Pilea involucrata

In a world fraught with antagonism and opposition, one thing as healthful because the friendship plant is usually a breath of recent air.

A cute and compact clump of foliage, Pilea involucrata is a must have for any houseplant connoisseur. And with very minimal care necessities, it’s straightforward to develop and even simpler to like.

A vertical shot of the green and black leaves of a Pilea involucrata plant growing over a lightly-colored container, with green and white text superimposed over the top and bottom of the image.

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As a reasonably perennial that’s easy to propagate and share, the friendship plant is a superb reward for giving to your buddies, each new and outdated.

I imply, if any individual simply walked up and handed me one in every of these little beauties, we’d undoubtedly no less than grow to be acquaintances, if not full-fledged pals.

However earlier than you go and develop your friendships, you’ll have to develop them first. This information will educate you precisely how.

Right here’s what I’ll cowl:

What Are Friendship Crops?

Hardy in USDA Zones 11 to 12, friendship crops – aka Pilea involucrata – are tropical herbaceous perennials from the Urticaceae, or nettle household.

Friendship crops are native to southern Central America, northwestern South America, and choose islands of the Caribbean.

Within the wild, they have a tendency to develop on the forest ground, the place they obtain dappled mild that trickles by tropical tree canopies.

A horizontal shot from overhead of the green leaves and pink flowers of friendship plants growing outdoors.

Individually, friendship crops aren’t very large, as they solely attain heights of six to 12 inches and spreads of three to 12 inches at maturity.

Nonetheless they unfold through basal offsets, which might take over an open space or occupy the niches in an already crowded one.

Ovate, velvety, deeply veined, and about one to 3 inches lengthy, the oppositely organized leaves burst with shades of vibrant colours.

On the whole, they’ve mild inexperienced edges and darker inexperienced facilities, with darkish reddish purple undertones all through.

Relying on genetics and rising circumstances, actual shades and hue intensities can differ between and even inside specimens – how cool is that?

A horizontal close-up of a friendship plant's green leaves with brown veins and small white flowers growing among other specimens outdoors.

In spring, clusters of tiny inexperienced to pink flowers bloom from terminal buds. Though they’re not as visually vital because the leaves, they’re nonetheless an aesthetic deal with!

Friendship Plant Propagation

Propagation is usually a difficult a part of plant parenthood – however not with friendship crops! Let’s go over some propagation methods.

From Stem Cuttings

Friendship crops will be simply propagated through stem cuttings.

In spring, utilizing a pointy and sterile blade, take three-inch cuttings from healthy-looking shoots, every with a number of nodes and units of leaves.

Defoliate the underside half of every slicing, and be at liberty to use a rooting hormone to the reduce ends you probably have some available.

A vertical shot of a purple and white bottle of Bonide's IBA Rooting Powder in front of a white background.

Bonide Rooting Hormone

If you happen to want a rooting hormone suggestion, attempt Bonide’s IBA rooting powder from Arbico Organics.

Put together a three-inch container for every slicing – and fill with a 50:50 mixture of perlite and peat moss or coconut coir.

Stick the leafless sections of every slicing into the rising media, then gently moisten the soil.

Place the cuttings someplace they are going to obtain brilliant, oblique mild, equivalent to close to a window. Wrap clear plastic baggies across the containers to extend the humidity across the cuttings.

In addition they require temperatures of 65 to 85°F for optimum rooting, so be at liberty to make use of a warmth pad if the situation you place your cuttings gained’t stay constantly heat sufficient.

For a heating mat that provides 10 to twenty°F to the rising media, do that one from Gardener’s Provide.

Hold the media moist because the cuttings root. In three to 5 weeks, it’s best to have rooted cuttings – test by giving them a delicate tug. If there’s resistance, they’ve roots!

At this level, take away the plastic covers together with the underside warmth mat, if relevant. From right here, you’ll be able to transplant them into new, fashionable containers as mentioned under.

By way of Division

As a prolific creeper, P. involucrata places out many offsets so that you can divide. Establish an offset and provides it a delicate tug to make sure it has a sufficiently robust root system.

Give it a deep watering 24 hours earlier than you propose to divide it. Come division time, take away your specimen from its container and gently brush away the soil from across the roots.

