Are you in awe with Pilea Glauca and its signature metallic appearance but are unsure how to grow one at home?
Voila! As long as you prize your tropical houseplant treasure, it will prosper!
Read the complete Pilea Glauca care guide and how to treat and avoid problems.
Table of Contents Show
Pilea Glauca Overview
Pilea Glauca, also known as Silver Sparkle Pilea or Aquamarine, is a tropical plant native to Central and South America.
It was first introduced in 1831 by the German botanist Carl Sigismund Kunth.
Here is a quick overview of Pilea Glauca.
|Aquamarine and Silver Sparkle Pilea
|Central and South America
|Urticaceae or Nettle
|USDA Zone 9-11
|12 inches (ornamental)
3 feet (trailing)
|Sluggish (3 years to mature)
|Striking metallic or silver-blue leaves and small pink, orange or white blossoms
|Plastic, ceramic or hanging baskets
|Round shaped leaves (0.5-1 inch in diameter) attached to thin stem
|Small, insignificant yet showy flower that come in multiple shades
|Spring and summer
|Non-toxic to pets and humans
|Improves mood and purifies indoor air
Some gardeners have recently introduced Pilea Glauca cultivars, including “Red Stem Tears” and “Silver Tree,” which have reddish stems and silvery foliage.
Pilea Glauca for Sale
Pilea Glauca is not a rare species; neither is it scarcely available. Therefore, you can easily find it in your nearest nursery, specializing in tropical plants.
Otherwise, you can always find differently sized Pilea Glauca from online retailers.
-Returnable (within 7 days)
|Garden Goods Direct
|-3-5 business days
|-7 business days
Pilea Glauca Care: Comprehensive Guide
Minimal regular care is required for Pilea Glauca to keep the plant looking healthy.
And the comprehensive attention and maintenance will ensure these tropical wonders proliferate and produce clusters of glossy, silver-blue leaves.
Here are some care guides, in brief, to introduce you to Pilea Glauca’s requirements.
|-At least 2-4 hours of indirect or filtered sunlight every day
-Can withstand a few hours of direct morning sun
|-Once every 7-10 days in spring and summer
-Even less in winter
|-Warm temperature ranging from 60-80°F (15.5-26°C)
|-Anything above 60%
|-Well draining peat-based soil
-acidic soil (6.1 - 7.8)
|-Monthly fertilizing with diluted, balanced plant food
|-Rarely required pruning, but keep it to spring ans summer
|-Once every 2-3 years
-They enjoy slightly root-bound condition
-Growing plant pups
|-Scales, Aphids, and mealybugs
|-Leaf spot, root rot, and blight
1. Sunlight & Temperature
Pilea Glauca prefers bright, indirect sunlight but can tolerate some direct sunlight in the morning or evening.
Similarly, it prefers warm temperature that allows the soil to evaporate excess water and help keeps the roots dry.
Remember, too much direct sunlight can burn the silvery-blue leaves, turning them yellow or brownish, while too little sunlight will turn them dark or greenish.
|Scorched yellow foliage
|Leaves start dropping
|Brown edges or spots on leaves
On the other hand, scorching temperatures will cause leaf wilting and drop due to excess transpiration.
Although it can tolerate slightly cooler temperatures, successive drafts or cold air can stall the plant’s growth.
- As a result, you should keep these plants in areas with filtered sunlight, such as close to the east-, west-or south-facing windows.
- When choosing a south-facing window, keep them at least 3-4 feet away.
- It prefers average room temperatures between 60-80°F (16-26°C).
- Move the sunlight-exposed plant to temporary shade until the leaves revert to their natural color.
- They are best kept huddling with other plants in a warm corner with warm temperatures and humidity.
2. Watering & Humidity
Pilea Glauca prefers evenly moist conditions, but not overly wet.
You need to water Pilea Glauca once a week in the growing seasons.
Overwatering may lead to waterlogged soil suffocating the roots. It often leads to rotting, inviting fungal growth, wilting or yellowing leaves, and a musty smell coming from the soil.
Allow the soil or potting mix to dry slightly between watering, but do not let it dry out completely.
