Friendship Plant Care: Tips For Growing Friendship Plants

(Image credit: Mario Krpan)

There are many wonderful houseplants available to the interior gardener. Friendship houseplants are beloved for their fuzzy, quilted foliage and ease of care. Pilea involucrata is a tropical plant that needs warm temperatures and consistent humidity to thrive but other than that, this plant's needs are basic. Read on to learn how to care for a friendship plant for an appealing textured foliage specimen that is sure to brighten up your home.

Pilea Friendship Plants

The friendship plant bears its name due to the rapid rooting of cuttings that can be established for new plants to give to friends and family. This cute little Pilea will get about 6 inches (15 cm.) high and rarely up to 12 inches (31 cm.). It is useful in low-light situations, although it does need several hours a day of sunlight. With proper care, this little gem might even favor you with its pale pink flowers. Widely available at most nurseries and one-stop shopping centers, friendship houseplants just keep on giving year after year. Pilea friendship plants have velvety leaves that are deeply crinkled and veined. Leaves are oval, paired, and have striking bronze accents. Most cultivars do well as trailing plants but can be pinched back for a more bushy habit. Save those cuttings, which will root easily to produce more of this charming foliage plant. Small clusters of tiny, blush pink flowers may appear in summer. This plant is native to Central and South America where it grows in abundance in open, tropical forest edges.

How to Care for a Friendship Plant

Friendship plant care is listed as low maintenance. Provided you give the plant at least six to eight hours a day of light (but not direct sunlight), ample humidity, and evenly moist soil, this small houseplant will thrive. Temperatures must be between 65 and 75 degrees F. (18-23 C.) and avoid placing the plant near heaters or drafty windows. Keep the plant a little drier in winter and suspend fertilizing until spring. Use a liquid plant food diluted by half monthly from spring to summer. Pilea friendship plant should be repotted every few years. Pinch back unwanted growth as necessary. These are easy to grow and have no notable disease problems and few, if any, insect pests.

Growing Friendship Plants from Cuttings

If you wish to try growing friendship plants from pinched stem tips, harvest them in spring. Place stems in moistened potting mix and firm the soil around the stem so it stands upright. Place the whole pot in a plastic bag to hold humidity and the entire contraption in a medium-light situation. Check the soil occasionally and moisten it as necessary but avoid boggy soil, which could rot the stem fragment before it can send out roots. Remove the bag once per day so air can get in and circulate around the plant. The cuttings root easily and should form in just a matter of weeks. You will then have plenty of these plants to share, gift, or hold onto for your own enjoyment.

Bonnie L. Grant

Bonnie Grant is a professional landscaper with a Certification in Urban Gardening. She has been gardening and writing for 15 years. A former professional chef, she has a passion for edible landscaping.