As the saying goes, money doesn’t grow on trees. However, you can try bringing some good fortune your way with the exquisite money tree plant. In my experience, this plant, also known as Pachira Aquatica, is one of the most accessible trees to grow as a houseplant. Make sure you’re providing your money tree with the best care with this essential growing guide.
Money Tree Plant Care – Key Takeaways:
|Money Tree, Guiana Chestnut
|Central and South America
|Well-draining potting mix, often a mix of peat, sand, and perlite
|Bright, indirect light; can tolerate some direct morning sunlight
|Allow the top 2 inches of soil to dry out before watering again; water less frequently in the winter
|Ideal range is between 65-75°F (18-24°C); avoid temperatures below 50°F (10°C)
|Feed with a balanced liquid fertilizer diluted to half strength once a month during the growing season (spring and summer); reduce fertilizing in fall and winter
|Prune to maintain desired size and shape; can also remove yellowed or dead leaves
|Common pests include aphids, scale insects, and spider mites; they can be managed with regular cleaning, appropriate watering, and the use of insecticidal soaps or neem oil if needed
|Non-toxic to pets and humans; however, it’s always best to keep plants out of reach from pets and small children
How to Grow Money Tree Plants at Home:
Before you grow your money tree plant at home, there are a few key steps you’ll need to take. Below you will find everything you need to know, from light preferences to pest considerations.
What to Do Before Planting:
Here are a few essential tips before planting your new money tree.
- Have a pot and saucer on hand for repotting your money tree. A decorative pot can add the plant’s fun energy to your home.
- Ensure you have the correct soil and tools for caring for your money tree plant once you bring it home. You can find a detailed list of these items below.
- Find a good spot in your home for your money tree to live. Feng shui tradition would recommend you keep the plant in the southeast area of a room, but anywhere with ample indirect light will do.
- You’ll want to choose a healthy-looking money tree based on your size preferences. Money trees with seven leaves are said to be particularly lucky.
How to Plant:
Plastic or glass is the most suitable pots and planters for your money tree plant, as they retain the moisture this water-loving species needs to thrive. Glazed ceramic or terracotta is also a good option but may require more watering. Your money tree can thrive outside, but keeping the plant in a pot allows you to move it indoors when temperatures drop to around 40 degrees Fahrenheit.
The planter you use to pot your money tree plant should be one or two inches larger than its original container. If you use a larger pot, the tree will grow more prominent as well.
Best Soil Types:
Money tree plants prefer a free-draining potting mix. They enjoy moist soil but should be left to dry thoroughly in between watering cycles. A soil mix with sand or peat-moss base works well for this species.
For more, see our comprehensive guide to the best soil mix for Money Tree Plants.
Money tree plants can get up to 59 feet tall in the wild, but they are easy to maintain at a bonsai size or an indoor plant around 3 or 4 feet tall. Cut back your plant if it grows too large to hold your desired size.
When searching for your money tree plant’s ideal placement, you’ll want to scope out a spot with plenty of bright, indirect light throughout the day. Somewhere near a south-facing window behind Venetian blinds or in a sun-filled room, would be careful. Just try to avoid direct, intense sunlight for extended periods.
How to Care for Money Tree Plants
Now that you’ve planted your money tree, it’s time to explore the ins and outs of caring for the plant. A lush and vibrant tree symbolizes good fortune and makes for a nicer decoration. Whether you’re planting the tree for wealth or aesthetics, you’ll want to read on to discover key care tips.
The great thing about a money tree plant is that it enjoys living in moist soil. Its tropical roots mean the plant likes high humidity and is tolerant of overwatering. However, your money tree plant is still prone to root rot, so ensure the soil dries between watering cycles.
A good indicator it’s time to water when the top few inches of soil are completely dry to the touch. Then, water your plant thoroughly until you see water flowing through the drainage holes.
Here’s our in-depth guide on how to water money tree plants.
Do not fertilize your money tree plant during its first year as a house plant. After a year in your home, you can fertilize the tree. Feed it with a liquid plant fertilizer once a month during the summer only if needed.
Here’s our in-depth guide on how to fertilize money tree plants.
