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Pancake Plant Care (Pilea Peperomioides)

Updated: December 30, 2022

The pancake plant is one of the plants best for beginner pant owners as they are low maintenance. They grow well in dry soils and adapt to low light, and will not die off due to unintended negligence from beginner owners. Read on to understand why you should incorporate the plant into your home garden.

Does The Pancake Plant Have Any Other Names?

The plant’s scientific name is Pilea peperomioides and sometimes is called Chinese money plant, friendship plant, missionary plant and UFO plant. It originated from China, and the missionaries propagated it in Europe and Scandinavian countries and gained popularity in the US.

Different Types of Pancake Plants

Many varieties of pancake plants exist, but they are distinct due to their physical characteristics. For instance, the aluminum plant has dark leaves with metallic-silver variegation. On the other hand, the artillery plant has a charming raindrop shape, while the dark mystery plant variety has highly textured chocolate-brown leaves. Finally, the moon valley pancake plant has a rich green shade with purple running on its center.

Main Uses of Pancake Plants

The pancake plant is grown for its aesthetic value, as it beautifies your living space. It takes in free radicals from a living space and produces oxygen which purifies a room. You can place it in a well-lit room away from direct sunlight and enjoy the refreshing benefits of the plant.

How to Prune Pancake Plants

The pancake plants will have fresh sprouts from the middle part, and the older leaf layers will appear dull, wilt and dry due to ageing. The dry leaves make your plant look dull and fragile, and you can brighten it with pruning. You should ensure the plant is freshly watered during pruning, as the old leaves would still look dull even with adequate watering. Look for the wilted bottom leaves and cut them with a sharp knife.

Best Soil for Pancake Plants

The pancake plant does well in almost all soils, but they should be well-drained, aerated and maintain moisture. You can fill your pot with disinfected soils with hummus and provide an upper layer of the mold’s well-decomposed leaves.

How Much Light Do Pancake Plants Need?

The pancake plant does not need direct sunlight as sunlight could scorch its leaves. In the natural environment, the pancake plants do well under shades in well-aerated humid environments with indirect light. Therefore, when growing the plant at home, you can place it in well-lit areas away from direct sunlight to avoid leaf damage.

How Often to Water Pancake Plants

The plant does well with little water, as overwatering can lead to root rot. However, it would be best to let the soil dry before watering, and you can use a water measuring gauge to know the soil moisture level. During summer periods, the plant loses a lot of water, and it would need weekly watering, but during winters, you may water the pancake plant fortnightly.

Ideal Temperature Conditions for Pancake Plants

The pancake plant does not have specific temperatures, but it does well in warm and hot environments. However, it will suffer when subjected to extreme winters, and if you love having your plant in the outdoor environment, it could help bring it indoors during the winter period.

Humidity Conditions for Pancake Plants

Still, the pancake plant does not have any humidity requirements but will face issues in a very dry environment. It could be best to spray the plant with a mist bottle during very dry periods and let it stay indoors during the scorching summers.

Best Fertilizer for Pancake Plants

The pancake does not need plant food and will do well with general house plant fertilizers once every two to three months. It will be best to apply the fertilizers during the growing period, specifically spring and summer, as the fertilizers encourage growth.

How to Propagate Pancake Plants

You can propagate the pancake plant using the offset growths from the stems and plant roots. These offsets are found in healthy and matured plants, and it is best to remove and propagate the offsets during the growing season rather than the winter period when plant growth is slow.

Growth Rate of Pancake Plants

The pancake plant is a fast-growing plant, and when they are in the right conditions, it can mature within a year and develop offsets for propagation.

Ideal Pot Size for Pancake Plants

The pancake plant will need a large pot as it grows offsets easily, and you can use one large pot to refresh the soil and add fertilizer as needed.

Repotting Tips for Pancake Plants

You should repot the pancake plant in a pot that is one size larger than the original one. You can know if the pancake plant needs replanting by checking if it is root-bound in the pot. You would use fresh soil with hummus and add water and fertilizers to the new pot before repotting the pancake plant. Before removing the plant from the original pot, you can add water to avoid shock during the repotting process.


Are Pancake Plants Edible?

The pancake plants are not edible; they are ornamental plants that beautify your living space.

Are Pancake Plants Toxic to Cats and Dogs?

The pancake plant is neither toxic to cats or dogs

Is The Pancake Plants Poisonous?

The plant is safe and cannot harm your children if they ingest it accidentally in small quantities.

Do Pancake Plants Prefer To Grow Indoors Or Outside?

The pancake plant can either grow indoors or outside; however, you should put it away from direct sunlight and provide the needed water. However, it might be affected by low humidity and low temperatures during winter.

Other Indoor/Outdoor Plants

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The pancake plant is decorative, and it will make your leaving space stand out; moreover, it is suitable for first-time plant owners as it is hardy. It requires light but not from direct sunlight and does well in well-aerated soils. You could grow the plant both in an outdoor and indoor environment. It is a fast grower and would need repotting after some time. You should be careful with low humidity, low temperatures, and direct sunlight affecting the plant. Good luck finding the pancake plant variety that meets your needs.