The money tree plant – Pachira aquatica – is a popular novelty plant.
Many people find easy to grow indoors in indirect light.
A member of the Bombax family, it originates from South America, where it can reach heights of over 50 feet. But indoors, it is much smaller and its shiny bright 5-spoke like green leaves make it an attractive potted specimen.
Water and fertilizer
Water the plant thoroughly, making sure the entire ball of soil has been saturated.
But, make sure the plant does not sit in water and allow the soil to dry out between watering cycles. During winter months, growth will slow down, so reduce watering during this time.
Fertilize during the growing season (spring & summer) at half-strength using a balanced liquid fertilizer.
Nurseries often produce a braided money tree, allowing the plant to appear more “bonsai-like” having twisted, gnarly trunks.
This bonsai look can be enhanced by growing the Pachira in a small bonsai pot.
Regular pruning and pinching along with the small pot will help keep the plant from growing to big.
One problem some experience with the Money Tree comes from over potting. When the plant is over potted the soil will stay wet, leaves yellow and drop off, stems and roots rot.
Use a soil which is well drained with lots of sand, similar to a cactus soil mix.
Indoors during the winter the money tree will slow down its growth. Even though growth slows, keep the plant in bright light and warm temperatures all year.
However, reduce watering and eliminate fertilizing throughout the winter months.
Money Tree Pest and Problems
Just like the Ficus benjamina and most other house plants, the plant will “shock” some as it goes through the acclimation process, adjusting to it new home.
Don’t the the relocation shock worry you… expect some leaves dropping. Do not assume when the plant is shedding leaves it needs more water. Over-watering creates more problems.
When plants are exposed to long periods of dry air and low light, expect crispy, brown leaves to show up.
Money tree plants like a consistant, steady environment, so keep plants away from cold drafts and heat from air conditioning vents.,
Indoors plants may also be attacked by red spider mites (especially during dry winter months) and mealy bug. Try neem oil pesticide or even an insecticidal soap.
Why Called The Money Tree?
There are many theories of just how Pachira aquatica got its common name the – money tree plant.
Most trace its origin back to the fundamental elements of Feng Shui: Metal, Wood, Water, Fire, Earth.
Since each leaf has 5 points for each of the Feng Shui elements.
Nurseries got even further by braiding 5 “trees” (keeping with the Feng Shui elements)
Whatever the reason the plant earned its name, it brings green color to many a plant-less home.