by Jennifer Poindexter
Would you like to grow a unique houseplant? The moon valley plant might deserve your consideration. It stands out due to its charming foliage and intense colors.
Even if you’re new to growing houseplants, this is a great option to start with. The moon valley plant is relatively low-maintenance.
It’s also easy to meet its growing conditions. If you’d like more insight on growing this plant, you’re in the right place.
Here’s what you should know to begin growing the moon valley plant in your home:
Growing Conditions for the Moon Valley Plant
Before we dive into what this plant needs from you, it’s important to get some of its background and misconceptions out of the way.
Many times, you’ll see moon valley plants labeled as “moon valley friendship plants” or “friendship plants.”
In reality, these are two different plants. The moon valley plant’s scientific name is pilea mollis. The friendship plant’s scientific name is pilea involucrata.
They both belong to the same family, look almost identical, but have one exception. The friendship plant only grows to around eight inches tall.
Whereas the moon valley plant can become one foot tall and be as wide as six to twelve inches.
As far as where the moon valley plant received its name, it’s because of the foliage. They have small dimples which resemble craters.
Now that you know the unique reason for this plant’s name and also how to ensure you’re purchasing a true moon valley plant, let’s discuss what is needed in a growing location.
The moon valley plant has gorgeous green foliage that’s similar to the color of a granny smith apple. It also has rich brown veins and will produce light pink or white blooms.
To keep this plant vibrant and healthy, it’s important to grow it in a container that drains adequately. Moon valley will be a houseplant in most locations as it’s only hardy in planting zones eleven and twelve.
Fill the chosen container with well-draining soil that’s high in nutrients and evenly damp.
It’s recommended to fill the planter 75% with potting soil and 25% with African violet potting mix. This might also be labeled as succulent potting mix.
Using this mixture should ensure the plant is growing in well-draining conditions as this is vital to keeping disease at bay.
Moon valley plants prefer bright, indirect lighting. They should be grown in temperatures ranging from 65- to 75-degrees Fahrenheit.
Don’t ever grow these plants in areas with temperatures below 50-degrees Fahrenheit and be sure to avoid drafts in their growing location. The moon valley plant is a tropical plant and won’t thrive in cool settings.
Once you’ve ensured all these needs are met, you’re ready to begin the growing process of a moon valley plant.
How to Plant the Moon Valley Plant
There are three common methods to growing the moon valley plant. The easiest method is to purchase a plant from your local nursery.
Once the plant is home, pick a container that drains adequately. Select a four-to-six-inch pot for the plant to grow in to help keep the roots compacted.
Fill the container with well-draining soil and dig a hole deep enough to hold the plant’s root ball.
Place the plant in the container and backfill the hole. Press firmly at its base to keep air from reaching the roots.
Our next method to growing the moon valley plant is to propagate it from pups. The moon valley plant will produce pups (or baby plants) as it matures.
Wait until the pups are approximately two inches tall. You can harvest them anytime from spring to fall. Use clean scissors to snip the pups away from the mother plant at the base.
Root the pups by placing them in a clear container that’s filled partially with water. You want the base of the pup to touch the water, but you don’t want the entire plant saturated in it.
Change the water weekly. It can take four to six weeks for the pup to form roots. Once the new plant has roots, transplant it into a container filled with well-draining soil.
Your other option for propagating moon valley is to grow it from a cutting. As your plant matures, it might become a little gangly.
This is an ideal time to help your mature plant while making more. Prune the ends of the mature plant before it gets out of control.
Ensure your cutting is around three inches in length. You want the cutting to also contain at least two leaves.
Plant the cutting in a well-draining container filled with adequately draining soil. Mist the soil with a spray bottle of water to keep things moist without overdoing it.
Cover the container with a plastic bag and tie it. This will create a greenhouse effect and help to keep the dirt continuously damp.
Check the soil regularly to ensure it doesn’t dry out. A month later, you can remove the plastic as the plant should have developing roots.
These are a few ways you can grow the moon valley plant. If you already have this type of plant growing around your home, you have all you need to grow more without spending a dime.
Caring for the Moon Valley Plant
When caring for the moon valley plant, there are things you must do to see it thrive. If you miss one or more of these suggestions, it could impact the plant’s growth, health, and appearance.
The first thing you should do is water your plant deeply. This is important to ensure you don’t overwater it.
Apply water until you see it running from the bottom of the container. The idea is to apply more water at one time but fewer days of the week.
Before you add any more water, test the soil. Insert your finger into the dirt surrounding the plant. When it’s dry to your second knuckle, it’s time to water the plant deeply again.
Moon valley should be fertilized but only twice per year. Use an all-purpose fertilizer that’s diluted by 75%. Apply it one time in the spring and once in the summer.
Always apply the fertilizer after a watering session. If you don’t, you’ll risk burning the roots of the plant.
If you ever look at your plant, and it looks leggy, it’s probably because it’s not receiving enough sunlight. Be mindful that the light needs to be bright but never directly on the plant.
If your plant is becoming leggy, and you’ve adjusted the lighting situation, simply pinch or cut the ends off. This should help the plant grow bushier, while also supplying you with cuttings to make more plants.
The next big-ticket item this plant needs for care is humidity. Moon valley originated in a tropical climate. Therefore, it needs plenty of humidity.
You may do this by placing the plant in a terrarium, near a humidifier, or using a tray of pebbles filled with water to place beneath the growing container.
All of these things should help keep the humidity levels up around the plant. You may also try spraying the plant with a bottle of water on a daily basis or growing it in naturally humid rooms of your home such as a bathroom, kitchen, or laundry room.
Should the leaves of the moon valley plant become brown or drop, chances are there’s not enough humidity in the growing location.
The final step to caring for a moon valley plant is to repot it as needed. When the roots begin to grow from the bottom of the container and the soil isn’t draining well, it’s time to repot the plant.
Choose a slightly larger container with fresh soil. Then follow the planting instructions shared above. These are the steps you should follow when growing and caring for a moon valley plant.
Garden Pests and Diseases Which Can Impact the Moon Valley Plant
Part of providing adequate care for your moon valley plant is protecting it. Though this plant is grown indoors, it can still fall prey to pests and diseases.
The most common diseases to impact this plant are leaf spot, root rot, and powdery mildew. These are fungal based issues that usually stem from inappropriate growing conditions.
To avoid these issues, ensure you plant in soil and containers that are well-draining. Also, prune the plant as needed to keep adequate airflow around it.
Should powdery mildew or leaf spot develop, you may treat them with a fungicide. Root rot typically occurs where the plant is left in standing water.
You may try to uproot the plant, leave it out of soil for a few hours to give the roots time to dry, and plant in better conditions.
However, it’s not uncommon for plants to die when suffering from root rot. The best way to avoid these diseases is provide the right conditions from the start.
The most common pests to impact this plant are whitefly, spider mites, aphids, and mealy bugs. These can all be treated with an insecticide.
Stay alert to the health and safety of your plant to ensure it continues to thrive under your care. It’s best to catch a problem early as this gives your plant the greatest chance of survival.
You now know how to plant, care, and protect moon valley. If cared for adequately, it should bloom in late spring or early summer.
However, the blooms aren’t the best part of growing the plant. The foliage is what steals the show. If you need a charming houseplant, don’t overlook the moon valley plant.