Pilea peperomioides was first identified in the early 1900s by George Forrest, a botanist and explorer from Scotland. George Forrest is famous for being one of the first westerners to explore the Yunnan Province in southwest China, the origin place of Pilea peperomioides. In the 1940s, Norwegian missionaries in China propagated the plants and brought them back to Scandinavia, where they quickly gained popularity. However, it wasn’t until the 1980s that Pilea peperomioides was identified. Pilea peperomioides is one of the few plants that has spread around the world via cuttings. Other names for Pileas include the Chinese money plant, the missionary plant, the pancake plant, and the UFO plant, for obvious reasons.
Pilea peperomioides is part of the nettle family. It is used in traditional Chinese medicine. Pilea peperomioides has small white flowers, and large saucer-like leaves. Pileas prefer bright indirect light, and well-draining soil. They tend to grow towards their light source, so Pileas should be rotated with each watering in order to keep them growing symmetrically. Propagating the Pilea peperomioides is simple. The plant sends it’s babies up through the roots, which can be clipped off about an inch below the soil. The clippings can then be either propagated directly in soil, or submerged in water until roots form.
Pilea peperomioides is becoming a very popular houseplant, although it isn’t always easy to find. Pileas are thought to bring good fortune and abundance. Share the wealth, and propagate baby Pileas for all your friends!