Money tree plants (Pachira aquatica) are thirsty houseplants that need consistently moist soil, in my experience. I water my money tree plants whenever the top 2 inches of soil feel dry to the touch (typically every 7 to 10 days in spring and summer and every 10 to 14 days in winter). In this guide, I’ll run through my essential tips on when and how to water Money tree plants for optimal growth and health throughout the year.
How Do You Know When a Money Tree Plant Needs Watering?
Although money tree plants are pretty thirsty, it’s best to check if they need watering before giving them a drink. This reduces the risk of overwatering, a common problem when caring for money tree plants.
I start by checking the soil with my finger (you can also use a moisture meter if preferred). Push your finger into the soil up until your knuckle. If the top 2 inches of soil feel dry to the touch, it’s time to water your money tree plant.
Sometimes, my money tree plant will give me visual signs that it needs watering as well. If the plant has drooping stems or leaves, it probably needs watering. Even if you spot drooping leaves, it’s also best to check the soil.
Environmental Factors That May Impact Watering Cycles
The environment around your money tree plant may influence how often you need to water it. These environmental factors include light levels, soil, ambient temperatures, and humidity levels.
Money tree plants need bright, indirect light or filtered sunlight. If the plant receives too much direct sun, it’ll use more water, so you’ll need to water more frequently. However, if your money tree plant grows in partial shade, you’ll need to water it less frequently.
Money tree plants require temperatures between 65 and 75ºF (18 to 24ºC) and humidity levels of at least 50%. You’ll need to water money tree plants more frequently in higher temperatures or lower humidity levels. Maintain the correct humidity levels using a humidifier or pebble tray.
Cold or dry drafts can lower the ambient temperature and humidity around your money tree plant. This dries out the air, forcing you to water more frequently. Always keep money tree plants away from drafts caused by air vents, windows, and radiators.
Watering cycles can also be impacted by the type of soil you give your money tree plant. These tropical houseplants prefer loamy, well-draining soils that can still hold some moisture. If the soil has too much drainage, you’ll need to water the plant more. But if it doesn’t have enough drainage, your money tree plant could suffer from overwatering.
Seasonal Factors That May Impact Watering Cycles
Depending on the season, you may have to water your money tree plant more frequently. During spring and summer, I water my money tree plants whenever the top 2 inches of soil are dry. I water less regularly during the winter when my money tree plant is naturally dormant.
In some climates, the air is more humid in summer, so you may have to water less. But in hot, dry climates, you’ll have to water more frequently as your money tree plant will dry out faster.
How to Water Money Tree Plants
Before watering your money tree plant, test the soil to make sure the plant needs watering. If there’s still moisture in the top 2 inches of soil, wait another day or two.
Whenever I water my money tree plant, I try to use distilled or filtered water if available. Many tropical houseplants, such as money tree plants, are sensitive to tap water chemicals like fluoride. If you can’t get distilled or filtered water, leave some tap water for 24 hours before watering your plant.
I also try to only use lukewarm or room-temperature water. Money tree plants don’t like cold temperatures, which extends to their water. Using cold water can shock your plant, causing damage.
Always aim your watering can at the base of the trunk and water the soil around the plant. If you water from above, you’ll splash water over the leaves. This can lead to problems such as fungal diseases. Water until excess liquid starts dripping from the drainage holes of the plant’s nursery pot.
Signs That You Might Be Overwatering
One of the most common problems for money tree plants is overwatering. Although money tree plants need frequent watering, overwatering causes problems such as:
- Browning or yellowing leaves
- Drooping foliage
- Leggy growth
- Root rot
- Soft, mushy trunk
Signs That You Might Be Underwatering
Underwatering is also a significant problem for money tree plants because they need plenty of water. Symptoms of underwatering include:
- Brown leaf tips or edges
- Curling or drooping leaves
- Dry soil that pulls away from the edge of the pot
What to Do In Between Watering Cycles
Between watering cycles, it’s vital to ensure that your money tree plant is getting enough humidity. This ensures that your money tree plant has plenty of moisture available. Use humidifiers or pebble trays to maintain at least 50% humidity around your plant.
Keep money tree plants away from cold or dry drafts at all times. Drafts lower the temperature or humidity around the plant, forcing you to water more frequently. Place money tree plants in bright, indirect, or filtered light rather than direct afternoon sunlight.
The Role of Water in Plant Health and Development
Like any living organism, plants depend on water to survive. Water may account for up to 95% of a plant’s total mass, compared to approximately 60% for the average human being.
Plants depend on water for photosynthesis, which allows plants to use solar energy to mix carbon dioxide and water. This creates glucose, which plants use to manufacture cellulose, the crucial building block of new plant tissue. Plants use cellulose to produce new stems and leaves and continue their growth.
Plants send roots down into the soil to absorb water. During this process, plants can also access nutrients contained within the surrounding soil. Plants rely on these nutrients, including nitrogen, potassium, and phosphorus, to create new leaves or flowers.
Water is also crucial for seed germination, enabling new plants to grow. If seeds don’t get enough water from the soil, they will fail to germinate.
Watering Money Tree Plants FAQs
Should You Mist a Money Tree Plant?
Although misting temporarily boosts humidity, it’s not enough on its own. Mist your money plant while also using a humidifier.
How Often Do Money Tree Plants Need Water?
Money tree plants need watering whenever the top 2 inches of soil feel dry.
Can You Overwater a Money Tree Plant?
Overwatering is a common issue for money tree plants, so only water whenever the top 2 inches of soil feel dry.
What Type of Water is Best For Money Tree Plants?
Money tree plants can be sensitive to tap water chemicals, so always use lukewarm or room-temperature distilled or filtered water.
Watering Money Tree Plants – Wrapping Up
Money tree plants are beautiful, auspicious indoor trees that can boost the feng shui of your home. Water money tree plants whenever the top 2 inches of soil feel dry. Always use room-temperature distilled or filtered water when watering money tree plants.