Pilea involucrata

Common Name: friendship plant 
Type: Herbaceous perennial
Family: Urticaceae
Native Range: Central and South America
Zone: 11 to 12
Height: 0.25 to 1.00 feet
Spread: 0.25 to 1.00 feet
Bloom Time: Flowers not showy
Bloom Description: Pinkish-green
Sun: Part shade
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Low
Flower: Insignificant
Leaf: Colorful, Evergreen


Winter hardy to USDA Zone 11-12. In St. Louis, grow indoors in a warm, humid environment in bright indirect light. Avoid full sun. Use a peaty soil-based potting mix. Plants like high humidity, and appreciate humidified rooms or placement on a bed of wet pebbles. Water moderately in the growing season, and reduce watering in fall to late winter. Pinch stem tips as needed to keep plant compact. Easily propagated from stem cuttings, hence the sometimes used common names of friendship plant or panamiga.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Pilea involucrata is native to Central and South America. It is a bushy trailing plant that features clusters of ovate, toothed, textured, dark green leaves (to 3” long) with dark bronze undertones and often light green edges. Leaf undersides are typically dark red. Tiny pink-green flowers in branched cymes in summer are not particularly showy. Indoor plants rarely flower and fruit.

Genus name comes from the Latin word pileus meaning a cap from the shape of the female flowers.

Specific epithet means with an involcure, a ring of bracts surrounding several flowers.


Watch for mealybugs and spider mites. Leaf spots and stem rot may occur. Stems are fragile and break easily.


Small indoor plant. Good for terrariums.