The Pilea Nummulariifolia or Creeping Charlie is a popular houseplant thrives in a hanging basket or terrarium because it allows the plant’s lush green foliage to be seen at its best throughout the year. Often grown in greenhouses, this plant is a member of the Urticaceae family. While it can be grown in a garden as a groundcover, most gardeners look down on it as a weed.
A common houseplant found in the Caribbean and some parts of South America, Creeping Charlie also calls Swedish Ivy. Green leaves of varying diameters and wrinkled, sunken veins give this creeping perennial a multifaceted look. The plant will look lovely as its long, green tendrils spill out of the hanging baskets.
When cultivated outdoors, Creeping Charlie plants can spread quickly and cause problems. When confined to containers, however, they become a vigorous houseplant that can quickly add a sprightly splash of green to any room. Even inexperienced gardeners can successfully cultivate Creeping Charlie. You’ll have a low-maintenance plant if you only give it the basics for healthy development.
How to Care for Pilea Nummulariifolia, Creeping Charlie?
Pilea Nummulariifolia first appeared in the West Indies, and the tropical jungles there are perfect for its growth. The finest care for a Creeping Charlie plant can be given if you are familiar with its natural environment of origin. Protecting a Pilea Nummulariifolia from harsh light, keeping the soil consistently moist, and never exposing the plant to freezing temperatures are the three most crucial care requirements.
The Pilea Nummulariifolia thrives in indirect sunlight and should be placed accordingly. Place the plant near a blinded or curtained window, as direct sunlight will harm it. Do not put your plant where it will be subjected to direct sunlight since doing so could cause the leaves to scorch.
Even though Creeping Charlie needs consistently moist soil, the plant cannot make it if the soil mix is entirely soaked with water. For Pilea Nummulariifolia to maintain healthy roots, the soil it is planted must be able to both hold and swiftly drain away a sufficient amount of moisture.
Pilea Nummulariifolia thrives in slightly acidic to neutral pH between 6 and 7.5. If you wish to buy pre-mixed soil, an African Violet mix has all the ingredients for a Creeping Charlie houseplant. A typical peat-based mix in which you have included one scoop of perlite and compost that has had adequate time to degrade is what you should use in any other circumstance.
The Creeping Charlie (Pilea Nummulariifolia) is an easy-care houseplant that must be watered no more than once daily but no less than three to four times weekly. Maintaining a consistent moisture level throughout your soil is crucial.
It is best to wait until the top half to a quarter of an inch of soil has dried before giving the plant more water. If you overwater the Pilea Nummulariifolia, the leaves will become yellow, and the plant will eventually die. There’s a risk that doing this will destroy the plant. It’s also likely that inadequate drainage holes are blamed for these issues.
For optimal growth, Pilea Nummulariifolia, like most houseplants, needs to be kept in a warm temperature with temps ranging from 65 – 80 degrees F. The plant should be placed in a spot that is not drafty and has no heat vents or windows. Aside from being killed by subfreezing temperatures, this plant also can’t handle high temperatures.
The Creeping Charlie houseplant appreciates regular misting because it cannot survive in dry environments. If you live in an area that tends to dry, you must misty your house daily. Keep the plant near a window, where the humidity might range from 40 to 60 percent. As a result, the relative humidity will increase.
During the growing season, Pilea Nummulariifolia requires fertilizer to enable its gorgeous leaves to keep extending and flourishing. Suppose you used compost or slow-release fertilizer granules when you potted the plant up. In that case, the soil’s fertility can be preserved until the next repotting without any additional labour on your side.
If this is not the case, you should search for a 10-10-10 fertilizer ratio. For indoor plants, liquid fertilizer is the easiest to apply. Apply the Pilea Nummulariifolia fertilizer just after watering the soil to enhance its absorption ability. Dilute it so that it is only half as strong as usual.
Proper plant maintenance includes keeping it neat and clean. A plant caked in dust layers does not present itself in the best possible light. You won’t need to spend more than ten minutes cleaning your plant each week with a paper towel dipped in water. Useful for seeing insects that have scuttled covertly behind a plant’s leaves, this technique is worth putting into practice.
Pruning also includes removing any dead, diseased, or otherwise flawed branches. Use clean pruning shears to remove the offending branch with one hand holding the stem. Pruning your plants in the spring is ideal because it encourages growth for the rest of the year.
Potting & Repotting
It is recommended to repot Pilea Nummulariifolia every two to three years because of its fast-growing perennial tropical ground cover. Instead of strictly adhering to a plan, you should monitor the growth of the Creeping Charlie to see if it needs to be clipped.
