Pilea: Greenhouse Plants
W – warm, minimum of 13°C (55°F)
A useful group of small plants. Pilea cadierei commonly known as the Aluminium Plant is the best known. It has pretty foliage, the dark green leaves are patterned with raised silver patches. P. mollis ‘Moon Valley’ is also well known for its moss green and copper coloured leaves. P. spruceana ‘Norfolk’ is different again; leaves being striped silver and bronze. All are very easy to grow providing the temperature is constantly warm and they are not overwatered. P. microphylla is widely grown throughout parks departments and botanic gardens but for some reason is not usually for sale. The leaves are tiny hence the name, although it is sometimes called P. muscosa. It is supposed to be the Artillery Plant because of the minute flowers exploding their cloud of pollen over a long distance. Although I have handled them a lot I have never witnessed this strange event. I have, however, seen its close relative Pellionia daveauana perform in a similar way and it was fairly spectacular. Cuttings of these plants may be taken at virtually any time of the year as they are very easy to root.