Are you looking for a low-maintenance and attractive plant for your home or office? The Aluminum house plant is an excellent choice. It is very popular, for its attractive, bushy, variegated foliage. The leaves are a deep green with raised silver streaks. Growing the Aluminum Houseplant indoors is easy. It is not grown for flower blooms. The plant rarely produces flowers. And, when it does, the flowers are rather plain-looking with little or no scent. Outdoors, it is usually grown in the warmer regions of the country that do not have a frost or freeze.
Aluminum plants, also called by their botanical name “Pilea”, are not hardy. It is native to tropical regions of China, Vietnam, and other areas of Southeast Asia. It is a low-growing evergreen plant. The Aluminum plant is grown primarily for its green and silver (aluminum-colored) leaves. On occasion, the plant will produce small, plain-looking flowers.
Did you Know? This plant is sometimes sold as an aquarium plant. However, it is not a true aquatic plant. When submerged in water, it becomes. messy. So, you need to clean your aquarium more frequently.
Lifespan: about 4 years
Ideal Room Temperature: 60 – 75 degrees Fahrenheit.
Plant Height: 1 to 2 feet tall.
Flower Colors: White
Flowers Bloom: Rarely
Hardiness Zones: 9 – 11
Ideal Indoor Room Temperatures: 70-75° F during the day, and 60-70° F at night.
Ideal Soil pH: Slightly acidic
Plant Botanical Name: Pilea cadierei
Aluminum plants are grown from cuttings. For use as a houseplant, take a cutting and root the cutting in water. If grown outdoors, take cuttings in the spring. You can root them outdoors in moist soil. Or, root the cuttings indoors in a flowerpot. Then, transfer new plants into the garden.
The flowers of the Pilea plant produce tiny seeds. Very few gardeners propagate the plant in this manner. It takes much longer for the plant to grow. If you want to grow them from seed, allow the flowers to develop and dry up, Or, look for seeds online from a reputable seed company.
Here’s how to grow aluminum house plants:
The plant is easy to grow and care for. It is suitable to grow outdoors in warmer, frost-free areas. Frost and freeze will kill the plant. Even cold temperatures can stunt it.
For growing Aluminum plants indoors, select a pot or container that fits your room decor. It should have holes in the bottom for good drainage. It likes a sandy soil that drains well. As your plant continues to grow, you will need to repot it into a larger container from time to time.
The soil should be moist, not wet. Allow the surface of the soil to dry between watering.
This plant grows best in bright, indirect light conditions. In the winter months, move the plant to a window with a southern exposure.
Important: Too much direct sunlight can burn the leaves.
Aluminum plants do not need a lot of fertilizer. For best results fertilize every 2-3 months. Or, use slow-release fertilizer spikes.
If you are going to grow an Aluminum plant outdoors, treat it as an annual. Or, bring it indoors in the fall. It will succumb to frost and freeze. Protect the plant from cold and frost, or bring it indoors in cold weather.
The plants look their best when pruned from time to time. Pinch back the growing tips from time to time, to create a bushier appearance. Some growers, remove flower buds, before they open, providing more energy to leaf growth and health. Use a sharp knife or pruning shears. Remove dead or sickly leaves on a regular basis. Remove other leaves, to shape the plant. Cut the stem at the base of the main stalk.
For house plants, mist the leaves in dry conditions.
Transplant them into larger pots as needed, before they get root-bound.
Mealy bugs and spider mites can infest the plants.
Leaf spot is an occasional problem. Also, stem rot can occur in wet soils.