Pilea microphylla aka Artillery Plant


Pilea microphylla, commonly known as angeloweed, artillery plant, joypowder plant or (in Latin America) brilhantina, is an annual plant native to Florida, Mexico, the West Indies, and tropical Central and Southern America. In the southern part of México, it is known as Frescura. This plant belongs to the family Urticaceae and has light green, almost succulent, stems and tiny 1/8" leaves. It is grown as a ground cover in many areas, often providing an interesting ground cover option even in the warmest of southern states, as well as for containers as it has no showy flowers. It has earned the name "Artillery Fern", a misnomer, due to the unique way its pollen is dispersed - the tiny male flowers burst the pollen into the air in an explosive-like manner. This is similar to the aluminum plant and friendship plant of the genus Pilea, and its origin dates back over 5 million years, when fossils of its species were found. Its name comes from the Latin for 'felt cap' which refers to the unique way that its fruits are protected.

Common names

Artillery Plant, Rockweed

How to care for Artillery Plant


If you're looking for a plant that offers a moderate level of challenge, Artillery Plant is a great choice to test your gardening skills.


Artillery Plant should be watered regularly, allowing the soil to dry out between waterings.


Artillery Plant loves a well-draining soil. Perlite and vermiculite help with drainage, while coco coir adds organic matter, so a good potting soil mix will have all three. You can improve store-bought soil by adding some perlite to it.


To ensure optimal growth, the Artillery Plant prefers bright indirect light for 6-8 hours each day. Insufficient light can result in slow growth and leaf drop, so it's important to find a well-lit location for this plant. Place it near a window, within a distance of 1 meter (3 feet), to enhance its potential for thriving.


During the cold period, it is common for Artillery Plant to go dormant, resulting in a slowdown of growth. To accommodate this, waterings should be spaced out more.

Cat approves this plant


Artillery Plant is not known to cause harm to humans or pets.


The Artillery Plant does not need extra humidity. Plants primarily absorb water through their root system, making soil watering the best way to provide humidity to your plants.


The Artillery Plant should be repotted when it has doubled in size or annually, whichever comes first. Providing fresh potting soil with all the essential nutrients each year ensures the plant's well-being, eliminating the need for fertilizer. Remember, plants derive their energy from the sun and not fertilizer.


New growth will sprout from the top of the Artillery Plant as it grows vertically.

Region of origin

Artillery Plant’s native range is Worldwide.

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