Pilea Artillery Plant; 10-13°C/50-55°F; Tropical America

All of those offered for sale are compact plants that may be increased by means of cuttings with very little difficulty-quite a few will also seed themselves in every direction if, for example, they are growing on gravel on greenhouse staging. In fact, the ease of propagation should encourage you to adopt the practice of disposing of old and overgrown plants and replacing them with freshly-rooted new ones periodically. P. muscosa is a rather bushy little plant growing to a height of 28cm/ 1 lin, that is not unlike a fern at first sight. It has small pale to mid-green leaves and inconspicuous tufts of yellow-green flowers. The common name of Artillery Plant results from the manner in which seed pods explode when ripe and scatter seed in all directions. Of them all P. cadierei is by far the most popular, and probably the easiest to care for. It has dark green, small oblong leaves with silvery markings. Plants need regular feeding if they are to retain their attractive silver-grey colouring. Also regular pinching out of leading shoots is necessary in order to keep plants compact.

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