Author Ricardo Buzo / Category Plant Pals Clubs R&D / Published: May-05-2021
The Pilea Family I
"In the spring, at the end of the day, you should smell like dirt"
In this fieldwork research, we explored the watering, light and care needs of 2 species of the genus, Pilea. We also wanted to know which of the 2 were easier to take care of, which had more growth within a span of a month and which one would be more likely to be gifted to a friend or relative.
This link will provide you with the infographic that shows the beautiful graphs we created outlining our results!
Participants were 55 plant pals club students ranging from K-6th grade who were given 2 2" potted plants: pilea aquamarine & pilea peperomioides to care for. 27 (n=27) of them responded to a data collection survey. The data collected and presented was all child-led.
Contrary to what was expected, Pilea peperomioides with an average rating of 9.7, out of a scale of 10 meaning very easy, was reported to be easier to care for than the Pilea aquamarine which was rated 9.14. As a result, the plant that students would recommend as a gift was none other than the Pilea peperomioides which makes sense as this plant has for centuries been given and shared to friends. In regards to watering and light, students found that they had to water their plants at least once a week (which is about 85% of the responses). Students on averaged reported 5-8 hrs of sunlight was given to their plants. And that the average number of leaves grown for the Pilea peperomioides was 4 leaves. One outlier was a student who reported a total of 10+ new leaves (AMAZING)!
In conclusion, this data suggest that the Pilea family likes to be watered and given partial light which will be rewarded with more growth! It's worth noting that since these plants were 2" inch baby plants that the watering demand is always high which doesn't mean that they need to be watered once a week as they mature. Typically we water the Pilea family every other week here at Las Selvas. We agree that out of the 2 plants, the Pilea peperomioides is a great plant to gift! It will be interesting to know in the future if sunlight and watering had anything to do with the amount of new leaves the Pilea peperomioides grew. Also, was the Pilea aquamarine harder to grow because it didn't grow as quickly as the leaves of the Pilea peperomioides and not so much its care ? Much questions yet to explore!