Pilea Microphylla ‘Variegata’ Growing Tips

A charming little houseplant pot can warm a corner of your home. If you don’t believe it, try growing pilea microphylla ‘Variegata,’ and you’ll see. 

This plant doesn’t have showy flowers. Yet, its beautiful leaves do the trick. Let’s scroll down and discover how to add this lovely touch to your house! 

Pilea Microphylla ‘Variegata’ Overview

Pilea microphylla ‘Variegata’ is a small plant that yields gorgeous, colorful leaves on short stems. 

Microphylla means small leaves. As you can guess from the name, this plant has tiny foliage. They have white and pink splashes, making them look like they are blooming.  

Here is some basic information about the species:

  • Scientific name: Pilea microphylla ‘Variegata’
  • Common name: Artillery plant
  • Family: Urticaceae
  • Plant type: Herbaceous 
  • Hardiness zones: 10-11
  • Height: 0.5-1.5 feet
  • Sun: Full sun to partial shade

How To Grow Pilea Microphylla’ Variegata’?

How To Grow Pilea Microphylla Variegata

There are two parts in growing the plant: propagation and care. Each stage requires numerous conditions for your plant’s best growth. 

Step 1: Propagation

There are several ways to propagate an artillery plant. You can choose to grow from seed, a cut stem, or a nursery start. 

From seed

This plant self-sows rapidly outside. It can spread tiny seeds enthusiastically, contributing to its invasive characteristics.

However, starting from seed could be challenging. Hence, most retailers offer live plants, while seeds are difficult to find.

From stem

You can take a cutting from someone who already has a plant. Cut four inches from a growing stem’s tip. The best time for this is in spring or summer. 

Pick a spot to cut slightly under a leaf node using clean shears. Roots will easily develop at this point.

To expose a two-inch-long bare stem, pinch the lowest leaves. Then, put the stem in a shallow pot with an inch of water. 

Please do not leave any leaves below the water’s surface since they will begin to decay and pollute the water.

Put the pot next to a window with a thick curtain or another area that gets indirect yet bright sunlight. 

The plant is ready for potting when its roots emerge after the next few weeks.  

Transplanting

You need to transplant your pilea when you buy a young one from a shop or want to pot up your stem cutting. No matter what your case is, the process of transplanting is as follows: 

  • Select a container that is big enough to hold the plant and has drainage holes. Remember to give it a growing space of two to three inches around it. 
  • This plant’s maturity sizes vary from 12 to 24 inches. Hence, repotting will probably be necessary more than once.
  • Choose a hanging container to display its creeping characteristics when the species is mature.
  • Buy potting soil (18 – Sheet 1) that is high in organic content, capable of retaining moisture, soft and airy, and drains efficiently.
  • Put gravel in the bottom of the pot to promote drainage, then half fill it with potting soil.

Step 2: Care and maintenance 

Propagation is done. Your plant has settled down in the pot, but you can’t just leave it there. Here are some guidelines for taking care of the pilea. 

Light

Although pilea is a member of the succulent group, it doesn’t like direct sunlight, which may burn its leaves and roots. So, it’s a good idea to put it where it can access indirect, bright sunlight. 

Many growers complain about their plants turning lopsided. This problem comes from the fact that pilea tends to grow towards the sun. To avoid it, rotate the plant about two to three times per week. 

Temperature

The ideal temperature range for pilea is from 56 to 75°F. Yet, do not put it near any heating sources in the winter, or its leaves will drop. 

When the cold comes, maintain the average temperature of at least 50°F. It’s better to grow the plant indoors as it can’t withstand even a mild cold. 

Soil

The potting soil should be nutrient-rich and loose. Also, keep the pH level from 5.0 to 6.0, as that’s what a tropical plant loves. 

The pot size is very important. Always check the plant’s root density and move your plant to a bigger pot when necessary. 

Water

Pilea doesn’t like soaked soil. So the best tip for watering is to ensure that the top soil is dry and then water it. 

Another sign for more watering is the leaves. If you see them drooping, water the plant. 

Gardeners also advise keeping the topsoil layer moist during the spring and summer. But in the fall and winter, the topsoil should dry before watering it. 

Fertilizer

A standard houseplant fertilizer is enough for your plant. Your plant absorbs the nutrient best in the spring and summer. 

You should water your plant first. Then, fertilize it the following day. Avoid a dry plant because it can’t collect the nutrients you supply effectively. 

Pests

You won’t likely run into many problems when cultivating indoors. Some common pests like dry plants, while fungus and bacteria develop in a damp environment.

The following tips will help prevent pests in your pilea: 

  • Avoid underwatering, overwatering, and direct sunshine. Also, maintain an interior humidity level of at least 45%.
  • Use organic neem oil to treat sapsuckers and caterpillars. 
  • Add some diatomaceous earth to the potting soil to control flying insects and gastropods. The diatomaceous earth lingers in the soil to guard your plant against further infestation.
  • Products made of yellow adhesive tape can trap flying insects, so place them close to the affected pots.
  • Cut stems slightly above a leaf node and at the root to eliminate heavily damaged foliage in cases of extensive infection. This pruning method (11 – Sheet 1) is effective when applied for houseplants. 

Conclusion

Pilea microphylla ‘Variegata’ is a stunning pop everywhere you put it. So why don’t you try this idea? Its lovely foliage colors will warm your heart and relax your mind after a hard-working day. 

If you still worry about growing this plant, let us know what we can help with. Comment below, and we will get back to you soon.

Thank you for reading! 

For over eighty years the Wightman Family has been growing and selling fruits and vegetables at the farm.

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