By Amy Grant
Growing aluminum plants (Pilea cadierei) is easy and will add additional appeal to the home with pointed leaves splashed in a metallic silver. Let’s learn more about taking care of a Pilea aluminum plant indoors.
About Pilea Houseplants
Pilea houseplants are a member of the family Urticaceae and are found in tropical regions of the world, predominantly in Southeast Asia. Most varieties of Pilea have striking variegated foliage of raised silver on deep green leaves.
Because growing aluminum plants thrive in a tropical climate, they are generally cultivated as houseplants in North America, although there are a couple of USDA zones where the Pilea houseplants may be utilized in an outdoor landscape.
These plants are evergreens, which have a small insignificant flower, and grow from 6-12 inches in height. They have a spreading habitat, which can be fostered depending on its supporting structure. Generally, Pilea plants are grown in hanging baskets; however, when grown outdoors, they look lovely cascading over a wall or as a ground cover in suitable zones.
Varieties of Pilea
Artillery plant (Pilea serpyllacea) is a popular Pilea variety grown as a houseplant. Some additional varieties of Pilea useful for their low growing habitat and lush green spreading foliage are as follows:
- P. serpyllacea
- P. nummulariifolia
- P. depressa
Taking Care of a Pilea Aluminum Plant
Keep in mind your climatic zone when growing aluminum plants. As mentioned, all varieties are tropical plants and as such are really only tolerant of outdoor conditions in USDA zones 9, 10 and 11. Areas of the deep southern Gulf States and Texas are conducive to growing aluminum plants as outdoor specimens provided they are sheltered to a certain extent.
When taking care of a Pilea aluminum plant, it should be situated where the room temperature is 70-75 degrees F. during the day and 60-70 degrees F. at night.
During the summer months, Pilea houseplants should be grown in partial shade and then during winter moved to a well lit area, such as southern exposure window space. Aluminum plant care necessitates keeping the plant away from either hot or cold drafts that arise from heaters or air conditioning units.
Aluminum Plant Care
Aluminum plant care dictates fertilizing every five to six weeks during active growth phases. Apply liquid or soluble fertilizer according to the manufacturer’s instructions when taking care of a pilea aluminum plant. Apply fertilizer only when Pilea houseplants have damp soil; application when soil is dry may damage roots.
Taking care of a Pilea aluminum plant indoors requires well-drained potting soil and evenly moistened medium. For the most optimal success growing aluminum plants, check the plant daily and water as necessary when the soil surface appears dry. Take care to remove any excess standing water from the saucer and maintain a medium amount of light exposure.
If you want to keep the plant bushy, you need to pinch out the growing tips of Pilea houseplants. Also, take cuttings to replace plants when they become too leggy.