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All About Money Tree: Complete Plant Care Guide

All About Money Tree: Complete Plant Care Guide

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The Money Tree is a tropical and easy-to-care-for plant. Its distinct appearance and feel bring excellent value to any plant lover’s home.

You can confidently raise your Money Tree to its best health if you follow this detailed care guide we’ve prepared for you. You’ll also learn where to buy this plant, where it originated from, which plants look similar to it, and other interesting facts about this Pachira. Read on!

What Is a Money Tree?

The Money Tree (scientific name: Pachira Aquatica) is a perennial from the Malvaceae family. It is characterized by green oval leaves and prized for its slender and flexible trunks.

The Money Tree plant goes by many names: Pachira Money Tree, Malabar or Guiana Chestnut, Braided Money Tree, Provision Tree, French Peanut, Dollar Plant, and Saba Nut. Commercially known as the Money Plant or Money Tree, this popular plant is sometimes cultivated for its nuts. The nuts can be ground into flour or used like cocoa in hot drinks. More commonly, this plant is sold as ornamental potted plants.

While the majority of this article focuses on indoor growth needs, you can keep this Pachira plant outdoors in hardiness zones 10-11.

Origin And Family

The Pachira Money Tree is a member of the Malvaceae family, and this variety of Pachira originates from Central and South America’s tropical areas. As an indoor plant, it has done great in most households when it has a lot of access to humidity.

This tropical plant’s origin is full of exciting backstories and legends. One of the most familiar stories is about a Taiwanese farmer in dire financial trouble. It was said that the farmer found a stray Pachira growing in his field. Enthralled by its beauty, he decided to grow more plants from the Pachira’s seeds hoping others would also get charmed by it. Eventually, the plant became popular, and our good farmer became wealthy and prosperous from his crops. And that’s why it’s called the Money Tree. And the farmer lived (wealthily) to tell the tales of this plant. The end.

As fascinating a story that legend is, this plant has a more grounded origin. Sources say that the Pachira has been a popular ornamental plant. In Japan, for example, Bonsai experts have had them for years and treasure them as semi-aquatic mini trees.

But what about its braided trunk?

The elegant braided trunk of this Money Plant is probably my favorite. Not only because it’s pleasing to look at and unique but also because it conjures what’s believed to be the five elements of Feng Shui in harmony: fire, earth, water, wood, and metal. The Braided Money Tree has been symbolic of prosperity because of this. It’s believed to bring wealth, fulfillment, positive energy, and security.

And the braided tree trunk trend?

Some say that the Bonsai practitioners in Japan started the braided tree trunk trend in the 1980s. Other accounts say that a Taiwanese gardener named Liu discovered that when the braid was started early, the plant would continue the pattern on its own (wow!).

Legend or not, the result is an aesthetically pleasing, iconic, and unique plant. And whether it brings good fortune or not, I believe it’s a matter of personal belief. What I do know is that this interesting plant deserves all the TLC we can give.

Where To Buy

You should be able to find Money Tree at your local nursery or a home improvement store. However, if you want to skip the hassle of driving, scanning through aisles, and hauling a plant to your car, head over online to Etsy. We’ve had excellent results shopping houseplants there!

Prices for the Money Tree are fairly affordable, starting at $15 for smaller plants and reaching up to $30 for larger or more mature plants.

Money Tree Plant Size

The Money Tree is a fast-growing houseplant. It can reach an average height of 6-8 feet indoors, up to 60 feet in the wild, and an average width of 20-30 feet.

Money Tree Care Needs

Money Trees are humidity-loving plants that need relatively dry soil throughout the year. During the summertime, water your plant when the soil’s top 2 inches are dry. Pour until water flows out from the drainage hole. Clear the catch plate to prevent root rot.

Check out this more thorough guide to caring for your Money Tree!

Care Difficulty

This Malabar Chestnut is generally easy-to-care-for. The essential components of this beauty are the well-draining soil and the amount of sunlight.

Growth Rate

Saba Nut’s growth rate is typically fast. As it flourishes indoors, it should reach about 6-8 feet indoors, up to 60 feet in the wild in height.

Potting

For potting, you can go for a large-sized pot made of plastic, terracotta, or clay. An essential requirement is that the pot has good drainage, and leaving your Pachira Money Tree in wet potting mix for extended periods could kill your plant.