If the Pilea Nummulariifolia has roots growing through the drainage holes or if the roots have completely swallowed the soil, it is time to repot the plant. To maximize its chances of survival, the pot should be expanded by no more than two inches. The pot must have good drainage. When repot the Pilea Nummulariifolia, you must always use new potting soil.
The blooms on the Pilea Nummulariifolia are small and tubular. The flowers have a distinctive color that changes depending on the light, from light lavender to a white and greenish tint.
Although creeping Charlies do not typically bloom, when they do, it is said that the aroma has an “intoxicating” scent that is unique to this plant. Pilea Nummulariifolia is another name for these creatures. You should cut the flowers back when they start to wither because they prevent new leaf growth.
Size and Growth
At maturity, Pilea Nummulariifolia typically measures between 1 and 2 feet in width and height but can be as little as 4 inches tall. The Creeping Charlie plant matures quickly, often reaching its full size in just a few years.
It also has a limited life span, possibly only being functional for three to four years. However, if you have successfully propagated new plants from stem cuttings or root division, you should always have a few healthy, young Creeping Charlie plants in your indoor garden. Pilea Nummulariifolia is an invasive species due to its quick spread and tendency to smother native vegetation.
If ingested in moderation, this plant has no health risks. In the past, it served as a medical import from Asia to northern America. However, large amounts taken can cause toxicity. All farm animals, especially horses, are at risk because hay containing more than 30% charlie is toxic to the equines.
You needn’t be concerned about owning a home in a major city. Very few animals or children may consume enough of this plant to induce toxicity.
Pilea Nummulariifolia Propagation
Stem cuttings or root divisions are simple methods for propagating the Pilea Nummulariifolia. It is best to use clean, disinfected scissors for each cut when propagating Creeping Charlie from stem cuttings.
Several leaves near the tip of the stem should be saved, and the rest of the stem should be submerged in water or peat moss. Do not expose them to direct sunlight; keep them warm and moist by placing a plastic bag over them.
It takes about a month for cuttings to take root and grow into new plants. You can perform root division on your Creeping Charlie before repotting it by cutting or tugging the roots apart to create several separate clumps.
Although the likelihood of Pilea Nummulariifolia contracting pests or diseases is extremely low, no houseplant is completely pest- and disease-proof. The bulk of the problems that can occur with Pilea Nummulariifolia should be preventable if you pay close attention to the issues that make it grow. You may be able to see forming problems before they worsen if you keep a close eye on the Creeping Charlie plant’s leaves.
Although Pilea Nummulariifolia is rarely bothered by pests, some insect species are drawn to the plant’s sap. You’ll see countless little white or yellow spots left behind by spider mites all over the upper surface of a leaf.
Whiteflies are tinier, fluffier insects with wings. They frequently gather in shaded regions. You can easily avoid these pests by thoroughly cleaning the plant with a hand-held showerhead or the nozzle on your sink.
Mealybugs resemble fluffy tufts of cotton, and their eggs can be seen on the undersides of leaves. Mealybugs ingest the plant fluids. To remove them, dab some wiping alcohol on a cloth. A soap-based pesticide should be sprinkled about once a month to stop further pest infestations.
When you overwater it, you increase the likelihood of your plant contracting diseases like Pilea Nummulariifolia. Pilea Nummulariifolia is more vulnerable to bacterial and fungal diseases when the soil is constantly moist. Xanthomonas campestris, often known as bacterial leaf spot, appears on leaves as a succession of tiny, moist spots. To prevent the illness from spreading, cut the affected leaves and apply a copper-containing fungicide to the plant.
A fungal disease called root rot can cause the plant to die if the soil is excessively wet. The plant’s stems become mushy, and the leaves begin to turn yellow. Remove the root ball from its container, then cut any damaged leaves and dark roots. After that, repot the plant in fresh, well-draining soil and cut back on how often you water it each week.
For what reason is my Pilea Nummulariifolia dying?
Maybe you’re not giving your Pilea Nummulariifolia enough water or humidity, and it’s dying. To restore their vibrant colors, you should increase the frequency of your watering sessions. Since new growth will emerge from the plant’s still-functioning veins, it should be able to recover quickly.
How come the leaves on my Creeping Charlie houseplant keep coming off?
Your plant’s leaf drop can be traced back to its drafty environment. Don’t put your plant too close to a drafty window. Because of its sensitivity to cold, this plant must be protected.