Pruning a money tree helps maintain its size and shape while encouraging healthy growth.
But if you’ve never done it before, you may feel intimidated and worried about cutting too much.
Luckily, money trees are very forgiving, and pruning them is easier than you might imagine.
In this post, I’ll tell you why and when to prune a money tree and the tools you’ll need for the job. I’ll also show you how to do it the right way, with clear, step-by-step instructions.
Table of Contents
Do Money Trees Need To Be Pruned?
Money trees do not necessarily need to be pruned, but removing old or dead leaves and stems helps maintain their healthy appearance and encourages new growth.
Trimming a money tree also keeps it to a manageable size and gives it a more balanced shape.
Why Prune A Money Tree?
I’ve already mentioned a few reasons you might want to trim your money tree regularly. Here is a complete list showing all the benefits of doing so.
- Control the size – Money trees can get quite tall if you don’t trim them regularly, sometimes even reaching the ceiling.
- Provide a well-balanced appearance – Pruning the top of a money tree encourages new growth lower on the stem, which gives the plant a more pleasing appearance and fuller shape.
- Keep it healthy – Removing dead and damaged leaves and stems helps protect your money tree from diseases, pests, and fungus.
- Revitalize it – Trimming away old or leggy growth invigorates your money tree and encourages new stems to develop.
When To Prune Money Trees
The best time to prune a money tree is in the spring or summer when it is actively growing.
I don’t recommend doing it in the winter, as this is when the tree rests to conserve energy. Any new growth at this time may be weak or leggy.
However, you can remove the odd dry or yellow leaf at any time of year, as this minor pruning is less stressful for them.
Tools For Trimming A Money Tree
Before you start, make sure that you clean and sharpen your pruners. This will help you get clean cuts without damaging the plant.
Techniques For Pruning Pachira aquatica
There are three techniques you can use for pruning money trees: trimming back the stems and branches, pruning the leaves, or cutting off the top to control the height.
Trimming Back Stems & Branches
Sometimes stems or branches will need to be removed because they are dying, or they’re growing at irregular angles. These can spoil the typical ‘tree’ shape that makes your Pachira aquatica plant so attractive.
In these cases, you can remove them by cutting them back to about an inch from the trunk.
Alternatively, you can trim stems and branches to achieve a more uniform shape. But take care never to prune more than one-third of a stem at one time.
Pruning Money Tree Leaves
Pruning money tree leaves should be part of your regular care routine, as it will keep the plant healthy and encourage growth.
Remove any old, damaged, or dying leaves as soon as you see them. You can do this at any time of the year.
Cutting Off The Top
Money trees can get quite tall and thin at the top if you never prune them. To give them a more balanced appearance and control their size, you can trim the upper branches or top the whole plant.
This will also help encourage new growth lower down the stem, and make a leggy plant fuller.
If you want to try this, trim back only one branch at a time, and wait for new leaves to form before cutting the next. Never remove all of the leaves at once.
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How To Prune A Money Tree Step By Step
The best way to improve the appearance of a leggy or overgrown money tree is to prune it. You’ll find the steps to follow below.
Always remember to cut just above a leaf node – the V-shaped spot where new growth has branched off from the main stem.
Also, be sure to make your cuts at a downward angle so that water can’t pool in the wound, otherwise it could cause tip-rot.
Pruning A Leggy Money Tree
The goal of pruning a leggy money tree is to cut back the long, thin stems. This will give it a more balanced appearance and encourage new growth.
Money trees are quite forgiving when it comes to pruning, but I recommend planning ahead so you are clear on which parts to cut.
You can trim it back to about ⅓ of its total size without worry, but never remove all of the leaves at one time, to avoid shock.
Then wait until you see new leaves forming on the cut stems before trimming it again.
Step 1. Trim back the longest branches – Make clean cuts at 45-degree angles to bring the leggiest branches back to a medium length.
Step 2. Look for curved or droopy stems – If any stems have become so long that they are drooping or curving upward, trim those back next.
Step 3. Cut the tips – Snip the tender new tips on shorter branches to encourage bushier growth.
Pruning An Overgrown Money Tree
If your money tree has become overgrown, you can give it a more thorough pruning to get it back into shape.
You’ll probably need to remove any leaves and branches that are dead or dying, too.
These steps will give it a uniform appearance and ensure that it thrives.
Step 1. Remove dead leaves and branches – Once you have removed all the old, dead growth, you’ll have a better idea of the overall shape of your money tree.
Step 2. Look for dying, cracked, or damaged stems – Cut these back to the points at which the stems are healthy.
Step 3. Stand back and assess – Decide which parts you want to prune to achieve the shape you’re looking for. Mark them with string to help keep you on track.
Step 4. Trim to a uniform shape – Prune carefully, stepping back between each cut to monitor your progress. This way you’ll avoid trimming off too much in one area, which may make your money tree look lopsided.
In this section I’ll answer the most common questions I get about pruning a money tree. If you can’t find yours here, ask it in the comments below.
How do you make Pachira aquatica bushy?
To make Pachira aquatica bushy, first remove any dead or unhealthy leaves and stems. Then cut back any long, leggy stems to give a more balanced appearance. It may sound counterintuitive, but this will encourage new growth closer to the trunk, giving a bushier look overall.
How far back can you prune a money tree?
You can prune your money tree back as far as one-third of its overall size without any problems.
Should a money tree be pruned often?
A money tree does not need to be pruned often, although I recommend trimming it at least once a year to maintain its size and shape. You can cut off damaged or dying leaves regularly to keep the plant healthy and encourage new growth.
When should I prune my money tree?
The spring and summer months are the best times to prune your money tree, as this is when the plant is actively growing. But you should remove damaged, yellowing, or dead leaves as soon as you spot them, no matter the time of year.
Where do you cut when pruning a money tree?
When pruning a money tree, make your cuts around a ½ inch above a node – the point at which the new leaves branch off from the main stem. If you are removing an entire branch or stem, cut it about an inch away from the trunk.
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More About Pruning Plants
- Pruning Plants: The Complete Step-By-Step Guide
- How To Prune A Wandering Jew Plant (Tradescantia)
- How To Prune A Jade Plant
Share your tips for pruning a money tree in the comments section below.