Pilea glauca is a relatively new plant that has small oval leaves with a silver sheen. That sheen sometimes takes on a blue tint or a slight sparkle in the sunlight.
These beautiful leaves have increased the popularity of Pilea glauca quickly, and it is important for new collectors to know how to provide the proper care for the plant.
Should I mist Pilea glauca? Misting Pilea glauca is one of many ways to increase the humidity for this moisture-loving species. Additional ways to increase humidity include run a humidifier, place plant on a pebble tray, group with other plants, grow in a terrarium or bathroom, and check soil moisture regularly.
Pilea glauca is unique because it belongs to a genus of mostly succulents, but unlike succulents, this plant loves humidity and moist soil.
This is one of the reasons why it is important to understand the needs of your exact species of plant and to not generalize houseplant care.
How To Maintain Correct Moisture for Pilea Glauca
Pilea glauca has many different names: Pilea glauca, Pilea glaucophylla, Pilea libanensis, glauca Pilea, Pilea silver sparkle, gray baby tears, red-stemmed Pilea, and gray artillery plant.
One of the reasons for the confusion is because the origin of the plant is unknown and a botanical name has never been formalized.
Pilea Glauca Water Requirements
Your Pilea glauca needs consistently moist soil. The soil should be quick to drain so that water is never sitting around the roots.
Only the top half inch of soil should be allowed to dry out in between waterings.
In addition, Pilea glauca is sensitive to hard water and contaminated water, so you may need to use filtered or purified water.
How Often Should Pilea Glauca Be Watered?
It is more important to check the soil between waterings than it is to maintain a watering schedule. You should water your Pilea glauca when the top half inch of soil is dry.
For most conditions, you will need to water once or twice per week. Waterings are usually less frequently needed in winter.
Pay Attention to Water Quality
Fertilizer salts, contaminants, and chlorine can be particularly harmful for the sensitive Pilea glauca.
To remove chlorine easily, allow your water to sit out overnight before applying it to the plant.
You can also use rainwater or filtered water, or add an aquarium dechlorinator to the water (this one is excellent).
Soil Quality Matters
Pilea glauca will do best in a soil that holds moisture but also drains well. As much as this plant enjoys moist soil, it should never be sitting in soggy soil or standing water.
A peat-based mix with lots of perlite or pumice will give you the necessary drainage while still holding plenty of moisture for the plant.
Should I Bottom Water Pilea Glauca?
Pilea glauca will do well with bottom watering or top watering.
One benefit to bottom watering is that you can avoid having any water droplets left on the leaves. This can create an environment that is prone to fungal infections.
If you accidentally allow the soil to dry out too much, bottom watering for an extending period will allow the soil to fully rehydrate.
Pilea Glauca Humidity Requirements
Many people have successfully grown Pilea glauca with average room humidity. However, this plant will thrive in high humidity.
Homes in dry climates or that use heating elements in the winter will most likely need to add supplemental humidity to keep the Pilea glauca happy.
Does Pilea Glauca Like Humidity? Pilea glauca loves humidity and will do best with the highest humidity that can be achieved. A humidity range of 50-75% is ideal.
Like most houseplants, Pilea glauca does not do well with temperature swings. Also, temperature fluctuations tend to affect the ambient humidity.
Place the plant in a location that maintains a warm, humid environment throughout the year.
8 Ways To Increase Humidity for Pilea Glauca
Run a Humidifier
This is the quickest and most effective way to increase the humidity for your plant. One downside is that the humidifier will need to be re-filled and cleaned regularly.
I use this ultra-quiet humidifier for my plants and am very happy with it.
With a 2.2 liter tank, it runs for more than 24 hours before needing to be refilled, and the nozzle rotates so you can aim the mist directly where you need it most.
If you keep a fine mist spray bottle near the plant, it is easier to remember to do a couple spritzes throughout the day.
Use filtered or distilled water for misting because hard water can leave marks on the leaves.
Place Plant on a Pebble Tray
A pebble tray is a saucer filled with pebbles, LECA, or marbles. The saucer is filled with water to below the height of the pebbles. As the water evaporates, the ambient humidity increases.
In my article here, you’ll see how exactly how easy it is to make one using ordinary household items.
Group Plants With Other Plants
If you have a plant shelf or table, you may already be doing this. The moisture from the soil and the plants themselves will help increase the humidity in the immediate area around the plants.
Grow Plant in a Terrarium
A terrarium is like a miniature greenhouse, and this helps keep moisture within the container. Not only will this keep the humidity up, but it will help the soil stay moist longer.
Avoid Direct Sunlight
Direct sunlight will cause moisture from the soil and the surrounding air to evaporate quickly.
Also, direct sunlight may burn or scorch the plant’s leaves, so place the plant in an area that only receives bright, indirect light. I explain what that looks like here.
Check Soil Moisture Regularly
As the plant is taking up moisture from the soil, some of the moisture will also be evaporating into the environment. This increases the humidity.
If the soil is dry, it will not be helping to keep the humidity maintained.
Keep Plant in Bathroom
Bathrooms are a great location for moisture-loving plants because the humidity is naturally higher due to the shower and sinks running.
Just make sure that there is a window or light source for the plant.
How Do You Save a Dying Pilea Glauca?
The best thing you can do for a dying Pilea glauca is place the plant in bright, indirect light, maintain high humidity, and keep the soil moist.
When a plant is given ideal conditions, the chance for recovery is high, though be patient as it will take time.
Is Pilea Glauca a Succulent?
Pilea glauca is not a succulent; however, most members of the Pilea genus are succulents.
Is Pilea Glauca Toxic to Cats?
Pilea glauca is not toxic to cats, dogs, or humans.
Now that you know the best ways to maintain humidity for a Pilea glauca, you can confidently add those silver sparkle leaves to your collection.
Just remember to diligently check the soil for moisture, avoid direct sunlight, and supplement humidity when needed, and you’ll have a happy, thriving plant for years to come.