How to Care for Chinese Money Plants

The good luck plant

Written by Gabrielle Smith

The Pilea peperomioides, also known as the Chinese Money Plant is a beautiful flowering succulent with bright green, circular leaves. The Chinese Money Plant flowers bloom a light pink and have a delicate appearance. The Chinese Money plant meaning originates from the Southwest China region in which the plant is thought to bring good luck and wealth to its owner due to its circular shaped leaves that appear coin-like. This flowering plant is extremely easy to care for and low maintenance. To ensure your plant is able to thrive, water only when the soil is dry and ensure your plant is not exposed to temperatures below 50 degrees.

Botanical Name: Pilea peperomioides
Common Name(s):Chinese Money Plant, UFO Plant, Coin Plant
Plant TypeSucculent
Place of Origin:Southwest China
Sun Exposure: Indirect Bright Sun/Filtered Sun 
Watering Schedule:Every 10-12 days
Seasonality: Spring and summer
Bloom Time: Winter 
Toxicity:Safe for cats and dogs

CHINESE MONEY PLANT LIGHT REQUIREMENTS:

Your Chinese Money Plant should be placed in a location where it receives bright, indirect or filtered sun. Filtered sun is when your plant is placed in a location where it receives about 1 hour of direct sun through a sheer or thin curtain. The ideal indoor location for your Chinese Money Plant is about 5 feet away from a southern or western facing window. This location will provide indirect sunlight whilst protecting your plant from being scorched!

How to Use Artificial Light For Your Chinese Money Plant:
01.Try Full Spectrum LED grow lights -  Although it is ideal for your Chinese Money Plant to receive natural light, if your home does not have a lot of natural light, you can supplement with a full spectrum LED grow light. Ensure your Chinese Money Plant is positioned about 12-24 inches below the LED grow light to protect the leaves from becoming burnt from too high temperatures. The closer your plant is to the grow light, the more intense the temperature your plant will be exposed to. Depending on the climate of your home, adjust your grow light accordingly.

CHINESE MONEY PLANT PLANT WATER REQUIREMENTS:

The Chinese Money Plant is drought resistant and does not have complicated watering needs. Water your Chinese Money Plant every 10 days with about ½ an inch of filtered water or until the top inch of soil is moist. Only water your Chinese Money Plant once the soil is completely dry. During the colder winter and autumn months, water your indoor plant once every four to six. If your plant is outdoors, it will not need to be watered during the winter or autumn. 

CHINESE MONEY PLANT TEMPERATURE REQUIREMENTS:

An ideal temperature for a Chinese Money Plant ranges between 60℉ and 75℉. Since moderate temperature is preferred, a typical house climate is perfect for your Chinese Money Plant. But how cold of a temperature can a Chinse Money Plant tolerate, you ask? Nothing below 55℉. This plant is not resistant to cold temperature, so anything below 55℉ can cause damage or death to your plant.

CHINESE MONEY PLANT HUMIDITY REQUIREMENTS:

In addition to moderate temperatures the Chinese Money Plant also prefers average humidity to high humidity . Average humidity to high humidity is between levels of 40 and 80 percent. If your home is prone to lower humidity levels, make sure to mist your plant occasionally and position your plant around other plants  to increase humidity levels. Both of these methods will ensure your Chinese Money Plant is maintaining average humidity levels and able to thrive in its indoor environment. 

How to Increase Humidity For Your Chinese Money Plant:
01. Mist Your Plant - A great way to increase humidity for your plant is by spraying with a mist of water. The best water to use is room temperature rain water because it contains minimal chemicals.

02. Add Gravel or Stones - Find a shallow ceramic bowl and fill with gravel or stones and stand the plant in the gravel. The gravel will encourage a damp environment that will increase humidity for your plant. Always ensure the gravel is kept moist to keep the humidity high. Be sure to not overwater your gravel because this can cause damage to your plant.

