The Artillery Plant: Discovering the Unique Features and Behaviors of this Fascinating Plant

The Artillery Plant: Discovering the Unique Features and Behaviors of this Fascinating Plant

If you’re looking for an outstanding foliage plant to add to your indoor collection, the Artillery Plant (Pilea microphylla) may be just what you need. This compact and showy houseplant originates from Central and South America and is valued for its unique features and easy care.

The Artillery Plant is a type of creeping herbaceous perennial that grows up to four inches tall. Its attractive green leaves are small and round, resembling small coins or the shape of artillery shells, which is how it got its name. The plant is known for its rapid growth and ability to produce lots of new plants through division.

When it comes to caring for the Artillery Plant, it’s important to keep in mind its preference for well-draining soil. A potting mix that includes perlite or sand works well. This will prevent the plant from sitting in water, which can lead to root rot and other fungal diseases. The Artillery Plant does best in bright, indirect light and prefers temperatures between 65 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit.

Watering is an essential aspect of Artillery Plant care. Keep the soil evenly moist, but avoid overwatering. Watering once or twice a week is usually sufficient, depending on the size of the pot and the moisture level of the soil. Be cautious not to let the plant sit in water, as this can lead to root rot. Artillery Plants are susceptible to pests like aphids, mealybugs, and spider mites, so regular inspection and cleaning are important.

The Artillery Plant can be propagated easily from stem cuttings or by division. To propagate from cuttings, simply take a stem/twig cutting about three to four inches long from a healthy plant. Remove the lower leaves and place the cutting in a glass of clean water. Within a few weeks, you should start seeing roots. At that point, you can move the cutting to a small pot with well-draining soil.

In conclusion, the Artillery Plant is an outstanding choice for any indoor plant lover. Its unique foliage, rapid growth, and easy care requirements make it an excellent addition to any collection. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced gardener, the Artillery Plant is sure to delight you with its compact and showy appearance.

How to Grow and Care for an Artillery Plant Indoors

If you are looking for an easy-to-care-for houseplant that will add a touch of green to your living space, the Artillery Plant (Pilea microphylla) may be just what you need. This charming plant is native to South America and is known for its small, round leaves that resemble tiny artillery shells.

The Artillery Plant is a great choice for indoor gardening because it thrives in a wide range of conditions. It can be grown in a bright, sunny window or in a shady spot. This plant is also tolerant of a wide range of temperatures, although it prefers a slightly cooler environment.

When selecting a pot for your Artillery Plant, choose a container that has drainage holes to ensure that the soil does not become waterlogged. Use a well-draining potting mix to promote healthy root growth and prevent water retention.

The Artillery Plant is a fast-growing plant, so it is important to keep it pruned regularly to maintain its shape and prevent it from becoming too leggy. Simply trim back any overgrown or damaged stems to promote new growth.

To keep your Artillery Plant healthy and free from pests, make sure to water it regularly and maintain a consistent watering schedule. Avoid overwatering, as this can cause root rot. The plant prefers to be lightly watered, allowing the top inch of soil to dry out between waterings.

In terms of fertilizer, use a balanced houseplant fertilizer at half strength once a month during the growing season (spring and summer) to provide the necessary nutrients for healthy growth.

The Artillery Plant is generally disease-resistant but may be susceptible to infestations of mealybugs, scale insects, or spider mites. If you notice any signs of pest infestation, such as yellowing leaves or webbing, treat the plant with an appropriate insecticide or remove the affected parts manually.

Another important aspect of caring for an Artillery Plant is managing its size and spread. This plant has a tendency to spread quickly and can become invasive if not kept in check. Regular pruning and removing excess stems can help control its growth and prevent it from taking over other plants in your indoor garden.

The Artillery Plant is a great addition to any indoor garden, thanks to its unique foliage and easy care requirements. It can be used as a groundcover or as a hanging plant, adding a touch of green to any space. With its delicate flowers and attractive variegated leaves (var. alba and var. tricolor), it is sure to be a focal point in your home.

In conclusion, the Artillery Plant is a versatile and resilient houseplant that is easy to grow and care for. Whether you are new to indoor gardening or have a green thumb, this plant is a great choice. With its small, round leaves and unique growth pattern, it will bring beauty and life to any space.

What You’ll Learn

In this article, you will learn about the Artillery Plant and its various uses and cultural practices. You will discover how to grow it indoors or outdoors, how to propagate it, and how to care for it. This guide will also provide tips for identifying and managing common pests and diseases that can affect the plant.

Growing the Artillery Plant:

The Artillery Plant is a unique and interesting plant that can be grown both indoors and outdoors. It is known for its rapid growth and prolific flowering. Whether you choose to grow it indoors or outdoors, you will learn how to select the right spot for it and how to provide the suitable growing conditions. You will also learn about its hardiness and where it can be grown.

Propagation and Division:

If you want to propagate your own Artillery Plant, you will learn how to do it through division or stem cuttings. This section will provide step-by-step instructions on how to propagate the plant and what conditions are best for its successful growth.

