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Money Tree 101: Care Tips & How To Place The Plant For Prosperity

One of the most popular plants to keep around—whether for some pretty greenery or good ol’ luck—is the money tree, or Pachira Aquatica.

This tropical tree (not to be confused with the Chinese money plant, or Pilea Peperomioides) is similar to a marijuana plant in shape, but it features a braided stem trunk (that can grow up to 60 feet tall in its natural environment!). Below, three money tree experts share their knowledge on how to care for this unique, symbolic beauty.


First things first: Why is it called a money tree?


As the story goes, according to Christan Summers, co-founder of Tula House, “The pachira aquatica [money tree] received its nickname from an ancient Chinese story when a poor farmer prayed for wealth and fortune. Shortly after making this prayer, he came across a strange plant growing in his field. The farmer was quickly taken by the plant’s beautiful leaves and elegant stalk, so he took it home and began to grow it so others could enjoy it. From there, he began to sell the seeds of the plant and quickly became a wealthy and prosperous man.”

Summers tells mbg that since the story has been told, “the money tree is often gifted to people when they open a new business or move into a new home. It is seen as a symbol of hope, prosperity, and good fortune.”

Where to place money trees in the home.

According to the Chinese practice of feng shui, one area of your home is projected to be the area of money and wealth. In Western practices, the “wealth corner” is located in the upper lefthand area of your space.

“You will often see money trees placed at the threshold of someone’s home or in a shop window front,” Summers tells mbg. “These are great places for the plant if the growing conditions are right.” That last part is key: Don’t place your tree in a wealth corner that’s dark and drafty and expect it to thrive. It needs to live in an area that gets adequate lighting.


Money tree sunlight needs.

Summers notes that a general rule of thumb is to keep your money tree in a spot that gets a few hours of direct sunlight mixed with indirect and diffused light. Once temperatures outside begin to drop, you can adjust the proximity of your money tree to the window.

Bessma Khalaf, the owner of Kokedama-based plant shop Of Soil & Moss, adds that a south-facing window is great for giving money trees the right mix of shade and sun. However, she says not to place your tree directly up against the window. You should also make sure it isn’t too close to any vents, as intense heat can dry the plant out.

With proper light, money trees can grow up to 8 feet tall in indoor environments.

Money tree watering needs.

The money tree is its best self when it’s left to dry out in between waterings. “You’ll know by putting fingers into the soil. If it’s wet, leave it alone, Puneet Sabharwal, the CEO of plant subscription service horti, tells mbg. “If it’s dry, it’s probably a good time to water.”

This is a tropical plant that enjoys humidity and is used to passing rain showers in its native environment. This means that it can handle a really thorough watering—so consider lugging it to the sink or even the shower for a good drink if you can. Be sure to water down those leaves too! Sabharwal recommends placing your money tree in a pot with drainage holes, which will give any excess water a way to escape.

Signs that your money tree isn’t getting enough water include brown and crispy leaves.

Money Tree

Money Tree plant grown with multiple stems for a hardy trunk. Fast growing and great for low light areas.

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Species: Pachira Aquatica

Other Species Names: Malabar Chestnut, Saba Nut

Plant Height: 36-48 in .

Plant Form: Houseplant

Minimum Sunlight: Shade

Maximum Sunlight: Part Shade

Pachira Money Tree has green slim stems topped with leaves that resemble palms of your hand. Trunks normally braided together for a unique appearance.

Pachira Money Tree make excellent houseplants. Easy to care for and fast growing with the correct amount of care. A great addition to your home for tropical feel.

Pachira Money Tree should be planted in quality potting soil that provides excellent drainage. Allow them to dry out between waterings. Fertilize plants every two weeks during the growing season. Will require repotting every 2 years with liquid fertilizer.

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