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Pilea Peperomioides | care tips

Pilea Peperomioides is such a cool and unique plant, just look at those funky leaves! Best of all – it’s so easy to care for! Native to China, it’s commonly known as the Chinese money plant, but it has many other common names, such as the pancake plant and missionary plant. Find out below how to care for your Pilea Peperomioides without any problems!

How much sunlight does Pilea Peperomioides need? | lighting

Pilea likes bright indirect light. The best spots for your Pilea are near an east, west or south facing window. Just be careful it doesn’t get direct sunlight from the south facing window, especially during summer when the sun is much stronger. Either cover the window with a sheer white curtain or move it a couple of feet away from the window.

I talk more about different lighting in – 2 things you need to know before buying your first plant!

Give your plant plenty of light and in return it will give you new leaves that grow bigger and stronger every day.

It can survive in medium light conditions for a while, but those are not optimal. I found that my Pilea drops leaves when it doesn’t get enough sunlight. If your plant does that, try moving it to another spot where it will get more hours of sunlight.

If you want to have an even looking plant, slightly rotate it weekly so that the leaves grow equally. If not, over time, your plant will start to lean on one side – the one that gets the most light.

When should you water your Pilea Peperomioides? | watering

The Pilea Peperomioides is a type of semi succulent plant, meaning it stores a certain amount of water inside its leaves and stems. It’s not a real succulent per se, but it has similar needs like succulents.

Because it stores water inside its leaves and stems, it does not need water that often, but only when the soil has dried out.

Water your Pilea Peperomioides when the soil has dried out.

Before you water your Pilea, check out the soil with your finger. If it’s dry all the way through your finger length – it’s time to water it. Your Pilea will also talk to you when it’s thirsty. If its leaves look droopy to you, it’s a sign it needs water.

How to water your Pilea?

When it’s time to water your Pilea, do it so thoroughly. Let the water pass through the pot a couple of times so that the water reaches all parts of the root system.

Be sure to have drainage holes on the bottom of the pot, so that the excess water can drain through. If all that excess water stays inside the pot (or cover pot/saucer) it will lead to root rot and you will loose your plant.

As I said previously, your Pilea could be dropping leaves if it doesn’t get enough sunlight, but it can also start to drop leaves if it’s been over watered, or even under watered. In any case, if your Pilea starts to drop leaves it’s a sign something is wrong and that your Pilea is now in survival mode.

What type of pot and soil is best for Pilea Peperomioides?

The Pilea doesn’t like to be in moist soil for long. Even better to say – if it stays in moist soil for too long, it will easily rot. Because of that, I found that terracotta pots are better that plastic pots. Terracotta pots allow air circulation and faster water evaporation.

It’s better to water more frequently because the soil dries out quickly, rather than watering less frequently because the soil stays moist for a long period of time.

To improve faster water evaporation and air circulation, well draining soil is the way to go. The easiest way to achieve this type of soil is to combine a little bit of sand to the common houseplant soil mix you probably have for your other indoor plants.

Common Pilea Peperomioides problems | how to identify and solve the problem

Pilea Peperomioides is an easy care plant, and yet many people seam to have frequent problems and a hard time keeping it alive. Here are some common Pilea problems you may encounter with your Pilea, and hopefully solve it in time.


The most frequent problem occurs when you overwater your plant. By overwatering your Pilea, you can introduce many different problems. First one being root rot.

We may be worried the plant needs more water so we keep constantly watering it. By doing that, instead of helping it – we are slowly killing it. That’s why it’s important to understand that plants (like 90% of common houseplants) like for the soil to dry out before watering it again.

In my post – How to fix an overwatered plant? | a helpful guide I explain in detail how to deal with root rot.

Another problem that may occur from moist soil are Fungus Gnats. Fungus gnats are common houseplant pests that live in plant soil. They are small winged little black pests that look like mini mosquitos or flies.

If you want to get rid of Fungus Gnats naturally you can replace all the infested soil and pot your plant in clean fresh soil. Watering your plant with a water and Neem oil mixture can also be effective – but you’ll probably need to repeat the process a few times.


Having your Pilea without water (in dry soil for long) can also cause problems to your plant – wrinkly leaves and leaf drop. If you forgot to water it in a long time, stop reading this and go water it – thoroughly – right now.


We all hate them.. ugh. When I first bought my Pilea I was so happy, only to find out a week later it had an Aphid infestation. To think, my Pilea started to flower and the flower died because of those little pests. I noticed them quite late because they were so small and pale green, really difficult to see from afar.

The first thing I actually noticed were white spots on the leaves of my Pilea Peperomioides. It looked like limescale. That’s when I looked more closely and spotted them. Fortunately I got rid of them easily, by just washing the leaves with water and cleaning the leaves with alcohol (Neem oil would be a good choice, too).

The sad thing was, I had to cut away all the new leaves because they were the most infested ones and badly damaged.

If new leaves on your Pilea grow all wrinkly – check out for pests.

Pests like new leaves and they will be concentrated on them. By sucking juices from the leaves, the leaves will start to get wrinkly. If you notice new growth looks funky, do a thorough check up.

Do you need to fertilize your Pilea Peperomioides? | fertilizing

I fertilize my Pilea Peperomioides once a month during the growing season. So, somewhere from March to October.

I use a complete liquid fertilizer diluted in water, and once a month instead of watering it with just water, I water it with this mixture. Follow the instructions of your fertilizer to know how much fertilizer to use.

Is Pilea Peperomioides poisonous? | Toxicity

Plants from the Pilea species are not considered toxic to pets. Said that, I’m always cautious when my pets are around my plants, because any plant could potentially cause stomach irritation.

Want to learn how to properly water your houseplants?Download for FREE our houseplant watering guide

 It will help you understand how to avoid mistakes and grow happy plants!