A unique and trendy plant genus that is rising in popularity for many reasons, Pilea houseplants have many benefits. Known for their air purification abilities and reputed to bring good luck to the household, they are also straightforward to propagate and share with others.
Pilea is the genus that encompasses more than 600 species of plants.
There are more than 600 species of Pilea. Most of them are either succulents or herbaceous plants that are part of the nettle family, Urticaceae.
The most popular Pilea plant, Pilea peperomioides (Chinese money plant) originated in the Yunnan province of China. A Norwegian missionary named Agnar Espegren found the plant and brought it to his home country in the 1940s.
The succulent varieties of Pilea tend to have round flat leaves. Some grow upright, like the Chinese money plant, while others are vining, like baby tears and aquamarine varieties.
Other Pilea plants have more nettle-like characterisitcs, with saw-tooth edges, variegated coloring, and textured leaves, like the friendship plant.
Pilea peperomioides and some other varieites may also produce small white flowers.
This video has a fantastic overview with pictures of some of the most popular Pilea varities.
Types Of Pilea Plants
There are hundreds of species of Pileas, but some of the most common houseplant varieties include:
Chinese Money Plant (Pilea peperomioides)
Aluminum Plant (Pilea cadierei minima)
Artillery Fern (Pilea microphylla)
Friendship Plant (Pilea involucrata ‘Friendship’)
Gray Baby Tears (Pilea libanensis)
Pilea plants can be potted in a standard pot, such as terra-cotta. Vining varieites are beautiful in a hanging planter, and since they’re succulents, they’ll do well in a bright bathroom or kitchen window with indirect light.
The creeping ground cover types, like gray baby tears do well in a terrarium as they like humidity.