an indication of a number of different problems, including sunburn, fertilizer burn, or extreme cold. If you’re having trouble figuring out the problem, move your plant to a location with less direct light (choose a north- or east-facing window rather than a west- or south-facing one) and make sure the room doesn’t get too cold. Fertilizers should only be applied during the growing season and should always be diluted to half-strength.
Curled leaves may be an indication that your Chinese Money Plant isn’t getting enough light. If the leaves on your pancake plant start to lose their distinctive flat shape, move it to a room with more light. To get your plant’s leaves back to their original state, rotate them every week so that both sides are exposed to the sun.
Pancake Plants Grow How Quickly?
When young, these plants are known to grow by a factor of two every year. Your plant is mature once it has grown to a height of about 12 inches.
Can You Care For Pancake Plants Easily?
Low-maintenance houseplants, Chinese Money Plants have few typical growing issues and require only a few easy maintenance procedures.
Can Pancake Plants Live Forever?
Species in the Pilea genus can survive for several decades with the proper care steps, often living between 10 and 20 years.