Pilea glauca is a fairly new pilea cultivar on the houseplant scene. This plant is so new, in fact, that it doesn’t have an official scientific name yet (though some say it’s actually Pilea libensis). Though the name is a topic of confusion and debate, Pilea glauca care itself is pretty straightforward!
No one knows for sure where this plant came from, but it may have originated in the tropical rainforests of South America like many of its pilea cousins.
This plant is prized for its tiny, round, gray-blue leaves that are coated in a silver, powdery substance that almost sparkles when the plant is healthy! (This characteristic has earned this plant the nickname Pilea Sparkle.) This vining plant can trail out of the pot as a striking shelf or tabletop plant or in a hanging basket. It’s also sometimes grown as ground cover in larger pots or outdoors.
Pilea glauca takes about three years to mature, and in that time its leafy vines may grow up to 3 feet long indoors.
Here’s everything you need to know about keeping a Pilea glauca plant healthy!
Table of Contents
Pilea Glauca Plant Care
Pilea glauca thrives in bright, indirect sunlight. It can handle some direct morning sun, but avoid placing it where the harsh midday or afternoon sun will shine directly on the leaves.
An east-facing window is an excellent placement choice. A south- or west-facing window can also work if you take care to place the plant back far enough so it won’t be in direct light after 10 a.m. or so. A north-facing window may not provide enough light for a Pilea glauca, but you can always supplement with a full-spectrum grow light or grow bulbs that you can screw into regular light fixtures.
Overall, this plant is simple to care for, but it can be a little picky with its watering requirements. While it doesn’t tolerate drought well, it also doesn’t like to sit in soggy soil because it’s fairly prone to root rot and overwatering issues.
Your Pilea glauca will do best in evenly moist soil. Water when the top inch of potting mix is dry or when a moisture meter reads 4. (Don’t have a meter? Here’s the one we recommend. It also measures light and soil pH!) When you water, give the soil a good soaking and let the pot drain completely in the sink or tub. We highly recommend checking the soil every few days and watering when the plant needs it rather than watering on a set schedule.
This plant also responds well to bottom watering, but make sure to flush the soil with a top watering at least once a month or so to avoid mineral buildup from fertilizer.
Also, this plant doesn’t like chlorination, so makes sure to use rainwater or distilled water when you water, or at least let tap water sit out overnight to allow chlorine and other chemicals to evaporate.
Temperature and Humidity
One of the nice things about Pilea glauca is that it’s actually an easy keeper in most indoor environments. This plant likes typical room temperatures ranging from 65-80 degrees but can adapt to temperatures as low as 50 degrees.
This plant definitely isn’t frost-resistant, though, so keep it away from drafts.
Pilea glauca also does well with typical indoor humidity, though it does appreciate higher humidity levels around 60% if possible. So if you feel like putting your plant on a humidity tray or setting up a humidifier nearby, great! But if not, you probably don’t need to worry about it unless you live in a very arid climate or if it’s winter and the heat is always on.
Grouping your Pilea glauca with other plants can boost humidity a little, and a bright bathroom is also a great place to put this plant. Pilea glauca also does very well in a terrarium, which not only looks great but also increases humidity around the plant.
Take care to keep your plant away from vents, heaters, and fireplaces that could scorch or dry out the leaves. Otherwise, your pilea will most like be very content with your indoor humidity level.
Soil Potting Mix
Since this plant likes evenly moist soil, you’ll want a potting mix that drains quickly but also retains a bit of moisture.
Cactus soil with extra perlite mixed in (think 3 parts soil and 1 part perlite) can work well. We also highly recommend our Premium Indoor Plant Soil because it perfectly balances drainage with moisture retention, has a neutral pH, is full of nutrients, and works beautifully for most houseplants, not just your pilea! This soil is ready to go right out of the bag and stays well-aerated thanks to the addition of orchid bark and perlite.
And to make sure your soil drainage efforts don’t go to waste, pick a pot that has drainage holes so your pilea’s roots aren’t sitting in water for too long. Any pot material will do as long as there are drainage holes. It’s also a good idea to choose a pot that’s just 2 inches or so larger than your plant’s root ball so it doesn’t hold on to more water than the plant can use.
During the spring and summer when your Pilea glauca is most likely to be actively growing, fertilize regularly with a diluted, balanced liquid fertilizer. We love our Indoor Plant Food because it’s gentle enough to use every time you water, so you won’t have to remember a finicky fertilization schedule. It’s also great for almost all your houseplants (just not succulents), so you can just mix some into your watering can when you water all your plants!
