Pilea Plant

Pilea Plant Description:

The pilea plant, a member of the nettle family, is an attractive hanging or table plant native to China and Viet Nam. There are many different types of pilea plants, and all are easy to grow, even for a new plant enthusiast. One of the easiest to care for is the Aluminum plant (Pilea Cadierei) also called the Watermelon Pilea. This variety is grown for its attractive leaves rather than its very small, white flowers. The dark green, oval, puffy foliage has distinct, shiny, silver markings on the upper side of the leaf that look like someone splashed aluminum colored paint on it. The leaves on an Aluminum plant are usually about 3” (7.6cm) long and the height of the plant 6″ to 12″ inches (15-31 cm.). All pilea plant varieties are small, soft- stemmed plants, the tallest usually no more than 12″-18″ (30-45 cm) tall. Pilea plants need to be pruned frequently if you want them to stay full and bushy and not become leggy and bare looking.

Pilea Plant Varieties

Although the “Aluminum” Pilea plant is the most popular type, there are several other Pilea plant varieties that make beautiful houseplants.

Artillery Plant (Pilea microphylla) resembles a fern with tiny, oval to rounded succulentLearn the definition of a succulent plant and why they are called a "fat plant.", light green leaves (1/4” to 1/2” long).

Moon Valley Pilea (Pilea involucrata “Mollis”) is a bushy plant that got it name because the leaves, yellow green with dark copper veins and undersides, were thought to resemble the craters and valleys on the moon.

Norfolk Friendship Plant (Pilea involucrata ‘Norfolk’ Angel Wings) has ovate (oval), furrowed leaves that start out reddish pink and gradually turn a bronze/red with splashes of metallic silver.

Chinese Money Plant also called a Coin plant or Pancake plant because of its bright green coin shaped leaves.

Pilea ‘Dark Mystery’ has long, serrated, dark green/brown textured leaves with a silver line down the center of each leaf.


  Quilted bright green and dark brown, scalloped leaves on Pilea Moon Valley plant - Houseplant411  Furrowed. bronze, red, and green leaves on Pilea "Norfolk"  Round, green, thick leaves on Pilea peperomioides-Chinese Money Plant  

Artillery Plant        Moon Valley            Norfolk Friendship     Chinese Money              Dark Mystery

Quick Care Tips

Prune frequently and aggressively

Roots grow quickly so repot annually

Keep in a warm in temperatures above 55°F (12.8C)

Provide bright 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. but avoid direct sun

Keep the soil barley moist except in winter when it needs to dry out a bit more

The beauty of a pilea plant lies in the texture and color in the tops of the leaves, so always place the plant where that can be easily seen.



Will a Pilea Ever Recover After It Has Been Damaged by Very Cold Air?

If a pilea is damaged by the cold, it will drop all of its leaves. However, if you cut back the damaged stems, new growth quickly develops once you move it indoors to a warm bright spot.

What Are the Tan Spots on the Leaves of My Pilea, After a While They Turn Into Holes in the Leaves?

The brown spots on the leaves of your pilea are caused by Leaf Spot Disease. Leaf Spot often affects indoor plants that require high humidity. Remove the diseased leaves, keep water off of the healthy leaves, do not mist the plant, and provide good air circulation around the plant. If the Leaf Spot Disease persists, get rid of the plant before the disease spreads to other plants.

Why Are the Leaves on My Pilea Wilted and Turning a Funny Color? The Plant Did Great When I First Bought It, Grew Like a Weed All Summer and Fall, in December It Started to Go Down Hill.

The leaves on your pilea are wilted and turning a funny color because you are watering it during the winter the same way you watered it in the summer. As the weather gets cooler, you need to water a pilea and most houseplants less since they are not growing very much. Allow the soil to dry out and see if any new shoots appear, hopefully a few roots are still alive.