Popular Pilea types

How much species are included in the genus Pilea, the botanical experts do not seem to agree. There could be between 600 and 715 kinds (source).

The main area of distribution of these plants is in tropical and subtropical regions. Many are native to Asia, some to North and South America.

Pilea glauca
Pilea glauca

Some pileas have the ability to throw their pollen and seeds meters through the area. This is why they are commonly called artillery plants.

However, they do not have this specialty exclusively, some Wood Sorrels (Oxalis) or the Madagascar Jewel (Euphorbia leuconeura), which is popular as a houseplant, also master the technique.

Pilea cadierei
The Aluminum Plant (Pilea cadierei) is native to China and Vietnam.

Gray Baby Tears (Pilea glauca)

Gray Baby Tears Pilea glauca

Pilea glauca is native to Brazil, and its small leaves have a green-metallic sheen. The creeping shoots can grow up to 50 centimeters long, making it well suited for culture in a hanging basket.

Gray Baby Tears is suitable for partial sun to partial shade locations.

Pilea glauca cuttings
Pilea glauca can be easily propagated by cuttings. They are just placed on the substrate and pressed on. It takes only 2 to 4 weeks until they are established.

Friendship Plant (Pilea involucrata)

Pilea involucrata is called Friendship Plant. This name is also used for other Pileas. In the shops you can find mostly the cultivar “Moon Valley”, whose leaves are dark brown in the middle.

Pilea involucrata Moon Valley
Pilea involucrata “Moon Valley”

The Friendship Plant is believed to be native to tropical and subtropical America. It can grow up to 30 centimeters high and is suitable for care on the windowsill or as a terrarium plant.

The growing location may be partial sun to partial shade, with morning sun, evening sun and winter sun. Keep the soil evenly moist but not dripping wet. Pilea involucrata prefers it warm all year round and does not like to be below 59 °C (15 °C) for long periods.

Friendship Plants

Silver Tree Pilea (Pilea spruceana)

Silver Tree Pilea spruceana

Pilea spruceana is native to Bolivia and Peru. There are some cultivars available, such as Pilea spruceana “Silver Tree” shown here with a wide silver stripe down the center of the leaf.

Pilea spruceana Silver Tree

Chinese Money Plant (Pilea peperomioides)

Undoubtedly the most popular species of the genus is Pilea peperomioides. It comes from China and is loved thanks to its leaves that look remotely like a UFO. That is why it is also known as Ufo Plant or Pancake Plant.

Pilea peperomioides Sugar
Pilea peperomioides “Sugar” has slightly marbled leaves.

Pilea peperomioides grows well in light to semi-shade locations, but needs to be overwintered in a cool place, at 50 to 59 °F (10 to 15 °C), if it is to show its flowers.

Chinese Money Plant

Categories: Indoor Plants |

More species from the Urticaceae family