Spicing up to mostly indoors, Aluminum Plant keeps on being the focal point of any space. Due to having plenty of varieties, this plant offers you a much more alternative decorative look for both indoors and outdoors. Besides, this houseplant is commonly called Watermelon Plea. Furthermore, its scientific name is Pilea Cadierei. Liking humidity, this houseplant is native to China and Vietnam. Above all, it is an air-purifying plant just like Delta Maidenhair Fern.
1) General information For Aluminum Plant
Aluminum Plant features typically thin light green multi-stems. The oval foliage has watermelon patterns, pointy tips, shredded edges. In summer, this watermelon-like plant blooms white-pink. But these flowers are tiny and insignificant. For that reason, these flowers can be pinched off from their buds. When it comes to its length, it can reach up to 12 ft (3,6 m). Meanwhile, Aluminum Plant is poisonous just like Sago Palm and Rubber Plant. Hence pets mustn’t approach this plant. Any ingestion case may fall our friends ill.
2) Aluminum (Pilea Cadierei) Plant Care
Sunlight: Aluminum Plant tolerates 2-3 hours of direct sunlight in a day. More than that scorches the watermelon-like plant, particularly its leaves. Alternatively, half-closed locations, semi-shade spots can ensure the plant gets a sufficient amount of sunlight.
Watering: Aluminum Plant’s watering regime changes from season to season. For example, it should be watered twice a week in its growing season (in spring and summer). This way, you can keep the plant’s soil moist. In winter, this houseplant needs sparingly water. But the soil should always keep moist.
Humidity: High humidity is the key to thrive Aluminum Plant. To increase the amount of humidity indoors, you can use humidifiers, wet pebble trays, and water sprays. Moreover, sphagnum moss poles are also useful to develop many plants.
Temperature: Range 60°F – 75°F (15.5°C – 24°C) is optimal for Aluminum Plant. More or less than this temperature range can harm this houseplant. According to the USDA plant hardiness map, it would grow zones 9 – 11.
Soil Type: As long as the water is drained perfectly from the soil, no problem occurs with Aluminum Plant. Particularly, Aluminum Plant prefers sandy soil. But if the soil is enriched with organic matters, the plant in question grows more efficiently.
Fertilizer: Applying water-soluble fertilizers monthly will suffice in its growing season. But you mustn’t fertilize the plant in winter because of the plant’s dormancy.
Propagation: The ideal propagation way is to cut side stems. However, in doing so, don’t hurt the mother plant. The stems should wait in a water cup until they become rooting.
Repotting: Approximately 2-3 years later, repotting can require. Because Aluminum Plant’s roots develop strongly. Therefore, the root can break the pot over time. To prevent that, you can transfer the plant to a little larger pot. For example, you can choose terracotta pots.
3) Keep in Mind: Common Problems
Pest infestation: Mealybugs, aphids, mites, red spiders, and so on can destroy Aluminum Plant. Specifically, dry and poor conditions cause this problem.
Wilting: Some root problems and underwatering can lead to this problem.
Brown leaves: Direct sunlight scorches the plants. For example, brown leaf tips and edges manifest this problem in the very beginning.
Suggestions for problems: To prevent wilting, you should first check if the roots are healthy or not. If healthy, consider the watering routine. As I noted above, this houseplant should be watered twice a week. Keeping the soil moist is essential. On the other hand, brown leaves are serious. Firstly, remove the dead leaves and find an ideal spot for this houseplant to get proper sunlight. When it comes to pest infestation, you can use neem oils and alcohol-based wipes.