Repotting

Moving your Money Tree into a bigger pot allows more room for its roots to expand. You will know that it’s time to repot if you see roots pushing out of the drainage holes. However, it’s best not to repot the plant so much. Money Tree plants hate being disturbed and respond by dropping their leaves (such a diva). Repot only if you want your plant to grow larger. If you want to keep it small, repotting it in a small pot is a good idea.

This tropical plant should be repotted every two years. When filling the new pot, it is great for replacing old nutrient-deficient soil with a fresh batch of normal commercial potting soil.

Soil

The Malabar Chestnut is an easy-to-care-for plant that needs standard commercial potting soil to stay healthy. If you plan to make your soil mix, we suggest adding some peat moss-based.

Your Pachira will appreciate the soil being kept relatively dry at all times. Nonetheless, drainage and aeration are essential requirements for all soil types.

Here are some potting mixes we recommend:

Photo Title Price Buy
Miracle-Gro Indoor Potting...image Miracle-Gro Indoor Potting Mix 6 qt., Grows beautiful Houseplants, 2-Pack $12.99
Burpee, 9 Quarts...image Burpee, 9 Quarts | Premium Organic Potting Natural Soil Mix Food Ideal for Container Garden-Vegetable, Flower & Herb Use for Indoor Outdoor Plant $12.99
SUNGRO HORTICULTURE Black...image SUNGRO HORTICULTURE Black Gold 1310102 8-Quart All Purpose Potting Soil With Control, Brown/A $14.81
Miracle-Gro Potting Mix Miracle-Gro Potting Mix $16.99
FoxFarm Ocean Forest...image FoxFarm Ocean Forest Potting Soil Mix Indoor Outdoor for Garden and Plants | Plant Fertilizer | 12 Quart + THCity Stake $19.99

pH

Your soil pH should be roughly 6.0-7.5 for the Saba Nut. This range is considered neutral. Using standard commercial potting soil shouldn’t be a huge concern because its acidity level is close to the ideal range.

There are several affordable options online for pH meters you can purchase to check your soil’s pH.

If necessary, add a pinch of calcitic lime, dolomitic lime, wood ash, or baking soda to boost the soil’s pH. And to lower it, use sulfur or aluminum sulfate.

Water

The watering frequency will vary based on the temperature and humidity in your plant’s surroundings. Generally speaking, your Pachira Money Tree prefers a relatively dry growing medium.

Avoid overwatering your Pachira Money Tree. As soon as the top 2 inches of soil are dry, it’s time to water your plant. Water directly on the soil to avoid fungal diseases and avoid soaking the foliage.

Give your plant a thorough watering and allow excess water to flow through the bottom of the pot. Remember to empty the collection tray if your plant is sitting in one. Too much water can kill this hardy plant.

Light

Money Tree prefers bright indirect light for approximately 6-8 hours daily. Remember that you’re attempting to replicate how it grows in its native habitat, the tropical regions of Central and South America.

You’ll know your Money Tree is getting too much sunlight when its leaves are getting scorched. Conversely, the plant needs more light if its growth slows down. Avoid putting your Money Tree in direct sunlight, as this could severely damage or even kill it.

Fertilizer

A water-soluble fertilizer is ideal for the Malabar Chestnut. NAME SPECIFIC FERTILIZER, for example, would work. During the spring to fall, feed your plant every other week.

During the winter months, growth naturally slows down, so you don’t need to fertilize.

Propagating Money Tree

Pruning back the stem to stimulate new growth points is one planting strategy. Cuttings that have been clipped back may usually propagate, allowing you to produce a new baby plant!

Check out these various propagation methods for you to choose from.

Stem Cuttings In Soil

One of the most successful techniques of propagating a Money Tree is by making a cutting and planting it directly in the soil. Early spring to summer months is the best time to propagate a Pachira Money Tree. Propagate a Money Tree in soil by following these steps.

1. Collect your Money Tree cutting. Look for a healthy stem on your Money Tree with one or two nodes. Cut just below the Pachira Money Tree’s nodes with gardening shears.

2. Plant your Money Tree cutting. Plant the cutting directly into standard commercial potting soil so the nodes are covered.

3. Maintain your Money Tree cutting. Keep the soil around your baby Money Tree moist and maintain a temperature of approximately 59-90°F.

4. Rotate your Money Tree cutting. For balanced development on all sides of your Money Tree, rotate the pot now and then.

Humidity And Aeration

For rich-colored leaves and lush growth, your Money Tree needs high humidity between 50%-7-%.

