The money tree plant – Pachira aquatica – is a popular tropical novelty plant.
Many people find Pachira aquatica easy to grow indoors in indirect sunlight.
Like lucky bamboo, the indoor workhorse Dracaena deremensis ‘Janet Crag’ and other indoor plants, the money plant tree Pachira does well in indirect light and they’re hard to kill.
How big do money trees get?
A member of the Bombax family, the money tree plant originates from South America, where it can reach heights of over 50 feet.
As an indoor plant, it is much smaller and its shiny bright 5-spoke like green leaves make it an attractive potted specimen as a gift and bonsai.
Here are some great tips about money tree plant care and general how to care for a money tree tips.
How Much Sun Does A Money Tree Need?
When grown outdoors, the “good luck” or “good fortune tree” thrives in full sun but also does well in partial shade.
Pachira aquatica plants growing indoors do best when placed in locations with lots of bright light.
As a side note, for those growing the “money tree” indoors and want to follow proper Fengshui, place plants in the south-east living area.
How Often To Water Money Tree & Fertilize
So, how often do you water a money tree?
Water the money tree plants thoroughly, making sure the entire ball of soil has been saturated.
But, make sure the money plant does not sit in water and allow the soil to dry out between watering cycles. Let the soil dry out before watering again. During winter months, growth will slow down, so reduce watering during this time.
Fertilize the money tree plant during the growing season (spring & summer) at half-strength using a balanced liquid fertilizer or water-soluble fertilizer. Do not apply it during winter.
Nurseries often braid money tree plants (i.e. the braided money tree), allowing them to appear more “bonsai plant-like” having twisted, gnarly trunks.
This bonsai tree look can be enhanced by growing the Pachira money tree plant in a small bonsai pot.
Regular pruning and pinching along with the small pot will help keep the braided trunks or plants from growing big.
Repotting money tree plants with clean peat mixture helps ensure a healthy growth and long life. However, do not move them a lot as they will respond by dropping their leaves. Remove dead plant materials from the soil.
Soil For Money Tree and Over Potting
One problem some experience with money plants comes from over potting. When the money plant is over potted the soil will stay wet, leaves yellow and drop off, stems and root rot.
Use a well-drained soil or well-draining pot soil with lots of sand, similar to a cactus soil mix.
Money Plant Care Includes Winter Rest
Indoors during the winter the money tree plants slow down their growth. Even though growth slows, keep the plant in bright light and warm temperatures all year.
However, reduce watering and eliminate fertilizing throughout the winter months.
Money Tree Pest And Problems
Just like the Ficus benjamina and most other house plants, the plant will “shock” some as it goes through the acclimation process, adjusting to it new home.
Don’t the effects of relocation shock to the roots and the whole plant worry you… expect some leaves dropping. Do not assume when the plant is shedding leaves it needs more water. Over-watering creates more problems.
When plants are exposed to long periods of dry air and low light, expect crispy, brown leaves to show up.
Money tree plants like a consistent, steady environment, so keep plants away from cold drafts and heat from air conditioning vents.,
Indoors plants may also be attacked by red spider mites (especially during dry winter months) and mealybug. Try neem oil pesticide or even an insecticidal soap.
Here’s a video about money tree care.
Why Is It Called The “Money Tree” And What Does It Symbolize?
There are many theories of just how Pachira aquatica got its common names the – money tree plant and the “good luck” plant.
Most trace its origin back to the fundamental elements of Feng Shui: Metal, Wood, Water, Fire, Earth.
Since each leaf has 5 points for each of the Feng Shui elements.
Nurseries got even further by braiding 5 “trees” (keeping with the Feng Shui elements)
Whatever the reason the plant earned its name, it brings green color to many a plant-less home.