Money Tree Plant (Pachira Aquatica)

by | Mar 23, 2022

Money Tree Plant in pot

Money Tree Plant 101: How to Grow & Take Care of a Money Tree Plant

As you grow your houseplant collection, it can be challenging to keep track of each plant you own and what specific care they require.

That’s why we’ve created this helpful guide to teach you all about your money tree plant and how to best care for it. Read on to find out more about this remarkable plant.

Plant Information

The money tree plant (Pachira aquatica), also sometimes called the Guiana chestnut, is a tropical plant native to regions from Mexico to the northern parts of South America. 

In its natural environment, the money tree plant grows in tropical rainforests by freshwater swamps, rivers, and estuaries. When grown outdoors, it can reach heights of nearly 60 feet. 

When grown as a houseplant, however, it typically averages a size of between six and eight feet and is beloved for its beautiful braided trunk and bushy foliage. 

Money tree plants make excellent beginner houseplants because of their low-maintenance care requirements and year-round appeal. 

Pachira Aquatica also known as the money tree plant

Money Tree Plant Growing and Care Tips

The biggest mistake that money tree plant owners make is not giving their plants enough water and humidity. 

Although it is low-maintenance, the money tree is a tropical plant and thrives in regions with high humidity levels. 

The following section will give you more information on how to best care for your money tree plant to keep it healthy and happy. 

Soil

Your money tree plant will need well-draining soil that allows frequent waterings without leaving your plant susceptible to root rot. 

A peat-moss-based soil is ideal, complete with vermiculite or rocks and sand to create an airy, free-draining environment. With that in mind, using a planter with drainage holes is necessary. 

If you’re not sure whether or not you have the right soil mixture, feel free to plant your money tree using pre-mixed soil designed for cacti or succulents. 

Water

Given the correct soil type, it is difficult to overwater your money tree plant. In their native habitats, they typically experience periods of flooding or heavy rain followed by brief drought. 

Thus, when grown as a houseplant, it’s best to mimic this watering pattern and water your money tree plant deeply, allowing the soil to dry out almost entirely before watering again. 

However, you don’t want to let the plant’s root system dry out, as this can potentially damage your money tree. If you notice leaves drop, the soil is likely too dry, and your plant will need to be watered.

Consider placing a pebble tray under your money tree planter to aid drainage and humidity. 

Light

Money tree plants flourish when they get ample amounts of natural light. Your money tree will thrive if placed in bright, indirect light

In too direct of light, you may notice the leaves of your money tree browning or crisping in response to the harsh sun. However, if it’s not given enough light, its health may steadily wane.

Because it’s a relatively fast grower, try to regularly rotate your money tree during the growing seasons to encourage even growth on all sides. 

money tree plant 4 feet tall

Fertilizer

For optimum growth, fertilize your money tree plant roughly once a month from spring to fall when it is actively growing. You can use an all-purpose, water-soluble fertilizer diluted to half its typical strength for optimal results. 

When your plant’s growth rate slows in the colder months, scale back fertilizing to every other month. 

Humidity

Your money tree plant may require higher humidity levels than some of your other houseplants. The easiest way to achieve this is by using a pebble tray or running a humidifier. Your money tree will also thrive in a bathroom with bright, natural light.

If you keep your money tree plant elsewhere in your home, just make sure to place it far enough from vents to keep cold or hot air from drying it out and regularly mist its leaves.  

Temperature

Being native to tropical regions of Central and South America, money tree plants do better in warmer temperatures. Therefore, keep indoor temperatures between 65°F and 85°F (18°C and 29°C) for optimal health.

Repotting Your Money Tree Plant

Money trees tend to grow to the constraints of the container they’re grown in. If planted in small containers, they can be kept as bonsai trees and will only need to be repotted if you want them to continue growing in size. 

If you want to repot your money tree, choose a larger container and repot it using the appropriate soil type and a pot with drainage holes.

Be aware that money trees are susceptible to shock and resistant to change, especially when they’re more mature. With that in mind, monitor your money tree to ensure it doesn’t have an adverse reaction to repotting.

How to Propagate a Money Tree Plant

The easiest way to propagate your money tree is in water or soil. First, cut a stem of your money tree plant with at least two leaves. 

Propagating in Water

To propagate your money tree plant in water, place the cutting in a clean container with fresh water; change the water as needed to maintain freshness. 

After a few weeks, when the cutting begins to root, remove it from the water, apply a rooting hormone, and plant it in potting soil. 

Propagating in Soil

To propagate your money tree plant in soil, skip the water phase. Instead, immediately apply rooting hormone to your cutting, and then plant it directly into the soil. 

For best results, propagate in the spring or summer. You can also propagate your money tree plant using the air layering method.

Money Tree Plant Frequently Asked Questions

Here are a few frequently asked questions about the money tree plant.

Can money tree plants grow in low light?

Money Tree Plant in pot

Money trees may be able to survive in low-light environments, but they will not thrive. 
Money trees need bright, indirect light to grow, and you may see a decline in health if you leave your money tree in an area without access to bright light. 

Are money tree plants toxic to cats and dogs?

Money Tree Plant Full Grown

Pet lovers will be thrilled to know that the money tree plant is non-toxic to cats and dogs
If ingested, it may cause diarrhea, vomiting, or upset stomach, but symptoms should subside, and the plant is not fatal.

How long will my money tree plant live?

Pachira Aquatica

If properly cared for, your money tree may live between 50-150 years

Shelbi Clifford

Shelbi Clifford

Hi, I'm Shelbi! I am the founder of Houseplant Advisor - a blog for all things houseplants. Whether you are looking to add some green to your home or want to learn about how plants can help improve air quality in your space, Houseplant Advisor is here with the answers. Do you have any questions? Feel free to reach out and ask me anything!

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