Continue reading to learn about the Pilea Glauca Aquamarine plant’s history, appearance, and appeal, along with learning about its complete care routine that allows it to maintain its sparkly allure throughout its decade-long lifespan.
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The Indoor Potted Pilea Glauca Plant
Table of Contents
History of the Pilea Glauca Plant
This plant is said to originate from the South American rainforests; however, after more research into the subject, this may not be entirely true.
According to expert botanists, this plant was spotted across the globe in many regions before it was discovered in the South American forests.
However, since the Pilea Glauca plant had not been properly identified and named, its origins remain unclear.
With no particular technical name, this stunning bushy planter is globally known by a number of different names, such as Pilea Glauca, Pilea Silver Sparkle, Pilea Glaucophylla, Pilea Libanensis, Gray Artillery plant, or Gray Baby Tears.
However, despite the ongoing debate regarding the tropical plant’s origin and its abundant names, the Pilea Glauca plant’s unparalleled beauty and calming appeal is something that the global plant parent community can undoubtedly agree on.
The Pilea Glauca Plant’s Characteristic Details
The plant is said to be ideal for smaller living spaces because of its ability to remain relatively small and compact despite its long lifespan.
Although Pilea Glauca is the plant’s most commonly used name, the Pilea Silver Sparkle or the Grey Baby Tears perfectly fit the planter’s visual appearance and elegance.
Characterized by its waxy, metallic gray-green tiny leaves that almost appear to sparkle like water teardrops under the sun and vibrant red stems, the Pilea Glauca is just a twenty-inches bushy plant that tends to grow numerous tightly packed stems in all directions.
Apart from having an exotic gray hue, the round and tiny Pilea Glauca leaves can also have blue and white markings, enhancing their uniqueness and vibrant allure.
Known for being a popular trailing plant, a potted indoor red-stemmed Pilea Glauca planter can be floored to fill out an empty corner space or planted inside a basket and mounted onto a shelf to allow its five to six inches long stems and leaves to trail down in an extremely elegant yet exotic way.
High Tolerance and Low Maintenance Care Routine
Another excellent feature of the Grey Artillery plant is its ability to demonstrate commendable resilience, which allows it to retain its leaves’ waxy sparkle, fleshy thickness, and unique color tones throughout the year.
Although the tropical Pilea Glauca plants are well-adapted to survive outdoors, keeping them healthy and growing indoors is quite easy.
Like most other indoor tropical plants, a relatively humid and warm external environment is excellent for a Pilea Glauca plant’s quick growth and healthy spread.
Moreover, although the trailing plant will take three years to mature, its resilience and fantastic tolerance allow it to survive and spread wider for nearly ten years.
If this is your first time keeping a potted plant at home, a Pilea Glauca plant will be an ideal choice.
Keep reading to learn more about the basic Pilea Glauca care routine.
How to Care for an Indoor Potted Pilea Aquamarine or Gray Artillery Plant
As mentioned above, the Pilea Glauca trailing plant is a tropical plant that thrives in moderately warm and humid conditions.
Since creating, maintaining, and controlling such an atmosphere is relatively easier indoors, keeping your Pilea Glauca plant in your bedroom, kitchen, bathroom, or lounge space is always a great idea.
Though a Pilea Glauca plant care routine is relatively easier than most potted indoor planters, it is better to be well-informed about the Pilea Glauca light requirements and water needs if you’re looking to keep your trailing tropical plant happy for a long time.
Known for being an evergreen plant that does not have its beauty limited to any particular season, the leggy Pilea Glauca plant can only maintain its glossy texture and distinctive color tones if its watering requirements are cared for.
Originating from the tropical rainforest wetlands, an indoor potted Pilea Glauca will thrive in sufficiently moist soil conditions.
Plant owners must refrain from watering their Pilea Glauca plant to the point where the water begins to accumulate inside its pot.
They need to ensure that the soil is evenly moist all the way to the bottom.
One should only water their indoor potted plant when the top one-inch layer of its soil is fully dried.
Moreover, since the Pilea Glauca is usually potted inside small vessels or containers, accidentally overwatering it with a water pipe or jug is dangerous.
However, what happens when a potted Pilea Glauca plant is watered beyond its requirements?
If you continue to add excess water to the trailing plant’s soil, the plant will suffer from a condition known as root rot.
What is Root Rot in a Pilea Glauca Plant?
Although water and sufficient moisture are key to keeping a Pilea Glauca evergreen, plump, and upright, too much water will do the opposite.
When excess water is added to a Pilea Glauca plant’s soil, its roots refuse to allow any more water to pass through its cell wall after its cell capacity has reached its maximum point.
With no more water being absorbed by the plant, all the excess water accumulates inside the pot, creating an excessively damp environment that attracts and harbors a fungal infection.
If any airborne fungal spores are to land on the heavily watered soil, it will take them just a few days to reproduce and spread to the plant’s roots.