Pilea glauca is fairly easy to propagate! The best methods are rooting stem cuttings in water or soil or by removing the pups the plant produces (you can treat these just like cuttings).
To propagate, select a pup or a young, healthy section of stem that contains a few leaves and at least one node. This will look like a little bump or a slick thickening of the stem between leaves.
Use sterilized shears or scissors to remove the pup or cutting. If necessary, remove a few of the lower leaves so you have an inch or so of bare stem.
To root in water, place the pup or cutting upright in a clear glass container of distilled water and a bit of Propagation Promoter and put it in a bright place. Keep the water topped off and change it out completely at least once per week. You should start to see new roots forming in a month or two. When the roots are an inch long, plant the cutting in soil. Enjoy your new Pilea glauca plant!
To root in soil, add some of your regular pilea potting mix or a 50/50 mix of peat moss and perlite to a small pot. Plant the cutting in the soil and water thoroughly. Place a plastic bag or some plastic wrap over the top of the pot and place the pot in a warm, fairly bright place.
Keep the soil evenly moist and air out the plastic for an hour or so each day to prevent mold growth. Within a few months, the cutting should have taken root and you can start caring for it like a mature plant.
Pilea Glauca Problems
Here are warning signs to watch out for when caring for a Pilea glauca, and what to do about them.
Pilea Glauca Leaves Falling Off
It’s normal for plants, including Pilea glauca, to occasionally drop older leaves when they’re done with them, but if you notice that your plant is losing a lot of leaves, it could need more light. Sometimes when Pilea glauca doesn’t get enough light, it will drop leaves because it has less energy to support more leaves.
Leaf loss can also be a sign of severe underwatering, especially if those leaves are dried out or have dry brown spots. If you see this and the soil is also dried out, give your plant a good watering!
Leggy Pilea Glauca
If there’s a lot of space between leaves on your Pilea glauca’s stems, this can also be a sign of insufficient light. You can move your plant to a brighter spot, and while this will help new leaves grow closer together, it won’t fix existing legginess.
If you really don’t like the leggy appearance, you can prune some of the stems and/or propagate a few stems and replant them with the mother plant to create a fuller, bushier-looking plant.
Pilea Glauca Dry Leaves
Dry leaves can indicate underwatering or a lack of humidity.
If you notice dry leaves, start by checking the soil. If it’s dry more than an inch or two down or if a moisture meter reads lower than a 3 or 4, your plant might be underwatered. Give it a good soak and make sure to keep a closer eye on the soil moisture conditions moving forward.
If the soil seems okay, your plant might need more humidity. While Pilea glauca is flexible with its humidity needs, it can suffer if conditions are too dry. This can happen in very arid climates, like in states like Arizona or Utah, or if you’re using a lot of indoor climate control.
If you determine that low humidity is the problem, prune off the dried-out leaves and take steps to increase humidity, like placing your plant on a pebble tray. Also, if you notice that your plant is near a heating or central air vent, move it!
Since this pilea variety is so new to the houseplant industry and is still scientifically undefined, Pilea glauca goes by many nicknames. There are also other, similar cultivars that may or may not be the same plant. But it’s worth being aware of the nicknames and potential cultivars out there.
This plant may or may not be another name for Pilea glauca. There’s a lot of disagreement about whether they’re the same plant or just similar-looking cultivars. Either way, Pilea aquamarine gets its name from its small, delicate blue-green leaves with a dusting of silvery powder (sound familiar?). Same plant or no, it’s undeniably beautiful.
Pilea Silver Sparkle
This (and Pilea Sparkle) is another name for Pilea glauca, coined for the sparkly silver powder that covers the tiny, round leaves. After all, who doesn’t want a plant with “sparkle” in the name, right?
This is just a slightly longer, slightly fancier name for Pilea glauca. If you see this on the label, you can be confident that you’ll be getting a glauca, Silver Sparkle, or whatever you want to call it!
Pilea Red Stem
This is another nickname for Pilea glauca, thanks to this plant’s reddish-pink stems. This descriptive nickname makes the plant easy to identify!
Pilea glauca, Silver Sparkle, Aquamarine, Red Stem, whatever nickname you choose, is a beautiful plant with unusual leaves with a unique sparkle that sets it apart in any houseplant collection. If you want to add a little glimmer to your space with a fun and interesting plant that doesn’t take a lot of room or effort, this is the plant for you!
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