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  • Writer's pictureDebi Holland

Fagus Times Pilea peperomioides

Cactus and succulents have seen a surge in popularity. After virtually a year of lockdowns many of us have found plants a welcomed distraction from Covid chaos, turning to our indoor gardens to relax and improve wellbeing.

One of my favourites houseplants is Pilea peperomioides, a perennial evergreen succulent, which originates from the Yunnan Province in Southern China. Many moons ago a friend gave me one as a present and it has since grown 50cm tall and had numerous babies.

These unusual plants have dark waxy leaves, which resemble flying saucers. Pilea are perfect for even the most reluctant gardeners as they require little maintenance.

To keep your Pilea in tip top condition place in a light space out of direct sunlight. Periodically rotate so all leaves receive light and grow in an even shape.

Watering. Pop your finger in the top of the soil, if damp leave, if dry water with rainwater from the bottom so the roots can suck up the moisture. Feed once a month and repot every couple of years to refresh the compost.

They propagate profusely so you will soon have an army of ‘pups.’ Cut these off the parent plant and repot in peat-free compost, ideally mixed with perlite for aeration and coco coir, which is lightweight and retains water. Don’t worry if none of these are available at home, just use what you have. Pop grit in the base of the pot for drainage.

Pilea quickly develops into substantial new plants, which make fabulous presents for friends. These Chinese Money Plant’s are supposed to bring good luck; also known as the Friendship Plant, they are wonderful plants to share!

I was invited to write this article for Fagus Gardening Club's Fagus Times issue No 13 which is written and edited by Fagus President Mary Payne MBE.

All photos © Debi Holland 2021


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