PILEA

FAMILY: Urticaceae

TYPE
  • Annuals
  • Perennials
SUN EXPOSURE
  • Filtered Light
  • Partial Shade
  • Full Shade
WATER
  • Regular Water
PLANTING ZONES
  • TS (Tropical South) / Zone 10
  • TS (Tropical South) / Zone 11
SPECIAL FEATURES
  • House Plants

Plant Details

Plants in this large group are grown for their colorful, often interestingly patterned and textured leaves; flowers of most are inconspicuous. Many are popular houseplantsbut where hardy, they also make nice outdoor potted plants or even ground covers for shady areas. Outdoors, they'll grow in moist soil in dappled morning sun to full shade.

aluminum plant

pilea cadierei

  • Perennial.
  • Native to Vietnam.
  • Prominent silver markings on the oval, quilted-looking dark green leaves explain the common name.
  • Leaves are 3 inches long; plant grows erect to 1215 inches tall, 69 inches wide.
  • Pinch periodically to induce bushiness.
  • Dwarf 'Minima' is less than half the size of the species.

friendship plant

pilea involucrata

  • Perennial.
  • Native to Central and South America.
  • Grows just 1 inches tall, spreading to 1 feet wide.
  • Broadly oval, tooth-edged, heavily quilted leaves to 1 inches long are bronzy green above, purplish beneath.
  • Pinch periodically to induce bushiness.
  • Moon Valley is more upright, to 1 feet tall and wide, with larger green leaves featuring prominent bronze veins.

artillery plant

pilea microphylla

  • Annual or short-lived perennial.
  • From Florida, Mexico, West Indies, South America.
  • Trailing, succulent stems form a mound to 1 feet tall and somewhat wider.
  • Bright green oval, tiny leaves ( inches long) are crowded along the wandering stems.
  • Tiny flowers eject pollen forcefully, hence the common name.
  • Outdoors, can spread widely and become a pest.
  • Variegata has leaves variegated with white, pink, and green.

creeping charlie

pilea nummulariifolia

  • Perennial.
  • Native to West Indies and Panama, south to northern South America.
  • Fast-growing, trailing plant to 6 inches tall and 2 feet wide; perfect for hanging baskets.
  • Roots at the nodes and spreads to make a good ground cover where hardy.
  • Rounded light green leaves to about inches wide are deeply quilted, with prominent veins and scalloped edges.

Indoors, they like bright, indirect light and high humidity. Make sure soil is well drained, and let it go somewhat dry between thorough soakings. Feed every other week in spring and summer and once a month in fall and winter with liquid houseplant fertilizer. Mealybugs are common pests; dispatch them by dabbing with a cotton swab dipped in alcohol.

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