How to Grow: Chinese Money Plant

Michael Wolf

Sun Requirements
Bright sun is best for Chinese money plants, but avoid direct light and South-facing windows. Too much shade will stimulate the plant to grow larger leaves.

Bloom Period and Plant Shape
Chinese money plants (Pilea Peperomoides) are mostly grown for their large, round leaves that resemble silver dollars. They will flower with small white flowers on pink stems especially after exposure to cooler temperatures. That are not frost tolerant.

Mature Height x Spread
The Chinese money plant grows quickly to about 1 foot tall and wide. This unique houseplant is often hard to find in garden centers and florist shops.

How to Plant
Plant Chinese money plants in small pots filled with well-drained potting soil. Keep air temperatures above 50F and avoid cold drafts in winter.

Growing Tips
The Chinese money plant is native to Southern China. It was collected by a Norwegian missionary and spread through Scandinavia, and then the world, because it’s easy to propagate. It’s a much desired plant in the houseplant world for its easy care and round, green leaves.

Water money plants once the soil has dried and cut back on watering in winter. Give plants an occasional shower to clean off the leaves. Fertilize monthly from spring to summer with a houseplant fertilizer.

Spider mites and mealy bugs might be a problem in dry homes in winter. Place the money plant in a drainage tray filled with pebbles and water to increase the humidity and discourage the spider mites. Dab mealy bugs with a cotton swab dipped in rubbing alcohol to kill them.

Design Tips:
These small plants are perfect for desk tops, small rooms, dorms and other places where you’d like to have an accent plant.

There aren’t many variations in the Chinese money plant available for sale. You can easily propagate unique types that friends and family have by watching for small baby plants growing in the soil off the other plant. Separate them from the main plant and grow them in their own pot.