Despite its name, money doesn’t grow on a money tree. The Pachira Aquatica, a native of Central and South America, gets its nickname from a legend during which a pauper prayed for money, discovered this tree, and grew wealthy from selling plants grown from its seeds. Other notable characteristics of cash trees include:
They can be grown indoors or outdoors, counting on the climate
They grow in low-light or fluorescent light conditions
Popular among principle practitioners.
Money Tree Plant Overview
COMMON NAME Money Tree, Guiana chestnut, wild kapok tree
SCIENTIFIC NAME Pachira aquatica
FAMILY NAME Malvaceae
ORIGIN Central and South America
MAX HEIGHT 150 cm as a houseplant, 18m within the wild
LIGHT Bright, but indirect sunlight
WATER Average, less in winter
FERTILIZER Half-strength liquid fertilizer
TEMPERATURE Between 65 and 75°F
SOIL Quick-draining potting mix
PROPAGATION Air layering and stem cuttings
POISONOUS FOR Cyclopropenoid fatty acids within the nuts
PESTS Mealybugs, scales, aphids, spider mites
TABLE OF CONTENTS
You can recognize the plant by its large palmate leaves, and enormous trees even have distinctive flowers which open like banana peels. The tree also has nuts, and that they grow in green, oval pods, which are divided into five chambers inside. The leaves, flowers, and nuts are all edible. However, the nuts have a presence of cyclopropenoid fatty acids in them. Recent studies argue that CPFA are harmful to animals, but these trees are cultivated for his or her nuts and eaten within the Americas for years, so there’s no sign of any harm for humans.
If you’ve got a full grown tree, you’ll usually know that it’s time for harvest when the seed pods start falling on the bottom , which indicates that they’re ripe. The seed pods open once they are ready for harvesting and may be eaten raw where they taste like peanuts; or roasted, which provides them a taste almost like chestnuts. you’ll even grind them into baking flour or use for a hot drink. If you would like to eat the young leaves or flowers, do so as you’d with a daily vegetable.
The bark produces a red dye, and would even be suitable for creating some handicrafts. The wood is usually used for ropes and in building and carpentry, while seeds are used for stuffing pillows.
Planting and Care
Because money trees are native to warm South American climates, they will only be grown outdoors in USDA zones 10-12. In other locations, they create ideal houseplants. Money trees can grow during a range of various soil types, but they are doing best in well-draining, peaty, loamy soils. If you’re planting a money tree outdoors, do so within the spring, once evening temperatures are consistently above 45 degrees Fahrenheit. Choose a spot with well-draining soil, indirect sunlight, and protection from strong winds. When planting a money tree indoors, select a well-draining container, and place it during a location where it’ll receive full sun to partial shade.
Watering and nutrients
Money trees love moisture, but standing in water will cause plant disease. From spring to autumn, water your tree once all to 2 weeks, letting the highest few inches of soil dry call at between waterings. Check if the soil is dry by dipping your finger into the highest of the soil. you’ll reduce the frequency of watering during the winter when growth typically slows. Because minerals in water can cause discoloration, water your tree with rainwater, if possible, or water. Feed your money tree once a month during the season with a water-soluble, balanced fertilizer (NPK 10-10-10)..
Outdoor money trees produce edible flowers and seeds that are almost like chestnuts in appearance and taste. The nuts grow in green, oval seed pods. Money trees aren’t self-pollinating. They believe bats, insects, and moths for pollination, so only money trees are grown outdoors or found within the wild will produce flowers and seeds. If you’re growing a money tree indoors, don’t expect to ascertain any flowers or seeds. Even without flowering, the cash tree still has much beauty.
Money trees are meant to possess a good , balanced shape, so you mainly got to prune your plant whenever there are branches or leaves extending from the highest or sides of the tree. you ought to also prune away any dead or damaged leaves and branches, and trim the tree when it grows too wide or tall for its pot. the simplest time to prune a money tree is within the spring. For best results, use sharp, clean shear , and cut slightly below the leaf axil. Money trees resprout quickly after pruning, so don’t worry if you narrow off an excessive amount of .
Pests and diseases
The most common diseases that affect indoor money trees are fungal diseases like mildew and anthracnose leaf spot, also as plant disease. to stop these diseases, keep the tree’s container freed from debris, keep its foliage dry, and water the plant thoroughly but infrequently. Prune away infected areas. Spider mites and scale insects affect money plants. If an infestation occurs, you’ll treat your plant by washing it thoroughly with insecticidal soap, or a mix of water, soap, and alcohol.
Indoor money trees don’t produce flowers and seeds, but if you’ve got an outside money tree, it’s safe to reap and eat the nut-like seeds the tree produces. When seed pods start falling on the bottom , they’re ripe and prepared for harvest. you’ll eat the seeds raw—in this case, they’re going to taste like peanuts. Roasting seeds from a money tree will give them a flavor almost like chestnuts. you’ll also grind the seeds into a baking flour as an alternate to flour .
This plant needs a temperature above 60 ° F, and you’ll keep it both inside or outside if the temperature meets this requirement. USDA planting zones 10 and 11 have an appropriate climate to grow this tree outside. Otherwise, you ought to grow it as a houseplant. In both cases, keep your plant out of drafty areas. A lower temperature is required within the winter because the plant is hibernating.
