Variegated Chinese Money Leaf - Pilea peperomioides ‘Sugar’

Sprouts of Bristol
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Scientific Name
Pilea peperomioides (Peperomia-like plant with leaves like felt caps) 'Sugar'

Common Name
Chinese Money Plant, UFO Plant, Pancake Plant, Missionary Plant, Pass-it-on-Plant

Native to Southwest China, in the foothills of the Himalayas

The Chinese Money Plant stands out for its unique, coin- (or pancake-) shaped foliage forming an explosion of leaves which hover around the stem of the plant like a host of flying saucers- giving it the alternative name of the UFO Plant. And the 'Sugar' variety has gorgeous, variegated leaves which boast white speckles, delicately decorating the 'pancake' leaves like they've been sprinkled with sugar. This plant also produces pups, so as it grows you may find miniature versions in your pot beside it, which can be potted into their own pots once they're established and rooted! This distinctive-looking houseplant will reward a bright spot and not-too-soggy soil with an explosion of saucer-like leaves with standout variegation which grab attention on any sideboard or shelf.


Bright, indirect light is best for the Chinese Money Plant; it doesn't like strong sunlight but will appreciate a splash or morning or evening sun, especially in winter. If this plant is placed in too dark a spot it may start to lose its variegation. In a dimmer location, make sure you water it less frequently.


Allow the top third to dry out between waters, and let even more dry in autumn and winter when the plant is normally dormant. Make sure your water is not too cold as this can shock the plant.

Average humidity works well with the Chinese Money Plant, just make sure it's not too close to a radiator.


Use a chunky, well-draining soil to keep your Pilea's roots happy; a mix with added bark would work well. Repot every two years as the plant grows.

Feed every four waters in the growing season, reduce to every six in autumn and winter.

Average household temperatures of about 18-24°C are fine- make sure it doesn't drop below 12°C in winter.

Yes, but too much nibbling won't be good for pets, small humans or the plant!

Sprouts Top Tips
The most common issues are overwatering- look out for green, curling leaves- and overexposure to sunlight- watch for yellow leaves with elongated veins. If you spot either of these signs, you can tailor the amount you water and the amount of light the plant gets to find the perfect place for it