Pilea microphylla

Family: Urticaceae

Countries: Americas, Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Mexico, North America, Paraguay, Peru, South America, Venezeula

Pilea microphylla is a low growing tender perennial; it’s a native plant of Brazil, Colombia, Mexico, and nearby countries.  A very small-leaved plant, with leaves measuring just 1-2mm (0.04-0.08″) in size; at first glance, Pilea microphylla looks quite similar to mosses or ferns.  This diminutive plant would be an ideal choice for an indoor fairy garden!

Plants thrive in a humid environment; Pilea microphylla is an ideal plant to include in a terrarium.  Pilea microphylla enjoys growing under bright but filtered light (keep plants away from harsh, direct light) and soft, filtered light.  If you’re not growing Pilea microphylla inside a terrarium or bottle garden, you’ll need to find a humid environment, like a steamy bathroom.  You may also need to mist your plant with rainwater or reverse osmosis water.

I’ve been growing Pilea microphylla for many years without knowing this plant’s botanical name!  It’s one of those plants that self-seeds around and sometimes springs up where you’re not expecting it.  The common name for Pilea microphylla is the Artillery Plant, referencing the plant’s ability to project pollen and seed.  My plants have flowered a great many times, but I’ve never noticed their flowers, as Pilea microphylla blooms are so minute that I struggle to see them, even in close ups using my macro camera!

I absolutely love Pilea microphylla!  It’s a quirky little plant that’s easy to accommodate; I’ve grown this Pilea inside many of my terrariums.  My Pilea microphylla plants are all under 10cm (4 inches) in height.  I’ve grown Pilea microphylla in both well-drained and waterlogged composts, with no obvious ill effects.  My Pilea microphylla plants have thrived in peat-free coir compost.

Pilea microphylla is a tender plant; ensure temperatures never drop below 10C (50F).

To see my Planting List for Terrariums and Bottle Gardens, please click here.

To read articles I’ve written about my terrariums and bottle gardens, please click here.

To see more houseplant pages with pictures and information on growing a wide range of indoor plants, please click here.

To read articles about houseplants, please click here.

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