The Money tree plant can endure direct sunlight, but an excessive amount of will burn its leaves. So it might be best to place it in half-shade or indirect sunlight most of the time. you’ll also keep it within the direct sun during summer but introduce it gradually. Otherwise, the leaves could get burned. Since it grows towards the sunshine , you ought to turn the plant occasionally to avoid asymmetric growth.
This plant also loves fluorescent light and may be a common choice for an office plant. Once you place it, avoid frequent relocating because the plant might drop its leaves as a result.
Good drainage and highly nutritious substrate are necessary for this plant; the simplest choice would be peat moss-based soil. Regular cactus or flower soil also will work. you’ll add some sand or gravel to assure it drains well. Some popular potting soil on the market has all of those and be used directly together with your money tree plant. Also, use a container with drainage holes. Soggy soil is that the commonest reason this plant dies, so don’t overpot. Keeping the plant during a smaller pot also will keep it from overgrowing. you’ll keep your Money tree plant in hydroculture if you favor that.
Although this plant will grow in lower humidity, it thrives in high humidity, meaning 50% and better . If the air in your home is dry, especially within the winter, increase the humidity by placing some gravel and water within the saucer. you’ll also frequently mist the leaves to realize this.
The most common technique to breed the cash tree plant is thru stem cuttings. the simplest time to try to to this is often within the summer. Make 10-15 cm long cuts and place them in water or soil immediately. If you select to put it within the water first, until the roots develop, confirm it’s a minimum of 2 cm deep. Place the water during a warm and sunny spot.
After the roots grew enough, dip the ends during a rooting hormone powder if you would like , and place it within the soil. take care during this process because young roots are very sensitive. you’ll also place it directly within the soil right after the cut, but water usually gives quicker results.
Breeding by seeds is a smaller amount common but is easier than cuttings. Start by soaking the seeds in water for twenty-four hours. Prepare a plant-based substrate during a container and place seeds evenly within the soil. Cover the seeds with about 1 cm of soil, water them, and place them during a bright and warm location. Water evenly for the entire germination process, and place them in individual pots when the seedlings grow large enough.
Repot the plant once you pip out because it’s commonly sold in too small of pots. Bear in mind, though, that tiny pots are the sole thing stopping this plant from growing into a full tree. Afterward, repot only its roots have outgrown the containers. This happens every few years, and it’ll keep the soil fresh and can boost the drainage. you’ll use a bigger pot when doing this if you would like your plant to grow further. Don’t go overboard with this, though, because overlarge of pots will retain water. the simplest time to repot your plant is within the spring.
When you repot, filter out any dry or dead roots, but confirm you don’t shake the roots an excessive amount of . The plant might drop some leaves, but that’s normal and will not worry you.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why are money trees’ trunks braided?
Often, money trees you buy from stores or nurseries have their trunks braided. this is often not a present phenomenon. Rather, the braided trunks are done by hand, as a part of the cash tree legend, to “lock in” the great fortune that the tree will grant its owner. Braided money trees are literally multiple plants braided together when their stalks are still young and pliable. The tree will still grow this manner throughout its life.
Are money trees poisonous?
As previously mentioned, outdoor money trees produce nut-like seeds that are safe for humans to consume. These plants aren’t toxic to common household pets like dogs and cats. That being said, the ASPCA still warns pet owners to not let their cats and dogs chew on the leaves, as they will cause stomach irritation.
Why are the leaves of my money tree shriveling and falling off?
Shriveling leaves on a money tree usually indicate that the plant is receiving an excessive amount of light. These plants prefer indirect or maybe fluorescent lighting. If your plant’s leaves are shriveling or losing their color, try moving it to a shadier location. If your money tree is losing healthy green leaves, this might be a result of overwatering, while brown or yellow leaves indicate underwatering. Adjust your watering frequency and amount as required to rectify these issues.
How often do you have to report a money tree?
It’s an honest idea to repot a money tree once you pip out because they’re commonly sold in pots that are too small. then, you ought to report your money tree every few years, within the spring, to market healthy growth and keep the soil fresh. Choose a container that’s slightly larger than your current pot, but not overlarge, as this may retain water. Be gentle when repotting your plant, as money trees are often sensitive to disturbances.
Common Problems and Pests
This plant rarely has any issues with diseases and pests, but in some cases, the following problems could occur:
This can develop in low humidity or due to the wrong amount of fertilizer. Increase the humidity if it seems necessary and also place the plant in a permanent location.
Spots in leaves are usually caused by potassium deficiency. You can cure this issue with a special fertilizer. They could also happen because of overwatering, so adjust your watering habits and remove any dead leaves to stop the spreading of the disease.
<h4>Root rot and mold on the substrate
These are a common result of overwatering, so if you notice these, repot the plant in fresh and well-draining soil immediately. Cut off any dead roots in the process.
Apids are a common problem if you keep your plant outside in the summer. If the infestation has just begun, you will probably be able to get rid of it by showering the plant. If this doesn’t work, try using neem oil.
When you see spider mites on your plants, this usually indicates that you should raise the humidity. You will see a white webbing on the stems or undersides of the leaves. Wash your plant when you notice this, and increase the humidity.
They usually come in the winter and can be spotted as tiny brown bumps or by a sticky film on the leaves. You should combat scales by regularly coating your plant with a mix of water, soap, and alcohol.
Money Tree Plant Species
The Money tree belongs to the Bombacoideae, a subfamily of the Malvaceae family. Approximately 70 species have been discovered. They come in a shape of a small or large tree and usually have seed capsules containing many seeds.