Pilea cadierei

Pilea cadierei

Sometimes known as the aluminium plant, Pilea cadierei (ht 45cm) has glossy green leaves marked with puckered silvery white bumps. Over time it forms a good mound. Hailing from Vietnam, it is cold-sensitive, but if planted below a tree canopy, should be protected from mild frosts, and survives winter in Sydney pretty well. Flowers are insignificant. It does best in a shady position with occasional watering. It is sometimes grown as a houseplant.

It's attractive foliage can be complemented by growing it nearby silver foliage plants that also enjoy shaded positions, such as Plectranthus argentatus or Helichrysum petiolare. It also looks effective grown with plants with white flowers, such as those of Impatiens, Hydrangea or Abutilon. It is easy to propagate from layers which take root near the main plant. I cut mine back every year around late August to promote a compact shape.