A horizontal image of a potted friendship plant in a white pot, on a white surface, in front of a white background.

Then, utilizing a blade or your fingers, sever the offset from the mom plant.

Transplant your offset into a brand new container, return the mom plant to its unique pot, and also you’re golden.


When you’ve got bought a nursery begin you could not have to repot it immediately, if the container is of an satisfactory dimension.

However you probably have a naked root transplant, a rooted slicing, or in any other case wish to transfer your friendship plant right into a spiffy new container, then learn on.

A horizontal close-up shot of the green and brown foliage of a Pilea involucrata growing in an outdoor botanical garden.

Choose a container that’s about an inch wider than the foundation system of your transplant, and fill it with a potting soil formulated for houseplants, or a half-and-half mixture of perlite and peat moss or coconut coir.

Make a gap within the media massive sufficient for the transplant’s root system then take away the plant from its present container.

Place the transplant into the outlet you made, backfill the gaps, after which moisten the media. Congrats, you’re performed!

How you can Develop Friendship Crops

To point out a friendship plant some friendship of its personal, correct cultivation is crucial.

Local weather and Publicity Wants

P. involucrata should be in USDA Hardiness Zones 11 to 12 to outlive outdoor. However indoors, a temperature vary of 55 to 85°F is suitable.

A horizontal image of the green and black leaves of a Pilea involucrata specimen, taken from overhead.

Shiny, oblique mild and humidity ranges of over 50 p.c are important.

If your house may be very dry and it’s worthwhile to increase the humidity, place your specimens close to a humidifier or on a humidity tray stuffed with pebbles which can be partially submerged in water.

Soil Wants

P. involucrata requires a moisture-retentive, well-draining potting medium with a pH of between 5.0 and 6.0.

41SM1nowV7L. SL500

Miracle-Gro Houseplant Potting Combine

Want an applicable rising medium? Do this houseplant potting combine from Miracle-Gro, accessible in four-quart luggage through Amazon.

Water and Fertilizer Wants

Average moisture is the title of the friendship-plant-watering recreation. Permit the highest inch of soil to dry out between waterings.

Throughout the dormancy interval in fall and winter, the watering frequency will naturally go down.

A horizontal closeup of the green and brown leaves of a friendship plant leaf, gently kissed by outdoor sun.

Month-to-month functions of a balanced fertilizer, diluted to half-strength, through the rising season is right. There isn’t any want so that you can fertilize throughout dormancy, although.

Rising Suggestions

Make sure you present humid circumstances.
The perfect rising media is moisture-retaining, but well-draining.
Water each time the highest inch soil dries out.

Pruning and Upkeep

Everytime you discover broken, lifeless, or diseased leaves and stems, it’s best to prune them promptly.

Retaining the rising ideas pinched again ought to encourage your specimens to develop good and bushy.

A horizontal close-up of the deeply textured green and red foliage of a Pilea involucrata.

Moreover, it’s best to divide your friendship crops or repot them into the following dimension of container each time they begin to outgrow their outdated ones, ideally in spring or summer season.

To stop transplant shock, water them 24 hours beforehand.

The place to Purchase

Within the houseplant world, P. involucrata isn’t as available as, say, a snake plant or spider plant. However for those who look in the correct spots, it could actually simply be yours.

A horizontal overhead shot of the green and black leaves of a friendship plant growing outdoors in dirt and detritus among other specimens.

I’d first test nurseries or shops that carry tropical houseplants, whether or not they’re native or on-line. Kudos if you wish to make a highway journey to a faraway vendor that you already know has a friendship plant in inventory.

For sharable specimens of P. involucrata, reaching out to fellow inexperienced thumbs will be useful.

Ask your pals for spare offsets or cuttings that they may float your method. And naturally, you possibly can attempt native plant swaps or horticultural reveals!

Managing Pests and Illness

Well being points can shortly carry a houseplant to its metaphorical knees. Listed below are some issues that would plague your P. involucrata.


Bugs sense poor well being in a plant like canines odor worry or salesmen understand shopping for indecision.

Subsequently, caring in your specimens correctly and conserving them in tiptop well being from day one can stop a number of issues.


Lined in a trademark white and mealy wax, mealybugs are tender, segmented critters that are likely to congregate in colonies on leaf and stem surfaces.

