A Friendly Little Plant To Cheer A Winter’s Day

I couldn’t resist the cheery little plant when I saw it in the store last week. I hadn’t grown one since I was a teenager, so I bought it. The clerk at the checkout counter wrapped it carefully so it wouldn’t freeze to death on the way home.

The plant is Moon Valley Pilea, with the botanical name of Pilea involucrata ‘Moon Valley.’ It’s also known as Friendship Plant.

Moon Valley is an eye-catcher. The leaves have a neat quilted texture unlike any other plant. Leaf color is fresh green with centers having a bronze tone.

Here’s how to keep Moon Valley Pilea thriving:

  • High humidity is important. If winter air is heat-dried, try misting the plant or setting the pot on a water-filled pebble tray, with the pot’s bottom always kept above the water line to prevent drowning.
  • Potting mix should contain high proportion of peatmoss, such as Miracle Gro Potting Mix.
  • Allow to dry out between thorough watering, like most houseplants.
  • Light requirement is medium. During winter’s weak sunshine, a little window sun is appreciated. During spring, summer and fall the plant likes bright light, but full all-day direct window sun would be too intense.
  • Growth points in the center of stems can be pinches to encourage well-branched, bushy plants.
  • Stem tips can be used to root cuttings for extra plants.
  • Fertilize monthly in spring and summer when longer days and increased light stimulates increased plant growth.

As daylengths increase in spring, Moon Valley often blooms with small pink flowers.

A cheery little plant. I have a new friend.

Happy Gardening!

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