How to Grow Friendship Plant

Updated on July 10, 2020

I’ve been looking for a particular houseplant with interesting bronze crinkly leaves. I didn’t know what it was called. I have finally found it and it is called the Friendship Plant because it is so easy to propagate and share with friends.

What is Friendship Plant?

Friendship plant (Pilea involucrata) is a tropical plant native to Central and South America. It grows on the edges of the tropical forests so it is no surprise that these plants need high humidity like their native habitat. They are frequently grown in terrariums which mimic their very humid home.

These plants are hardy in zones 11 and 12 so you will only see them growing here in the US as a houseplant. The plants aren’t large, 6 – 12 inches high and 6- 12 inches wide, but they have a tendency to sprawl. Regular pruning keeps them bushy and attractive.

By far the most interesting thing about the friendship plant is its heavily crinkled leaves. They are small, 1 – 3 inches and bronze with green edges. They look stiff but are surprisingly soft to the touch.

The flowers are tiny and either green or pink. These plants are grown for their interesting foliage rather than their flowers.

The flowers are very small, barely noticeable.
The flowers are very small, barely noticeable. | Source

How to Grow Friendship Plant

In their native environment, friendship plants grow along the edges of the forest so they like partial shade. Keep your plant away from sunny windows. If you have a room with windows that face north, that should provide them with just the right amount of light.

Humidity is the key to keeping your plant happy and healthy. Our homes are too dry for them so you will have to provide humidity. The simplest way to do this is to house it in a terrarium. Terrariums are collections of plants that grow in sealed containers. The idea is that you water the plants and then seal the container. They then become a self-sustaining little world where the water is constantly recycled between the plants and the soil and the atmosphere inside making for a very humid environment, perfect for your friendship plant. Terrariums are usually planted with small plants and decorative items to make them look like miniature gardens.

Another alternative is to mist your plant every day. Misting every day covers the leaves with fine water droplets that provide humidity as they evaporate.

Or you can make a humidity tray to provide constant humidity similar to a terrarium. To make a humidity tray, take a shallow pan like a jelly roll pan and fill it with ornamental or aquarium gravel. Fill the tray with water and set your plant on top of the gravel. Don’t put it in the gravel. It has to remain on top of the gravel. The water in the pan will evaporate, creating humidity around your plant. Check the tray frequently and replenish the water when it is close to drying out.

Even though you are providing a humid environment, if your plant is not growing in a terrarium, you will need to water it. Water just enough to keep the soil moist but not soaking wet. Don’t let the soil dry out. Your plant could die because it needs both water and a humid environment.

If your plant is growing outside of a terrarium, you will need fertilize it to replace the nutrients that are being washed out of the soil every time you water. Fertilize it monthly using a balance 10-10-10 fertilizer diluted to half strength. Do this during the spring and summer when the plant is actively growing. Suspend fertilizing during the fall and the winter when the plant is resting.

Friendship plants are often grown in terrariums because of the high humidity levels.
Friendship plants are often grown in terrariums because of the high humidity levels. | Source

How to Grow Friendship Plant From Cuttings

Friendship plants grown indoors as houseplants don’t have any insects to pollinate their flowers so they don’t develop seeds. If you want to propagate your plant, you have to do it with stem cuttings. Fortunately these plants grow very easily from stem cuttings.

Stem cuttings should be done in the spring when the plant is actively growing. To make a stem cutting, using a sharp knife or pruners, cut a 3 – 6 inch piece from a healthy stem. Strip the leaves from the bottom 1 – 3 inches of the cutting depending in the size. Dip the cut end into rooting hormone if you want to speed up the root formation. Rooting hormone is not necessary so if you don’t have any, that’s okay. Gently push the bottom 1 – 3 inches of your cutting into the moist soil in a container. Place the container and cutting inside of a plastic bag to create a humid environment and then place it in a north facing window.

It could take up to a month for your cutting to develop roots. You will know that your cutting has roots when it starts growing new leaves. Plants that don’t have roots, can’t make new leaves.

© 2020 Caren White


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • OldRoses profile imageAUTHOR

      Caren White 

      3 weeks ago

      It is highly ornamental and easy to share with friends.

    • Eric Caunca profile image

      Eric Caunca 

      3 weeks ago from Maharlika

      What are the benefits of friendship plant?


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)