Money tree, also known as Money plant or Pachira aquatica is a perennial species originating from wetlands in Central and South America. A money tree, grown as a houseplant, usually consists of multiple trunks that have been braided together to form the special aesthetics of this exotic plant.
Commonly grown as a bonsai tree, Pachira aquatica caries Feng Shui symbolism and is said to bring prosperity and good fortune. That means: as long as the plant thrives and is healthy, good fortune shall surround its owner. So how to ensure that a money tree grows happy and healthy indoors? This is relatively simple and involves five care factors: light, water, potting soil, humidity, and nutrition.
Pachira aquatica will grow best in a location with bright indirect light indoors. The plant should be shielded from harsh sunrays, especially at midday, as the leaves might become scorched. Too little light, on the other hand, will lead to stunted growth and potential root-related problems.
Money trees prefer to grow in well-draining and well-aerated soil with a neutral pH value of around 7. For example, a good basic potting mix for these tropical plants would be equal parts coco coir and perlite (or pumice).
When it comes to humidity, money trees can survive in normal room humidity conditions but these plants will feel best in mid to high levels of about 60 to 70%. However, misting in an attempt to raise the humidity should be avoided. To increase the humidity around a plant, a humidifier or a humidity tray should be used instead.
Watering a money tree correctly is a key aspect of keeping these plants healthy. Pachira aquatica prefers humid conditions but when it comes to watering and getting their roots wet: less is more. It is important for the growing media to not be waterlogged to avoid potential rot-related issues. The best watering practice when it comes to these plants is to check the top ⅓ of the soil. If it’s dry – the plant should be watered thoroughly. How often a money tree needs to be watered will vary but this would usually amount to 1 time per week for most households.
Money trees need proper nutrients to grow continuously indoors. A slow-release balanced fertilizer can be applied at the start and in the middle of the growing seasons as a top-up dressing. Alternatively, these plants can be fertilized monthly during the growing season with a diluted strength fertilizer. Ensuring that the potting media is slightly damp before any fertilizer is applied prevents fertilizer burn.
Once a proper plant care routine has been maintained, money trees make an excellent choice as ornamental houseplants. As they grow, they will also change their visual shape and appearance, so pruning should be done regularly to maintain the desired appearance.