Often referred to as a Chinese money plant (as it's meant to symbolize good fortune), the adorable pilea (or Pilea peperomioides) is quickly climbing the ladder as one of the trendiest houseplants in the interiors world. Take a scroll through your Instagram feed and you'll undoubtedly see this small, airy plant perched on a perfectly styled bookshelf or windowsill, joining the ranks of the ever-popular fiddle leaf fig and monsteras. So, if you're in the market for a new houseplant, we're here to make your decision easier and make the case for the pilea, the soon-to-be "it" plant you're bound to see everywhere.
They're Finally Easy to Find
Where did this plant come from and why is it suddenly becoming so prevalent? Erin Marino from The Sill, the modern plant-delivery service, says it hasn't always been as easy to source as it is now. "For a long time, the pilea wasn't being commercially produced by growers in the United States, making it almost impossible to find for purchase. People were begging for cuttings from friends, or paying ridiculous amounts of money to purchase them on Ebay," she says. "The difficulty in finding a pilea locally—combined with how uncommon its foliage was and how popular it was on Instagram (it was easier to find across the pond)—all contributed to the pilea becoming so trendy."
They Go with Everything
With its saucer-like leaves and whimsically buoyant stems, the pilea will fit into pretty much any décor scheme because it's different enough to make a subtle statement. Thanks to its minimal silhouette, it works particularly well in a Scandinavian-style home but has a chameleon-like versatility that allows it to fit into a huge range of décor styles. "I like to keep my pileas on their own because they can make such a statement solo," says Marino. "In the right planter, the pilea can really fit into any interior style!"
They're Easy to Care for
If you don't have the greenest thumb in the world, you'll be happy to know that a pilea is a good choice for you. It really has just a few specific care requirements—keep it in a well drained container, and let the soil dry completely between waterings (don't soak it, as pileas don't like too much water). Most importantly, they love the sun. "Pileas thrive in bright, indirect light—to a few hours of bright, direct light a day. They might tolerant moderate, indirect light in some instances but definitely won't thrive," says Marino.
Though we'll always love a fiddle leaf fig plant, the truth of the matter is that purchasing one is an investment, especially if you're looking for one that's more mature. A pilea, on the other hand, can usually be purchased for under $15. As an added bonus, they're also extremely easy to propagate, which means you're essentially getting several pileas for the price of one!