Money tree plants (Pachira aquatica) are known for their braided trunks, and delicate looking umbrella shaped leaves. They look like they’d be difficult to grow, but they’re actually easy to care for and make excellent houseplants.
There are two types of plants (that I know of) that have the nickname of “money plant”. Those two plants are the crassula money plant (aka: jade plant), and the pachira aquatica money plant (aka: money tree plant).
Don’t get the plant care instructions for these two mixed up… they require very, very different care.
In this post, I will be talking about money plant care for the pachira aquatica money tree plant.
So, if you’re looking for information how to take care of jade plants (crassula), then go to this post instead… jade plant care guide.
Otherwise you’re in the right place, so keep reading!
Here’s what you’ll find in this detailed money plant care guide…
Pachira Money Tree Plant Meaning
No, money plants don’t grow actual money (wouldn’t that be nice!), but there is meaning behind the name.
Pachira aquatica got the nickname because they have a reputation for bringing good luck and good fortune to their owners. This is one of the main reasons why I think they make excellent office plants!
Maybe you’ve never heard the name, but you might recognize a money plant because it’s one of the most popular braided tree trunk plants.
Braided Money Tree Benefits
As I already mentioned, benefits of money tree plants include bringing you good luck and financial prosperity.
Good fortune money trees are also very popular in Feng Shui, because they are said to bring positive energy into the room where they’re growing. They’re commonly given as gifts for all of these reasons, and what a wonderful gift.
I’m not sure how they got such an amazing reputation, but I’m thinking about growing a lucky money tree plant in every room of my house!
Money trees are also commonly used for bonsai, and a great choice for someone who’s just learning.
Pachira Money Plant Care & Growing Instructions
Money tree plants look like they would be super fussy, but they’re actually pretty easy to grow houseplants.
They’re a great choice for someone who’s a novice, and wants to start growing plants indoors.
And, if you want to try your hand at bonsai, braided money tree plant is the perfect specimen to start with!
Here’s how to take care of a money tree plant…
Watering A Money Tree Plant
One of the key factors to good money plant care is proper watering. Money trees like water, but won’t tolerate being overwatered for very long. Consistent over watering a money plant will cause root rot, and eventually kill the plant.
So, how often do you water a money tree? Check your plant every week or two to see how wet the soil is. You want to allow money tree soil to dry out slightly between waterings, but don’t let it dry out completely.
When it’s time to water, give your plant a good drink, and then allow the excess water to drain from the holes in the bottom of the pot.
Afterward, make sure to empty the cache pot or plant tray of a potted money plant so that it’s never sitting in water.
Money trees don’t need as much water during the winter as they do in the summer, so allow the soil to dry out a bit more between waterings in the winter.
If you have a hard time giving your plants the correct amount of water, I recommend buying a soil moisture gauge to help you monitor the moisture level.
Money Tree Plant Humidity Requirements
Another important part of successful money plant care is humidity. Humidity is especially important during the winter months, and money tree plants like a lot of humidity.
Heating our homes during the winter sucks the humidity out of the air, and that can be pretty tough on these sensitive houseplants.
To help increase the humidity level around your money plant, you can run a humidifier near the plant, or put it on a pebble tray filled with water (don’t allow it to sit in the water though).
To help you maintain the proper humidity level, keep an indoor humidity monitor near your plant.
Money Tree Light Requirements
One of the reasons growing money plant indoors is so easy is because they aren’t super picky about lighting.
Money plants prefer bright, indirect light. But they will adapt to lower light conditions, especially during the winter, which makes them excellent low light houseplants.
They will actually suffer if they get too much sun. Too much direct sunlight can burn their leaves, so keep it out of that sunny window.
It’s actually perfect, since most of us don’t have a ton of direct sunlight in our homes anyway! So you can save that coveted sunny windowsill for the houseplants that need it.
Best Potting Soil For Money Tree Plant
Plan to repot your plant into fresh soil every few years as part of your regular money plant care maintenance routine.
A general purpose potting soil will work fine for growing money trees. But, they will grow their best in a fast draining soil that also retains moisture (sounds like a funny combo, I know).
So, to get the best soil for money tree plants, you need to add a few things to your general potting mix.
If you don’t want to fuss with all of that, you can’t go wrong if you buy a bonsai potting soil mix for them.
