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Money Tree Plant (Pachira or Guiana Chestnut)

The Pachira tree, known more commonly as the money tree plant or Guiana Chestnut, grows naturally in tropical swamps and wetlands, reaching heights of almost 60 feet when grown outdoors. When grown indoors, the pot should be rotated frequently (preferably when watering) for the foliage to grow evenly.

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Sunlight

It is a durable plant and adapts to different growing conditions, usually preferring bright, indirect light as direct sunlight causes leaf burn.

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Water

Watering should be done once weekly. Water deeply in a well-drained pot and let water flow out from the drainage holes. It is not recommended to use pots with water reservoirs, as this is a plant that doesn’t like to be water-logged.

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Humidity

It prefers lots of humidity, with daily misting. High humidity levels should be maintained all the time, particularly in winter so it is recommended to invest in a humidifier to the levels constant.

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Temperature

While it can withstand temperatures as low as 40°F without adverse effects, it is better not to let the temperature drop below 60°F. Leaves may drop off if it gets too cold, sprouting back when spring returns. Overall, money tree plants thrive in temperatures is between 65°F and 85°F.

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Soil

It is recommended to fertilize the plant once monthly in summer with a dissolvable fertilizer at half the usual dose. It doesn’t require feeding in winter as growth slows down.

The plant can thrive in well-draining regular potting soil mixtures as well as being grown in water.

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Repotting

This is usually recommended to be done in spring once in 2 or 3 years. Make sure to choose pots with large drainage holes and line the bottom with rocks or gravel before adding soil. Roots can be trimmed if necessary but don’t not too drastically. 

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Propagation

While seeds can be used to propagate money tree plants, this is more difficult to accomplish if the seeds come from a houseplant. 

Money tree plants can be easily propagated from cuttings. Take a cutting with 4–5 nodes, leaving 2-3 leaves at the tip. Dust some rooting hormone on the cut end and plant it in a small-sized pot filled with sand. Water regularly as root formation will take a few weeks to set. Wait a few months to transfer the new plant into a bigger, well-drained pot.

Another technique is to grow it in a water-filled glass container until roots start to appear. It can then be transplanted into soil.

Money tree plants can be pruned in spring if it grows too big for the pots or the plant becomes overgrown. When pruning, cut off stems at a 45° angle close to a leaf node. Avoid cutting off more than half of a stem and remove dead leaves and branches. This will help promote new growth and keep the plant healthy. 

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Additional Care

Avoid moving the pot to different areas to prevent leaf drops. However, there’s no need to worry as the plant will adapt and adjust.

Common Problems

Pests

Money tree plants can be attacked by pests like mealybugs and aphids. These are more of a nuisance rather than harmful, provided you deal with them as soon as possible. Horticultural or insecticidal soaps spray treatment is the best non-toxic answer for dealing with these pests. 

You can make your own insecticidal spray by combining 8oz (240ml) of any vegetable oil with ½oz (15 ml) of dishwashing liquid – make sure it doesn’t contain bleach. This can be stored in a small bottle and set aside to be used several times.  

Combine two teaspoons (10ml) of this liquid with 8oz (240ml) of warm water in your spray bottle and spray the affected areas.

Avoid spraying your plants if the temperature rises above 90°F as it might adversely affect the plant. 

Root Rot

This is a common problem that afflicts money tree plants, particularly if they are overwatered. This can be remedied by carefully taking out the plant from the pot and thoroughly rinsing off all the soil. Repot in a new pot with big drainage holes using a well-draining potting mix, first lining the pot with rocks or large stones. Follow the recommended watering schedule carefully to prevent this from recurring.

How much sun does a money tree need?

Money tree plants are durable and can adapt to different growing conditions, usually preferring bright, indirect light as direct sunlight can cause leaf burn.

How often do you water a money tree?

It’s best to water once a week, allowing the soil to become dry before watering again. 

Where should a money tree be placed?

Since money tree plants are closely associated with Feng Shui principles, the placement inside your house can affect their capability to attract “good luck”. Keeping this in mind, the money tree also has to be in the best location for it to thrive. 

Locations determined by Feng Shui principles to “lucky” are:

  • The South-East part of the home or office is the “money” area. The plant placed here is supposed to bring prosperity.  
  • The East area of your home is known as the “health” area. Placing the plant here can bring wealth and health. 

Feng Shui principles aside, a healthy money tree plant needs plenty of indirect sunlight and shouldn’t be exposed to drafts from vents or frequently opened doors as this will cause leaf loss. 

Is it bad luck to buy your own money tree?

Not really. Buying your own money tree isn’t bad luck or unlucky. You are buying it to bring you luck and prosperity, although it is considered to be fortuitous if someone gives it to you. Similarly, no one usually hands you money for free – you have to work to earn it unless you get lucky at the casino or get rich from an inheritance from a rich relative!

Plant Mom Care
Plant Mom Care
Money Tree Plant (Pachira or Guiana Chestnut)
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