If you are concerned about humidity or notice browning edges on your plant leaves, you can buy a humidifier and install it near your plants. This upgrade will significantly improve the health of your Money Tree.

Temperature

Your Saba Nut will prosper in a warm area, so keep the temperature between 59-90 degrees Fahrenheit. 

This popular houseplant, like other Pachira plants, will benefit from constant temperatures all year. Avoid using hot or cold water while watering your plant. Keep it away from heat sources like furnaces and vents and cold such as open windows during the winter.

Non-Toxic

The Malabar Chestnut is not hazardous to children or pets. According to the ASPCA, it will not harm dogs or cats if ingested, and there are no poisonous elements in the plant.

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Pests, Diseases, And Other Problems

The Money Tree is resistant to disease and pests. Here are some of the most prevalent diseases, disorders, and pests, as well as how to cure them.

Spider Mites

Unfortunately, spider mites are common, especially among plant collectors who have a Saba Nut. Spider mites can be detected by brown or yellow dots on the leaves, silky webbing between branches, and slow-to-unfold leaves.

To manage a spider mite infestation, bring your sick plant to the sink, tub, or outside and aggressively wash all the leaves with a powerful spray of water. Spider mites can be eliminated by using neem oil, horticultural oil, and insecticidal soap on a regular basis.

If you favor a non-chemical approach, ladybugs, lacewings, and minute pirate bugs can help manage your spider mite population.

Scale Insects

Scales are plant sap-feeding insects. The adult scale will cling to one section of the plant and settle there, which distinguishes them from other bugs. Armoured scales are brownish lumps that can form on the stems or petioles of plants.

To try and stop scales from latching onto your Money Tree, put a teaspoon of neem oil in 500 mL of water over the plant’s leaves.

Another option is to release ladybugs or lacewings near your affected plant to solve the problem for you!

Mealybugs

Mealybugs may infest your Saba Nut. These tiny parasites weaken your plant by sucking on the sap, and the honeydew they secrete can also invite fungal diseases.

Mealybugs are visibly oval bugs that appear as cottony masses on all parts of plants. They will either stay immobile or crawl slowly.

To fight against a mealybug invasion, take a cotton swab, soak it in rubbing alcohol, and rub it over the oval-shaped leaves or any affected areas of the pant. I also suggest neem oil mixed with water as a preventive spray.

Brown Leaf Tips

At times, you might notice brown leaf tips on your Pachira Money Tree. This typically indicates that your plant is underwatered or is quickly losing moisture from its leaves through transpiration.

Raise the humidity in your indoor growing environment, or water your plant as soon as the soil dries out.

Browning rips on leaves might also point to an issue with the plant’s roots. Make sure your plant is growing in a permeable, well-draining medium.

Drooping Leaves

Drooping leaves on your Money Tree indicate that it is thirsty. Once it’s watered, your plant will usually perk back up. Also, it might be beneficial to increase the humidity of the surroundings.

Pest-infested plants may initially have droopy and curled leaves, but they may later develop further symptoms such as spots, restricted growth, and a general loss of health. Always examine the bottom of the leaves if you suspect pests.

Yellow Leaves

A multitude of factors can cause yellowing leaves on Malabar Chestnut. For one, lack of light can deprive your plant of nourishment and turn its leaves yellow. It’s also possible that there is an issue with underwatering, overwatering, or an uneven watering schedule.

Remove yellowing leaves so that the plant may devote its energy to developing new green leaves.

Root Rot

The two most typical causes of rotting roots are overwatering and inadequate drainage. And since root rot is often irreversible and deadly, prevention is of utmost importance.

Plant your Pachira in standard commercial potting soil and keep it relatively dry. Water only when the soil’s top 2 inches are dry.

Similar Plants

Love Pachira Money Tree? Here are some other “Money Plants” you should try:

Jade Plant – A succulent with round, coin-shaped leaves. Feng Shui experts say this plant brings home wealth, prosperity, happiness, and good fortune. It’s also known for its longevity, which can stay alive for 100 years. 

Chinese Money Plant – Believed to attract money and good fortune, this is a decorative plant ideal as a gift to wish others good luck, wealth, and prosperity. It’s also very easy to care for, so it’s a great gift. 

Conclusion

The Money Tree is a great choice for plant enthusiasts, primarily due to its slender and flexible trunks.

If you’re looking for a new plant to add to your collection or are just getting started as an indoor gardener, use the tips you’ve learned from us to start growing Money Tree today!

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