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Home » Chinese Money Plant (Pilea peperomioides): Plant Care and Growing Guide – House Plants Expert

Chinese Money Plant (Pilea peperomioides): Plant Care and Growing Guide – House Plants Expert

by Elyssa Goins
This article was fact checked.
Helpful: 100%

The Chinese money plant, also known as Pilea peperomioides, is a popular houseplant known for its distinctive round leaves and ease of care. These plants are native to the Yunnan province of China and have been a favorite of houseplant enthusiasts for decades. With proper care, a Chinese money plant can thrive and bring a touch of greenery to any room in your home.

It is referred to as the “Chinese money tree” or “lefse plant” due to its round, coin-shaped leaves. The Chinese money plant was first discovered by a Norwegian missionary named Agnar Espegren in the 1940s. The plant quickly gained popularity in Europe and North America as a houseplant due to its unique appearance and ease of care. Chinese money plants are known to bring good luck and prosperity. This makes them a popular choice for business and office spaces. The plant has small, delicate pink or white flowers that appear on tall stalks, but they are not the main attraction of the plant. The Chinese money plant is a member of the nettle family, Urticaceae.

Chinese Money Plant
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How To Grow Chinese Money Plant?

One of the most important things to consider when caring for a Chinese money plant is its lighting needs. These plants prefer bright, indirect light and will do well in a spot near a window that receives indirect sunlight. However, it’s important to avoid direct sunlight, as it can scorch the leaves and cause them to turn yellow. If you don’t have a spot in your home that receives enough indirect light, you can also use artificial lighting to supplement the plant’s needs.

Another important aspect of Chinese money tree plant care is watering. These plants prefer to be kept consistently moist, but not waterlogged. To ensure the plant is getting the right amount of water, it’s best to use the finger test. Simply stick your finger into the soil about an inch deep and check to see if the soil is moist. If it is, you don’t need to water. If it’s dry, it’s time to water. Be sure to use well-draining soil and a pot with drainage holes to prevent waterlogging.

Growing Chinese Money Plant

In addition to proper lighting and watering, it’s important to keep an eye on the temperature and humidity levels in your home. Chinese money plants prefer temperatures between 60 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit and humidity levels between 40 and 60%. If the air in your home is too dry, you can use a humidifier or place a tray of water near the plant to help increase humidity.

How To Propagate Chinese Money Plant?

Chinese money plant propagation is a great way to create new plants for yourself or to share with friends. The plant can be propagated through stem cuttings or by dividing the plant’s roots. To propagate through stem cuttings, simply snip a section of stem with at least two leaves and a node (the small bump on the stem where the leaves grow). Dip the cut end of the stem in rooting hormone and then place it in a pot of well-draining soil. Keep the soil moist and in bright, indirect light, and after a few weeks, roots should begin to form.

Propagate Chinese Money Plant

Propagating by dividing the roots is another option. When your Chinese money plant becomes overcrowded or root-bound, it’s time to divide it. Carefully remove the plant from its pot and gently separate the roots. Replant each division in its pot with well-draining soil. Be sure to water well after planting.

Hanging Chinese money plant by stem cutting can also be a way of propagation. Simply take a stem cutting and let it hang down from a container filled with water. Roots will form in about a week, and then you can plant them into the soil.

Hanging Chinese Money Plant

Leaves Curling

One of the most common problems that Chinese money plant owners encounter is leaves curling. This can be caused by several factors, including too much or too little water, low humidity, or exposure to drafts. If you notice the leaves curling, it’s important to address the problem right away to prevent further damage.

Yellow Leaves

Another common problem of the Chinese money plant is yellow leaves. This can be caused by several factors, including over-fertilization, exposure to direct sunlight, or a lack of nutrients. If you notice yellow leaves on your Chinese money plant, it’s important to address the problem right away to prevent further damage.

Yellow leaves

Is It Toxic To Cats?

The Chinese money plant is not toxic to cats when ingested, but it may still cause other health problems. If a cat were to ingest the plant, it could suffer from gastrointestinal distress, vomiting, and diarrhea. 

Additionally, the leaves and stems of the plant could become lodged in the throat or digestive tract and cause blockage, or the sap from the plant could irritate sensitive tissues in the mouth, throat, and eyes. For these reasons, it is best to keep cats away from this plant and seek veterinary attention if symptoms occur.

Chinese Money Plant Flowers

And at last, Chinese money plants have a reputation for producing small, insignificant flowers. These flowers are not the plant’s main attraction and do not require special care.

plant on a vase


Chinese money plants are known to grow quickly, reaching heights of up to 2 feet within a year. The leaves of the Chinese money plant are considered to be edible and are sometimes used in salads or stir-fries in China. It is a symbol of friendship and is often gifted to friends and loved ones. The Chinese money plant is considered to be an “air purifying” plant, helping to remove toxins and pollutants from the air. It can be trained to grow as a hanging plant, creating a unique and interesting display. The Chinese money plant is known to be a fast grower. It means that it will require regular repotting as it outgrows its container.

Chinese money plants have a distinctive “creeping” habit that makes them perfect for a hanging basket or a topiary. It is known to have a positive effect on mental health, helping to reduce stress and anxiety. The leaves are known to change color depending on the amount of light it receives. In low light, the leaves will be a darker green, while in brighter light, the leaves will be a lighter green. Chinese money plants are known to be low maintenance and easy to care for, making them a great choice for busy homeowners or those who don’t have a lot of time to devote to plant care. It is hardy and can tolerate a wide range of lighting and temperature conditions. It makes it a great choice for beginners or those with limited experience with houseplants.

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Overall, it is a low-maintenance and easy-to-care-for houseplant. With proper lighting, watering, temperature, and humidity levels, your plant can thrive and bring a touch of greenery to your home. 

Also, propagating your plant through stem cuttings or dividing the roots is a great way to create new plants to share with friends or to add to other areas of your home. Keep an eye out for common issues such as leaves curling or yellowing. Then, address them quickly to prevent further damage. With proper care, your plant will be a beautiful addition to your home for years to come.

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