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Chinese Money Plant

Aztec Plants

Chinese Money Plant Overview

Scientific name:

Pilea peperomioides



Water requirements:


Light requirements:

Indirect Sun


Pet Friendly

Table of Contents

Introduction to the Chinese Money Plant

The Chinese Money Plant, also known by its scientific name Pilea peperomioides, has become an increasingly popular choice for offices and workplaces over the past few years. With its unique coin-shaped leaves and easygoing nature, it’s not hard to see why. This versatile plant adds visual interest to any space while also being simple to care for – making it an ideal option for busy professionals.

Unlike more finicky plants, the Chinese Money Plant is pleasingly low-maintenance. It thrives in bright, indirect light and only needs to be watered when the top inch or so of soil has dried out. The fleshy stems and leaves store water, so it handles occasional neglect well. It prefers average room temperatures and humidity but adapts to the office environment. These qualities mean it will likely remain happy and healthy with minimal effort.

The Chinese Money Plant brings more than practical perks too. Its lush oval foliage creates an inviting ambiance, and grouping plants together can form a pleasant living wall. The round leaves sprouting from trailing stems have an architectural look, with some likening them to lily pads or coins. This unique appearance helps purify indoor air while also serving an ornamental purpose.

So if you’re looking to green up your office with a fuss-free plant, the Chinese Money Plant checks all the boxes. Read on to learn more about caring for this up-and-coming indoor plant and how it can benefit your workspace.

Detailed Description

The Chinese Money Plant, or Pilea peperomioides, is characterized by its unique round, coin-shaped leaves that emerge on long petioles from a central stem. The leaves are a rich green color with a slightly puckered texture, giving them an eye-catching appearance. As the plant matures, it develops an upright habit, with new stems sprouting up from the soil to support the weight of the foliage.

Distinctive Features

There are a few key features that distinguish the Chinese Money Plant from other houseplants:

  • Its nearly perfect round leaves are unlike most other plants
  • The leaves have a lightly rippled surface that makes them look almost like little cabbage heads
  • New leaves emerge directly from the soil on reddish-purple stems
  • Mature plants develop a tree-like shape with multiple stems supporting an umbrella of foliage

Growth Patterns

The Chinese Money Plant is relatively fast growing when provided with sufficient bright, indirect light. It can grow up to 6 inches per year, producing new leaves throughout the growing season. The plant produces tiny white flowers in summer, though they are generally hidden by the foliage. It can be propagated by stem cuttings placed in water or moist soil.

Ease of Care

One of the reasons the Chinese Money Plant has become so popular is that it is very easy to care for. It adapts well to the relatively dry air and lower light levels often found in offices and homes. The plant prefers bright indirect light but can tolerate lower light. It only needs to be watered when the top inch of soil is dry and should not be overwatered. The Chinese Money Plant is not particularly fussy about temperature or humidity either. These qualities make it an excellent choice for beginners as well as busy plant parents.

Optimal Care Guide

Light Requirements

The Chinese money plant thrives in bright, indirect sunlight. An east or west-facing window is ideal, providing gentle morning or afternoon light. Direct southern exposure should be avoided as too much intense light can scorch the leaves. If keeping the plant in lower light conditions, artificial lighting can supplement what sunlight cannot provide. LED grow lights are an affordable option for office spaces. Position the Chinese money plant within around 3 feet of a window to capture sufficient ambient light. Rotate the plant weekly to promote even growth on all sides.

Watering Schedule

Allow the top inch of soil to dry out between waterings, then soak thoroughly until excess drains from the drainage holes. This usually equates to watering once a week in warmer months and every 10-14 days in the winter. Always use room temperature water as cold water from the tap can shock the roots. Water less frequently in darker positions. To check if the plant needs watering, feel the soil or lift the pot to gauge the weight. With experience, the softened, drooping leaves will indicate when it’s time to water.

Temperature and Humidity

The Chinese money plant grows best with daytime temperatures of 65-80°F and around 60°F at night. Fluctuations between night and day help promote lush growth. The average office environment provides suitable temperatures, but avoid drafty areas. Moderate humidity around 40-50% is preferred, which can be achieved by placing the pot on a pebble tray with water or misting the plant regularly with a spray bottle. Brown, crispy leaf edges indicate the air is too dry.

Soil and Potting Tips

Use a well-draining potting mix, such as a peat-based soil amended with perlite or bark chips to prevent soggy soil. Clay pots also improve drainage but must be watered more frequently. Choose a pot one size larger than the root ball with drainage holes and replant whenever the roots fill the container. This is usually every 2-3 years for a mature plant. Repot in early spring before growth takes off to minimize stress. Carefully loosen the old soil and trim any circled roots before placing into fresh potting mix.

Benefits in the Office

The Chinese money plant has gained popularity in offices due to its ability to purify indoor air. Studies have shown that the plant can effectively remove pollutants like benzene, formaldehyde, and trichloroethylene from the air through a process called phytoremediation. By incorporating Chinese money plants into office spaces, employers can enhance air quality and reduce exposure to harmful chemicals that may impact worker health and productivity.

