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Aluminum Plant · Wiki

Botanical Name: Pilea cadierei

Showy, silver-splashed leaves make the Aluminum plant a stunning and popular house plant. It's easy to grow, as long as you can meet its need for humidity.

Pilea cadierei is a fast-growing perennial plant. It spreads rapidly in its tropical native habitat, where it grows as a ground cover. Tiny, light colored flowers will sometimes appear in the summer; you can pinch them off if you'd like, they're insignificant compared to the foliage.

The ovate green leaves are about 3" (8cm) long. Silvery streaks mark each leaf, adding a dramatic metallic design to its quilted texture. The unusual patterns give this plant another common name, the watermelon plant.

Pinch any fleshy stems early, and often, to encourage them to branch out and to stay compact. Don't toss out any cuttings, they'll root easily.

The Aluminum plant prefers humidity to wet soil. In fact, it won't tolerate soggy soil which causes root rot; aim to keep the soil lightly moist during the growing season.

Older stems will drop lower leaves. Cut back any older stems in spring when they become leggy. If your plant drops quite a few leaves, it's likely being over watered. Move the plant to a warmer spot and cease watering until the soil dries out.

Re-pot your Aluminum plant in the spring, when it outgrows its pot; be sure to use a pot with a drainage hole in order to provide good drainage.


 

Care Tips


Origin: Vietnam

Height: Up to 12 in (30 cm)

Light: This plant thrives in bright light; the foliage will lose its variegation if the light level is too low. It's a good idea to place your Aluminum plant in bright, filtered, sunlight year-round.

Water: Keep the soil lightly moist from spring through Autumn. Over-watering will cause leaves to wilt, or fall off completely; use a pot with drainage holes, and allow soil to slightly dry out between watering. You'll want to keep the soil slightly drier during the Winter.

Humidity: Moderate to high humidity. To raise the humidity, place the plant on a tray of wet pebbles. The Aluminum plant also loves to be misted with room-temperature water, and will make an ideal terrarium plant.

Temperature: Average room temperatures between 60-75°F (16-24°C)

Soil: Any good potting mix

Fertilizer: Feed every 2 weeks in the spring and Summer with a balanced liquid fertilizer diluted in half.

Propagation: Take 3 in (7.5 cm) stem tip cuttings in the spring or Summer; cut the stem just below a node, where a leaf attaches to the stem. Place the cut end in moist potting mix and cover the plant with a plastic bag to retain humidity. Any cuttings should root easily within a month.
Posted on June 23rd, 2018 · Updated on July 7th, 2018
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