Live to Plant

How to Get Rid of Caterpillars on Chinese Money Plant

Updated: May 30, 2022

If you’re a plant enthusiast or have a green thumb, you’ll know how disheartening it is to see your plants being devoured by caterpillars. These pests can cause significant damage to your Chinese money plant (Pilea Peperomioides) and other plants in your home garden.

Caterpillars are the larval stage of moths and butterflies. They feed on leaves and stems, causing holes and unsightly chewed areas that can compromise the health of the plant. Fortunately, there are several ways to get rid of caterpillars and protect your Chinese money plant.

Identify the Caterpillars

Before you take any action, identify the type of caterpillar that is attacking your Chinese money plant. Different species have different feeding habits and behaviors, so it’s essential to know what you’re dealing with.

The most common types of caterpillars that attack Chinese money plants are:

  • Cutworms: These are brown or gray caterpillars that curl up into a C-shape when disturbed. They usually feed at night and cut through the base of the plant, causing it to wilt and die.

  • Cabbage loopers: These are green caterpillars that move by looping their bodies. They feed on leaves, leaving large holes in them.

  • Tent caterpillars: These are hairy caterpillars that build silken tents in the branches of trees and shrubs. They feed on new foliage and can cause significant damage if left uncontrolled.

Natural Remedies to Get Rid of Caterpillars

Once you’ve identified the type of caterpillar attacking your Chinese money plant, you can use natural remedies to get rid of them. Here are some effective ways to control caterpillars organically:


The most straightforward method of getting rid of caterpillars is by handpicking them. Wear gloves and pick off the caterpillars from your Chinese money plant, and drop them into a bucket of soapy water. This will kill the caterpillars and prevent them from causing further damage.

Neem Oil

Neem oil is a natural pesticide that is effective against a wide range of pests, including caterpillars. Mix one tablespoon of neem oil with one liter of water, and spray the solution on your Chinese money plant. Repeat the application every seven to ten days until the caterpillars are gone.

Bacillus Thuringiensis

Bacillus thuringiensis (BT) is a naturally occurring soil bacterium that produces toxins that are lethal to caterpillars. It is available in liquid or powder form and can be applied to your Chinese money plant using a spray bottle or watering can. The BT toxin will kill the caterpillars but is harmless to humans and other animals.

Preventing Caterpillar Infestations

Prevention is always better than cure when it comes to pest control. Here are some preventative measures you can take to keep caterpillars away from your Chinese money plant:

  • Remove weeds: Weeds can attract caterpillars, so keep your garden free from weeds and other debris.

  • Use row covers: Cover your plants with lightweight fabric or mesh to prevent adult moths from laying their eggs on them.

  • Rotate crops: Move your Chinese money plant to a different location every year, as some caterpillar species will overwinter in the soil.


How often should I check my Chinese money plant for caterpillars?

Check your Chinese money plant for signs of caterpillar damage at least once a week during the growing season. Early detection is crucial in preventing severe infestations.

Are caterpillars harmful to humans?

Most caterpillars are harmless to humans, but some species can cause skin irritation or allergic reactions. It’s best to avoid touching caterpillars with bare hands, especially if you’re unsure of their species.

Can I use chemical pesticides to get rid of caterpillars?

Chemical pesticides can be effective against caterpillars, but they can also harm beneficial insects and pollinators. It’s best to use natural remedies or consult a professional pest control service for safer options.

Will getting rid of caterpillars harm my Chinese money plant?

Getting rid of caterpillars will not harm your Chinese money plant. In fact, it will promote healthier growth and prevent further damage to the leaves and stems.