Pilea Flower: Everything You Need to Know

Pilea Flowers
Pilea Flowers (Source: Hirts)

The Pilea plant (generally known as the Chinese money plant) is famous among plant enthusiasts for its coin-shaped leaves.

The leaves are aesthetically pleasing to watch, and the plant is a treat to the eyes. One other portion people miss its flowers.

Generally, Pilea does not flower frequently, but it is usually in the spring and summer when it does. The flowers are whitish-pink in color. It has a better chance of blooming in its natural environment than indoors.

Pilea Pumila Flowers
Pilea Pumila Flowers (Source: Native Plant Trust)

To make your Pilea bloom, you may need to focus on specific aspects of the plant and provide it with the necessary care and conditions.

Let’s look at what I meant by the above sentence below.

How Often does the Pilea Plants Flower?

Pilea plants have a greater significance in Chinese culture. It symbolizes the wish for good luck and money, hence the name ‘Money plant.’

When it comes to blooming, Pilea doesn’t bloom too often. If you fulfill all the requirements for its blooming, you may get it to bloom.

The Pilea usually flowers during the month of summer and spring, when the plant is active.

Expecting a bloom in winter is like expecting a bull to produce milk.

Pilea Flower
Pilea Plant Flower (Source: Youtube)

When you see the plant bloom, you need to understand that the plant is telling you that it is ready for reproduction.

Although the plant’s blooming signifies the continuation of a generation, you will still need to put the plant under a state of euphoria to see it bloom.

Pilea’s flower generally lasts for about a month.

For any shot at seeing the plant flower, it should be mature with at least 12-inch in height and width or at least an age of 3-years old.

Pilea Flower Overview

Let’s take a look at the general overview of the Pilea flower.

StructureSmall balls like structure in a multi-branched inflorescence
Size1-2 centimeters balls
ColorWhitish-pink
FragranceNo special fragrance
ToxicitySome varieties can be toxic to pets
LifespanAbout a month
FruitsSmall seeds
Blooming SeasonSummer and Spring

Flowers of Pilea are generally easier to look at as they are self-sufficient. They do all the processes by themselves.

You could call it easier if you didn’t have to do anything to them, couldn’t you?

If the plant has gone through the pollination process, you will be able to witness tiny seeds that you can collect with tweezers.

Pollination of Pilea Plant

Now we land on an exciting topic. Pilea is an exciting plant that doesn’t need external support to pollinate.

Its blooms are fragrance-less as it doesn’t need to attract external insects like bees or moths to continue the pollination process.

Pilea Flower Seeds
Pilea Flower Seeds (Source: Plantfluence)

The Pilea plant can be either dioecious or monoecious. They can have the male and female flowers on the same plant or different plants.

The Harvard study of plants in the Urticaceae family also states that, Pilea Peperomioides is “sometimes dioecious, sometimes monoecious.” So the question of whether Pilea plants may self-pollinate remains unresolved.

The monoecious Pileas are self-pollinators, and they follow something that’s called ‘airborne pollination.’ The male part bursts open in this process, releasing the pollen into the open air.

The pollen then comes in contact with the female part, and the pollination process kicks off.

Similarly, their counterpart dioecious does not self-pollinate as they have either male or female part only.

This process can be fascinating, but if you or someone in your household is allergic to the pollens, it will be better to cut off the flowers before they burst open.

Watch this video to determine how the plant releases pollen into the air.

How to Make a Pilea Plant Flower?

The Chinese Money plants have prevailed for ages as foliage plants.

These are not the plants you would expect to flower every season. You might need to follow special care to see them flower.

Making the Pilea flower indoors during the off-seasons (sometimes even during the growing seasons) can seriously take a toll on you.

Pilea Peperomoides blooming
Pilea Peperomoides blooming (Source: Reddit)

But it is not too hard if you are up for this challenge. Let’s look at the basic guidelines you need to follow to make them bloom.

  • In the winter months, place the plant in a colder room. This placing will prompt the plant to store energy for the blooms production when the season becomes warm again.
  • But make sure you do not put the plant in contact with cold drafts and air conditioning vents, or it may die.
  • During summer or spring, make sure the temperature is on the hotter side. Pilea prefers a temperature ranging from 60°F to 75°F.
  • Ensure you provide loamy, rich, and well-draining soil rich in humus.
  • Water the plant to provide moist but not soggy soil. Water the soil when the top 75% of the soil is dry.
Overwatering the Snake Plant
Overwatering the Snake Plant (Source: Tenor)
  • Pilea prefers an adequate amount of humidity to bloom. Keep the humidity levels between 50% to 75%.
  • If you want your plant to bloom, keep it in contact with bright but indirect sunlight most of the time.
  • Mix 0.1% to 0.5% of potassium dihydrogen phosphate in your regular water and spray it on the plant to induce the flowering.

