Pilea (Chinese Money plant) - Care tips

Pilea (Pancake plant)

The Pilea Peperomioides is probably the most famous of the Pilea genus. She is extremely populair and still a huge trend among houseplant lovers. She is attractive with her coin-shape foliage and easy to care for. The Pilea Peperomioides has many different common names and may also be referred to as the Chinese money plant, pancake plant, coin plant, and UFO plant.

This plant comes all the way from Southwest China. It was originally believed to bring good luck, money and fortune to its owner. We still want to believe this though! Wouldn’t that be amazing? She can actually produce small white flowers throughout the spring months. However she does no flower often when grown indoors.

Pilea Plant Care Tips

To keep those lovely circular leaves looking their best, it’s important to give your plant the right care. This plant simply loves soaking up some sunshine. Keep the leaves dust-free so it can get all the light it needs too. Pileas quite like a good amount of room so will happily be repotted into a slightly larger growing pot within 9-12 months, if you are seeing good growth. Giving the roots that little bit more room will encourage good growth and bigger coin-shaped leaves.

Light and placement for Pileas

The Pilea prefers bright, indirect light. Direct sun can cause the leaves to burn. In order to prevent your Pilea from growing in all different directions instead of up, it is recommended to rotate her at least 2-3 times a week. It grows towards the sun! This plant can adapt to lower light, but the leaves will turn a darker green and the plant will spread out more.



Water this houseplant approximately once a week, but check that the first 2-3 centimeters of soil is dry to touch before watering. You can check this by pushing a finger into the soil. If it is damp, leave it a few more days as they don’t like soggy soil. If you notice that the leaves of your plant are turning yellow or falling off, it’s likely it has been overwatered. Gently pull off the yellowed leaves close to the soil to allow the plant to concentrate on its healthy growth.


During the spring and summer, encourage good growth and ensure it has all the nutrient it needs. To do this, feed your Pilea once a month with the PLNTS Nutrition. Be careful not to overfeed as the leaves can go soft.

Propagating Pileas

Luckily Pileas are very easy to propagate. Pilea Peperomioides is easy because she grows her own babies. You can see them popping up from the soil. Follow their stem about 1 cm and then cut the baby with a sharp knife. Put the baby in a small cup of water for them to grow strong roots of their own. Change the water frequently to keep it fresh. You can put them is soil if the roots are longer then approx. 3 centimeters.

For the Pilea Moon Valley propagating is a bit different but not impossible. You have to take a stem tip cutting. This is best done in spring. Then put them in a moist potting mix, make sure the cutting stands up. Then enclose the whole pot in a plastic bag (a clear plastic zipper bag) to hold in humidity. Roots will hopefully appear in about a month.

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Most common pests on Pileas

One of the most common Pilea Peperomioides problems is the pest attack. Spider mites, mealy bugs, and fungus gnats are common pests that may attack the plant.

A weakened or stressed Pilea is more susceptible to insect infestations. Sap-sucking bugs like spider mites can drain your plant of moisture. This problem quickly manifests itself by yellowing leaflets and fronds. When this problem occurs we recommend you to check our PLNTS doctor page for the best solution!

Are Pileas poisonous for pets or children?

Pilea are generally non-toxic for humans and pets. However, when ingested in very large quantities, they can cause a mild digestive reaction. But no human or pet is going to have Pileas for dinner right?

Pilea plant for sale

At PLNTS.com you can buy different types of Pilea plants, like the Pilea Peperomioides in all its varieties and the Pilea Moon Valley. There is a Pilea for everyone!

Whether you like your Pilea big from the start or prefer to grow them from tiny BabyPLNTS into full-grown PLNTS - we’ve got you covered!

Hi, I'm Emma, your PLNTS.com guide!

Hi, I’m Emma, your PLNTS.com guide!