If no measures are taken to disinfect the fungal infection, the fungus will fully engulf the Pilea Glauca’s roots, resulting in root rot.
With most of the roots dead and decayed, the Pilea Glauca can no longer absorb its daily required water uptake.
Eventually, the entire plant suffers from a lack of photosynthesis and plant food, after which its leaves dry up and fall off before the entire plant dies prematurely.
Hence, the best tip is to use a controllable water bottle spray to add a controlled amount of water to its soil.
Moreover, ensure that the Pilea Glauca plant is planted inside well-draining soil and a pot with abundant and unclogged drainage holes.
Bright Indirect Light Exposure
Like most other indoor house planters, the red-stemmed Pilea Glauca plant depends on prolonged sunlight exposure hours to live.
Since sunlight is the key catalyst needed for the plant’s photosynthesis reactions, its unavailability will deprive the plant of its food.
However, before placing the tropical plant under direct sunlight, know that unfiltered and direct light can burn the Pilea Glauca plant’s tiny leaves while causing its internal temperature to go up.
When this happens, the Pilea Glauca plant will react by transpiring water from the holes present on the bottom surface of its leaves. Just as sweating can help us humans feel cooler, transpiration will do the same when the water evaporates and takes away heat energy from the plant.
However, as brilliant as this natural reaction to high internal temperature may be, it can be dangerous if repeated frequently.
If the plant owners continue to place their Pilea Glauca plant under the hot sun, it will eventually lose too much water.
As a result, the Pilea Glauca’s tiny leaves will turn brown, dry up, and fall off as the entire plant dies.
Hence, the goal is to protect your indoor potted Pilea Glauca plant from too much sunlight while providing it with prolonged hours of bright indirect light to facilitate sucrose production and maintain its normal body temperature.
The best way to provide your indoor plant with sufficient indirect sunlight is by placing the plant in a brightly-lit corner of the house or a sun-facing window sill.
However, if you live in a region where the window can be cold and drafty or cloud cover is frequent, the best way to provide the planter with its daily dose of bright indirect light is to invest in an infrared or solar lamp.
The artificial light from the sun will help provide the needed indirect sunlight and help maintain the plant’s ideal internal temperature – 50 to 80°F.
As mentioned above, the Pilea Glauca plant is well-adapted to thrive in an environment that has high humidity levels.
However, while 60-90% atmospheric humidity is excellent for the trailing plant, any moisture beyond that can be dangerous.
Since the water vapor from the air will settle on the Pilea Glauca plant’s soil, it will prevent it from drying up too soon.
If you continue to water the already damp Pilea Glauca soil as per schedule, this increases the chances of a fungal infestation and root rot.
Similarly, while high humidity levels can be dangerous, an excessively dry environment is also less than ideal.
When the Pilea Glauca plant is deprived of moisture in its immediate environment, water molecules begin diffusing out of the plant’s leaves out into the atmosphere, down a concentration gradient.
If too much water leaves the plant, the Pilea Silver Sparkle will dry up, lose its shimmery visual appeal, and die.
Since the Pilea Glauca plant is a relatively fast-growing indoor planter, it is a great idea to add a suitable fertilizer to its soil at least once a month.
The best tip is to use a high-quality and highly nutritious liquid fertilizer containing all the necessary micro-nutrients the trailing plant needs.
As mentioned above, the pot you choose for your Pilea Glauca plant should have a great drainage system that helps expel any excess water from the soil on time.
Hence, ensuring that the nursery pot has abundant drainage holes is key to maintaining the Pilea Glauca plant’s beauty and health.
Since the Pilea Glauca plant grows fast, it is important to repot it at least once every one to two years. However, what happens when this practice is not carried out?
Apart from growing numerous long stems, the Pilea Glauca plant also grows long and densely packed roots that can populate the soil quickly.
If the roots have outgrown the Pilea Glauca plant’s pot, they will begin growing out of the vessel’s drainage holes.
This will clog the holes, creating a blockage for excess water to pass through. As a result, the plant may suffer from a fungal infection and die from root rot.
Apart from overgrown roots, the leggy stems of the Pilea Glauca plant can get quite long and heavy.
If the Pilea Glauca is not repotted into a larger vessel on time, its long and heavy stems may cause the pot to fall and break.
Propagation Pilea Glauca
A great way to grow your indoor Pilea Glauca plant collection is by propagating the planter using its stem cuttings.
Simply use a pair of pruning shears to produce multiple one to two-inch stem cuttings and place these cuttings flat on the top of well-damped soil.
Water your stem cuttings regularly till you can spot the development of new roots. Finally, place the rooted leggy stems in a good-quality potting mix.
For people looking for ways to enhance and diversify their indoor plant collection, there can be no better addition than the Pilea Aquamarine or the Pilea Glauca plant.
Known for its metallic gray-green tiny leaves and vibrant red stems, this tropical planter is unique, appealing, and highly tolerant, making it an ideal first planter for a new plant parent.