Read more about the watering habits of Pilea in our article “How Often to Water Pilea?

Common Problems with Pilea Flowers

Even though you fulfill all the requirements and grow a flower, you still may not be able to witness the Pilea flower live its full potential.

You need to check for the following problems that may hinder the Pilea’s flower.

  • If pests and diseases have infested your Pilea, the flower may give up quickly. Check the plant regularly for diseases and pests.
  • The Pilea flowers may appear wilting or drooping. That may be caused by underwatering the plant. Water the plant thoroughly till the soil is moist.
  • If your plant is not blooming altogether, you must be doing something wrong. Check if the light, temperature, soil, humidity, etc., you provide is adequate for the plant.

What Should you do with Pilea Plant Flowers?

If you see your Pilea bloom, you might get filled with satisfaction and contentment, as it signifies that you have been a good parent to your plant.

As I explained above, your Pilea may be surrounded by pollens once the flowers reach maturity.

Some people may be highly allergic to pollens. If you are one of those people, it’s better to cut off the flowers before releasing the pollens.

Plant Pruning Tools
Plant Pruning Tools (Source: Pixabay)

Also, if you do not want to keep the seeds, you better cut off the flowers. This way, the foliage gets all of the energy disseminated by the plant.

But if you want to keep the seeds for germination, you should abstain from cutting the flowers off.

The flowers provide a bit of aesthetic charm to the house, so you can keep them intact.

I have stated why you should and should not keep the flowers; it is entirely up to you now to decide.

How to Cut the Pilea Flowers?

If you decide to cut off the Pilea flowers, you need to do it in the process. Follow the steps below to do it without any risks.

  • Get the flower cutting tool like a pruning shear ready, and wear gloves, glasses, and a mask.
  • Follow the cutting procedure early in the morning when the plant is fresh and won’t throw any unnecessary tantrums after you cut the flower.
  • Gently hold the inflorescence from its very base.

When doing all this, make sure you are wearing the mask if you are allergic to the pollens.

  • Get the shears and cut the flower’s stem slightly above the base.
  • Deadhead the base entirely if you don’t want any flowers in the same season in the future.
  • You can also remove the flower with your hand by grabbing the stem from its base and pulling it out.
  • Follow all the processes gently and make sure you don’t hurt the fragile neighboring stems and leaves of Pilea.

If you want to collect the seeds off the plant and grow an entirely new Pilea, you must keep the temperature from at least 50°F to 70°F.

Also, you might have to wait for at least 30 days to let the plant germinate.

Pilea plant in a pot
Happy and healthy Pilea (source: Wikimedia)

Health Considerations to Keep in Mind

Chinese Money plant boasts an incredible look and has been a popular household plant since being discovered by George Forrest in 1906.

It is a beautiful and exotic plant to have in your household, and basically, they are non-toxic.

But consumption of a large amount of the Pilea foliage can upset the stomach of you, your kids, and your pets.

Cat With Pilea
Cat With Pilea (Source: Instagram-huisje.plantje.beestje)

Besides that, the pollen released by these plants can also induce allergic reactions in some people with preexisting allergic conditions.

Besides the poison content, you may also need to look out for the following.

  • Choking of the leaves, stem, and flowers,
  • Consumption of pests and bacteria in the leaves,
  • Eating of fertilizers in plants (if any).

If your cat or dog eats any part of the Pilea plant, they may exhibit symptoms like choking, difficulty breathing, vomiting, and cramps.

Visit your nearby vet if you notice the above signs in your cat.

Please call helpline ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center tel: (888)4264435.

Veterinarian check up on dog
Veterinarian check-up (Source: Flickr)

The innocence of the Pilea plant supports the fact that the flowers may be non-toxic, too, although there is no evidence.

But still, your pets can choke on them. It’s better to be safe than sorry.

You may want to read the article “Is Pilea Toxic to Cats?

To Wrap It Up!

Pilea plants have their significance as indoor plants. Although their flowers may not be much of a show, it still feels excellent seeing them bloom.

If you successfully grow the flowers, feel lucky to have a green thumb.

Happy Gardening!

Want to read more on the problems of Pilea? Follow the articles about Leaves curling, Leaves turning yellow, Drooping, and Dying.

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