Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Artillery Plant
Pilea microphylla

Family: Urticaceae
Genus: Pilea (py-LEE-uh) (Info)
Species: microphylla (my-kro-FIL-uh) (Info)

3 vendors have this plant for sale.

10 members have or want this plant for trade.


6-12 in. (15-30 cm)
12-18 in. (30-45 cm)

3-6 in. (7-15 cm)

USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)
USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)
USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 C (30 F)
USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)
USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 C (40 F)

Sun Exposure:
Sun to Partial Shade


Bloom Color:
White/Near White

Bloom Time:
Blooms all year

Grown for foliage

Other details:
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater
This plant is suitable for growing indoors

Soil pH requirements:
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)
7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
By dividing the rootball
From herbaceous stem cuttings

Seed Collecting:
Unknown - Tell us

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By DaylilySLP
Thumbnail #1 of Pilea microphylla by DaylilySLP

By DaylilySLP
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By DaylilySLP
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By KatG
Thumbnail #7 of Pilea microphylla by KatG

There are a total of 8 photos.
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5 positives
1 neutral
5 negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Negative williamca On Oct 6, 2014, williamca from Plant City, FL (Zone 9b) wrote:

This is a highly invasive pest weed. If you ever get it and sooner or later it will arrive with some plant you buy it is impossible to get rid of in zone 9b. It loves hanging baskets, potted plants and will come up in the cracks in the pavers. I pluck it out of the orchid basket and pour hot water on it where I can.

Negative brachychiton On Feb 23, 2014, brachychiton from Bribie Island
Australia wrote:

This plant is highly invasive in subtropical Queensland. My friend has it in his plant nursery and it is the biggest pest problem that he has. Just a few specks of this plant on your hands when you're gardening are enough to start a plague in your garden.

Neutral BarbaraParis On Feb 26, 2012, BarbaraParis from Comerio, PR (Zone 11) wrote:

It is pretty , I like the color but it is horribly invasive .... i cannot get rid of it LOL ... It is everywhere!!!

Positive carlogimena On Oct 3, 2011, carlogimena wrote:

May I ask who among you can give me an information with regards to the content (chemical) of this artillery plant? It would be a great help in my research study. thank you :)

Negative daleg On May 30, 2010, daleg from townsville
Australia wrote:

This plant is a pest in tropical areas. Keep it well away from bonsai and orchids, especially if you use porous volcanic rock in your potting mix. The miniscule seeds get everywhere and even a 1 cm plant will set seed.

Positive flaflwrgrl On Jul 18, 2009, flaflwrgrl from North Central , FL (Zone 8b) wrote:

I agree with the positive comments about these beautiful little plants. They can take a wide variety of lighting conditions as well as being perfect for xeri yards!

Negative AlohaHoya On May 4, 2008, AlohaHoya from Keaau, HI (Zone 11) wrote:

The Hawaiian form of this plant, Pilea peploides, is one of the most invasive plants around. It turns up in nursery pots and EVERYwhere. I am experimenting with spraying it with clorox to kill it and so far am successful - and waiting to see if it will return on the same rootstock and if the clorox has killed the tiny seedlings. NONE of the common herbicides has any affect on it... There is a commercial herbicide which has a nasty habit of killing the plants it is near!!!

Negative 1wish_n_well On Apr 3, 2008, 1wish_n_well from Houston, TX wrote:

I gave it a negative because in my Houston yard it's extremely invasive, if I'm seeing these pictures right. Maybe there's a weed that looks just like it? Mine doesn't appear to bloom, but it sure does spread...everywhere. We moved here 3 years ago, took our yard to below ground zero, landscaped, added pavers in a long path. The stuff is everywhere...and, yes, it crops up between the pavers as well as in the beds. Actually it's rather pretty, but I don't have a clue how some of you are containing it in the clumps I see in these pix. So beware. It loves our heat & humidity.

Positive KatG On Mar 24, 2007, KatG from Port Charlotte, FL (Zone 10a) wrote:

I just love this plant. It really does look very delicate, but is a tough little devil! It's very neat and keeps a nice shape. I keep a lot of it around my pool area and other than a few dropped seeds growing between pavers, it's just a great addition! It's a beautiful color also and accents darker plants.

Positive MotherNature4 On Jan 18, 2004, MotherNature4 from Bartow, FL (Zone 9a) wrote:

This tough little plant is surprisingly beautiful and delicate when planted in pots. The fresh foliage is bright green. It comes up unexpectedly in moist shady areas in central Florida. It is commonly found under benches in greenhouses. The tiny flowers are insignificant.

Positive Monocromatico On Jan 17, 2004, Monocromatico from Rio de Janeiro
Brazil (Zone 11) wrote:

This plant is very ornamental and delicate at first look, but grows spontaneously on cracks on rocks, where little organic soil and moisture are acumulated. However, its not considered invasive, since it needs very specific conditions to expand its territory by itself. Cultivated on beds, it behaves well, and adds a nice texture to it..


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Bartow, Florida
Big Pine Key, Florida
Deland, Florida
Fort Lauderdale, Florida (2 reports)
Gainesville, Florida
Green Cove Springs, Florida
Hobe Sound, Florida
Hollywood, Florida
Pensacola, Florida
Plant City, Florida
Port Charlotte, Florida
West Palm Beach, Florida
Williston, Florida
Hawaiian Paradise Park, Hawaii
Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Monroe, Louisiana
Cincinnati, Ohio
Austin, Texas
Baytown, Texas
Houston, Texas
Humble, Texas
Mcallen, Texas
San Antonio, Texas
Brady, Washington

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