Pilea cadierei, commonly known as an Aluminium Plant, is a fast-growing, eye-catching perennial with beautifully patterned foliage in shades of silvery-white and deep green.
These plants are native to the frost-free regions of China and Vietnam where they enjoy humid, warm conditions.
The 'cadierei' part of their name comes from the 19th-century French missionary Léopold Michel Cadière, who did much research work in Vietnam in the late 1800s. The Aluminium common name derives from the fact that the leaves look like they've been splashed with shiny aluminium paint!
Aluminium Plants are tropical plants, therefore they appreciate warmth and humidity. Most indoor environments are within the temperature range needed to keep this plant happy, but additional humidity is typically needed. You can boost the humidity around your Aluminium Plant by misting it regularly and / or placing it on a pebble tray. As these plants are cold-sensitive, make sure to protect them from chillier temperatures, and definitely don't allow them to be exposed to frost.
They like bright, indirect light and prefer their soil to be kept moist at all times. However, it's important to find a balance in terms of this moisture - if the soil is too wet then your Aluminium Plant may develop root rot, which can easily kill it. Therefore, always check the soil before watering again and make sure that the soil mix is appropriate for the plant: it should drain well enough that it doesn't remain soggy.
These plants are related to the common nettle, belonging to the same family (Urticaceae) - this can be seen in the shape of the leaves and in their weakly serrated leaf edges.
The roots of the Aluminium plant are so strong that they can break the container if they need more space. They can do quite well in hanging baskets, as they have a spreading habit that can look particularly attractive when allowed to cascade over the side of a pot or basket. Just make sure if yours is in a pot that it's strong enough that the plant won't cause the pot to tip over!
If you're looking for pet-friendly plants then you're in luck with this one - they're non-toxic to animals and humans, so it's safe to have them around your pets and children.