An underwatered plant will likely dry out quickly, causing excess transpiration and yellowing leaves with stunted plant growth.
Remember not to keep them in overtly moist conditions as it can increase the risk of fungal growth.
Similarly, due to dry air, dehydrated plants may need misting several times a week. Otherwise, use a room humidifier to keep the humidity levels up.
- Water the plant every 7-10 days in spring and summer and once in two weeks in fall and winter.
- Wait until an inch of topsoil feels dry before watering, or use a soil moisture meter (40% reading indicates the time for watering)
- If the soil is waterlogged, allow it to dry out before watering and check for signs of root rot.
- Prune damaged roots, apply fungicide, and repot it in a fresh potting mix.
- Increase humidity by misting the plant frequently in summer or using a humidity tray.
- Otherwise, install a room humidifier and adjust the level according to the plant’s preference.
- Strictly avoid placing the plant near drafty windows, cold air, and heating units like AC or heaters.
Pro Tip: Group the houseplants together to help release moisture into the air through transpiration, which helps create a more humid environment.
3. Soil & Fertilization
Pilea Glauca is picky about soil type and drainage because poorly draining soil can lead to wet conditions and rot.
It ideally prefers a well-draining, acidic soil mix that contains peat moss, perlite, and vermiculite, which allows proper aeration, making oxygen and nutrients readily available to the roots.
The soil is not well-draining or lacks necessary microorganisms when the plant witnesses stunted growth and leaves start turning yellow.
Similarly, Pilea Glauca benefits from regular fertilization during the growing season, typically from spring to early fall.
Flush the soil thoroughly with water several times to treat salt buildup and let it revive before feeding again.
- As a solution, use a balanced, water-soluble fertilizer (10-10-10 or 20-20-20), diluted to half the strength, and apply every month.
- Strictly avoid fertilizing during the winter months when the plant is in a state of dormancy.
- Use a potting mix containing about two parts peat moss, 1 part perlite, and vermiculite.
- Otherwise, use a commercial mix Espoma organic mix, or Miracle-Gro potting mix.
- Ensure the soil pH remains between 5.0-6.0 (acidic) by introducing organic matter like mulch and compost.
- If the soil has become compacted, you can loosen it up by gently digging around the root ball with your fingers or a small tool.
Note: Too little fertilizing does not invite any problems but may cause slowed growth, small leaves, and fewer blooms.
4. Potting & Repotting
If you pot a Pilea Glauca in a container, be mindful of the container type, size, and potting mix.
Pilea Glauca should be potted in a well-draining potting mix in a plastic, clay, or ceramic container with adequate drainage holes.
Here is how to pot a new plant.
- Start with choosing a pot or hanging basket with multiple drainage holes in the bottom.
- Fill the bottom of the pot with something rocky, such as a layer of gravel, to improve drainage, and top it off with a well-draining, peat-based potting mix.
- Insert the Pilea Glauca with roots inside the container and fill the top with the potting mix.
- Water the plant thoroughly and allow excess water to drain from the drainage holes.
- Place the plant in a bright, indirect light location.
Remember, Pilea Glauca is a slow-growing plant that prefers to be slightly root-bound, requiring repotting once every 2-3 years in spring.
Otherwise, check for the visible signs; roots coming out of drainage holes, slowed growth, and heavily compacted soil.
- Choose a container slightly bigger than the plant’s root ball when repotting.
- Slide out the plant, loosen the root ball, and trim off decayed or browned roots.
- Add fresh potting mix to the pot.
- Place the plant in it and fill the gaps with additional potting mix.
- Ensure to leave a little bit of space at the top for watering.
Water the plant thoroughly after repotting, and allow it to adjust to its new pot for a few days before fertilizing.
5. Pilea Glauca Problems
Although rare, Pilea Glauca can be susceptible to a few pests and diseases when left to fend for themselves.
