The plant of the money tree inspires visions of infinite wealth. But we all know that money does not grow on trees… right?
Let me introduce you to the Pachira. Also called Malabar Chestnut or saba nut, among other names, it is often called Money Tree.
Believed to bring good luck, multi-trunk money trees are often carefully braided when they are young. These braided bases can look awesome in an interior setting.
The Pachira is important for those who practice feng shui. The number five is important for practitioners because it represents the elements. The money tree often produces five leaves per stem, and it is beautiful. Therefore, it is loved among other indoor plants.
But there is a lot to know about the money tree, a member of the purple family! Let’s immediately touch on everything you need to know about money trees and how to care for them.
History of the Money Tree Factory
It is said that a poor peasant once asked for help. Soon after, he discovered a new plant growing in his fields. After bringing one into his house, he began to experience a change in fortune.
Whether this old story is true or not, it is true that the money tree is supposed to bring good luck and positive energy. With a native habitat in the wetlands of Central and South America, the money tree began to gain popularity in the 1980s.
That’s when a truck driver in Taiwan braids his suitcases for the first time. His claim is that these braided money trees would “lock” or bring good luck and happiness.
Braiding the trunks can be a bit complex. This should be done when the trees are young and pliable. Once some of the trunks are braided, they will continue to grow in this way.
Although from time to time a lost branch needs to be re-trained, it is good for more than just braiding. Bonsai trees are also very popular.
As I have already said, feng shui practitioners use money tree plants. When properly placed, money trees are believed to create a “chi” or positive energy. For this reason, they have become popular plants in the workplace.
Japanese owners of money trees often decorate their plants with ornaments and ribbons. Red is the dominant color used, which looks striking against the dark green leaves.
Planting the Money Tree Plant
It doesn’t cost much to start money tree, especially if there is a source of braided money trees near you. A little soil, a little moisture and a constant warm temperature will make them move forward. But here are some points to keep in mind when planting pachira!
When to plant
If you are in USDA zones 10-12, you can plant a money tree outside as soon as the temperature stays above 45 degrees at night. The money tree plant prefers temperatures from 65 to 75 degrees and is cold-resistant up to about 45.
People who are not in zones 10-11 (and parts of 9) want to keep their money tree plants indoors all year round. If so, you can start at any time. Do not forget that the active growing season of the money tree plant is from spring to summer.
Where to plant
Indoor growers should find a slightly humid place with indirect sunlight. This is just about perfect for the money tree plant to thrive.
Outdoor growers looking for a full-fledged tree should imitate wetlands. Your plant prefers swampy areas next to streams or rivers. If you cannot provide a stream or river, select an area that receives a lot of water, but sometimes dries up. Sun and shade mixed are the best.
How to plant
I will dwell on this in more detail in the propagation segment, but the money tree can be grown from seeds or cuttings.
If you are planting a money tree seed, plant it about 1/4″ deep in moist soil. Make sure that the pale “eye” on the seed is directed sideways.
Planting directly into the ground? Start by adjusting your soil to the right mix. Once your soil is prepared, you can plant it at the same height as on its pot.
Light and temperature
Shaded areas or windows with indirect light make this plant happy. If the leaves begin to turn yellow, find a sunnier place. Although it can tolerate a little full sun, too much of it will burn the leaves.
When growing indoors, pay close attention to the health of your money tree. If necessary, change the location throughout the year. Be sure to give it a 45-degree turn from time to time so that all the leaves have access to at least indirect light.
Outdoor money tree growers will find that when their tree reaches its full height, it can tolerate more sun. A little shade during the hottest part of the day would be nice. Some leaves may burn on the top of the tree in direct sunlight, but the lower leaves will be partially protected.
Water and humidity
Watering the money tree requires a little finesse. The plant loves a lot of water, but can also suffer from problems with excessive watering and ailments such as root rot.
In its original habitat of Central and South America, it grows in areas that receive large amounts of water, but then dry out. It is better to simulate it. Water a lot at a time, then let the soil dry out.
In most indoor environments, you will water your money tree abundantly about three times a month. If it is a dry environment, it can be weekly. As long as the soil moisture is constant, this calendar will be fine.
Outdoors, it is easier to check the soil around the base of the plant. When it is three centimeters dry, it’s time to water abundantly again.
Clay soils tend to become supersaturated and muddy. If your soil is clayey, it is better to adjust it with a lot of organic matter or peat. The addition of perlite will also help drainage, as well as adequate drainage holes in trees planted in containers. Potted trees need a well-draining potting soil.
An ideal soil mixture for your money tree is peat and loamy soil. It can also contain sand without any problems. Although they can tolerate flooding in nature for a short time, they should drain quickly.
In the spring, it is better to opt for a nitrogen-rich fertilizer. A 12-6-6 will provide enough fertilizer for the spring growth of the plant.
As soon as summer begins, you can switch to a balanced fertilizer such as a 10-10-10. As autumn approaches, reduce the amount of nitrogen and drop it to about 3-10-10. This stimulates healthy root systems, and potassium also helps with flowering.
Since you don’t want to water your plant too much, it’s best to adjust one of your scheduled waterings. Give the plant about half the water you would normally give, then fertilize.
Choosing slow-release granular fertilizers? If so, water as you normally would, but make sure you have introduced the fertilizer to the soil surface first.
Size and formation
Full-sized outdoor plants should be pruned to remove dead stems. Apart from that, the only necessary pruning is to control its size. You can cut off some of the oldest and tallest stems in the fall if necessary to control pruning.
Indoor plants rarely need pruning because there are so many braids. But the braids themselves can be a little complex. You need a very young plant with at least three flexible stems to braid together.
Carefully braid them together. Avoid forcing the plant to braid or damaging the stems. If it does not braid all together in one day, use twine to put the plant in place until it relaxes into this shape. Then you can braid it further on the stems.
You can also use wire to form your plant into a bonsai shape. Bonsai can be quite complex, but over time you can train it to grow in miniature format. The threads stabilize and direct the growth of the plant according to a certain scheme.
Anthracnose is a possible ailment of pachira aquatica. Whether it is leaf spots, after blight or other problems, it weakens your plant.
Prevention of anthracnose can be done in a few steps. Keep the leaves of your plant dry when watering. Remove ailmentd leaves or leaves that show signs of brown and fragmentary spots. And, if necessary, use a copper fungicide to clean anthracnose.