Utilizing their piercing-sucking mouthparts, mealybugs extract very important fluids from phloems, which ends up in decreased vigor and leaf drop. In addition they excrete honeydew as they feed, which might result in the buildup of black sooty mildew.


Scale are spherical, flattened bugs that are available each armored and soft-bodied varieties. Sometimes legless, scale seem as unaesthetic clusters of barely raised bumps on leaves and stems.

A horizontal close-up of five small, brown scale insects arranged along a yellow leaf vein.

Scale feed and excrete honeydew in an analogous method to mealybugs, which additionally causes comparable signs.

Management of scale can also be performed through hand removing and horticultural oil functions, though scale could take extra finesse and/or “oomph” to take away. A toothpick can actually come in useful right here.

Further ideas and methods for scale management will be discovered right here. 

Spider Mites

Spider mites are small – like, “require-a-magnifying-glass-to-see” small.

With out one, they simply appear like little pink dots amongst webbed-up leaves. Below magnification, although, you may make out their eight-legged, arachnid our bodies simply nice.

A horizontal close-up of a small red spider mite on the bristly hairs of a green leaf.

Leaving small, discolored feeding marks on leaves, spider mite infestations also can result in foliar chlorosis, distortion, and drop.

To manage them, robust sprays of water or functions of horticultural oil ought to do the trick.

You’ll discover additional pointers for coping with spider mites in our information.

Root Rot

Root rot is the unlucky results of a root system not receiving sufficient oxygen because of oversaturated soil – a results of overwatering or poorly-draining potting combine.

Because the roots successfully “suffocate” and grow to be necrotic, the stems and foliage lose their base of assist, exhibit signs like chlorosis, dieback, stunted development, and ultimately dying.

Root rot is each prevented and managed by not overwatering the soil and rising your friendship plant in a well-draining potting combine.

Unpotting the specimen and pruning away any lifeless roots and a proportionate quantity of shoot tissue also can assist your specimen get better. But when it’s too far gone, it’s most likely finest to scrap it and begin over.

Greatest Makes use of for Friendship Crops

Wherever in your house the place you’ll be able to present humidity and brilliant, oblique mild is a strong spot for a friendship plant.

It’s fairly sufficient to face out as a centerpiece, however humble sufficient to stay tucked away and out of the limelight.

A horizontal image taken from overhead of the bright green and red leaves of a friendship plant growing outdoors in a botanical garden.

Moreover, P. involucrata is a pleasant addition of foliage to a terrarium, for those who occur to have one. If not, right here’s our information on the best way to make one!

Fast Reference Rising Information

Plant Sort:Creeping herbaceous perennialFlower/Foliage Colour:Inexperienced, pink/ mild inexperienced, darkish inexperienced, darkish reddish purple

Native to:Central America, South America, West IndiesWater Wants:Average

Hardiness (USDA Zone):11-12Maintenance:Low

Bloom Time/Season:SpringTolerance:Average drought

Publicity:Shiny, oblique lightSoil Sort:Wealthy, moist

Time to Maturity:3-5 yearsSoil pH:5.0-6.0

Soil Drainage:Nicely-draining

Planting Depth:Depth of root system (transplants)Makes use of:Foliar curiosity, houseplant for well-lit areas

Peak:6-12 inchesFamily:Urticaceae

Unfold:3-12 inchesGenus:Pilea

Widespread Pests and Illness:Mealybugs, scale, spider mites; root rotSpecies:Involucrata

Strike Up These Friendships!

Now that you’ve got some friendship plant know-how, there’s nothing stopping you from scoring some new buds, buddies, friends, and the like.

With a bunch of sharable P. involucrata in hand, everybody will wish to make your acquaintance.

A horizontal overhead image of the vibrantly green, red, purple, and/or coppery leaves of friendship plants growing in a clump.

Pal-scoring powers apart, the friendship plant is just pleasant to have in a houseplant lineup. Props to you for unlocking its secrets and techniques!

Interested by different features of P. involucrata care? Have any questions on what’s been already mentioned? Contemplate the feedback part under your megaphone.

Need extra leafy and beautiful houseplants? Then these guides will certainly hit the spot:

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