Does a Chinese money plant need light? Absolutely. All plants need light, and Pilea Peperomioides is no exception. But what is the light requirement for this plant and can it handle both direct sun and low light? Let’s find out.
With any new plant, it can be tricky to find the right placement for it after purchasing it, and the light needs for Pilea Peperomioides has caused confusion amongst many. Are you a new Pilea owner not sure of the best light exposure? Don’t worry too much, as the Pilea is known to be an incredibly sturdy plant.
Let’s start from the beginning!
What window is best for Pilea Peperomioides?
How much sunlight is enough and when is it too much? Figuring out light requirements can be tricky for any plant owner, and what works for you (in your location) may not work for someone else. You should always take location into consideration when taking advice, as the intensity of a Texas sun is something quite different from a Stockholm sun.
Avoid full shade
First and foremost, within the question of what window is best for the Pilea, we have already ruled out complete shade as an option. So to be completely clear, your Pilea Peperomioides should not be placed in a dark corner of your house. It can grow in low light, but I would never recommend full shade.
East and west is best for most
My rule-of-thumb recommendation is an east- or west-facing window where it will get lots of indirect light, lowering the risk of sunburn as well as stunted growth due to too much shade. Your Pilea is completely capable of handling morning sun, so don’t worry about those hours of sunlight.
North and south can work for some
North-facing windows get no direct sun, and this won’t necessarily bother Pilea Peperomioides, but you may experience slower growth and notice that it will lean more during winter if you, like me, live in the cold north where we barely get any sun from November until April.
A south-facing window is the most difficult window for keeping indoor plants. It has direct sun and during the summer it can get extremely intense and give your Pilea a sunburn. You may however consider the option of moving your Pilea to a south-facing window during the winter months if you live in colder climates like me, but it’s not necessary.
Can Pilea Peperomioides handle direct sun?
A few hours of direct sun from an east or west-facing window won’t harm your Pilea. Where you typically run into problems is when heat and sun are combined for a longer time, as what often happens in a south-facing window.
When exposed to too much direct sunlight and heat, the Pilea may develop brown and dry spots on the leaves. This can be considered a sunburn.
Dry brown spots on Pilea leaves will not disappear over time, so if you don’t like the look – either avoid it completely or remove the leaves.
What happens if you grow Pilea Peperomioides in low light?
Low light would be defined as a placement away from a window, such as a shelf in a corner of a room. Although being exposed to only low light won’t directly kill your Pilea, it also won’t contribute much to growth.
What you can expect from a low light position is slow growth and less vibrant-looking leaves.
If you do choose a placement in low light or full shade, keep an eye out for the plant and see how the leaves are adapting and behaving. Do they turn yellow and fall off, do they stay the same?
By monitoring the changes you can be more proactive with your plant care and avoid plant death by taking action before things turn bad.
Can you grow Pilea Peperomioides under fluorescent grow lights?
Yes, you can – but you definitely don’t need to. I have experimented with LED grow lights to speed up the growth rate of Pilea, and it works both in terms of increasing height much faster and for producing Pilea pups faster and on a larger scale.
It’s a fun experiment and I have written more about what type of light I used in the post, but in terms of getting the plant to grow and thrive, it’s unnecessary.