Care and Maintenance:

Proper care and maintenance are crucial for the health and longevity of the Artillery Plant. You will learn about watering requirements, sunlight needs, and the importance of fertilizing. This section will also cover general tips for managing pests and diseases that may affect the plant.

Pests and Diseases:

The Artillery Plant is susceptible to certain pests and diseases, and you will learn how to identify and manage them. Common pests include aphids, fungus gnats, and spider mites. This section will provide tips for preventing and treating infestations, as well as managing diseases such as fungal infections and brown leaves.

Tips and Tricks:

Finally, this section will provide additional tips and tricks for growing and caring for the Artillery Plant. You will learn about pinching back the plant to encourage bushier growth, as well as when and how to prune it. You will also discover the various uses for this versatile plant, from its natural air-purifying properties to its ability to enhance the aesthetic appeal of any space.

By following the tips and guidance provided in this article, you’ll be equipped with the knowledge and skills to successfully grow and care for your own Artillery Plant. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced gardener, this comprehensive guide will help you achieve thriving and beautiful plants in your collection.

Cultivation and History

The cultivation of the Artillery Plant involves some general information about its growth habits and management. This guide will provide you with the necessary tips and techniques to successfully grow and care for this unique plant.

The Artillery Plant, also known as Pilea microphylla, is a creeping variety that can grow up to four inches in height. It is well-known for its showy leaves, which are small in size but pack a lot of visual appeal. The stems of the Artillery Plant are delicate and can easily be damaged, so it is important to handle them with care.

Plant Name Description Hardiness Availability
Artillery Plant Creeper Hardy Readily available

When it comes to indoor cultivation, the Artillery Plant prefers bright but indirect light. It can also tolerate some shade, but too much darkness can cause the leaves to lose their vibrant green color. The plant requires well-draining soil, as it is susceptible to root rot if kept in damp conditions.

In terms of watering, the Artillery Plant needs to be kept consistently moist. The soil should never be allowed to dry out completely, as this can cause the leaves to droop and the plant to suffer. However, overwatering should also be avoided to prevent waterlogged roots.

For fertilization, a general-purpose liquid fertilizer can be applied every two to four weeks during the growing season. Be sure to follow the instructions on the product label for the best results.

Pruning is also an important aspect of Artillery Plant care. Regularly removing any dead or damaged foliage will help keep the plant looking its best. This can be done using clean, sharp scissors or pruning shears.

The Artillery Plant can also be propagated through division. Simply separate a healthy plant into smaller sections, making sure each section has enough roots to support its growth. These new divisions can then be planted in separate containers or in the same container as the parent plant.

It is worth noting that the Artillery Plant is prone to certain diseases and pests. Xanthomonas is a bacterial leaf spot that can cause brown, water-soaked lesions on the leaves. Myrothecium leaf spot is another common issue that causes brown spots with a yellow halo. In terms of pests, spider mites and aphids are the most likely culprits.

In conclusion, growing and caring for the Artillery Plant involves providing it with the right conditions and management techniques. With the proper care, this unique plant will show off its beautiful foliage and add a touch of natural beauty to any indoor space.


The Artillery Plant is commonly propagated through stem cuttings or division. Here is how you can propagate the plant:

  1. If your Artillery Plant has grown too tall, you can pinch it back to maintain a more compact shape. Pinch each stem about one-fourth inch from the trunk.
  2. To propagate using stem cuttings, select a healthy stem and cut it just below a set of leaves. Make sure the cutting is about three to four inches long.
  3. Lightly dip the cut end of the stem into a rooting hormone to encourage faster rooting.
  4. Plant the stem cutting in a container filled with a well-draining potting mix. Keep the soil moist and place the container in a bright but shady spot indoors.
  5. Another propagation method is division. Gently remove the plant from its container or the ground, and separate the plant into two or more sections. Ensure each section has roots and shoots.
  6. Replant the divided sections in their own containers or directly in the ground. Water them well and provide the same care as for established plants.

Propagation of the Artillery Plant is relatively quick and easy, making it an outstanding choice for plant enthusiasts. With the right care and management, you can easily grow this plant indoors or as a groundcover outdoors.

When propagating or caring for Artillery Plants, here are some tips to keep in mind:

  • Use a well-draining potting mix when planting and transplanting.
  • Water the plant lightly to prevent root rot, but do not let it dry out completely.
  • Pruning can help control the height and shape of the plant.
  • Make sure to provide enough shade if growing indoors, as direct sunlight can scorch the leaves.
  • Check for pests regularly and treat them promptly to avoid any damage.
  • Hardiness may vary depending on the variety, so select cultivars that are better suited for your climate.

Propagation and cultivation of the Artillery Plant is a great way to grow this unique and showy plant in your own garden or as a beautiful addition to your houseplants. Its rapid growth, mass of colorful foliage, and occasional fruit make it an interesting plant to have. Pests and diseases, such as brown spots caused by Myrothecium or pollen fired from the fruit, may pose some challenges, but with proper care and reference to disease management products, you can effectively nurture your Artillery Plant and enjoy its beauty.

✿ Read More About Foliage Plants.

Dr Heidi Parkes

By Dr Heidi Parkes

Senior Information Extension Officer QLD Dept of Agriculture & Fisheries.