The Pilea plant, which is also known as the Chinese Money Plant, the Missionary Plant, Pass It On Plant, Pancake Plant, and the UFO Plant, is popular and easy to grow. The full name of this plant is Pilea Peperomioides, and it comes from China. Oddly enough, a missionary, Agnar Espegren, who was kicked out of China in 1946 (all missionaries were forced out) took the plant to his home country of Norway. He dispersed it to many of his friends. Eventually, it came to America – but it is still not that common.

Caring for the Plant

The beautiful very green leaves of the Chinese Money Plant grow best in bright light, but you should avoid direct sunlight. If it grows in some shade, it is likely to grow larger leaves. It can withstand cooler temperatures, down to almost freezing. Exposing it to cooler weather for some time will enable it to produce flowers, which are tiny white ones.

Put the plant in potting soil in a pot that drains well. It should have a drainage hole. Let the soil almost completely dry out in between watering, but water it more often in the summer months. Add plant fertilizer during the spring and summer months.

In order to prevent the plant from growing unevenly, rotate it every time you water it. Turn it so that the opposite side of the plant now faces the light.

The round leaves of the plant will tend to collect dust. You can gently dust them, or, on warmer days, put them outside out of direct sunlight and let the rain wash the dust off of the leaves.


The Pilea Plant is a low plant, growing to a maximum height of about 12 inches. It will also be just about as wide.


New plants will start from the mother plant in two ways. You will either see new shoots sprout up from the soil not far from the mother stem, or you will see tiny new plants coming off the stem. The ones growing in the soil already have some roots, which makes them easier to get started. The best time to start new plants is in the spring when they naturally grow the most.

Some money plants only produce young plants one way and not the other. Put the cutting into fresh soil and keep it moist until it starts growing new leaves, then water it less frequently. The babies that grow on the stem can be cut off and then placed in water until the roots start to develop.


The UFO Plant is generally considered not toxic to children or pets. It is, however, still a good idea to keep plants away from them.

Brooklyn Plantology carries the Pilea Plant in stock. It is an in-demand plant, but you can find it at our massive 20,000 square foot store. We are the largest supplier of plants and plant supplies in the New York City and tristate area. Our friendly staff can help you.