A variegated Pilea Peperomioides. Is it even possible? As it turns out, it is, and it’s not even a new phenomenon. In this post I’ll introduce you to the first commercial variegations of Pilea Peperomioides: Pilea Mojito and Pilea Sugar.
Not too long ago, I spotted a variegated Pilea on Instagram. As surprised as I was, it turns out I’ve been living under a rock, as they’ve been around for quite some time.
Of course, there would be variegated Pileas somewhere around the world, and it was really only a matter of time before someone succeeded with creating stable cultivars.
What is a variegated plant?
Variegated plants are plants that have more than one color, and they often offer a fascinating display of foliage, as part of the cells in the plant are lacking chlorophyll (green pigment converting light to energy).
Instead of a completely green leaf, a variegated plant can have different shades ranging from green to white.
Other known variegated plants can be found amongst Calathea, Monstera, Syngonium, Philodendron etc.
Variegation can happen in all plants as cell mutation is not tied to a single plant species or family. Not all plants will however be stable variegated ones.
Wondering what ‘stable’ means?
Some plants are genetically variegated which means their variegation has passed down from plant to plant. This results in a predictable pattern where the plant will always be variegated and this can easily be ‘recreated’ through propagation.
Other plants can have random and unpredictable variegation which is called Chimeric variegation. On these plants there’s no pattern and it’s difficult to recreate, even when propagating a variegated section of the plant. These are referred to as unstable.
For these plants to become stable, you would have to continuously propagate until you reach a reliable cultivar.
But what about those variegated Pileas?
Back to the story.
After having had Pileas for more than five years, I was excited to find out, that stable Pilea varieties have been cultivated, and that the new varieties are being grown and sold across the world. The hubs seem to be Latin- and South America and the Netherlands.
Even in Scandinavia where the Pilea is very common, variegations are far and few between. In fact, I’ve only seen one.
Luckily I managed to get a hold of two different variegated Pileas: Pilea Mojito and Pilea Sugar. I’m not familiar with the origins of the names, and there could be many more nicknames for all I know. Do you know of any of the ‘creators’ of these variegations? then do drop a comment or send me a message!
The first variegated Pilea I came across was Pilea Mojito – a beautiful Pilea cultivar with green speckles on the leaves. There’s some slight confusion between the Pilea Mojito and Pilea White Splash, but a visitor to this site pointed out, that Pilea Mojito has green variegation where Pilea white Splash has white variegation that shows as bigger patches.
I have seen examples where half a leaf was completely white, so there are both subtle and more extremes cases of the White Splash.
I suspect Pilea Mojito will become incredibly popular, as there’s definitely a trend amongst green indoor plants with distinctive variegated leaves.
The second variegated Pilea I came across was Pilea sugar: a Pilea with oddly shaped leaves and a subtle pattern of white variegation.
It’s interesting that Pilea Sugar is being introduced, as the perfect round leaves are exactly what plant lovers across the world have been admiring with Pilea Peperomioides. How popular will Pilea Sugar become? That will be an interesting trend to follow. I expect it to become less sought after than Pilea Mojito.
Are you aware of other Pilea variegations? Then please leave a comment, I’d love to hear which ones you’ve encountered.
Pilea mojito and white splash are different cultivars. With white splash having the white splash style variegation and in my experience less variegation and mojito only ever showing the greenly variegation. Be careful because the mojito can be pricey and there are some unstable/fake cultivars out there.
Hi Tess, happy to get your input on the cultivars! Seems like I’ll have to go plant hunting for the White Splash then 😉