How Long Do Chinese Money Plants Live? What’s Their Average Lifespan?

Thinking of adding a Chinese Money Plant to your indoor garden, but want to know how long they live before you do? These little plants have a surprising amount of longevity if properly cared for. In this article, we look at how long the Pilea lives, and how you can extend their lifespan.

Chinese Money Plant on Table


Chinese Money Plants are beautiful houseplants that can become decade-long companions when they are properly cared for. If you are looking for a plant that can withstand warm weather and is relatively easy to maintain, this plant just might be the perfect houseplant. But, just how long do they actually live?

When cared for with appropriate watering, plant food, and proper sunlight, Chinese Money Plants can live up to around 10 years. Possibly even longer than that when in good health. The longest ever living Chinese Money Plant is said to have survived for more than two decades.

Also known as the Pilea Peperomioides plant and typically referred to as just Pilea, this plant has the potential to liven up your home for years to come. Keep reading on to find out how to extend the lifespan of your plant.

Plant Origins

Green Plant in Pot
Pileas originally came from Norway, before being introduced into China.

Chinese Money Plants are said to have originated in Norway in 1946. At that time, a missionary from Norway by the name of Agnar Espergen took the plant with him to China. It was then popularized by propagating the new and unique plant and sharing it with his community.

Native to the Yunnan Province of China, Pileas are actually most common in Scandinavia and China. They can easily be found and purchased there.

In China, these special Pileas are thought to bring good luck to their owners and the visitors of the owner’s residence. They are also thought to be a token of money and good fortune. This is due to their round leaves resembling coin stacks set one atop the other.

It was not until around the year 2017 that the Pilea became known and beloved in Canada and the United States. Making its debut on a popular Instagram account made the indoor plant end up trending. It’s now become much more desirable in the West.

Plant Characteristics

Green Plants Near Windowsill
There are several defining features of these particular houseplants.

Chinese Money Plants, named after their supposed ability to bring luck and fortune and also referred to as Pileas, are relatively small. They do very well in container pots made of ceramic or terracotta. They do not need much space to flourish into strong, healthy houseplants.

The Pilea can grow to reach a total vertical height of anywhere between 8 and 12 inches or around 20 to 30 centimeters. Their small leaves are very green in color and circle-shaped. They grow as large as 4 inches around or 10 centimeters in their diameter.

With stolon shoots vertically growing from the crown nodes on the plant, the Pilea is a very distinctively thick and tall plant. It can become bushy or long depending on the location of its light source and other conditions.

So, How Long Will the Pilea Live?

As mentioned earlier, a properly cared for Pilea will live up to 10 years, which is a similar lifespan to many perennial plants. You can extend this lifespan with proper care, however. Many plants live longer than a decade if you have the right balance of light, water, proper soil, and temperature inside or outside your home. This is a longer life expectancy than many other types of houseplants. The conditions need to be perfect to foster growth to encourage a longer lifespan.

Care & Extending Longevity

Green Plant in Sunlight
There are several ways you can extend the lifespan of your plant.

Recently bring home a Pilea? You’ll need to make sure you take proper care of it if you want it to last through its full 10-year lifespan.

Caring for this plant includes giving it light, watering it as needed, maintaining its warmth all year long, and feeding it the nutrients it needs to grow strong and healthy. Let’s take a look at how you can extend the longevity of this plant a little longer.

Give It Bright Light

Pileas are not from the same botanical family as the succulent. But they do share many qualities. Their strong leaves, waxy sheen, and stocky stems are all hints that they love bright and direct sunlight. This is very similar to the environment that succulents prefer.

If a Pilea is in a dark room for too long, it will begin to shrivel and die. A sign that your plant is in desperate need of more light is that its leaves get small, dark, and rolled up. They might even begin to get shriveled or wrinkled at the edges. These are all signs that you should relocate your plant to a brighter place or even introduce a grow lamp.

When you notice that your Pilea starts to get light and purple leaves, on the other hand, this means that it receives far too much light. You need to take action, and move the plant out of direct sunlight for a while. This typically only happens in places that get a lot of sun year-round or extreme desert climates during the summertime.

Follow Proper Watering Practices

Two People Watering Plant
Following a regular watering schedule will help extend plant longevity.

