Money Tree Care – How to Grow a Lucky Money Tree Plant
When you think it’s time to add a little more life and green to your space, money tree plants are a unique and beautiful option. Plus, despite their meaningful appearance, they’re pretty easy to care for. Provide a money tree with the right amount of water, light, and moisture and it will thrive. Here’s what you need to know about the popular houseplant, from the symbolism behind it to the details of keeping it alive and growing.
First things first: are money trees happy?
Money trees, AKA Pachira aquatica, are considered a symbol of good luck and prosperity, but they haven’t been that long. According to Bloomscape, this does not go back centuries, as one might suspect, but rather as far as the 1980s. The braided money tree as we know it was actually first cultivated by a truck driver in Taiwan and quickly became popular in Japan and East Asia, and was also associated with the Chinese practice of Feng Shui.
The braided trunks are believed to “capture happiness in their folds,” explains Bloomscape, while the five leaves on each stem are meant to represent the five elements of earth, water, fire, wind and metal. And if you happen to come across a money tree plant with a seven-leaf stem – a great rarity – it is considered even happier.
Basic money tree plant care
According to ProFlowers, money tree plants like a mix of direct and indirect sunlight. As with most house plants, too much direct sunlight can scorch the leaves. So, in order to get the right balance with your money tree, you may want to rotate or rotate it regularly for a more even distribution of light. Just don’t move it anywhere to bother it too much. One more note? Money trees can handle fluorescent light, so you can keep one in your office as long as you care for it appropriately.
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It’s important that you maintain nutrient-rich potting soil with good drainage, according to Miracle-Gro experts. To achieve this, you should use well-drained potting soil or add some sand and gravel for additional porosity.
The best way to keep a money tree plant happy? Give it good watering every week or two and let the soil dry out in between, according to The Sill. Of course, as your plant gets more light, you need to increase its water intake so that it doesn’t dry out too much. This is a plant that needs a lot of water, but not all of the time.
Temperature and humidity:
Money tree plants do best in warmer environments, so you should keep them in a range between 65 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit. But the good news is that money trees are also pretty flexible and forgiving – they can still handle temperatures that are 10 degrees below or above this ideal range. As far as humidity goes, money trees thrive with additional moisture, so make sure you spray your plant regularly. Bloomscape recommends placing your money tree plant on a gravel bowl to increase the humidity in winter.
Braiding, pruning, and more
While money tree plants do not require braiding, most modern day pachira aquaticas you can find in the market are braided when you buy them. Braided money trees are actually several plants whose trunks have been woven together as they grew while being flexible. If you’re looking to braid your plant, try as suggested by GardeningGuides.com: carefully weave the stems together and loosely tie a string around the top to hold them together. As the tree grows, you can continue this process.
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Like most houseplants, money trees require regular pruning. First, you should look for dead, damaged, or dying leaves and cut them off. The best way to do this is to use clean, sharp scissors or secateurs (and wipe them off between cuts!) And cut them off just behind a knot. You can also prune them to a specific shape if you want – money tree plants are traditionally round on top, but you can also let your plant do its own thing and only prune problematic parts so your plant can thrive and encourage new growth. You can also prune your plant to keep it small if you want, as money tree plants can get quite tall (according to Garden.org, they can get up to 18 feet long in their natural habitat!).
Common problems with the money tree
Because money tree plants require a lot of water at once, they can be prone to root rot. Root rot, when unfamiliar, is when there is too much water in your plant, causing the roots to rot and begin to die. Make sure you don’t see any extra water in the saucer under the drain holes when watering your plant. If you do, remove it to prevent root rot. It’s best to use a pot that is not too big (the bigger the pot, the more room it has for the water) and that has great drainage, and place it on a saucer that you can easily remove and dump fills with water.
Money tree plants can also attract pests like aphids and mealybugs, but don’t worry – Epic Gardening recommends applying neem oil to the soil to repel pests and watering off aphids. All of these pests can do a lot of damage to your plant, so make sure you deal with them as soon as you see them to avoid loose, drooping, and dying leaves.
Are you considering buying a money tree plant?
Start with one of these top online picks or go to your local kindergarten.
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