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Pilea peperomioides (Chinese Money Plant)


Scientific Name

Pilea peperomioides Diels

Common Names

Chinese Money Plant, Pancake Plant, UFO Plant, Lefse Plant, Missionary Plant, Mirror Grass


Podophyllum cavaleriei

Scientific Classification

Family: Urticaceae
Tribe: Elatostemateae
Genus: Pilea


Pilea peperomioides is an erect, perennial succulent, up to 12 inches (30 cm) tall, with round, dark green leaves, up to 4 inches (10 cm) in diameter, on a long petiole. The stem axis is greenish to dark brown, usually simple, often upright straight, slightly lignified at the base. In poor growing conditions, the plants lose their leaves in the lower part of the branch axis and thereby assume a very distinctive habit. The flowers are very small, whitish or pale green, sometimes tinged pink. They appear in spring on pinkish stems.


USDA hardiness zones 9b to 11b: from 25 °F (−3.9 °C) to 50 °F (+10 °C).

How to Grow and Care

Chinese Money Plant likes bright indirect light. This plant is a relatively fast grower during the growing season from spring to fall. It should be rotated regularly to keep the main stem growing upright because the plant will turn all of its leaves towards the light.

Use well-draining potting soil and repot it when the roots are coming out of the bottom of the pot.

Water moderately during the warmer months and wait until the soil is mostly dry between waterings. If the lower leaves start to turn yellow and falling that's a sign of overwatering.

Use half diluted all-purpose houseplant fertilizer once a month during the growing season.

This plant is very easy to propagate because it puts out baby plants through the soil. When it becomes a well-established plantlet, you can separate it from the mother plant with a clean, sharp knife and put it into moist soil (and keep the soil moist until it starts to grow new leaves) or into the water for root development.


Pilea peperomioides is native to Yunnan and Sichuan provinces in southern China.


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