Enhanced Air Quality

The round, coin-shaped leaves of the Chinese money plant have a large surface area that enables more efficient air purification. As air circulates past the leaves, toxins are absorbed through tiny pores called stomata. The plant then converts these pollutants into food energy in a process called photosynthesis. With consistent light exposure, a few strategically placed Chinese money plants can filter higher volumes of indoor air, resulting in measurable improvements in air quality.

Stress Reduction and Improved Focus

Studies have shown that introducing plants into workspaces can reduce stress, increase happiness, and improve focus among employees. The vibrant green leaves and unique shape of the Chinese money plant are visually appealing, helping to create a more positive and calming environment. This can boost moods, lower anxiety and frustration, and enhance concentration and productivity. The air-purifying abilities of the plant provide the added benefit of increasing oxygen levels, which can also heighten mental clarity.

Welcoming Workplace Environment

The Chinese money plant’s lush foliage and sculptural form lend a warm, inviting element to office décor. Its bright green leaves pop against most backgrounds, introducing organic shapes and textures that soften hard lines and angles often found in workspaces. As a relatively compact variety, the plant’s tiered, coin-shaped leaves make it well-suited for desks and shelves without dominating the existing layout. This versatility enables employers to readily incorporate the Chinese money plant to create a more welcoming and visually engaging workplace environment.

Troubleshooting Common Issues

The Chinese money plant is generally quite hardy and easy to care for, but it can occasionally suffer from a few common issues. By learning to recognize and address these problems early, you can keep your plant thriving.


Overwatering is one of the most common problems with Chinese money plants. These plants prefer to dry out slightly between waterings. If the soil stays soggy for too long, it can lead to root rot. Signs of overwatering include:

  • Wilting or drooping leaves
  • Yellowing or browning leaves
  • Mushy or blackened roots

If you suspect overwatering, allow the soil to completely dry out before watering again. You may need to repot the plant in fresh, dry soil as well. Water less frequently going forward, waiting for the top inch or two of soil to become dry first.

Insufficient Light

While Chinese money plants can tolerate lower light conditions, insufficient light will cause problems over time. If the plant isn’t getting enough bright, indirect light, you may notice:

  • Sparse, leggy growth
  • Pale or yellowing leaves
  • Fewer new leaves

Move the plant to a spot with brighter filtered sunlight. Rotating the pot periodically can help prevent lopsided growth toward the light source. If better natural lighting isn’t possible, consider supplementing with a grow light.

Preventative Care

Here are some tips to help prevent problems:

  • Allow soil to partially dry out between waterings
  • Provide bright, indirect light
  • Repot when rootbound into well-draining soil
  • Remove dead leaves and spent stems
  • Mist leaves occasionally to increase humidity

By taking a little care to meet its basic needs, your Chinese money plant should continue thriving with minimal issues in your office environment.

Fun Facts and Trivia

The Chinese Money Plant has an intriguing history. It was first discovered in the 1970s growing wild in the limestone cliffs of southern China. Locals called it the “Coin Plant” because its round leaves resembled Chinese coins. It remained relatively unknown as a houseplant until the 1980s when it started gaining popularity in Europe. By the 1990s, the Chinese Money Plant had made its way to North America and its fame exploded thanks to its unique appearance and reputation as an easy-to-grow indoor plant.

Unique Properties

The Chinese Money Plant has some fascinating properties that add to its mystique. Its round, coin-shaped leaves are unique among popular houseplants. The leaves also have a lustrous sheen to them, almost as if they are made of plastic or wax. This shine comes from the subtle fuzz covering the leaves. Another distinctive feature is how the Chinese Money Plant sprouts new plants. It grows little plantlets along the edges of its leaves that can be removed and propagated into new plants.

Plant Folklore

An intriguing folk tale surrounds the Chinese Money Plant. According to legend, if the plant owner succeeds in growing a stem with eight leaves, it will bring them prosperity. This myth originated from the plant’s resemblance to Chinese coins and led to its nickname as the “Good Luck Plant.” The number eight is considered lucky in Chinese culture, so a stem with eight leaves is an especially fortunate sign.

Cultural Significance

The Chinese Money Plant has deep cultural roots in its native China. It is featured prominently in Chinese art and depicted in paintings and on scrolls. Its likeness to Chinese coins gives it symbolic meaning in Feng Shui as an enhancer of wealth and prosperity. The plant’s round leaves and growth habit, reaching for the sky, embodies traditional Feng Shui ideals. As the Chinese Money Plant grows in popularity around the world, its distinctive look and storied history solidify its status as a cross-cultural icon.

Acquire Your Own Chinese Money Plant

After learning about the many benefits of the Chinese money plant, from its air-purifying abilities to its aesthetic appeal, it’s time to take action! Consider brightening up your office by incorporating these cheerful plants into the décor. Their lush green leaves and unique coin-shaped foliage will lend a modern, yet natural element to any workspace.

Wondering where to find these perfect office plants? Look no further than Aztec Plants! As featured suppliers of top-quality indoor plants, Aztec Plants offers convenient plant hire or purchase options to help you obtain the featured Chinese money plants.

Reap the Rewards

Incorporating Chinese money plants into your office décor is a smart investment. You’ll reap rewards like:

  • Enhanced air quality and oxygenation
  • Soothing natural elements to brighten moods
  • Increased productivity and focus

Don’t delay – contact Aztec Plants today to add these versatile plants to your office!

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