When it comes to pruning your money tree plant, you’ll want to have some pruning shears and loppers handy. Take the following steps when pruning your money tree plant.
- Cut out dead twigs to keep your plant healthy. Trim them back to the plant’s base or three inches past the dead bit of the twig. If the twig is located on the braided trunk, you must cut one inch before the base to avoid a scar.
- Trim the tops of stems to keep your money tree at your preferred height. Keep the tree pruned close to the braided portion of the trunk to maintain its size.
- Remove new stems that grow on the lower portion of the trunk to keep the braid visible. Leave one inch intact to avoid scarring.
- Prune in the winter, not during the plant’s growing season.
You can propagate your money tree plant through stem cuttings in the summer months. Cut a ten to fifteen-centimeter stem and place it in water or moist soil. Letting the stem root in water first will help the plant grow faster, but both methods work well.
If you prefer to grow the roots in water, fill the container at least two centimeters deep and keep it in the sun as it grows. Once the roots have formed, dip them in rooting powder or place them directly in moist soil and watch your cutting grow.
Here are some tips to remember when repotting your money tree plant.
- You can consider repotting this species every one or two years as needed.
- When you repot the tree, you’ll want to use a container about one to two sizes larger unless you plan to keep it in the same-sized pot. The pot you choose should have at least one drainage hole.
- If needed, you can shave the root ball to maintain the tree’s size.
- Place the plant in its new container and water it thoroughly after repotting.
Pest and Disease Considerations
Here are a few common issues you may experience when caring for your money tree plant and the best ways to treat them.
- Scale insects, mealybugs, and aphids: Treat these pests with systemic insect control, insecticidal soap, or a horticultural oil spray.
- Root rot and mold: These can occur due to overwatering. If you notice root rot or mold, cut away the affected areas and repot in well-draining soil.
- Leaf spots: This can occur due to overwatering or a potassium deficiency. Use a special fertilizer to boost potassium and adjust your plant’s watering schedule.
- Yellow leaves: Your money tree’s leaves may change color and fall in the autumn. This is normal. If this occurs outside of autumn, increasing the humidity in its environment may help.
Before purchasing a money tree plant, you’ll want to have some typical plant care tools. Ensure you have the following items for an optimal experience caring for your money tree plant.
- A plastic or glass pot or glazed ceramic container with a drainage hole
- A saucer or tray to catch water beneath the pot
- A free-draining soil mix
- A liquid houseplant fertilizer
- Pruning shears and loppers for cutting back or propagating your plant
- A larger container for repotting if you wish to increase the size of your money tree plant
Money Tree Plant Care FAQs:
Where should you place a money tree?
Somewhere near a south-facing window behind blinds filtering the direct sun rays would be perfect. Ensure the plant is kept free of any cold drafts and in a room with an ambient air temperature above 65F.
How much sun does a money tree need?
Money Tree Plants love bright conditions, but keep them out of the way of direct sunlight as this may scorch or burn the plant’s foliage.
Do money trees like small pots?
Like most houseplants, Money Tree Plants should be potted in a vessel or container appropriate to their current size. Ensure there’s sufficient space for the root structure to develop and the base of the plant to be completely covered with soil.
Is it bad luck to buy your own money tree?
It’s fine to buy your own money tree plant. Good fortune and prosperity will follow regardless of whether the plant was gifted to you or if you bought it out of your own pocket!
Do money trees like to be misted?
Money Tree Plants love moderate to high humidity. A gentle, light misting can be beneficial, particularly during dry winters and rooms with constant air conditioning running. Be careful not to saturate the foliage with water, as this can lead to fungal infections and invading pests. Often a better option is to invest in a humidity tray to sit underneath the plant or invest in a humidifier to be placed near the plant when needed.
Do I need to braid my money tree?
There’s no obligation to braid your money tree plant. It will grow fine without the decorative interlacing of trunks.
How long do money trees live?
With due care and attention, money tree plants can thrive for well over 10 years in most homes.
The money tree is a fantastic choice for both new and experienced indoor plant owners. Its low-maintenance upkeep and attractive aesthetic make the plant an appealing addition to any home. Whether you’re superstitious or not, buying a money tree plant to attract good fortune can’t hurt!
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.