Mastering Money Tree Care: From Watering to Fortunes

The money tree plant, an iconic indoor houseplant, requires specific care to thrive. This article delves deep into the world of money tree care, offering insights on everything from watering to fertilizing.

If you’re looking to care for a money tree or simply curious about this fascinating plant, read on!

What Is a Money Tree Plant?

The money tree plant, scientifically known as Pachira aquatica, is native to Central and South America. Often associated with Feng Shui, it’s believed to bring good fortune.

The plant can grow up to 60 feet tall in its natural habitat, but as a houseplant, it typically reaches 8 feet. Its unique braided trunk and lush foliage make it a favorite among plant parents.

Why are Money Trees Braided?

braided money tree

Braided money trees are not just a stylistic choice. The braid helps strengthen the trunk and gives the tree its distinctive appearance. If you’re looking to braid your own money tree, gently and loosely tie a string around the top of the young trunks. As they grow, they’ll naturally form a braid.

Money Tree Care Guide

healthy money tree
Photo Credit: Shutterstock.

How Often Should You Water a Money Tree?

Watering is crucial for money tree care. Money trees prefer indirect light, so placing yours near a sunny window is ideal. However, be careful not to overwater.

The best way to tell if your money tree needs water is by checking the top inch of soil. If it’s dry, it’s time to water your money tree. During spring and summer, water more frequently, but in fall and winter, reduce the frequency.

The Importance of Humidity

Money trees thrive in high humidity. If you live in a dry area, consider placing a humidifier near your plant or misting the leaves of your money tree regularly. Too little humidity can cause the leaves to yellow or droop.

Choosing the Right Pot & Drainage

Good drainage is essential for money tree care. Ensure the pot you choose has holes at the bottom to prevent overwatering. A well-draining soil mix, perhaps with a touch of peat, will keep your money tree happy and healthy.

Indoor vs. Outdoor: Where Should Your Money Tree Live?

While money trees can grow outdoors in certain climates, they’re primarily an indoor plant. If you do choose to move your money tree outdoors, ensure it’s not exposed to direct sunlight, which can scorch the leaves.

Indoors, place it in a spot with indirect light.

Fertilizing Your Money Tree: When & How?

Feed your money tree with a liquid fertilizer during the growing season (spring and summer). However, be careful not to over-fertilize. Once a month should suffice.

During fall and winter, you can reduce or even skip fertilizing.

Pruning & Caring for Your Money Tree’s Foliage

Pruning is essential for producing new leaves and encouraging new growth. If you want to keep your money tree small, like a bonsai, regular pruning is necessary. Always use sharp scissors and make clean cuts to avoid damaging the plant.

Repotting Your Money Tree: When & Why?

Money trees grow quickly, so you might need to repot them every couple of years. If you notice the roots growing out of the bottom of the pot or the soil drying out too fast, it’s time to repot.

Common Pests: How to Protect Your Money Tree

Like all houseplants, money trees can be susceptible to pests like aphids and spider mites. Regularly inspect the foliage and, if you spot any pests, treat your plant with a gentle insecticidal soap.

Money Tree Leaves Turning Yellow: Causes & Solutions

money tree turning yellow

Money trees, often face the issue of yellowing leaves due to factors like overwatering, poor drainage, pests, and direct sunlight. Older leaves naturally yellow over time, but younger leaves indicate potential problems.

Proper care, including ensuring bright indirect sunlight, maintaining consistent temperatures, and addressing pests, can revive a yellowing money tree, ensuring it remains a vibrant addition to any home.

Key Points to Remember:

  • Money Tree Origins: Native to Central and South America and associated with good fortune in Feng Shui.
  • Watering: Check the top inch of soil; if dry, water the plant. Adjust frequency with seasons.
  • Braiding: Helps strengthen the trunk and gives a unique appearance.
  • Humidity: Essential for the plant’s health. Consider misting or using a humidifier.
  • Potting: Ensure good drainage to prevent root rot.
  • Location: Best kept indoors with indirect light.
  • Fertilizing: Use liquid fertilizer during the growing season.
  • Pruning: Encourages new growth and maintains size.
  • Repotting: Necessary as the plant grows.
  • Pests: Regularly inspect and treat as needed.

Happy planting, and may your money tree bring you good fortune and joy!

FAQs

As a master gardener, these are the questions I get asked the most often.

Q: How often should I water a money tree?

A: A money tree may need watering once every 7-10 days, but it depends on the humidity in your home. If the top two inches of the soil are dry, it’s a good indicator that the tree needs water.

Q: How do I care for a money tree indoors?

A: Make sure your money tree is placed where it can get enough light, but not direct sun. Indoor temperature should be between 65 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit. Water it when the top two inches of soil are dry, and feed the plant monthly with a balanced houseplant fertilizer.

Q: Do I need to repot my money tree regularly?

A: Not necessarily. Money trees can typically stay in the same pot for a long time as they prefer compact spaces. However, if your tree is growing rapidly, it might need a larger pot. Make sure any new pot has proper drainage.

Q: What’s the best pot for a money tree?

A: Choose a pot with a drainage hole to prevent water logging and root rot. As a great plant for beginners, a money tree will grow in plastic, ceramic, or clay pots with no issues.

Q: Can I propagate a new money tree from cuttings?

A: Yes, you can propagate your money tree from cuttings. Make sure the cutting is around six to eight inches long and place it in water until roots develop. Then plant the cutting in soil. It’s slightly more complicated than starting a new plant from seeds, but it’s a great way to multiply your money tree.

Q: Why are some money trees braided?

A: Braiding is often done for aesthetic reasons as these braided money trees can look very eye-catching. The braiding process doesn’t harm the trees if done gently and can help to keep them small and manageable, especially indoors.

Q: How do I prune a money tree?

A: To prune a money tree, use clean, sharp scissors or secateurs and make precise cuts to remove dead or yellow leaves, or to shape the tree. Pruning will help you manage your tree’s size, especially if it’s kept indoors.

Q: How to fertilize a money tree?

A: You can feed a money tree with a balanced houseplant fertilizer once a month during the growing season (spring to autumn). Follow the instructions on the fertilizer pack, as overfeeding can damage the plant.

Q: Can a money tree survive outdoors?

A: Money trees can grow outdoors in a warm and humid climate, similar to their native habitat in Taiwan. However, anything below 50 degrees Fahrenheit can harm the tree, so it’s a good idea to bring it back indoors if the outdoor temperature drops below this.

Q: How tall will my money tree grow?

A: If given the proper care and right conditions, money trees can grow up to 8 feet tall indoors. However, you can keep it small and manageable by pruning it regularly.

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Davin is a jack-of-all-trades but has professional training and experience in various home and garden subjects. He leans on other experts when needed and edits and fact-checks all articles.