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Everything about the Chinese Money Plant

Chinese money plant

Common Name: Chinese money plant, Pancake plant, Friendship plant, Coin plant, UFO plant

Latin Name: Pilea peperomioides

Family: Urticaceae

Plant Time: -

Mature Size: 12 in tall, 8 to 12 in. wide

Sun Preference: Partial sun

Soil Preference: Well-draining, Acidic to neutral soil

Bloom Time: Spring

Flower Color: White

Native Area: China

Toxicity: non-toxic to pets

Growth Rate: -

Wildlife Value: -

Table of Contents

Welcome to the fascinating world of the Chinese Money Plant (Pilea peperomioides), the beloved houseplant also known as the pancake plant! This delightful species boasts striking, coin-shaped foliage that has captured the hearts of many plant enthusiasts around the world. Despite its popularity, this plant is relatively easy to care for, making it a great choice for seasoned and novice green thumbs.

Originally hailing from southern China, Pilea peperomioides grows naturally in the foothills of the majestic Himalayan mountains. While it is a flowering perennial in the nettle family (Urticaceae), it is grown primarily for its stunning foliage. Although it does produce small, white flowers during the spring months, these are a rare sight when the plant is grown indoors.


Have you been lucky enough to get your hands on a Chinese money plant or friendship plant? Congratulations! This charming houseplant – just like Elephant Ears or Ice plants – is not only a delight to look at, but it’s also surprisingly easy to care for.

To ensure your Pilea peperomioides thrives, make sure to pay attention to these:

  • Light: it prefers medium to bright indirect light. Just avoid harsh, direct light that can burn the delicate leaves!
  • Soil: When it comes to soil, plant your Chinese money plant in rich, well-draining soil with a pH between 6.0-7.0. A high-quality organic potting mix with added perlite is ideal.
  • Temperature: hardy to freezing temperatures but should be kept indoors in temperatures above 50°F (10°C). Keeping the plant away from heating vents or baseboards helps avoid overly dry conditions, which can harm the plant.
  • Water: This evergreen perennial has medium water needs, so allow the soil to dry out almost completely between waterings. Watch for drooping leaves as a sign it’s time to water.


You have pretty easy work to do if you want to propagate this plant using offshoots. Offshoots grow readily from the root system and nodes along the stem of the mother plant where old leaves have fallen off.

If you want to separate the offshoots from the mother plant, wait until they’re a couple of inches tall, and then gently dig around the roots with a clean knife or pruning shears. Cut the main root an inch or two below the soil, and move the cutting into some moist soil in a separate container.

Keep the soil moist, but not waterlogged, until the new plant establishes a root system in the new pot. Once that happens, resume a regular watering and fertilization schedule.

Common Pests


If your Pilea starts looking too tall, excessively large or begins to droop, pruning is a great solution. Simply trim back the long stem by cutting off the upper portion. This trimmed portion can be used to grow a new, beautiful-looking plant either by placing it in water or rooting it in soil. It’s recommended to keep the lower part of the stem around 4 – 6 inches (10-15 cm) in height, although it can be shorter if desired. This pruning technique encourages the growth of new leaves and the development of baby plants.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Chinese money plant, aka Pilea peperomioides, easy to care for?

Yes, the Chinese money plant, or Pilea peperomioides, is surprisingly easy to care for! This popular houseplant requires bright light, semi-regular watering, and some light feeding in the spring and summer months to thrive.

It is important to provide the plant with medium to bright indirect light, as harsh direct light will burn the delicate leaves. Additionally, Pilea peperomioides should be planted in rich, well-draining soil, and allowed to nearly dry out between waterings.

How often should the Chinese money plant be watered?

They don’t require too much water. Watering them once a week should be enough to keep them happy.

How do you take care of a Chinese money plant?

To ensure your Chinese Money Plant, or Pilea peperomioides, thrives, it’s important to provide it with lots of bright, indirect light. Avoid placing it in direct sunlight, which can result in unsightly burn marks on the leaves.

When it comes to watering, it’s important to strike a delicate balance. While Pilea peperomioides prefers its soil to be lightly moist, it’s crucial not to let it become too soggy or waterlogged. Allow the soil to dry out slightly between waterings, and be sure to drain any excess water from the pot to prevent waterlogged soil.

Do money plants clean the air?

Chinese Money Plant, also known as Pilea peperomioides, is not only visually appealing but also one of the most effective plants for purifying the air, according to the Clean Air Study. The money tree plant can remove harmful toxins such as benzene, formaldehyde, and trichloroethylene from the air, making it an excellent choice for creating a healthier living space.

Can you leave a Chinese money plant in water?

To propagate a Chinese Money Plant, cut off the offshoot and either place it in water or pot it in soil. The water method is recommended for better visibility of root growth in a bright, indirect sunlight. Once roots have grown, the plant can be potted for best results.