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Chinese Money Plant- growing guide, tips, problems
The craze and admiration for growing houseplants are taking over the world for sure. One such beautiful plant is the Chinese money plant also known as Pilea Peperomioides or pancake plant. The name itself sounds so soothing and amazing.
Chinese money plant is easy to grow and a modern-looking houseplant that appears breathtaking and improves the look of your indoor plant collections. It is very easy to care for and propagating is even easier. It does not really matter if you are a newbie to houseplants or a seasoned pro, you can easily bring one now itself.
After going through this piece of article you will easily get to know how to care for your Chinese money plant and keep it healthy and strong. It is so easy to propagate and pass through that you can easily share it with your beloved friends and family.
As the name suggests, this plant originated from China. It has coin-shaped beautiful leaves and the place of origin being China, you can easily figure out where the name “Chinese money plant” comes from.
All its lily pad-like soothing leaves keep floating on the dainty-looking stems that just bbs around independently when a gentle breeze touches them. Just imagine how soothing and calming the scenario is to watch. Towards the upper portion of leaves, there is nearly a white or a lighter green shade dot where the leaf and stem meet to hold the leaves.
Do you know this plant was not so famous a few years ago? Today it has become one of the most loved houseplants. Houseplants have a variety of range and we love how it adds a different glow and aesthetic appearance to the house. The reason why the Chinese money plant became immensely popular is none other than Instagram.
This plant is quite unusual, pretty, and cute to have. This might be one reason many people bought it. The plant also has some great qualities and traits that should easily attract you for bringing one to your house.
Let’s see some benefits this plant has to bring to you.
- It is amazing and really easy to care for. You will find it easy to go and a good-natured houseplant to place around you.
- It grows faster than other plants. When the conditions are in their favor (light, water, propagation), the plant grows really fast.
- You may propagate it easily as it is among the easiest plants to multiply. Once you bring one Chinese money plant home, within no time you will have a separate garden having only a Chinese money plant.
- They are great presents to give all the plant lovers or your close friends. Chinese money plant is cute and unique which makes it a great option to present on simple occasions. You do not have to worry about propagation as it’s easy.
- You wouldn’t experience too many problems while having a Chinese money plant in your house.
Finding them in juvenile or baby form is most usual. This is the phase of their lifecycle when they are probably the most attractive plants to buy.
Chinese money plant looks striking grown on their own next to other plant species or individual plants. As long as they are not kept in too shady places, you can expect them to grow like magic.
Ideally, you may have to spend nearly 15 dollars on getting a baby Chinese money plant for your hose. The sellers usually grow a lot out of a single plant and it’s easy to sell because these plants are so attractive and eye-catching. However, if you haven’t seen them anywhere in your area, you may purchase them online or buy them from the shop further afield.
Unlike other plants that have many varieties due to vast species, Pilea Peperomioides only have one variety that is mostly seen in shops. In few years or more, I am sure we shall be seeing a lot of cultivation and varieties of the Chinese money plant. Let’s see care and instruction tips to manage your Chinese money plant properly for its best growth.
Chinese Money Plant Care Guide
There are a lot of care factors that we need to keep in mind while we are aiming for the proper and healthy growth of our houseplants. These factors include the amount of light, soil type, propagation, and many more we shall discuss.
Light is one of the most important aspects of growth. When the amount of light does justice to the plant, it naturally grows amazingly. You have to spend some time checking for the right amount of light. You might have read many articles prior to this one where it was mentioned that direct sunlight is not mandatory for Chinese money plants but this is not the case.
Just have a closer look at your Chinese money plant and you will see a lot of succulent-like qualities like thick stems, tough and waxy leaves, etc. These features indicate that your plant will survive and cope up even with strong sunlight or bright light that falls on it directly. In fact, it would not be wrong to say that the plants demand strong light. Chinese money plant suffers in low or dim light areas.
If you fail to provide them the needed amount of light, their leaves will eventually curl and bend rather than being in their original coin shape which is flat in structure.
Giving them too much light or keeping them in sunlight for longer hours will gradually snatch the purple hue this plant has and give it a washed-out appearance. If the level of light increases rapidly, for instance, you have kept your plant in a low light area for too long and then started keeping it directly in the sunlight for hours together burning spots might also occur. Make sure to move them gradually to any light conditions for them to adjust to the changing conditions.
Your Chinese money plant will not grow straight up unless you are providing them bring the light from the top or above for example from an overhead skylight or any grow light. Their central stem is likely to lean towards the source of light they are operated in and the leaves of a plant will start facing the windows. To prevent such conditions to occur, you have to rotate the plant one-quarter of a turn after every week passes by.
This is an amazing trick to be used. Also, you will have different looks of the same plant every week. Sound great, right?
All the houseplants (maximum) loves watering and then leaving them as it is for them to dry completely. You have to keep in mind that when you are giving your Chinese money plant good level of water, light, and temperature required for its growth. The temperature should be slightly warm and watering is needed few times a week. When it’s winter, you may water them lesser.
When you do not water the plant for a long time and things get dry, the plant acquired a droopy look as everything starts to flop and the stem loses its strength. If you feel you are bad at remembering to water the plants, you can look for these hints so that you can figure out when they are really in need of watering. That being said, do not overwater the plant as well.
