How to Grow and Care for a Pilea ‘Moon Valley’ Plant

Hello, Judy. Can you please give me some information about Pilea ‘Moon Valley?

thank you

Hi Peggy,

There are over 600 different varieties of Pilea and the care instructions for all of them are just about the same.

800px-Pilea_involucrata_(Sims)_Urban_Moon_Valley

Light: All Pilea plants need bright indirect lightVery few houseplants should be placed in direct sun. High light refers only to bright indirect light since direct sun often burns the leaves of indoor houseplants. An area that is too hot and dry encourages Spider Mites and causes blooms to quickly fade. A northern exposure really doesn't provide enough light for high light plants. These plants need to be placed directly in front of an east-facing window, within 1-3 feet of a west-facing window, and within 5 ft. of a south facing window. A high light area has over 300 ft. candles of light.. Direct sun burns the leaves not enough light causes a Pilea plant to become leggy.

Water: The soil should be slightly moist but not soggy at all times. In the cooler months or when your plant is not producing new leaves, allow the top 2-3 inches of soil to dry out before watering.

fertilizerPlants need fertilizer only when they are actively growing. Slow growing plants in low light require very little plant food. Too much fertilizer is worse than not enough. Most plants prefer a water soluble plant food at 1/2 the recommended strength. Plants that are in bloom or dormant should not be fertilized. Houseplant food contains nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), and potassium (K). A fertilizer containing these elements in equal proportion is considered a balanced plant food. Nitrogen helps in photosynthesis and encourages the growth of leaves and stems. Potassium and phosphorus also help in photosynthesis and aid in root and flower development. Most fertilizers have trace elements of other minerals that are lacking in the soil but are necessary for good plant growth. Fertilizers have a high salt content. If a plant is not producing new leaves and doesn’t absorb the fertilizer, salts build up in the soil. These salts can burn the roots, discolor the leaves, and cause new growth to be small.: Feed  every two weeks when  actively growing with a basic houseplant fertilizerPlants need fertilizer only when they are actively growing. Slow growing plants in low light require very little plant food. Too much fertilizer is worse than not enough. Most plants prefer a water soluble plant food at 1/2 the recommended strength. Plants that are in bloom or dormant should not be fertilized. Houseplant food contains nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), and potassium (K). A fertilizer containing these elements in equal proportion is considered a balanced plant food. Nitrogen helps in photosynthesis and encourages the growth of leaves and stems. Potassium and phosphorus also help in photosynthesis and aid in root and flower development. Most fertilizers have trace elements of other minerals that are lacking in the soil but are necessary for good plant growth. Fertilizers have a high salt content. If a plant is not producing new leaves and doesn’t absorb the fertilizer, salts build up in the soil. These salts can burn the roots, discolor the leaves, and cause new growth to be small. at 1/2 the recommended strength.

Temperature: The best temperature is between 60°-75°F (15.6-23.9°C)

Humidity: Pilea plants require very high humidity. If your home is dry, place your Pilea on a tray of pebbles filled with water. Be sure the plant is sitting on the pebbles and not in the water.

Flowering: A Pilea produces very small  flowers that are over- shadowed by their distinctive leaves.

Pests: Spider mites, AphidsSee a picture, learn to identify, and read about Aphid houseplant pests in the Glossary of Houseplant411.com., Fungus GnatsThis small dark skinny pest flies and jumps around plants and people driving us all crazy. Fungus gnats develop in moist potting soil, feeding on root hairs and emerging as adults every 30 days. The best way to get rid of fungus gnats is to allow the soil to thoroughly dry out. This eliminates the eggs and gnats in the pot. Use yellow sticky cards to trap the gnats  that are flying around., scaleSoft Brown Scale plant pests are  the most common scale that attack indoor houseplants, especially ficus tress, various ivy varieties, spider plants, ferns, aralia, and schefflera. The scale plant pests appear as small, bumpy, brown spots that may appear to move. As the scale plant pest sucks on the sap of the plant, it secretes a sticky substance called "honeydew." The honeydew attracts black mildew. Because of the shell-like exterior, sprays are only partially effective against scale. Wipe off the lines of brown oval bumps with your finger, a cloth, or a child’s toothbrush then spray the plant with Neem Oil or a houseplant insecticide. You can use the non-toxic, easily made Green Solution to clean off the black mildew., and thripThrip are tiny winged brown insects that feed on the surfaces of plant leaves, flowers, and buds. They leave silver spots around their feeding areas and dark dots of excrement. Thrip not only weaken plant growth and distort buds and flowers, they transmit viruses from plant to plant as they fly around. The Green Solution, Neem Oil, and Yellow Sticky Cards all are effective in eliminating thrip.

Diseases: Because of the high humidity a Pilea plant requires, both bacterial and Fungal leaf spot diseaseHow to identify and treat Leaf Spot plant disease. See a picture of Leaf Spot disease and learn how to prevent leaf spot disease from attacking your plants. is a problem. You can help prevent plant diseases by keeping the leaves dry and providing good air circulation around the plant. A commercial FungicideLearn what fungicides are and how they are used to treat fungal and bacterial plant infections. can be used to treat Leaf Spot DiseaseHow to identify and treat Leaf Spot plant disease. See a picture of Leaf Spot disease and learn how to prevent leaf spot disease from attacking your plants..

Soil: Use a basic houseplant mix that is airy and drains quickly. Add some peat moss or other organic matter to help Pilea plants develop a good root structure.

Pot Size: These are one of the few plants do not like to be root bound; but since Pileas are small plants, their pot size is rarely larger than 8″.

Pruning: Pilea plants become very leggy and unattractive unless they are frequently cut back.

propagationLearn how to propagate plants by plant division at https://www.houseplant411.com/glossaryStem CuttingsLearn how to propagate plants using stem cuttings, leaf cuttings, cane cuttings, and branch cuttings.

poisonousPlants are a great addition to homes and offices, but it’s important to know whether your plants are dangerous to children, pets, or even adults. Some plants contain chemicals such as oxalates, solanine, glycosides, or alkaloid lycorine that may cause vomiting, nausea, diarrhea, swelling and redness of the mouth, throat, and lips, and trouble breathing. Touching parts of certain plants, especially the sap, may cause various skin irritations. The weight and age of the human or pet involved, and the part and amount of plant eaten determine how severe the reaction to the toxins will be. Although plants may be listed as non-toxic, they can still cause individual allergic reactions. If there is any question after a houseplant has been ingested or touched, immediately call the Poison Control Center 1-800-222-1222.  More poisonous houseplant information and pictures of common plants that are dangerous to children and pets can be found in my book Don’t Feed Me to Your Cat: A Guide to Poisonous Houseplants Plant Info: Non- poisonousPlants are a great addition to homes and offices, but it’s important to know whether your plants are dangerous to children, pets, or even adults. Some plants contain chemicals such as oxalates, solanine, glycosides, or alkaloid lycorine that may cause vomiting, nausea, diarrhea, swelling and redness of the mouth, throat, and lips, and trouble breathing. Touching parts of certain plants, especially the sap, may cause various skin irritations. The weight and age of the human or pet involved, and the part and amount of plant eaten determine how severe the reaction to the toxins will be. Although plants may be listed as non-toxic, they can still cause individual allergic reactions. If there is any question after a houseplant has been ingested or touched, immediately call the Poison Control Center 1-800-222-1222.  More poisonous houseplant information and pictures of common plants that are dangerous to children and pets can be found in my book Don’t Feed Me to Your Cat: A Guide to Poisonous Houseplants