How to grow and care for Chinese Money Plant

chinese money plant

Botanical name: Pilea peperomioides
Family: Urticaceae

Pilea peperomioides commonly called Chinese Money Plant or the Friendship Plant is an evergreen succulent houseplant that is easy to grow. Other common names are Coin Plant, Pancake Plant and Missionary Plant. It has its origins in southern China. The plant is an erect, succulent, evergreen perennial growing to a height of 12 in. The leaves are round, dark green, about 4 in. in diameter and are held on long petioles. The stem is greenish to dark brown and often upright straight. The flowers are inconspicuous consisting of clusters of highly reduced unshowy, unisexual flowers. The inflorescence is like that of Pilea while the leaves are like those of Peperomia and hence the Botanical name Pilea peperomioides

How to Grow Chinese Money Plant

Light

Chinese Money Plant prefers bright light but away from direct sunlight. The foliage will lose its bright green color if the light is too low. Rotate the pot regularly to ensure uniform growth of the plant from all sides. Learn more on how to ensure your plant receives the correct light in this guide on understanding light for houseplants.

Water

Water Chinese Money Plant regularly but allow the top 2 in. of soil to dry out between waterings. Reduce watering during the cold months. Avoid overwatering as it may cause the leaves to fall. Learn more on how to water houseplants.

Temperature

Average warmth with a minumum of 150C is ideal for Chinese Money Plant. Protect the plant from cold draughts. Find out more on temperature for houseplants.

Humidity

Average room humidity is ideal for Chinese Money Plant. Mist the leaves occasionally and clean them by damp-wiping with a soft cloth to get rid of dust. If the leaf edges become crispy and curled, raise humidity by placing the pot on a wet pebble tray.

Feeding

Feed Chinese Money Plant with a balanced water-soluble fertilizer every 3-4 months during the growing period. Withhold feeding in the cold season as growth is minimal and feeding at this time can lead to fertilizer burn. Find out more on feeding houseplants.

Repotting

Repot Chinese Money Plant when it becomes overcrowded in its current pot. Use a pot one size large and free-draining soil that is rich in organic matter. Choose a clay pot as it allows soil to dry out faster and thus prevents waterlogging. Also ensure the pot has a drainage hole. If the plant is too overcrowded, divide it and pot up the splits into individual pots

Pruning

Chinese Money Plant does not require much pruning as it is slow growing. Pruning involves removal of yellow, dead and stray foliage to maintain the plant neat and tidy. For a fuller and bushier plant, regularly snip off the topmost part of the stem and pinch off the plantlets as they appear so that the plant can focus its energy on sprouting new growth from the main stem. Learn more on how to prune houseplants.

How to Propagate Chinese Money Plant

Chinese Money Plant can be propagated by division, from stem plantlets or from stem cuttings. Propagate is more successful when done at the beginning of the growing season.

Propagation of Chine Money Plant by Division
Chinese Money Plant produces offsets or pups at the base of the plant. When the pups are about 1-2 in. tall, dig up the soil at the base to expose the roots. Using a sharp sterile scissors, seperate the pup from the mother. Ensure each pup has enough roots. Pot up the pups in individual pots containing moist free draining soil which is rich in organic matter. Maintain the soil moist until new growth has emerged inorder to begin normal routinue care.

Propagation of Chinese Money Plant from Stem Plantlets
Chinese Money Plant also produces plantlets on their stems. With a clean sharp knife, remove the plantlet from the mother plant. Stick it in moist rooting soil. Place the set up in a warm well-lit place and maintain the soil moist through out. Rooting is indicated by the emergence of new growth. Wait until it is well established before transplanting into a new pot after which normal routine care can begin.

Propagation of Chinese Money Plant from Stem Cuttings
Chinese Money Plant can also be propagated from stem cuttings. They root easily and do not require a rooting hormone. Stem cuttings taken from the thicker, coarse brown stem can be rooted in soil or in water.

Rooting Chinese Money Plant in soil: Stick the cutting in moist rooting soil. Place the set up in a warm well-lit place and maintain the soil moist through out. Rooting is indicated by the emergence of new growth. Wait until the plant is well established before transplanting into a new pot after which normal routine care can begin.

Rooting Chinese Money Plant in water: Place the stem cutting in a container of water with at least 2 in. of stem on the lower cut end submerged in water. Place the set up in a warm, well-lit place and change the water at least once a week. The roots may take about 4-6 weeks to develop. Acclimatize your plant to growing in soil by gradually adding small amounts of soil into the water when the roots are about 2 in. long. Transplant when the roots have grown to about 4 in. long by which time all the water should be absorbed by the soil.

Common Problems in Growing Chinese Money Plant

  • Droopy lower leaves
  • This is a natural characteristic of Chinese Money Plant. The bottom leaves will droop as they grow older; this gives the plant its unique shape. They need not be removed.

  • Wilted and discolored leaves
  • Overwatering Chinese Money Plant will result in wilted and discolored leaves. Water the plant regularly but allow the top 2 in. of soil to dry out between waterings. Learn more on how to water houseplants.

  • Discolored leaves with brown tips and edges
  • Three reasons could cause this in Chinese Money Plant. One reason is too much shade; move the plant to a brighter spot. Learn more on how to ensure your plant receives the correct light in this guide on understanding light for houseplants. The second reason is a sudden drop in temperature; protect the plant from cold draughts. The third reason is dry air; raise the humidity by more regular misting or by setting the pot on a wet pebble tray.

  • Droopy and curled leaves
  • Underwatering Chinese Money Plant will cause droopy and curled leaves. Learn more on how to water houseplants.

  • Leaf drop
  • The reasons for leaf drop in Chinese Money Plant are cold air or too wet soil. Move the plant to a warmer spot, cut back affected stem to induce new growth. Avoid waterlogging; water thoroughly and allow the top 2 in. of soil to dry out between waterings.

  • Yellow leaves and mushy black stems
  • Chinese Money Plant is prone to Stem-rot and Root-rot diseases which are promoted by soggy soil. Use the unaffected foliage to propagate a new plant and discard the affected parts.

  • The lower leaves curl inwards, soften and drop
  • The cause is a Nitrogen deficiency; feed Chinese Money Plant with a high-nitrogen fertilizer and consider using a high-nitrogen fertilizer for the monthly feeding too.

  • Yellow or brown leaves with burnt-like edges
  • Potasium deficiency is the reason; feed Chinese Money Plant with a high-potasium fertilizer. Ensure the soil PH is between 6 and 7 which is the ideal PH for potasium uptake.

  • Pests
  • Common pests in Chinese Money Plant are Mealy Bugs and Spider Mites. Isolate the affected plant to prevent spread to ther houseplants and control the pests appropriately.

Toxicity

Chinese Money Plant is non-toxic to both humans and pets. The plant is safe to grow indoors.

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