Repotting a Pilea Peperomioides (aka Chinese Money Plant)

Chinese money plant: The gift that keeps on giving…unlike real money

This is Week 2 of the ‘Day in the Life: Katie Shelters At Home‘ guest series by Katie, grapefruit green tea mixologist.

Last August, Mary sent me this Melbourne blogger’s post accompanied by the words “so cute.” I said, “What’s that?” to which she replied, “Chinese money plant (pilea).” So this is how I first heard about this much loved, very trendy houseplant. While she jumped on the bandwagon right away and purchased one from a cute SF nursery, I did not come into possession of one until February, when Mary gave me one as a (belated) birthday gift. Except this time, she got it at Trader Joe’s and it only cost $8.99.

The supposed ‘it’ plant of 2017

Since then, it has been sitting on my coffee table and my current roommate has been watering it when the leaves look sad. I’m used to succulents that hardly require any water, but apparently this little guy needs much more frequent love and care. Mary and I agree that the Chinese money plants look better in a less dense cluster. There’s just something about how the skinny stems fall away from the central stalk, leaving the round leaves floating like a sputnik chandelier

Propagation station setup

With the weather finally warming up this week, I set out to repot and propagate the Chinese money plant! I am by no means a plant expert, so I turned to this particularly engaging video to figure out what I needed to do.

Combined the gardening soil from last year with my trusty cactus/succulent mix. Both Riley (my dog helper above) and I have no idea if this was actually the correct mix.

I noticed straight away that my pilea did not have one central stalk like in the video, but two. This was confirmed as the two stalks were easily separated, each with their own root ball.

Separated like conjoined twins after birth

Each mother plant was still pretty wild looking, and I was perplexed because the “pups” seemed to be growing from the sides of each main stalk rather than from below the soil. I clipped a few of these side stalks off and placed them in the jars of water.

Good use for the many jars I’ve collected over the years #recycle

Since the two mother plants were still pretty big, I decided to repot the larger of the two back into the original plastic planter. Eventually I will place it in a cuter decorative pot. While Chinese money plants are generally considered easy houseplants, I need to remember to keep the soil moist and rotate the pots every couple of days so that they grow into that cute dome shape!

The pilea will stay indoors in indirect sunlight and hopefully not die

Now, it’s a waiting game for the babies to grow roots so I can pot them when ready (stay tuned!). Mary has already claimed one, in her words, to come “full circle.” If you would like a baby pilea, just let me know!

Yours if the price is right…jk

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