Watering your Pilea regularly is one of the best ways to ensure that it lives to be 10 years or older. The biggest problem that Pileas face is usually overwatering. If you are someone that forgets to water their plants, the Pilea might be perfect for you. They like to dry out completely before getting another drink.

If your plant needs more water than you are giving it and it begins to become dehydrated from lack of moisture and humidity, the whole plant will start to look a little saggy. You’ll need to give your plant a moderate amount of water and check in daily.

You don’t want to water it too quickly and put it into a state of shock. However, check in to make sure it’s standing upright again, otherwise, give it a second watering. Never forget to check the soil each time before you water your Pilea. If the soil is very dry, you are good to go. If the soil is still feeling wet and mucky, hold off for a couple of days and then check again.

Proper Nutrition

Feeding your Pilea will give your plant a better chance of living to its full decade-long lifespan age. Using a regular fertilizer made for succulents or even an all-purpose fertilizer designed for houseplants can supply the perfect amount of nutrients needed to keep your Pilea thriving.

Some botanical specialists say that it isn’t necessary to feed your indoor houseplants. The thought is that they will be fine as long as they are receiving enough purified pH balanced water and fresh air. It’s still always best to take every measure to benefit the health of your plants. This is especially true if living in a smaller apartment with less ventilation or no cross-breeze and limited sunlight.

Keep Your Plant Warm

Young Plant Growing
Having a dedicated growing area in your home can ensure you are able to moderate the temperature.

To make sure that your Chinese Money Plant makes it to be 10 years old, always keep it warm. Even though Pileas isn’t technically a traditional tropical plant, they hate getting chilly and prefer to be kept in 55 degrees Fahrenheit or 13 degrees Celsius temperatures or above if possible.

This minimum temperature limit will allow them to maintain their health while anything warmer will encourage them to grow. If you feel that your Pilea is looking small or feeble, turn up the heat. In a couple of weeks, you may notice a few successful new growths.

For anyone that lives in a generally colder climate or likes to keep the air conditioning on all year long, consider having one main room that is set to a warmer temperature. This room can act as your plant’s greenhouse. Make it your houseplant room for any greenery that enjoys being humid and toasty.

If the weather predicts any frost or inclement weather coming your way, move your Pilea away from the window as soon as possible. Find a more insulated corner of your home. This will protect it from getting frozen edges or even perishing due to the shock of the sudden cold.

Final Thoughts

Pileas are wonderful and relatively low-maintenance houseplants to add beauty and intrigue to any home. With its round leaves, large body, and deep green color, it adds aesthetic appeal while filtering air throughout the day.

If properly cared for, Chinese Money Plants live around 10 years, but with some extra love and attention, they may even be able to gain a couple more years as well.

Chinese Money Plant


How to Plant, Grow, and Care For Chinese Money Plants

The Chinese Money Plant is one of the most popular indoor houseplants. Their relative ease of care, coupled with their quick growth rates make them a wonderful choice for many indoor gardeners. In this article, gardening expert Madison Moulton walks through each step of how to plant, grow, and care for Chinese money plants.

hoya lifespan


Hoya Lifespan: How Long Do Hoya Plants Actually Live?

Want to know how long Hoyas live? This popular genus doesn’t have a lifespan that’s easy to define, dependent on a number of characteristics in their care and conditions. Gardening expert Madison Moulton discusses Hoya lifespan, including 9 ways to make your Hoya live longer.

Philodendron Lifespan


Philodendron Lifespan: How Long Do Philodendrons Live?

Thinking of adding a new philodendron to your houseplant collection, but want to know how long they live before you do? In this article, gardening expert and houseplant enthusiast Madison Moulton walks through the typicaly philodendron lifespan, and how you can extend the life of your new philodendron houseplant.

philodendron gloriosum


How to Plant, Grow, and Care For Philodendron Gloriosum

Thinking of adding a Philodendron to your flourishing houseplant collection? Philodendron gloriosum, with classically large heart-shaped leaves and silvery veins, is a great choice. In this article, gardening and houseplant expert Madison Moulton goes through everything you need to know to successfully plant, grow and care for the Philodendron gloriosum.