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Hello, my readers! A few months ago, I’ve got this new plant- Moon Valley Friendship Plant and at first, I was wondering how to take proper care of it.
Today I will share with you my observations and conclusions about necessary conditions, to make your plant thrive!
In this article, you will learn more about:
- how much light, temperature, and humidity does your plant needs
- watering the moon valley plant
- what type of soil and fertilizer is best for this plant
- propagation of pilea involucrata
- common issues
The following guide will provide you with all the knowledge you need to grow these tropical foliage plants successfully.
About Moon Valley Friendship Plant
Moon valley friendship plant, or Pilea involucrata as it is called in latin, is a small houseplant native to Central and South America and belongs to the Pilea genus of plants, a large family containing over a hundred different species.
The difference between the moon valley plant and most of these other Pilea plants is the friendship plant is grown almost exclusively indoors.
This makes pilea moon valley plants inexpensive little plants to grow in a home environment, further increasing the popularity of this plant amongst young or inexperienced growers. All this makes pilea involucrata great starter plants for virtually anyone.
Light and Location
First of all, each plant needs a certain location in which it will be planted and access to some sunlight so it can perform photosynthesis.
Thankfully, pilea involucrata isn’t particularly demanding in this regard, as it will tolerate most light conditions other than bright light (of the direct variety).
Indirect light is much better, in fact, bright indirect light will allow your plant to thrive easily.
You should never put it in the way of direct sunlight, however, as such conditions do not suit pilea plants at all and might burn their leaves if exposed for too long.
Other than this intolerance to full sun, the plant is fairly easy to satisfy in terms of lighting and can be placed in most rooms of your house.
Watering Your Pilea Moon Valley Plant
Moon valley plants are tropical plants originating from an area full of lush forests. This means that they are used to a high humidity environment and frankly, love water.
The plant requires regular watering and a moistened potting mix, though the potting mix should be allowed to drain away regularly, as overly moist soil can result in a number of disorders, including root rot.
This means that you should water your plant as soon as the soil begins to get dry, usually once or twice per week, as soon as the top inch of the soil gets dry.
You should allow the whole pot to get some water, as it will help the plant greatly.
Just as with all other things concerning your pilea involucratata, balance is crucial when watering it.
Soggy soil can result in root rot, while in low water conditions the growth slows (this also happens naturally during the winter, so you can water the plant a little less in that season) and its showy foliage begins to wilt.
Unlike the soil, where there is such a thing as too much humidity, this is almost not the case in regards to air.
The plant thrives in highly humid conditions, meaning that you should be using a humidity monitor to make sure it is receiving all the water it needs.
Friendship plants should thus be kept in a fairly humid place such as a bathroom.
Growing them in a terrarium is also possible, though it isn’t necessary. You should however grow them indoors where they will be protected from the elements. Just watch out for leaf mold!
Related: 16 Best Plant Humidifiers
Temperature: Keeping Your Pilea Mollis Warm
Pileas tend to be fairly accommodating to a usual home environment when it comes to heat, preferring warm temperatures to cold ones.
Still, the average room temperature is usually enough for a friendship plant to grow unimpeded.
However, moon valley pilea plants are quite a frost tender and should be kept away from temperatures under 60 degrees Fahrenheit if possible.
This will allow for more compact growth during the year, as well as less downtime when there is no new growth.
Soil and Fertilization
The plant likes typical soil mix, such as peat moss, wet pebbles, and a lot of organic material. Loose, sandy soil is also a good choice.
The plant prefers to have rich, well-fertilized soil, so you should feed it often. You should use water-soluble fertilizer to feed this plant, as too many chemicals from the fertilizer in the potting mix can cause root burn.
If fed on a monthly basis, your cute little pilea should reach its full size or 12 or so inches (around one foot) in about a month. The plant requires less food during the winter months as it doesn’t grow as much in that season.
Finally, while moon valley friendship plants are reasonably heavy feeders for their size, it doesn’t mean their needs are difficult to meet.
A moist potting mix and some water dissolvable fertilizer will suffice, as long as you remember to feed monthly.
Pruning Your Friendship Plant
Moon valley pilea aren’t plants you will need to prune in normal circumstances.
The upright bushy types of pilea still remain at quite a manageable size of around 1 foot when mature, especially if they grow indoors.
While their foliage varies considerably, with their branching forms varying from season to season, they are still fairly capable of keeping themselves healthy in this manner.
