Pilea “Friendship” (involucrata)
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Friendship Plant Care & Growth
|Lighting||Moderate indirect light|
|Watering||Moderate, even moisture|
|Growth||High humidity (60-90%)|
The Friendship Plant loves its fair share of moderate to bright indirect light.
In its native habitat this plant grows on the forest floor, living its best life in the shade. So, do your best to limit the amount of direct light this plant receives by either placing it farther away from your light source or by planting something taller above it in your terrarium.
Just like the rest of its family, the Friendship Plant is a fan of moisture.
These plants prefer moderate, even moisture and to dry out just slightly between waterings. They especially love being propagated in water and can create a huge network of roots when left in water throughout the growing season.
Newly rooted plant babies are wonderful as gifts, but if you have a friend doesn’t want a Friendship Plant as a gift, know that they are no friend at all. You can’t trust someone who doesn’t want more plants…
This plant loves a slightly loose, well-draining soil, but isn’t too picky on the exact content.
They’re commonly grown in African Violet potting mix as houseplants, which we can replicate in terrariums with a coco coir base and added perlite or bark for extra aeration.
Adding a natural fertilizer like earthworm castings upon first planting will only help it acclimate to its new environment and new roommates quicker, too!
Temperature & Humidity
Pilea involucrata are native to Central and South America, a part of the world that sees its fair share of heat and humid days in the warm seasons. During this time however, the forest floor that the Panamiga like to crawl around on is typically very shady, so the cooler temperatures between 65-75°F (18-23°C) are best suited to it.
High humidity is an absolute must to help this plant thrive; while it can survive humidity levels around 50%, your Pilea involucrata will always be happier to soak up more.
Friendship Plants are crawlers, so they like grow by putting out new stems and leaves next to their mother plant, growing horizontally along the floor of a terrarium.
Many cultivars of this plant have purplish-bronze leaves at first that eventually grow into their green top and purplish-bronze underside and veining. If given enough space, Panamiga can even put out clusters of tiny green or pink blooms if given enough space and time to mature!
The Pilea involucrata earned the nickname “The Friendship Plant” because of how easy it is to propagate and give to friends to grow their own mini Pilea.
Stem cuttings can be placed either directly into a new pot with soil or into a clear container to water propagate; with the water method, you will be able to see how quickly the Friendship Plant begins to root.
Make sure to take stem cuttings in the warm growing season to give your new plant the best chance at growing without the mother.
Varieties & Similar Plants
Being of the Pilea genus, the Friendship Plant has a ton of super popular and well-known cousins.
Though plants of this family are extremely diverse in their shapes, colors, and patterns, the Pilea cadierei (Aluminum Plant) and the Pilea repens (the Black Panamiga) are most similar, sharing the same leaf shape and burgundy coloring on the undersides.
Other great Pilea terrarium species include Pilea glauca (Aquamarine) and Pilea depressa.
While the Friendship Plant is not vulnerable to many issues, it can still develop root rot when overwatered; this can be seen in excessively droopy or dropping leaves.
If not in a closed environment, this plant can attract spider mites and mealy bugs as much as the next plant, but they can be harder to get rid of because of the textured leaves that pests love to hide in.
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