Chinese Money Plant Pilea Peperomioides Care 2020 Guide

Pilea Peperomioides plant has become the houseplant on everyone’s wish list. They may become the rarest and most sought after houseplant in the US.

They are so quick and easy to propagate. These plants are hardy down to USDA zone 10. This means that the best location to grow a Chinese Money plant is in a pot indoors.

The plant is happy with lots of indirect light but does not tolerate direct sun. The Chinese Money plant should be placed near a sunny window.

Chinese Money Plant profile

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The Chinese Money plant is a native of China. The leaves are flat round coin-shaped. The leaves float on nice-looking stems that will move up and down with no specific path in low wind.

On the upper part of the leaf will be a lighter shade of green or white dot. It is where the stem meets the leaf and holds the leaf in place.

Common name

Scientific name: Pilea Peperomioides. Common name: Chinese Money plant.

Growth and size

The Chinese Money plants are well suited for pots and relatively small. They can grow to a height of 20 cm to 30 cm or about 8 to 12 inches.

The leaves can have a diameter of over 15 centimeters or more or less 4 inches.

The Pilea Peperomioides plant is a relatively fast grower during its growing season between spring months to fall.

To keep the main stem growing upward, you must rotate the plant regularly. Because the plant will turn all of its leaves towards the light.


You can personalize your bedroom and get a better night’s sleep with the beauty of these houseplants. It will add color, add life, and dress up bedroom decor.

You can also decorate any living space with this plant by adding the perfect pop of green to any room. It can be combined with white pots or other colorful pots.

How to grow Chinese Money plant

Light requirement

The best light requirement for a Chinese Money plant is a bright light, with no direct sunlight. You have to avoid the direct sun because that may scorch leaves. A light shade area may encourage larger leaves.

The best light level for a Pilea Peperomioides is when the plant is facing in an east or west-facing window.

If the sun shines from early morning (05:00 AM) to mid-morning (10:00 AM) directly into the window, it’s called Eastern exposure or east-facing window. Usually, this exposure gives medium-light which is perfect for Pilea Peperomioides.

If the sun shines in the late afternoon (04:00 PM – 6:00 PM) until sunset, directly in your window, it’s called western exposure or west-facing window. It is a moderate light condition, one of the best light conditions for Chinese Money plants.


The best soil for the Chinese Money plant is the well-drained potting soil. Avoid using garden soil to plant the houseplant.

Avoid using the cheapest potting soil because it usually has a much higher amount of salt. Always use a high-quality organic potting soil.

Preferably soil that is based on peat moss or coir fiber.

You can use a premium Cacti and Succulent soil potting mix for growing the Chinese Money plant. This type of potting soil does not hold too much water or moisture.

The potting soil is perfect in assisting with good drainage.

You can also mix in a small portion of perlite for good drainage. Mix about 10% parts perlite to 90% parts soil.


The Chinese Money Plant will not tolerate temperatures below 10°C or 50°F. They are comfortable to be in temperatures between 18°C to 26°C or 65°F to 80°F.

These temperatures are similar to the temperature where it is originated in Southwest China. The average temperature of those regions is from 16°C to 24°C or 61–75°F.

Avoid cold places and keep these plants away from any risk of frost. You can relocate these plants indoor during cold temperatures.


The Chinese Money plant does not require a specific humidity level. It thrives well in a drier environment.

For reference, you may want to consider adjusting the humidity level similar to its origin, the Southwest region of China. The average annual percentage of humidity is 71.0%.

You can adjust the humidity level by using a pebble tray or humidifier or placing the plant in a humid environment like the bathroom. You can also mist spray the plant regularly.


The best pot for the Chinese money plant is a pot with drainage holes. You can use a plastic pot or terracotta pot and make sure they have drainage holes at the bottom.

How to care Chinese Money plant


The Pilea Peperomioides will produce many pups and a fair amount of growth. Feeding on a regular basis is good to keep everything working as expected.

Feed the plant one time in one month and do not overfertilize the plant. The best fertilizer to use is a standard houseplant or cacti based fertilizer.

You can also fertilize the Chinese Money plant with all-purpose plant fertilizer monthly during the spring months and summer months or growing seasons.


The Chinese Money plant is happy to be watered well. Allow the soil to dry before the next watering.

If the temperature is warmer, you may need to water the plant 2 to 3 times a week. You may water the plant less than 3 times a week during cooler temperatures or winter months.

Avoid the soil to dry out because it will make a droopy look plant. It will also make the stems lose strength and start to flop.

Do not overwater the plant or it may cause a droopy look. Check the topsoil if it gets dry then you can reach for the watering can.


