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Pilea Pilea peperomioides

Growing Pilea: Tips at a Glance

Houseplant Pilea peperomioides is justifiably popular—not only is it adorable with floppy pancake leaves, it also is easy to grow in indirect light and even easier to propagate with friends and family if you take cuttings.

  • Type Houseplant
  • Lifespan Perennial
  • USDA Zones 10
  • Light Indirect
  • Soil Well-drained
  • Water Water if dry
  • How to Grow Cuttings
  • Design Tip Tabletop charmer
  • Peak Season Year-round

Pilea: A Field Guide

Pilea is a plant that behaves so well indoors in a pot that it’s easy to forget that technically there’s no such thing as a houseplant.

With its round, flat leaves and cheerfully floppy stems, this diminutive perennial plant hails from mountainous regions of China. (But we’ve never actually seen Pilea peperomioides growing anywhere except indoors, preferably on a window sill with indirect light.)

Pilea’s nicknames that range from pancake plant (look at those round leaves) to Chinese money plant (the leaves arrange themselves like stacked coins on a mature plant), and lefse plant (lefse is a Norwegian potato bread shaped like a flat pancake). It’s also known as the pass-along plant because it’s so easy to propagate–many collectors share cuttings with friends—that it’s considered the sourdough starter of houseplants.

If you have a pilea in your personal houseplant collection, it’s likely you call it “Baby.” Even at maturity it will not grow bigger than 12 inches high. Its needs are simple: indirect light (you don’t want to scorch the leaves), well-drained soil, and a lullaby to put it to sleep at night.

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Planting, Care & Design of Pilea

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