The Pilea peperomioides, also known as the Chinese money plant or pancake plant, has gained popularity as a houseplant in recent years. However, this unique plant can also be grown outdoors, adding a touch of green to your garden or patio. In this article, we will discuss how to successfully grow Pilea money plants outdoors and enjoy their beauty year-round.
Choosing the Right Location
When growing Pilea money plants outdoors, it’s crucial to select the right location that provides optimal growing conditions. These plants thrive in bright indirect light, so choose a spot with partial shade or filtered sunlight. Direct sunlight can scorch the leaves, so it’s best to avoid placing them in full sun.
If you live in a region with hot summers, consider placing your Pilea money plant in a location that receives morning sun and afternoon shade. This will protect the plant from excessive heat and ensure healthy growth.
Pilea money plants prefer well-draining soil that retains some moisture without becoming waterlogged. A mixture of equal parts potting soil, perlite, and peat moss works well for outdoor planting. This combination ensures adequate drainage while retaining enough moisture for the plant’s needs.
Before planting, amend the soil with organic matter such as compost or aged manure to improve its fertility and water-holding capacity. This will provide essential nutrients to support healthy growth.
Planting Pilea Money Plants
To start planting your Pilea money plant outdoors, follow these simple steps:
Choose a suitable container: Select a pot or container that is slightly larger than the root ball of your plant. Ensure it has drainage holes to prevent waterlogging.
Prepare the potting mix: Mix equal parts potting soil, perlite, and peat moss in a bucket or wheelbarrow.
Fill the container: Fill the container with the prepared potting mix, leaving enough space at the top to accommodate watering.
Plant the Pilea: Gently remove the Pilea money plant from its nursery pot and place it in the center of the container. Add more potting mix around the root ball, ensuring it is firmly planted.
Water thoroughly: After planting, water the Pilea money plant thoroughly until water drains out from the bottom of the container. This will help settle the soil and eliminate air pockets around the roots.
Mulch around the plant: Apply a layer of organic mulch, such as wood chips or straw, around the base of the plant to retain moisture and suppress weed growth.
Watering and Fertilizing
Proper watering is essential for the healthy growth of Pilea money plants outdoors. These plants prefer slightly moist soil, so water them when the top inch of soil feels dry to the touch. Avoid overwatering, as it can lead to root rot and other issues.
During hot summer months, you may need to water your Pilea money plant more frequently to prevent dehydration. However, always check the soil moisture before watering to avoid excessive watering.
Fertilizing your Pilea money plant is also important for optimal growth. Use a balanced liquid fertilizer diluted according to package instructions once a month during the growing season (spring and summer). This will provide necessary nutrients and promote healthy foliage.
Pruning and Propagation
To keep your Pilea money plant looking its best, regular pruning is recommended. Remove any yellowed or damaged leaves using clean pruning shears or scissors. This will not only improve aesthetics but also prevent diseases from spreading.
Pilea money plants are known for their ability to produce “pups” or small offshoots around the base of the main plant. These can be easily propagated to create new plants. Gently remove the pups from the main plant using a sharp knife, ensuring they have some roots attached. Plant them in separate containers with fresh potting soil and care for them as you would for a mature plant.
Protecting from Cold Weather
While Pilea money plants can tolerate moderate temperatures, they are sensitive to frost and cold weather. If you live in an area with harsh winters, it’s best to bring your outdoor Pilea money plants indoors or provide them with protection.
Covering the plants with frost cloth or moving them to a sheltered location, such as a porch or garage, can help protect them from freezing temperatures. Ensure they still receive adequate light during this time.
Growing Pilea money plants outdoors can be a rewarding experience. By selecting the right location, providing suitable soil conditions, and following proper care guidelines, you can enjoy these unique plants in your garden or patio. With their round, pancake-like leaves and vibrant green color, Pilea money plants are sure to bring a touch of natural beauty to any outdoor space.
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