Household Wish-list: Pilea peperomioides / Chinese Money Plant

Pilea peperomioides photo credit Dorling Kindersley

The infamous Pilea Peperomioides, commonly known as Chinese money plants or also called by many other names like pancake plant, Missionary Plant, etc., have gained popularity over the time due to their attractive shape of leaves and the myths of their ability to bring wealth and vitality.

However, the truth behind those myths still remains to be discovered. Check out fascinating myths behind money plant interesting name here.)

Aside from their acclaimed aptitude for fortune, Pilea plants are quite unique. Natively found growing in the forests of Yunnan province, China, these plants were scarce even in their native land. It’s said that only after a Norwegian Missionary named Agnar Espergren brought some with him in Scandinavia, back in the 1940s that spread the Pilea plants worldwide.

Apart from the myths and rare availability, the plant’s ability to survive in a unique environment also makes them highly sought-after low maintenance indoor plants.

The fact that they are non-toxic to both human and pets, and have indoor air purification properties, makes them a perfect choice for household decoration.

Buying Pilea Peperomioides

Chinese money plants are a bit tricky to find. I suggest you check out nearby local nurseries, but due to their slower growth rate, lower profits, local nurseries keep a low stock of them. Nevertheless, for a hassle-free home delivery option, I highly recommend ‘Amazon’.

Pilea Peperomioides Care

Since the plant is generally low maintenance, you need not worry about extensive care. However, here are a few basic care guidelines to be mindful of;

Step #1: Use Well Drainage Pots

Pilea peperomioides are relatively small and can grow up to one foot in height when provided with adequate container care. Once they are matured, their stems would curl outwards creating a beautiful display around the pot.

While you can use any pot for this plant, I would recommend you to go for terracotta pots for Pilea planting. They are made from porous material and are capable of absorbing excess water to prevent the plant from decay.

[Tip Alert: If you are shopping for regular pot, turn the pot around to check if it has a hole at the bottom for good drainage]

Step #2: Soil and Water

Chinese money plants are low maintenance and do quite well with only occasional watering and feeding of standard houseplant fertilizer. As for soil type, while they can survive on sandy soil, they prefer loam soil to thrive well.

[Tip Alert: Let the plant dry out completely before watering it again. Pilea plants are not fond of soggy soil.]

Step #3: Avoid direct sunlight

The plants are ideal for indoor decoration since they don’t require direct sunlight. I would advise you to keep them where the room is bright but isn’t pouring directly on the plant. Such as; near a window, beside the front door, or inside the shaded porch.

Step #4: Move and Clean

To keep the leaves from getting lopsided, rotate the pot at least once a week. As to prevent dust accumulation, wipe down the leaves with a soft cloth or use water sprinkler

Step #5: Propagate

Chinese money plants are fairly easy to propagate. When the plant matures, baby stems would grow around the main stem.

Once that happens, simply dig them out and put it in a new container. Another approach is to cut the branch leaving a few nodes intact—so new branches could grow from the nodes—and put it in a new pot.

[Myth Alert: It’s been said that Pilea plants lose their mythical powers when propagated by stem cutting, but gifting them to others would be considered an honor and akin to sharing of wealth]


Chinese money plants are an attractive addition to any home. They are a delight to look at and even if they might not fetch wealth and vitality – they would definitely give a positive mood to your indoor space.

So, why don’t you give them a try and let us know about your planting experience? You can also share this post with your friends in case they might find it useful.

You may also read this interesting blog about Cactus, A plant known to ward off conflicts & misfortunes