CHINESE MONEY PLANT SOIL:

 Chinese Money Plants prefer soil mixtures on the sandy side. When picking out your soil mix, look for something that is light and dry, and high in acidity and low in nutrients. An all-purpose potting mix is a good option as this is a 2:1:1 ratio of soil, compost, and perlite. This provides excellent drainage for your plant!

CHINESE MONEY PLANT FERTILIZER:

Being that it is so resilient, the Chinese Money Plant only requires fertilizer once a month! The best fertilizer to use is an all-purpose 20-20-20 fertilizer diluted to half strength. The formula includes 20% phosphorus, 20% nitrogen, and 20% potassium. The nitrogen in the fertilizer will stimulate growth for your plant. The phosphorus and potassium helps solidify a strong root system. Typical 20-20-20 fertilizer can be too strong for a Chinese Money Plant so it is important that you dilute it. In order to dilute the fertilizer take half a teaspoon of the fertilizer and add one gallon of water. Make sure to stir the fertilizer until it completely dissolves. 

CHINESE MONEY PLANT REPOTTING:

You should repot your Chinese Money Plant every two years or so, to make room for a growing plant. Be on the lookout for roots growing out of the drainage holes, as this could mean you need to repot sooner than the two year mark. Always remember to repot in a slightly larger vessel with fresh soil! 

CHINESE MONEY PLANT PROPAGATION:

Have you fallen in love with your Chinese Money Plant and want more? You're in luck! The Chinese Money Plant is one of the easiest plants to propagate. Here are two ways in which you can propagate your Chinese Money Plant using the propagation method of cutting: 

01. If you keep your original Chinese Money Plant healthy they will grow miniature plants from their roots. These plants are referred to ‘mini plants’ or ‘suckers’ . Cut the ‘suckers’ off the surface of the Chinese Money Plant as well as 3 cm below the soil’s surface. Your ‘suckers’ will have roots that are connected to the origin plant’s stem. Once you have the cutting of the mini Chinese Money Plant and place it in a pot with fresh soil. Ensure your plant is watered regularly and humidity remains high.

02. Using a sharp pair of scissors or a knife cut the long-leaf stem off of your original Chinese Money Plant. Place your cutting into a cup of room temperature water. It will take about 7 days for your cutting to form roots. Once the new roots have been formed, gently move the newly formed plant to a new pot and push the roots into the fresh soil.Make sure you keep the soil consistently most to ensure your new plant is growing strong! 

CHINESE MONEY PLANT COMMON PROBLEMS:

Although very resilient, the Chinese Money Plant does have its limits! If neglected, your Chinese Money Plant can be susceptible to numerous diseases and pests. 

01. Chinese Money Plant and Yellow Leaves - Is your Chinese Money plant leaves curling? One of the most common diseases that can affect your plant is yellowing leaves. There are two possibilities if your plant’s leaves are appearing yellow; if the yellowing appears towards the bottom of your Chinese Money Plant this is an indicator that your plant is in need of some fertilizer or increased light exposure. If the yellowing leaves appear throughout the entire plant, this is more likely due to your plant receiving too much sun or too much water. Once you spot yellowing or brown leaves on your plant be sure to immediately remove the leaves that have been infected. 

02. Spider Mites, Mealybugs, Aphids, and Whiteflies - In addition to browning/yellowing leaves, spider mites, mealybugs, aphids, and whiteflies can cause growth and health issues for your Chinese Money Plant. These pests typically begin their infestation at the base of the plant’s leaves and feed on the fluids inside the leaves. The best way to protect your plant from these pests is by regularly removing all dead leaves from the pot and removing dust from leaves using a damp cloth 

CHINESE MONEY PLANT TOXICITY 

If you're wondering if the Chinese Money Plant is toxic to cats and dogs? We have good news! Your Chinese Money Plant and cat or dog can live in bliss within your house. The Chinese Money Plant is not toxic to cats or dogs, therefore making it a safe plant to have around your pets.

Download the Flora App for more tips and tricks on how to take care of your Chinese Money Plants! 

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