With the aliminum plants easy going nature and lack of any real growing problems, it will bush out from its container in leaves of silver and green for up to four years before it dies. The leaves are normally squat and broad, measuring up to 12 inches (30 cm) long and up to 8 inches (21 cm) wide.
The root system is extensive, and will break containers if it needs more room. This root system must be observed on an annual basis in order to re-pot before pot breakage occurs.
How it looks: The individual leaves grow from the ground to their standard size, branching out in an umbrella fashion. These leaves are the plant's beauty. The silver patterning on each leaf is unique, creating a beautiful tapestry of different shapes on the overall plant.
There are rare occasions when one of these plants will actually flower, but these flowers are small and plain looking. Stems should be trimmed back to half their length in the spring in order to encourage healthy, continued growth.
Flowering and pruning: This plant does not flower as a given rule. However, encouraging healthy leaf growth requires annual pruning to half of the stem's normal length. This encourages the plant to continue producing leaves at a healthy rate, and prevents the plant from becoming too stringy looking.
In the event that your plant does flower, pinch the flowers off at the buds. They are a waste of energy for the plant.
|Names:||Aluminum Plant (common). Pilea Cadierei (botanical/scientific).|
|Max Growth (approx):||Height 1 - 2 ft .|
|Poisonous for pets:||Toxic for cats and dogs.|
Green and White Shiney Leaves
|Temperature:||Pilea cadierei requires a year-round temperature between 60-75 ºF (15-23 ºC). It can tolerate short periods of time outside of this temperature range, but continued exposure will kill the plant.|
|Light:||This plant requires at least four hours of indirect, but bright, sunlight a day. Do not permit this plant to be exposed to overly bright or direct sunlight. Too much sun will burn the leaves and cause the green parts to turn brown.|
|Watering:||The Aluminum plant needs to be watered differently during different times of the year. During spring and summer, the top quarter inch of the soil should be kept moist. During fall and winter, allow the top quarter inch of soil to dry out before watering again. Do not permit water to stand in the saucer underneath the plant.|
|Soil:||This plant prefers a sandy soil mixture to live in. Combine one part clean sand (or perlite) with two parts peat to provide the required soil content for continued health.|
|Re-Potting:||Check the root density of Pilea cadierei every spring. If the roots are becoming overly dense, transplant the plant to a size larger pot. If you do not, the root system will break the container in an attempt to find more room to grow.|
|Humidity:||Normal air humidity will please this plant. If your home is overly dry during the winter, mist the leaves every other day with plain water.|
|Propagation:||This plant is propagated through cuttings. Take the cuttings in the early spring. Allow them to rest in a water source for one week, or until roots form. Then transplant to their own container of sandy soil mixture.|
Bugs will occasionally eat the green parts of the leaves. Be alert for insects and remove them as needed.
Blight (plant disease) can occasionally set up in a plant. It will usually begin in one leaf, turning it brown and rotten. Remove this stem from the plant to prevent it from spreading to the entire plant.
Leaves that have been exposed to too much direct sunlight will sunburn and turn yellow. Trim sunburned leaves off of the plant and move the plant to a shadier location immediately.