The pancake plant, who hasn’t heard of it?! Probably one of the most popular plants of the last couple of years. First, it was quite difficult to get your hand on one, now you can basically find it everywhere! It’s definitely one of my favourites. It’s just a really cool looking plant and it puts out babies like crazy. Very easy to propagate. But, it does happen that the pancake plant, which is officially called Pilea Peperomioides – gets confused with another cute plant; the Peperomia Raindrop – officially Peperomia Polybotrya. So time for a battle; Pancake plant vs. Peperomia Raindrop.
The confusion is already in the name. The pancake plant is officially called Pilea Peperomioides, and that last bit of the name sounds a lot like Peperomia. This is not without reason; Peperomioides means as much as ‘like a peperomia’. See that already clears up a lot! These plants are not family, but they do look like each other.
So what is the difference?
The clearest way of telling them apart is looking at the stems. The Pilea only has one stem, that eventually will turn brown. The Peperomia has multiple stems, that look a bit more fleshy and stay green. The Pilea also gets a bit bald on the bottom when it grows older, the Peperomia doesn’t have this.
You can also tell by looking at the leaves. Pilea leaves are smaller, rounder and flatter. Peperomia leaves are more fleshy, less flat and bigger. Above all, Peperomia leaves have a pointy shape, almost like a drop. Hence why it is called Peperomia Raindrop because the leave looks like a raindrop. My Peperomia is still quite young, which is why mine still has smaller leaves.
If you now find out that you bought a Peperomia when you thought you got a Pilea, no panic! Both are really cool plants that are easy to take care off.