Money Tree Plants (Pachira aquatica) are generally easy to grow, but they require the proper environment – including suitable potting soil – to thrive. In my experience, money trees prefer a loamy, well-draining potting mix. They can survive in acidic to alkaline soil but fare best with a substrate in a neutral pH range of 6 to 7.5. My go-to Money tree soil mix contains a mixture of perlite or vermiculite with peat moss and coarse sand or coco coir and compost.
The Ultimate Money Tree Plant Soil Mix Home Recipe
In my experience, Money trees fare best in neutral soil with a pH ranging from 6 to 7.5.
If you like getting your hands in the dirt, you can create your own perfectly neutral, well-draining, loamy potting mix for a money tree at home by mixing up one of the following recipes:
- Recipe 1: Equal parts peat moss, perlite or vermiculite, and coarse sand
- Recipe 2: Equal parts coco coir, compost, and perlite or vermiculite
While mixing, I always add a bit of moisture to help the mix stick and blend well. Just be careful not to add so much water that the mixture becomes soggy.
If you prefer a less messy method, you can purchase a pre-mixed potting medium designed to keep your money tree healthy. Most all-purpose, well-draining, nutrient-rich houseplant blends will do the job.
Common Signs You’re Using the Wrong Soil Mix
If a money tree develops a soft, discolored, or mushy trunk or its younger leaves are turning yellow or brown, this could indicate root rot and soil that is holding too much moisture.
If your tree is growing slowly or not producing as many lush leaves as you would expect, this could indicate that your soil’s pH is off. Money trees can tolerate acidic and alkaline soils but do not grow as well in these conditions as in a neutral potting mix.
The Importance of Well-Draining Potting Soil
Although money trees grow natively in swampy areas in Central and South America, they cannot survive with too much moisture and are particularly susceptible to root rot.
For this reason, I always ensure my plants are grown in containers that have ample holes for drainage and a potting medium that allows water to pass through quickly.
Why Soil Choice Matters
Soil is directly connected to plant health and vitality because the right soil will contain everything your plant needs to survive. This includes nutrients, moisture, and pest/disease control while also creating a suitable environment for supporting its root system, aeration, gas exchange, and other structures.
Even the potting mixture’s pH level (acid, neutral, or alkaline) affects health and soil quality. The soil’s pH level can change its structure, toxicity, nutrient availability, and bacterial growth.
For more, see our in-depth guide to Money tree plant care at home.
Money Tree Soil FAQs:
How often should I switch soil for my money tree plant?
Money trees only need to be repotted every two to three years. You can refresh their soil by applying a balanced, water-soluble fertilizer diluted to half-strength once a month in the spring and summer.
Can I use cactus soil?
Yes, money trees can be planted in cactus soil. Since it’s well-draining, it’s a great alternative to mixing your own money tree plant potting mix. Look for a formula that includes dried peat moss.
Do money tree plants like wet or dry soil?
Money trees generally prefer a humid environment. However, their soil should be allowed to drain well and dry completely between waterings, as they cannot tolerate overly wet or soggy soil or standing water.
Do money tree plants need deep potting containers?
Grown indoors, money trees produce relatively shallow root systems and do not need exceptionally deep containers. Choose one about two inches larger in width and depth than your plant’s root ball.
Bring Good Luck and Prosperity, But Start With the Soil
Money trees are thought to attract good luck and prosperity when you grow them in your home. To make sure your money tree plants stay healthy and keep you prosperous, start by providing them with the right soil mix.
Further reading: Discover the amazing uses and benefits of money tree plants.
Andrew is the Editorial Director at Petal Republic. He holds a BSc degree in Plant Sciences and has trained professionally at leading floristry schools in London and Paris. In amongst overseeing a global editorial team, Andrew's a passionate content creator around all things flowers, floral design, gardening, and houseplants.