Chinese Money Plant, does it live up to the hype?

About four months ago I bought a Chinese Money Plant, AKA Pilea, for a family member for Christmas. I am typically slow to jump on the “trendy” plant train, so this was my first time buying pilea. To my annoyance, my local greenhouse only had one size and one price – 6″ pot for $38. I have never paid that much for a plant that size. So I picked it up and carried it around the greenhouse with me to think about it. Then I spoke to a greenhouse worker about it, and she told me that as long as I picked a plant with a lot of pups that I would get my money’s worth. Apparently, pilea are crazy easy to propagate, and buying one plant with four pups essentially means you are buying five plants. And the plant I was holding had ten! So I bought it.

The original pilea plant I bought.

Once I got the plant home, I busted off all ten of the pups. I say busted because pilea babies don’t just let you wiggle them away from the mother plant, you have to break them off. I was genuinely afraid that the babies would all die because of the trauma it took to separate them. But I planted all of them up, gave them a drink, and set them in a sunny, south-facing window. For four months I’ve kept them in that sunny window and only watered them when pretty dry and here are my results…

Ten happy and healthy Chinese Money Plants!

Ten happy and healthy Chinese Money Plants that have probably doubled in size! That’s a 100% success rate. They don’t each have their own pot, but there are ten separate plants in that picture and they are all looking really healthy. Eventually they will each get their own pot and will either find a place in my house or become a gift for someone else!

So…..does the Chinese Money Plant live up to the hype??

Going back to the title of this post: Chinese Money Plant, does it live up to the hype? My personal answer is yes, here’s why…

  • Easy care. From the looks of this plant, I thought it might be kind of wussy but I was totally wrong! Even the tiny pups handled being roughly broken off and repotted without skipping a beat. The worst that happened was a leaf or two yellowing and falling off. And once they survived transplant these plants have been so easy to care for. Keep them in a south window and only water once the soil is pretty dang dry and you’re golden. See my post about drench and dry watering, this is how I water my pilea.
  • Propagation. Plants that make more of themselves easily are always on my good side. Not only does it mean you can get more bang for your buck, but propagation is fun and gives you an opportunity to give great gifts at essentially no cost.
  • Demeanor. Pilea are the happiest looking plants! Having one on your desk is like having a super happy little friend right next to you while you work. They are a feng shui staple, and I kind of can’t look at one without getting a little burst of positivity.

Have you thought about getting a Chinese Money Plant but have held off because of the price tag, or because you are afraid it will be hard to care for? Hold off no more! This plant is a winner.

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