Lower leaves naturally drop as the plant grows in height towards its maximum size, and while this can be a bit annoying in case of indoor plants placed in a hanging basket as you will sometimes have to collect the leaves from the floor underneath, it is no cause for concern.
There are two main types of moon valley pilea: The upright bushy types, more suited to hanging baskets, and trailing varieties, which can be grown in regular pots. Both of these pilea mollis are equally non-demanding in terms of pruning, as they remain fairly small and drop their own leaves.
The only situation in which you might need to prune your pilea mollis plant is in case of a plant disease, as some stem diseases will need you to remove the diseased parts of the plant to save its main body.
In this case, you will need to use a clean knife, or a set of garden shears (properly sanitized before each incision) to make sure to prevent the infection from spreading or even spreading it yourself by accident.
Pilea Involucrata Propagation
Pilea moon valley plants can be propagated in-home environment without much effort. Yes, you can do it too!
Growing new plants can be done in two distinct ways: by allowing a baby plant to root independently, as they root easily if placed in the right soil (you should keep them in a water-filled container until they have done so, in a place with indirect sunlight).
Then, after the small roots have appeared, use a potting mix specifically created for your baby pilea and plant it, then keep it in a spot with high humidity and moderate sunlight, just as you would with an adult plant.
The second main propagation method is stem cuttings.
Friendship plant cuttings root just as easily as baby plants do, making it quite a viable way for you to turn your moon valley pilea into a whole indoor garden of them.
The new plant is created by established stems with two leaves each, cutting them off at the base with well-sanitized knife or garden shears.
You should be very careful to damage the original plant as little as possible. Plant the cutting into a moist, but also aerated soil, such as a perlite mix, then keep it a highly humid area.
There is a tip when it comes to propagating pilea involucrata in this manner: simply wrap its pot or container into a plastic bag to prevent soil moisture loss (the rootless cutting isn’t any good at retaining moisture, so you will have to assist it until it starts to root), then leave it somewhere warm and with access to bright indirect light.
The stem cuttings will root easily in these conditions, developing into new plants rather quickly.
Moon Valley Plant Issues and Diseases
While quite hardy and adaptable to most agriculture plant hardiness zones, moon valley plants can still suffer from a number of diseases and other issues. Thankfully, you can easily prevent most of these issues by following the instructions provided in this guide.
One of the most common issues in moon valley plants is usually caused by overly moist or soggy soil. The easiest and the most common way to deal with this is to simply provide your plant with ample drainage in its growth pot and a type of soil that doesn’t retain too much moisture.
Another common problem caused by overwatering the plant, yellowing leaves slow down your moon valley plant’s growth and can cause a number of secondary issues.
This usually affects the lower leaves of the plant. The disease is easily recognized: the plant’s chartreuse leaves lose their color and deep texturing when affected.
Tiny insects almost invisible to the naked eye, spider mites are a very annoying pest that feeds on the plant’s stem and leaves.
Thankfully you can easily get rid of them: just wash them and their webbing right off the plant with a stream of water and some diluted soap.
How Big Do Friendship Plants Get?
The moon valley friendship plant or pilea involucrata is one of the smaller plants in the pilea genus, rarely growing over a foot tall (12 inches or 30cm). This makes it an ideal indoor plant as you are unlikely to ever need to prune it unless it is for health or propagation purposes. Pileas occasionally bloom cream-colored flowers, making them a great addition to your home environment. Just make sure that you take good care of them!
Why Is My Friendship Plant Dying?
Friendship plants can suffer from a few pests and diseases, most of them related to water and moisture in some way. Rotting roots and yellowing leaves can be a sign of overwatering, whereas brown leaf tips are usually associated with a lack of available water.
In addition, pests such as spider mites can affect the plants, heavily damaging their leaves and sometimes even the main body of the plant by feeding on them.
Finally, if exposed to overly strong and bright light, the moon valley plant’s leaves can suffer from sunburn, quickly using their function and even killing the plant.
How Do You Keep a Friendship Plant Alive?
It’s simple! Just follow the instructions provided in this guide and your friendship plant will be thriving!
In short, the plant needs a lot of water and good drainage to keep the roots and the leaves healthy, enough sunlight to perform photosynthesis without causing sunburns on the leaves (keep it away from direct light!) and moderate to high air humidity, combined with average room temperatures.
See, it’s not difficult at all! If you have any doubts or need more information, it’s all in this guide!