- When the soil is most and dropping, know that you have overwatered the plant and wait for things to dry out nicely.
- When the soil becomes too dry to witness, it means you have underwatered the plant and it needs to be watered.
Mostly our house and workplace have decent humidity levels. Humidity is not a factor you should be concerned much about. Your Chinese money plant tends to struggle when the conditions or environment near it becomes excessively humid.
In case you are wondering what is the perfect location or perfect conditions for the humidity to balance out, we have a tip that you may follow today itself. You can mix your plant with low light and cool temperatures to have the perfect recipe for their growth. Chinese money plant is not ideal to be kept in dank bathrooms and kitchen, select the location precisely.
Your Chinese money plant will produce a good amount of growth and pups regularly which means you have to feed them occasionally. For keeping all the things intact and as expected, just feed them occasionally. Remember not to overfeed.
The most reasonable time is once a month with cacti-based fertilizer or standard houseplant fertilizer is all required for them to remain healthy and produce good growth.
The temperature should not be lower than 55 degrees Fahrenheit or 13 degrees celsius if you wish to see amazing growth without interruption. The temperature can be warmer than the temperature mentioned for great results.
Basically, it implies that you have to avoid cold places to keep the Chinese money plant and keep it far from frosting.
Repotting The Soil
A Chinese money plant requires a lot of space for its growth, they have the tendency to outgrow their potting medium frequently. This happens because the mother plant has become larger by growth or the mother plant has produced many tiny offsets that started growing. When you will put your baby Chinese money plant you will be required to report it twice a year because of the growth.
To avoid repotting, do not upsize the container or bring a large container to keep the plant. One or two sizes bigger plant works well, but not more than that. Repotting is a great way to promote plant growth by changing the soil that has lost many nutritional values over time.
While you are in a dilemma about which soil to choose, you can always go for a standard all-purpose potting mix. This soil has everything your Chinese money plant requires to grow. Look for one that has labels that indicate that the soil is suitable to be used for houseplants and garden plants. Having a good drainage facility is always a plus for any houseplant because it will help in aerating the soil and provide roots the space to grow along with a room for all the new pups to emerge.
The potting mix you already have or you have chosen should not significantly hold reasonable levels of water because the Chinese money plant is already a thirsty plant. Just do yourself a favor and try to avoid any porous mixes, otherwise, you will have to give a lot of time to water the plant daily for keeping up with its demands.
Propagation Of Chinese Money Plant
As already mentioned in the article, one of the most amazing benefits of having a Chinese money plant is its easy propagation. You can easily propagate this plant using cuttings or removing the constant supply of runners and offsets that it keeps generating.
You can also grow Chinese money plants using seeds but that has a lot of work involved and is quite difficult for beginners. You will find many people selling seeds or Chinese money plant online, but once you bring them home, you will notice that they will loose vigor pretty soon. This usually happens because you never know how long ago the seeds you have brought were planted. Arising a new plant from these seeds is comparatively slower than the plant growing later.
Therefore, growing your Chinese money plant using seed is not a great idea to go for. It can either be a hit or a miss, why take chances? Just bring a baby plant or mother plant home.
You can also get offsets or pups from your friends who already have a Chinese money plant in their home. If you have opted for this method to bring your plant home, here are some tips and information that you can use to grow them quickly and easily.
Firstly you have to check the type of growth at the soil level. Once your main plant acquires certain maturity, you will see plenty of “offsets” or growth points. The biggest will be the main stem and smaller versions of this stem will be growing, you will also see little wooden stems having smaller leaves coming out after the plant matures.
If you are not able to see new offsets or pups, this is because your plant is not mature enough. Give it some more months and check for the offsets again.
The main stem belongs to the mother plant as the name indicates. After you have seen the offsets, you have 2 ways to remove them.
Ways To Remove (propagation)
You can either remove the entire offset including the root system. However, this becomes quite fiddly because the stem along with leaves in the Chinese money plant is quite congested. If you feel confident in doing so and know how to do it right or you have done it before, you can try another time. If you haven’t tried other methods. If things go drastically wrong and you are only left with the stem, there is still time for you to use only the stem or whatever comes in the way.
The next option includes removing or digging out a little bit of soil that surrounds the offsets central or main stem which is located as close to the mother plant as possible. Once you have removed that without causing any damage to the mother plant, use a sharp knife to cut it. In this way, you can easily get good chunks of wooden stem brown in color without roots.
The next step involves putting this piece obtained inside a container or jar filled with water. You have to see to it that the stem is submerged and the green portion of the offset is sitting above the water. Just wait for few short weeks, and you will witness a complete network of new roots emerging out of the cut portion. When you see a lot of small roots, just remove them from the water and put them inside the soil mix where they may grow easily (make sure the soil is the same as the present in the mother Chinese money plant).
This offset should be able to take root inside the soil and grow completely inside the soil within few weeks at which you can easily pass it on to your friends or family or use another medium of growth to create a Chinese money plant garden of your own. You can also allow it to grow completely and add to your collection.
