Pilea peperomioides

Pancake Plant – Chinese Money Plant

Widely grown as an indoor plant Pilea peperomioides is commonly called the ‘Chinese Money Plant’ amongst others. This common name comes from the rounded leaves that look like coins.

Pilea peperomioides

It has been in cultivation since the late 1940s but only found popularity in the mid 1980s.

This is the many attractive indoor plants available, and this one is grown for the bright green rounded foliage. It is easy to propagate, hence another common name of ‘Friendship Plant’.

How to Grow Pilea peperomioides

This is a very easy care indoor plant, it thrives in bright filtered light, and indoors it it not to fussy about temperature.

  • Light and Sun
    Bright filtered or indirect light will produce the best growth. Too much shade will cause the plant to reach for light, growth will be sparse and leggy.
    Hot direct sun will cause leaf burn, so avoid that.
  • Soil/Growing Medium
    Use a humus rich well drained potting mix for best results. If you have a heavier mix, add some pumice, perlite or other material to open up the mix and provide that important drainage.
  • Watering
    We water once a week and little less in winter months. Always check that the soil has almost dried between watering as wet soggy soils can cause root rot.
  • Temperature
    Indoors the Money Plant will thrive with normal temperatures, just keep it away from cold drafts and heating ducts. Try 65 – 75f as a guide.
    Colder nighttime temperature will improve the possibility of flowers.
  • Fertilizer
    You can use a slow release 12 month fertilizer and that will be adequate. Liquid fertilizer once every 3 weeks from spring through summer will improve growth rate.
  • Repotting
    Generally every 3 years. Make sure you use pot with adequate drag holes.

Common Questions

Do Pilea plants like fertilizer?

Pilea do like fertiliser, and they respond well to regular applications of fertiliser from spring right through summer. Indoors use a slow release indoor plant fertiliser applied in early spring. S liquid fertiliser applied once every 3 weeks can also be beneficial.

Should I mist spray my Pilea?

Indoors with heating and cooling reducing humidity mist spraying once a week can be beneficial. Mist spray in the morning so leaves have a chance to dry before night time. Aim for a humidity of around 65%.

Use room temperature water for mist spraying. However, Pilea are not really that fussy about humidity

Other ways to increase humidity.

  • You can increase humidity by using pebbles in a dish of water and sitting the pot on top of this.
  • Placing indoor plants in groups will also help increase humidity.

Can I bottom water my Chinese Money Plant?

Bottom watering will saturate the soil, so this can be a good way to water Pilea. A soak once a week will be adequate.

However ensure that you have good drainage and make sure the soil begins to dry between waterings.

What is the right size pot of a Pilea.

Generally a pot that is 6 inches across is adequate for smaller plants. When you repot, if the root system has filled the pot increase the pot size by 2 inches.

Best Soil Mix For Pilea

A soil mixture of a good quality potting mix with 1 part extra perlite to 4 parts soil will provide the drainage and aeration that the plant likes.


Fungus Gnats, Mealybugs and the general indoor pests. 

Use a white oil horticultural spray for all of these. For Fungus Gnats try a topping of crushed rocks, this helps prevent the Fungus Gnats form laying their eggs and breaks the cycle.

Summary Information

  • Botanical Name : Pilea peperomioides 
  • Common Names : Chinese money plant, Pancake plant, Friendship plant
  • Origins : China (Yunnan Province)
  • Position : Filtered light to part shade.
  • Soil : Well Drained
  • Size : To 18 inches in height usually shorter.
  • Growth Rate : Medium
  • Flowering Time : Spring,although indoors it rarely flowers.
  • Flower Colour : White
  • Foliage : Mid Green and rounded.