The money plant. A well-known traditional symbol, of good luck and good fortune, commonly used in the art of Feng Shui. It’s origin dates back many centuries and interestingly, money trees are often braided together, using more than one tree. This is said to be done for added luck.
It is first helpful to know that there are two types of ‘money plants’. The Jade – commonly known as the Money Plant and the other, Pachira Aquatica – commonly known as the Money Tree.
The Jade is typically grown indoors, in colder climates, and borrows itself from the bonsai in the way it grows like a miniature tree. It is also a succulent that retains water well within its leaves, just like cactus plants. The leaves are a thick oval shape, with shiny dark green and possibly red colored outer edge’s. These plants can produce white/pink flowers in the right conditions, once they have reached matured.
Pachira Aquatica. Pachira Aquatica is a tropical evergreen tree. Actually known for its beautiful large, coconut-like fruit and glossy shine to its leaves. The fruits that it bares are green oval pods. The seeds are within the fruits, which swell until the green oval pods burst. Money trees are more commonly grown as a small houseplant. Pachira Aquatica trees can grow up to 60 feet, when grown in their native habitats. A native of many Countries such as Africa, Asia, Mexico, North and South America.
It is no trouble at all, to grow money plant seeds. Both just need soil, a little humidity and some light. This can be achieved by using a small container with sufficient ventilation, for humidity and turn on plant growing lights for a few hours a day, as a heat and light source. In just a few days the seed should emerge from the soil. A money plant is born, mark the date!
Best Time of Year to Plant
- When temperatures remain close to or above 45 degrees
- Optimal growing temperatures between 65 and 75 degrees
- Safe to plant outside
- Plant and keep indoors for cooler climates
- Best to grow from seed but may also be grown from cuttings (will take much longer to grow roots) note that some cutting will not produce roots at all
Caring for Money Plants & Trees
- Humidity is preferred – consider small indoor greenhouse, conservatory, bathroom
- Indirect sunlight – If leaves turn yellow, move to a slightly brighter place.
- Re pot as roots outgrow pot, take care when re potting and expect a few leaves to fall off
- Take care not to over water, allow top soil to dry out between each feed
- Water 1-2 times per week during warmer months and a little less during colder months
- Expect slow to moderate growth in the early years. When the plant or tree reaches maturity no matter growth will speed up somewhat.
- Aphids and Mealybugs can be a nuisance for plants. Make sure you deal with them promptly if infestation is evident
- Turn your money plant around periodically to help even growth
- Fertilise at least once a year with a diluted liquid fertilizer or organic feed
The Money Tree Story…
Legend has it that a poor Taiwanese farmer found a small Pachira plant growing in his field one day. He was struck by its beauty and, realizing that he might be able to use the tree to escape poverty. He grew and sold the plants that were growing in his field. He soon became one of the wealthiest people in Taiwan and his wealth was attributed to the Pachira, from then on, it was called The Money Tree. Although, it is also said that the name money plant and tree comes from the shape of its leaves, resembling the shape of a coin.
Either way there is something magical about money plants. These no fuss low maintenance plants and trees are a great addition to any garden or indoor space and a perfect choice for beginners to start with.
Trying to grow large volumes of plants? For a guide on space-saving ideas click here