You can also root the leaf of the Chinese money plant along with its stem. However, the stem is important for growth, if you just pluck a leaf and keep it inside the water, you wouldn’t receive any roots or a new plant.
Speed Of Growth
As you have read above, you might have figured out by now that these plants are easy to grow and grows very quickly than most of the houseplants. It is difficult to be accurate and precise on how many weeks or months will your houseplant take to grow because conditions are different everywhere. But below mentioned are some common growth factors that you may consider to know how much time it will take.
Height And Speed
Most people wish to grow their Chinese money plant from small to medium size. But these plants become very tall as time passes if you do not go for pruning regularly. The main or central plant will not grow too much wide but the offsets if not cut in time will make the plant look bigger and larger. It is your wish if you want the offsets to grow or cut them. Once they start to grow with a central plant, they will give it a fuller look.
Chinese money plant is mostly grown for how cute it appears and its coin-shaped leaves and not for its showy blooms that it produces occasionally. A mature or well-grown Chinese money plant bears some flowers. The flowers do not smell but have a quirky appearance.
3 Best Appearances Of Chinese Money Plant
Your cute Chinese money plant can be grown to provide you with 3 unique appearances. You will know all three very soon. Once you opt for one style out of these three, it is hard to switch, so choose carefully. You can propagate 3 plants separately at a time and choose a different look for them.
Let’s see what are the three different looks for your Chinese money plant.
1. The Compact Full Look
If you wish your Chinese money plant to look cute and bushy, you can keep the majority of offsets inside the potting medium itself rather than removing them. These offsets will start growing slowly and make the overall appearance cute and bushy creating a compact and full look for your plant.
2. Straight And Tall Look
To gain a good height and prevent the main stem to become crooked or lean over, you have to use an overhead lighting medium to grow your plant. If using an overhead lighting medium is not feasible, you can rotate your plant one-quarter every other week towards the light to get this look.
This means that as the weeks pass, every month your plant has completed one rotation towards the light in a circle. Once it grows taller, you have to keep doing the rotation process but this requires a stake to hold the plant together and provide support.
3. One-Sided Face Look
This look is achieved when all the leaves of the plant face one side. It is quite easy to achieve than other looks. All you need to do to achieve this look is keep the plant facing the source of light in one direction itself without rotating it weekly. When you do this, what happens is the other side leaves and stem will bend and wrap around the plant. In this manner, the plant faces only one direction. It looks quite blissful and cute.
Keep your plant away from playful claws. It is safe around cats until they do not use their claws to harm it. You also need to make sure that you do not grow your plant in dark places for longer durations because that might make the plant sick.
Let’s see some common pests and problems associated with the Chinese money plant.
Problems With Chinese Money Plant
1. Domed Or Curled Leaves
Having curled leaves in the Chinese money plant is quite common and mostly seen in all plants. Although this issue is not very terrible, it will catch your attention again and again. As we already told, we bring this plant home due to its attractive flat and coin-shaped leaves. If the shape of the leaves will become odd, it will clearly make the plant unattractive.
The leaves might curl either inwards or outwards due to a number of factors associated. Sometimes a single symptom can make the leaves curl inward and outward so it becomes difficult to find out the actual problem. Most of the time, the issues occur due to lighting conditions.
Curling Inwards is seen when the light is not sufficient or you are not watering the plant correctly (watering either too little or too much).
Curling of leaves outwards occurs when the plant is exposed to too much light and high temperatures. Another reason can be watering incorrectly. If you are able to correct these conditions on time, the leaves will start acquiring their natural shape overtime and flatten again. However, if you neglect the situation for too long, the leaves right end up being permanently domed or curled.
2. Yellow Leaves
Older leaves present at the base of the plant tend to become yellow in color in time. This is very natural to occur in your Chinese money plant. Yellowing after long periods is alright but yellowing over short time periods is not normal. Mostly it is seen that rapid yellowing occurs when the plant is overwatered heavily and due to the absence of a drainage hole in the potting medium, the plant sits in water for too long.
Sometimes this may also occur when you have not used any fertilizer to fertilize the soil for prolonged durations.
3. Brown Or Black Spots
If you have come across small parts of the plant going black or brown in color and the bits are not crispy, then there are good chances that the plant has general damage or pests.
This may be caused by scarping the plant or knocking it against the walls while rotating it to obtain a different look or give ven among of light. When the pets play along with the leaves of the plant, then also this damage might occur.
Chinese money plant is quite good when it comes to resisting pests but small pests like aphids or thrips may still set their home inside the plant. Usually, such pests take bites from the leaves and move on but sometimes it can lead to permanent damage causing blemishes on the leaves.
At times even the environmental factors encourage infections in plants. Chinese money plant is quite tough and normal diseases do not cause much harm until the disease has not spread too much. You just have to remove the area infected to get rid of diseases.
Browning Of Leaves
If the leaves have become crispy, dry, and brown, then it is mostly because of damage from the sun. Make sure you are giving it a good amount of light and not overdoing it. Keep it in the sun for few hours and then change the location to promote growth and reduce the chances of damage occurring.
These were some important guiding tips you needed to know for your Chinese money plant.