It can be difficult enough to find a houseplant that suits your home. For us pet owners, things are even more challenging: we need plants that are non-toxic, since many pets find indoor greenery pretty irresistible.
If you’re thinking about getting a Pilea peperomioides (Chinese money plant), you might be wondering about this species’ toxicity. Is Pilea peperomioides safe for pets?
Let’s go into Pilea toxicity and also what you should do in order to save a mauled plant after a pet attack!
Is Pilea peperomioides toxic?
Members of the genus Pilea are not considered toxic to cats, dogs, other pets and humans. So if you have a furry friend running around the house who likes to nibble on your houseplants or a young child who liked to explore the world using their mouth, this plant makes a great choice.
It’s important to mention that ingestion of any plant can cause an upset stomach in pets. If your cat or dog munched on your Pilea and got a good bite out of it, there is a chance it might cause some vomiting or diarrhea. Nothing crazy is to be expected, though.
After all, cats even naturally use their reaction to eating plants to rid themselves of furballs! Gross, but not too concerning unless it happens more than once or twice after ingestion.
Tip: Don’t have a Pilea peperomioides to call your own yet? You can buy one online here.
Oops! Pilea peperomioides emergency care
We’re usually worried about the safety of our pets when we bring new houseplants into our home, but with pet-safe plants like these the greatest risk is really to the greenery itself. If the plant is in a reachable spot there’s always the possibility of it being gnawed on or even knocked over.
What should you do if your Pilea peperomioides has sustained damage in a pet “attack”? Luckily, even a plant that seems pretty severely damaged has a good chance of surviving.
- Some damaged leaves but no further issues: You can remove the unsightly damaged leaves and there’s no need to worry. Just provide normal Pilea peperomioides care and keep an eye out for new growth.
- Broken stems: Again, no huge problem if your Pilea was separated into one piece still rooted in the planter and one piece completely dislodged. Even if it has no leaves, the stem left in the planter will sprout new foliage just fine. Place it in a light spot and keep the soil lightly moist as always. For the top part that has no roots, go to the article on propagating Pilea peperomioides to find out how to re-root it. Voilà, you now have two Pilea plants!
- Dislodged baby plants: No panic! Even if baby Pilea plants were knocked off the mother plant a bit sooner than you would have liked them to, they are usually able to survive and grow. Place them in water or pop them back into the mother plant’s container to root.
- Complete chaos: Even if your Pilea plant was torn to pieces, there is a chance you might be able to salvage something. Any piece of stem that has nodes and is at least an inch or two (5 cm) long has life in it, even if it’s bare. You can pop the stem piece into a shot glass with water and place it in a light spot to see if it will re-root.
Pilea peperomioides care
One of the reasons the Chinese money plant has become so popular among houseplant lovers is just because it’s such an easy plant to keep alive. A Pilea doesn’t need much to thrive. Here are some basic guidelines:
- Light: Bright and indirect please! A windowsill that doesn’t get direct sun is the ideal spot for your Pilea peperomioides.
- Water: The soil should be lightly moist, especially during the summer months. You can find more information in the Pilea peperomioides watering guide.
- Soil: You’ll need an element that retains water, like normal houseplant potting soil, and an element that allows the excess to drain, like a good handful of perlite. Go for a container that offers drainage, like a simple plastic nursery planter placed in a decorative overpot. Head over to the guide on Pilea peperomioides potting for more info.
- Propagation: This is super easy! Use the babies that naturally pop up around the mother plant to grow more full-sized Pilea plants or even behead yours if she’s growing too tall for your liking.
- Fertilization: This is not a very heavy feeder but you can use a diluted houseplant fertilizer during the summer months when the plant is actively growing.
- Problems: Pilea peperomioides is not prone to getting sick; any issues that do pop up often have to do with the watering schedule. If your Pilea’s leaves seem discolored or you’ve noticed another problem, head over to the guide on diagnosing a Pilea peperomioides.
If you need any more information about keeping your Pilea peperomioides happy and healthy, don’t forget to also take a look at the full guide on Pilea care to find out all there is to know about this wonderful houseplant.
Other plants safe for cats
You know what’s better than having a Pilea peperomioides and not having to worry about possible toxicity to pets? Having a whole house full of houseplants and not having to worry about any of them!
Although many popular indoor plants do pose a risk to our furry friends and children, lots of others do not. Take a peek at the list of cat safe houseplants to find some lovely, non-toxic species. A few of my favorites are:
- Baby rubber plant (Peperomia obtusifolia)
- Ponytail palm (Beaucarnea recurvata)
- Spider plant (Chlorophytum comosum)
- Pinstripe Calathea (Calathea ornata)
- African violet (Saintpaulia sp.)
- Echeveria succulents
- And, of course, other members of the Pilea genus like Pilea glauca and Pilea cadierei!
If you have any more questions about Pilea peperomioides toxicity or if you want to share your own experiences with this forgiving houseplant, don’t hesitate to leave a comment below!