Retain the Chinese Money plant bushy by pruning long branches. Cut off branches that outgrow the rest of the plant.

Give the Chinese Money plant a round shape. Use sharp pruning shears or scissors. The pruning practice will encourage the plant to branch.

Trim off dead or dry leaves to be a part of the Chinese Money plant’s life cycle. Do it when you see dead leaves in the bowl of the plant.


The Chinese Money plant needs space. The plant will eventually outgrow their pots.

Re-pot the plant twice in the first year due to how much it grew. After the first year, re-pot the plant once a year would be enough in the following years.

Prepare a pot that is 2 to 4 inches bigger than the original pot.

Use a standard all-purpose potting mix for repotting the Chinese Money plant. Just find a potting mix that is labeled as suitable for houseplants.

A good drainage potting soil will help aerate the soil. This will also give the roots space to grow and room for new pups to form.

When you have the pot and the soil, it’s time to begin the procedure.

Step 1

Layout some newspapers to catch any excess soil.

Step 2

Pop the plant out of its original pot and discard the old soil.

Step 3

Make sure to wash the roots with a good rinse, to see a spot of any potential problems.

Step 4

Fill out the new pot 1/3 of the way with the potting soil. Delicately place the plant into the new pot. Use a spoon to keep adding soil until the roots are fully covered. Keep adding soil until the pot is full.

Step 5

Delicately press the soil. Add another soil if needed.

How to propagate the Chinese Money plant

The best and easiest way to propagate the plant is through cuttings. Remove the constant supply of offsets and runners.

You can also grow a new Pilea Peperomioides plant from seed, but this is not easy. New plants from seed are slow to grow. It would take even more time for the seedling to reach a decent size.

For the easier propagation, the cuttings, firstly have a look down at the type of growth. You can see at the soil level of the Chinese Money plant.

When the main plant reaches a certain level of maturity, you will notice lots of growth points. The main stem will be the biggest of them all.

You can see smaller versions growing. You can also see little wooden stems with small leaves emerging.

A healthy and happy plant will send plantlets up through the soil. These plantlets can be separate from the mother plant.

Follow the stem about an inch under the soil. Use a clean, sharp knife to cut the plantlets free.

Prepare a pot with drainage holes and potting soil. Plant these plantlets in the new pot filled with potting soil.

Always keep the soil moist until the plant is well-anchored. And keep the soil moist to produce new leaves.

New plantlets may also grow straight from the stem. You can also cut these free. Prepare a jar of water. Place the stem in water until roots develop in at least two weeks.

Pests problems

The Pilea Peperomioides plant has a good resistance against pests. Thrips or Aphids are the most common pests that might be found around the plant.

You can apply Neem oil to the plant to get rid of them.

Frequently ask question

Why the Chinese Money plant has curled leaves?

Curled leaves on a Chinese Money plant is usually a common thing to see. It’s not a problem but it will draw attention because the leaves look their best when they’re flat and pancake-shaped.

The curl leaves can be caused by many things. In most cases, curled leaves are caused by the light issue.

Curled bottom leaves can mean that the plant receives too much water. Curled top leaves can be caused by the plant receives too much sun.

Why are the bottom leaves are yellowing and falling off?

This actually occurs to most plants. The most possible cause could be the age of the plant. Old leaves (the bottom ones) will yellow and eventually fall off. When this happens, new leaves will begin to grow.  If leaves begin to yellow, these leaves will not recover. Allow it to fall off by itself or you can pluck it off.

Why are the bottom leaves have white spots?

The leaves have pores or stomata which allow for gas exchange. Water vapor is released through these pores as well. White spots are a mineral deposit when the water vapor is discharged. Using distilled water and wipe out those white spots. They will be gone.

Why are the leaves have brown spots?

The cause of brown spots could be over-fertilized and/or over-watered. Over-fertilizing means a chemical burn. The Chinese Money plant is not happy to be in wet soil. The proper way to water the plant is to wait for the soil to dry.  Brown spots could also mean the plant receives too much direct sunlight so they get a sunburn. They should get bright filtered light. The other cause might be the plant has bugs.  Inspect the plant and apply the right insecticide.

Why are the leaves droopy?

The Chinese Money plant leaves may substantially droop. The cause of droopy leaves is the plant does not receive enough water. Water well but do not over-watering. Overwatering could cause root rot. Drooping leaves could be a sign of root rot.

Recommended accessories

The Chinese Money plant live plant

Potting soil


A jar glass

Pruning shears

Neem oil

Henry Kaswandi, SS, M.Kom.

I had been doing gardening for the last 18 years. I enjoy writing reviews of many products and about gardening to give better experiences and accurate information.