When the time comes for repotting your money tree plant, make sure you choose the right sized container. You don’t want to choose one that is too large for the plant, because that can cause issues with overwatering and root rot.
Money plants can be grown in very small pots, especially if you want to keep the plant small. So choose a pot for your money plant that’s only slightly larger than the one it was growing in before.
Repotting plants encourages new growth, so wait until spring or early summer to repot your money tree.
Related Post: How To Repot Plants: A Helpful Illustrated Guide
Best Fertilizer For Money Plants
As part of your regular money plant care routine, you can feed your money tree using a half dose of liquid houseplant fertilizer every couple of weeks during the spring and summer.
Stop fertilizing in early fall, and don’t fertilize your plant at all during the winter.
Other types of organic plant fertilizer like this indoor plant food would work great on money tree plants too. If you find it easier, you could use organic bonsai fertilizer pellets instead of liquid fertilizer.
Money Tree Houseplant Pest Control
Don’t use chemical pesticides on houseplant pests though, they aren’t very effective (plus they’re harmful to us and our pets!).
Soapy water spray is also very effective against most houseplant pests. I like to use a mixture of 1 tsp mild liquid soap per 1 liter of water, then spray it on the leaves to help control the bugs. Insecticidal soap also work great.
You can use a yellow sticky trap to help control the adult whitefly population until you’re able to get rid of them for good.
How To Prune A Money Tree
In general they don’t need to be trimmed, but regular money tree plant pruning will help to keep your plant small.
To prune them, you can pinch or trim off the tips of the new growth. This will help to keep a money tree size small, and also encourages branching to make it more shapely.
New leaves will grow back quickly, which is one reason why this plant is so appealing as a bonsai plant.
It’s best to prune money trees in the spring or summer months, you don’t really want to encourage new growth while the plant is resting during the winter.
You can prune off any dead or damaged leaves as needed to keep the plant looking its best.
Can A Money Tree Go Outside?
Yes, just like any other type of plant, you can grow put your money tree outside as long as the weather is warm enough. Just be sure you bring it back inside before the temperature gets below 40F.
If you decide to grow your money plant outdoors, then be sure that it’s growing in a pot with drainage holes so that it won’t drown when it rains.
As far as how much sun a money tree needs outdoors, they can grow anywhere from sun to shade. But take extra care to gradually move your money plant in the house to growing in full sun outside, or the leaves will burn.
Troubleshooting Money Plant Care Problems
Overwatering and leaf drop are two of the most common money plant care problems that people tend to have, and both are very common issues. Here’s how to troubleshoot the symptoms, and what to do about it.
- Why are the leaves on my money tree turning yellow? – If your money tree has yellow leaves, that usually means you’re watering too much, and it meant the plant is in danger of being overwatered. To fix this issue, allow the soil to dry out more between waterings (see the money tree watering section above for details about how to properly water money plants).
- Why are the leaves on my money tree turning brown? – Money tree leaves will dry out if there isn’t enough humidity in the air, which is what causes brown leaves. Do whatever you can to raise the humidity level around the plant, and make sure it’s getting enough water (see the water and humidity sections above for more details). Money plants are also sensitive to sudden air temperature changes, and can suffer if they’re exposed to hot or cold drafts. Make sure to keep your plant away from heat vents and drafty doors and windows.
- Why are the leaves on my money tree falling off? – Money plants are a bit fussy about their location and don’t like to be moved around. If you move a money plant around too much, it will get mad at you and start dropping its leaves. So just leave it where it is, and try not to move it too much. If you just brought the plant home, give it some time to adjust and don’t overwater it. Leaf drop is common for new money plants that just came home.
Where To Buy Money Plant
If you’re wondering where to buy money tree plant, check your local garden center. You should be able to find a money tree plant for sale in the houseplant section, especially during the winter time. Otherwise you could buy a money plant tree online any time of the year.
Money trees are very cool looking plants that are easy to grow indoor plants. I’m not sure if it will actually bring you all of the money plant benefits that I mentioned above, but it can’t hurt to try.
Besides, growing a money tree is fun and rewarding. And heck, if you ever decide to try your hand at bonsai, your money plant will be there waiting.
Do you struggle to keep your houseplants thriving during the long winter months? My Winter Houseplant Care eBook is perfect for you! It has everything you need to know to keep your indoor plants growing their best all year long. Download your copy today!
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Do you have a money tree plant? Share your money plant care tips in the comments below.