Chinese Money Plant Care: Everything You Need To Know

Closeup of pilea peperomioides Chinese money friendship UFO plant potted houseplant propagated cuttings in green stoneware planter isolated on white background being held by a left , light-skinned human hand.
© Pegasene/Shutterstock.com

Written by Kathryn Koehler

Published: January 10, 2023

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Chinese money plant care: everything you need to know will walk you through the steps to having a healthy Chinese money plant. I was going to say healthy and happy Chinese money plant. This got me thinking if one could actually determine whether a plant is healthy and happy or simply healthy, which may be synonymous with happiness in the plant kingdom. I will say that talking to plants does tend to make them grow more vigorously, anecdotally speaking. I have determined through trial and error that Chinese money plants respond well to music, particularly the early works of Bacharach. So, beyond spinning some classic tunes, what else do you need to know to have a happy plant? Keep reading to learn about soil, light, and water requirements for Chinese money plants.

Chinese Money Plant Care: Soil

The first thing you need to make sure of is that the soil you use to plant your Chinese money plant in does not contain neonicotinoids. Neonicotinoids are pesticides derived from nicotine that were once commonly added to potting soil. Once it was discovered that neonicotinoids were harmful to bees and responsible for the decline of entire bee colonies, the makers of these commercially available soils agreed to phase them out in the coming years. That was a few years ago, but check the ingredients on the package. The bees will thank you.

Closeup of pilea peperomioides Chinese money friendship UFO plant potted houseplant propagated cuttings in green stoneware planter isolated on white background being held by a left , light-skinned human hand.

Fill in around the plant with more potting soil, leaving about 1/2 inch of space for ease of watering.

©Pegasene/Shutterstock.com

The best soil for your Pilea peperomioides is an organic mix containing peat, coco coir, and perlite. This mixture allows for the perfect combination of moisture and airiness to help your Chinese money plant thrive. You’ll want to fill the container about 1/2 way with soil before placing the plant into the pot. Fill in around the plant, leaving about 1/2 inch of space for ease of watering. Chinese money plants are vigorous growers producing many offshoots. Therefore, you’ll want to keep the potting soil handy for propagating the offshoots.

Chinese Money Plant Care: Light

Your freshly potted money plant deserves a place of honor in your home. Fortunately, these hardy houseplants aren’t finicky when it comes to light. With a little thought to placement, Pilea peperomioides can grow in just bout any room in your home or office. The only exception is/are rooms with only north-facing windows. Such rooms simply do not have enough sunlight to sustain Chinese money plants.

A Chinese money planting a round, grey ceramic pot is visible mid-to-lower right frame. The plant has approximately 40 round, glossy, green leaves. The plot is on a wooden table against a white wall. Sunlight is streaming through a window that is out of the frame to the right. The light is shining on the wall. The plant's shadow is on the wall. The wall is lighter where the sunlight is hitting it.

Turing a Chinese money plant that is kept in an east-facing window one 1/4 turn every week will keep it growing evenly.

©Kulbir G/Shutterstock.com

Eastern Light

Eastern windows are a good choice, bathing the plants in the morning sun. The morning sun is generally not too hot, offering the money plant several hours of direct sunlight. Turing a Chinese money plant that is kept in an east-facing window one 1/4 turn every week will keep it growing evenly. At the height of summer, check to be certain the window is not heating up too much. The plant will undoubtedly show signs of distress, from a reddening of the stems and leaves, to in severe cases, brown, crisp leaves.

Southern Light

The crisp leaf scenario is more likely to occur to a plant that is placed in or too close to a Southern facing window. Especially in the summertime. Southern windows are too hot for Chinese money plants. A room with a Southern window, however, provides plenty of light for your plant. In rooms with south-facing windows, place your money plant in the center of the room or along a wall.

In rooms with south-facing windows, place your money plant in the center of the room.

©Molly Shannon/Shutterstock.com

Western Light

Like its neighbor to the south, west-facing windows can get much too hot for Pilea peperomioides. So, like in rooms with south-facing windows, placing the plant in the center of the room with west-facing windows will provide the plant with enough light.

If you’re stuck in a windowless office or an apartment with only northern exposure, a grow light can provide life-giving light to your Chinese money plant. There are a number of different varieties of grow lights available to consumers. You’re sure to find one to fit your needs.

A Chinese money plant in a round black pot with a matching saucer is visible center-frame right.. The plant is smallish . with about 15 round green leaves. It is sitting on a green desk or table with a black desk lamp with a hinged arm attached to a round base is visible to the left . an empty picture frames leaning agains the gray wall. The light is shining on the frame and the plant. The edge of a flat screen television or monitor is barely visible, frame right.

If you’re stuck in a windowless office or an apartment with only northern exposure, a grow light can provide life-giving light to your Chinese money plant.

©A-photographyy/Shutterstock.com

Chinese Money Plant Care: Water

Less is more, an adage attributed to the architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe is a good one to keep in mind when it comes to watering your Pilea peperomioides. One thing these plants will not tolerate is overwatering. As a general rule, in an established plant, when the top 2 inches of soil are dry to the touch, it’s time to give your plant a good soaking. Whether you water the soil directly from the top with a faucet or watering can, or whether you prefer to bottom water using a saucer so the soil absorbs the water, be certain to drench your plant.

a light-skinned forearm and hand is visible in the upper right frame of the photograph watering a potted Pilea peperomioides houseplant on a wooden table with a natural top, but white edges. The pot that the plant is in is white. The plant is green with round leaves about the size of half dollars. there are a dozen or so leaves in the photo using white metal watering can.

As a general rule, in an established plant, when the top 2 inches of soil are dry to the touch, it’s time to give your plant a good soaking.

©DimaBerlin/Shutterstock.com

Drenching the soil and then allowing it to dry out is the most successful watering routine for Chinese money plants. Depending on the conditions in your home or office, weekly waterings are suggested in warmer months, while watering every two-to-three weeks is the wintertime routine. However, it’s better to check the soil for moisture rather than relying on a steadfast schedule. Remember, when it comes to watering, less is more!

Chinese Money Plant Care: Propagation

Chinese money plants are hardy plants that multiply like rabbits. Although, instead of producing baby bunnies, they produce offsets. Little clones of the original plant begin popping up around the base. Eventually, it will get to the point that the offsets affect the health of the established plant. Removing the offsets and repotting them will restore the original plant to health. Share the new plants with friends and family, keeping alive the tradition of the pass-along plant.

Chinese money plant transplants : nine whole and 6 partial round plastic containers filled with potting soil and containing cutting with between two and eight round green leaves/ Full frame/

Share the new plants with friends and family, keeping alive the tradition of the pass-along plant.

©Luoxi/Shutterstock.com

Providing a good start with organic potting soil, the right light, and not overwatering, your Chinese money plant will reward you with years of stunning beauty. Interested in learning more about Pilea Peperomiodies? Click here!

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About the Author

Kathryn Koehler is a writer at A-Z-Animals where her focus is on unusual animals, places, and events. Kat has over 20 years of experience as a professional writer and educator. She holds a master's degree from Vanderbilt University. When she is not writing for A-Z-Animals, Kat enjoys puttering in her garden, baking deliciously healthful treats for her family, and playing with her two rescue mutts, Popcorn and Scooter. She resides in Tennessee.

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