Pilea/Chinese Money Plant - Plant of the Month
Pilea Peperomioides (otherwise known as the Chinese Money Plant) has fast become one of the most popular house plants - and for good reason! It is easy to grow and care for with it's beautiful dark green leaves flourishing from a single stem and eventually forming a thick canopy.
Pilea like a light and bright spot, but not to be sat in direct light as this can scorch the plants leaves. Away from any draught is also best. They like good drainage to make sure it's roots aren't sitting in water, a pot with holes is ideal but if you have a pot without, fill the bottom with gravel or crock. Allow the soil to dry out between waterings, watering less in winter.
They're not necessarily the easiest plant to get hold of but once you have, they're very easily propagated by stem cuttings so you can multiply your collection. Sometimes they will grow their own miniatures which will have roots of their own already, making them easy to transplant. See below for our propagation methods!
We recently collaborated with The Botanical Workshop to create some Pilea tote bags, available at both our East Dulwich and Deptford shops. It has all the care for these lovely plants on there, so you can carry around a handy reminder!
To propagate from a stem cutting:
Propagation should take place in early Spring. Make sure to water your plant the day before you take the cuttings to ensure the stems aren't too dry when cut.
Prepare a rooting container using a multipurpose compost that has a good rooting medium (shallow plastic or metal base with drainage holes but sealed at the top - you can improvise and use plastic bottles or buy these from a DIY store). Spray with water to dampen the soil slightly and place somewhere with bright but indirect light.
Take a cutting from your plant by choosing a mature stem and cutting at least 5cm away from the leaf. The stem can then be stuck into your rooting container, deep enough to support it's weight but with enough room underneath for it to root. Water the cuttings and seal the container, misting only enough so the soil is moist but not soggy.
You can start checking your cuttings after about 3 weeks by gently tugging them to feel for resistance. If there is some, your plant will have formed roots and should be about 4cm long before transplanting into a new pot. Make sure to let your new plant acclimatise for a few days before exposing it to it's new environment in your home!
To Propagate from a miniature:
As these have rooted already, you don't need to bother with a rooting container.
Make sure the plant is big enough to grow on it's own without the support of the main plant - the bigger the better.
Take a sharp knife or pair of scissors and follow the stem of your little plant about 1/2cm under the soil and make a sharp, clean cut. You can then place this cutting into a pre prepared pot with multipurpose compost that has been slightly dampened.
It will take a few weeks for the plant to get anchored into it's new pot but then it should start to form new leaves of it's own.