Remember, the overwatered, over-fertilized, and light-stressed plants will likely weaken and become vulnerable to pests and diseases.
|Traps fungal molds
Contribute to the development of fungal infections
|Causes leaves wilting, stunted growth yellowing foliage
|Honey dew secretion on plant
Soft-bodies pear shaped insects found densely on leaves
|Small brown rounded lumps on your plant leaves
|Southern Blight (Sclerotium Rolfsii)
|Lower leaves will discolor, foliage will lose color
|Botrytis Blight (Botrytis Cinerea)
|New buds and flowers will lose color and eventually fall off
|Leaf Spot (Fungal Disease)
|Small, brown or black spots on the leaves
Leaves eventually turn yellow and drop
Treatments and Preventions
- Use a DIY insecticidal spray by mixing vinegar with water and apply them each week until the problem subsides.
- Only apply chemical pesticides, like Pyrethrin spray, in cases of severe infestation among multiple plants.
- Remove disease-infested leaves and treat them with horticultural oil or neem oil to remove traces of diseases.
- Trim the infected parts, including the root, apply fungicide, and repot in a fresh potting mix.
- Maintain overall hygiene by regularly pruning off decayed leaves, removing debris and water, and wiping the plant’s leaves with neem oil.
6. Occasional Pruning
Pilea Glauca is not very picky about pruning, where it is typically done for aesthetic reasons (promoting fuller growth) or to remove dead or damaged foliage.
Therefore, keep pruning Pilea Glauca that extends the stem longer than space occupied in the growing season. But Pilea takes 3 years to grow to full size.
- Use a pair of sanitized, sharp scissors or pruning shears to snip off the leaves or stems.
- When cutting, do it just above a leaf node to encourage new growth.
- Cutting back the tips of the stems will encourage branching for fuller growth.
- Remove yellowed and damaged leaves to keep the plant looking healthy.
Note that Pilea Glauca can be sensitive to pruning, so be careful not to remove too much, two-thirds of foliage, at once.
Pilea Glauca: All About The Growth Rate
Pilea Glauca is a slow-growing plant that attains maturity after three years; hence, growing a foot tall may take a few weeks when grown in a pot.
Otherwise, you can grow it in a hanging basket and fertilizer frequently to witness trailing growth spanning 3-feet long.
They will look like delicate, silver-blue leaves with a shimmering, metallic appearance.
Remember, they will only bloom after maturity, with small, insignificant flowers ranging from white and pink to peach shade every spring.
Toxicity of Pilea Glauca
Pilea Glauca is not considered toxic to humans or pets, according to the ASPCA. It means that the plant is safe to have around your pets and children.
However, like other Pilea plants, Pilea Glauca may cause an allergic reaction in pets when the plant leaves in excess.
Call the emergency hotline if your pet shows symptoms after consumption.
Propagation Methods For Pilea Glauca
It may be a great idea to reproduce the plant for various purposes. Wait for spring to propagate Pilea Glauca.
Generally, there are two standard methods of propagation for Pilea Glauca: stem cuttings and pups.
Propagation via Stem Cuttings
- Choose a healthy stem from your Pilea Glauca plant with several leaves at least a few inches long.
- Cut the stem below a node and remove the lower leaves, leaving about two leaves at the top.
- Next, dip the stem’s cut end in a rooting hormone powder (optional).
- Plant the cut stem in a pot with well-draining soil, burying the node where you cut.
- Water and cover it with a clear plastic bag or wrap it with clear plastic to increase humidity.
- Place it in a sunny location, but in direct sun.
- Keep the soil moist but soggy, and mist the cutting with water as needed.
Once it has established a sound root system, you can remove the plastic bag, wrap it, and transplant it to a new pot after a few weeks.
Propagation via Pups
- Look for small plantlets, or pups, growing at the base of your Pilea Glauca plant, usually when they mature.
- Separate the pups from the plants using a clean pruning shear or your fingers.
- Plant the pup in a pot with a well-draining potting mix and water it well.
- Place it in a sunny location with moist soil and mist the pup with water for a few weeks.
You can continue growing it in the same container or move it to a new pot with a fresh soil mix.
From Editorial Team
Growing Pilea Glauca offers many advantages; where you can decorate this ornamental plant at home for its Feng Shui benefits.
Remember to place it in the room’s southeast corner, which is believed to attract wealth and abundance.
Moreover, you can place it in a small corner in your bedroom, kitchen, or bathroom for its (supposed) air purifying benefits.