Diving Into the Roots of the Legendary Money Tree Bonsai



The Money Tree, often recognized by its intricate braided design, is more than just an ornamental plant. This exotic bonsai, also known as the Guiana Chestnut or Malabar Chestnut (Pachira aquatica), is deeply rooted in tales of prosperity, luck, and ancient traditions.

But what’s the story  behind this fascinating tree? How did it journey from the wetlands of Central America to become a cherished symbol in East Asian cultures? And can this tropical beauty truly be classified as a bonsai?

Origin of the Money Tree

Money Tree is a wide-crowned, 30 to 60-foot tree that grows in freshwater wetlands and rainforests in Mexico, Central America, and northern South America. 

Money Tree in Feng Shui

Five is an auspicious  number in feng shui because  it represents the five elements – metal, wind, fire, water, and earth. Money Trees typically have five leaflets in each leaf, and five trunks are often braided together, harnessing the power of the elements and creating an atmosphere of good fortune, prosperity, and wealth.

Is Money Tree a Bonsai?

Money Trees are not the typical stylized bonsai trees from temperate or alpine areas since they’re tropical with braided trunks and leaves on top. But tropical trees can also be bonsais, although they’re less common.

Training Your Money Tree as a Bonsai

Your Money Tree will probably come to you with braided trunks at a 10- to 18-inch height. To keep it at that size, you will need to do two kinds of pruning – yearly pruning of the branches, leaf buds, and roots to keep it small, and maintenance pruning any time of brown or dead leaves or branches.

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