The author has many house plants including pothos, a christmas cactus, pilea peperomioides, spider plants, desert rose, bamboo, and ferns.
The Gift that Keeps on Giving
The pilea peperomioides plant has many nicknames including the Chinese money plant, UFO plant, pancake plant, missionary plant, lefse plant, or mirror grass. Most of these names refer to the unique round shape of its leaves, which frequently move based on sunlight and moisture in its environment. It is a popular houseplant and has a history of being spread via cuttings from gardener to gardener. The plant produces baby or daughter plants both from its root system and as a growth on its stem. Thus, it is the gift that keeps on giving -- repot your pilea babies or give them to your loved ones!
One of my friends gave me my first pilea about two years ago. It was one of my first houseplants so I was not the best caretaker -- however it weathered everything I threw at it! I left it in too small of a pot for far too long and did not fertilize it, but it stayed alive regardless. After surviving multiple weekends and weeks out of town, I finally repotted it in fertilized potting soil and it grew about four times the size! Now my Chinese money plant is growing two babies that popped up next to it from under the soil.
Try Putting Pilea in a Terrarium
I have not yet tried this, but the species is perfect for terrarium settings. The UFO plant thrives in humid environments and sustained temperatures, so a terrarium set up that requires virtually no upkeep would work swimmingly.
Pilea Plants Grow Large (And Flower!)
Pilea plants can grow very large and even flower. Flowering happens rarely, but is a gorgeous sight when it does happen. This can be accomplished by ensuring the plant has cold winter season, followed by a sunny spring. In general, the plant will thrive at normal room temperature (about 68 degrees F to 77 degrees) and weekly watering. Water a little more when it's hot and never let the leaves sit in direct sunlight.