Money Tree Care: How to Grow a Lucky Money Tree Plant

Get good luck and beautify your home at the same time.

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Money Tree Care: How to Grow a Lucky Money Tree Plant

One of the easiest houseplants to care for, a money tree is ideal for new plant parents and greenery veterans who want a break from fussy routines. Money tree care is simple: Similar to the snake plant and philodendron, a money tree will forgive you if you forget to water them every once in a while. It's adaptable to various sun conditions and is even low-light friendly. Plus, with its corner-filling greenery, this large houseplant will repay your efforts since it's so tall, glossy, and handsome. Native to Central and South America, money trees can grow to more than 60 feet tall in their natural habitat. You won't have to prune your indoor money tree to contain it, but it can still reach an impressive six feet tall.

Money trees might pack you back in yet another way: They're rumored to bring prosperity, abundance, and good fortune into your life (hence the name), so a money tree is a great plant to gift a grad or friend starting a new life chapter. It's also always a great idea to buy yourself one to manifest good things in your home. Ahead, we're outlining the money tree care guidelines and tips you need to know to keep your money tree happy and healthy.

Money trees, also known as Pachira aquatica, are considered a symbol of luck and prosperity—but they haven't had that meaning for all that long. According to Bloomscape, this doesn't date back centuries, as you might expect, but rather to the 1980s. The braided money tree as we know it was actually first cultivated by a truck driver in Taiwan and quickly became popular in Asia among feng shui practitioners.

Money tree care is easy if you know the basics and stick to them. Learn how to keep your money tree plant growing, without shedding leaves or turning brown.

Money trees like bright, indirect light, which means you should place yours near a sunny window that faces east, west, or south. Just be careful about giving it direct sunlight, which can scorch its leaves, especially during the hottest months of the year. That's because the small money trees we grow indoors are juvenile plants; in nature, they'd be shaded from direct sun by taller trees in the forest.

Money trees will start to reach toward the sun, so turn your plant periodically to make sure it grows evenly.

Even though money trees grow in wetlands, they don't like to remain soaking wet. Water your money tree until water runs out of the bottom of the pot every one to two weeks, allowing the soil to mostly dry out between waterings. You may find that you need to water it more or less often depending on the conditions inside your home. The best way to tell if a money tree needs water is to poke your finger into the soil. If it still feels wet, wait a few more days and check again before you give it a drink. Also, dump the saucer underneath your plant when it's finished draining each time you water it.

Money tree plants are tropical, so they do best in warm environments between 65 and 85 degrees. To increase the humidity to around 50 percent, where money plants like it, you can run a humidifier or group other houseplants near your money tree plant; they'll transpire (release water vapors) and be mutually beneficial to each other. Misting actually isn't an effective way to boost humidity, no matter how many times you've heard or read that suggestion.

While money tree plants don't have to be braided, most of the modern money trees are braided when you buy them to give them a more substantial trunk. Braided money trees are actually multiple plants that have had their trunks woven together during growth while they're flexible. If you'd like to braid your plant, weave the trunks together gently and loosely tie a string around the top to keep it together. As the tree grows, continue this process.

Money tree plants are traditionally round on top, but you can also let your plant do its own thing and just prune problematic parts to keep your plant thriving and encourage new growth. You can also prune your plant to keep it small if you'd like. Regular pruning of the lower leaves also helps to encourage new growth at the top of the plant.

The easiest time to propagate your money tree is during the spring or summer months when the plant is actively growing. Here's how to properly cut trimmings in order to propagate:

Money tree plants are prone to bugs such as aphids and scales, but applying neem oil usually takes care of any pests. All of these pests can cause major damage to your plant, so make sure you deal with them as soon as you see them to avoid loose, drooping, and dying leaves.

Typically yellowing or browning leaves indicate that you are either overwatering or underwatering your money tree. One way to tell the difference is to see if the leaves are both discolored and curling, which indicates underwatering. Look to the trunk to see signs of overwatering.

If the stems or trunk is becoming too soft and heading towards mushy, you are overwatering the plant. Place in brighter sun and give your plant a break from your regular watering schedule.

If you notice there's no new leaf growth and the plant looks too leggy, it may mean you are not giving it enough light. A new location, added fertilizer or plant food, or a grow light may help.

We like to recommend these places to buy a money tree online—many of them allow you to customize your planter or select a size. It's always great to head to your local nursery too.

No. The money tree plant is safe for both pets and humans. Although we don't recommend eating it.

When grown outdoors, the money tree is able to produce yellow-white flowers through pollination. But because of the need for bees or other pollinators, the tree will not bloom if planted indoors.

With the proper care routine and growing conditions, money trees can live for over a decade.

Kate McGregor is House Beautiful’s SEO Editor. She has covered everything from curated decor round-ups and shopping guides, to glimpses into the home lives of inspiring creatives, for publications such as ELLE Decor, Domino, and Architectural Digest’s Clever. 

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Money Tree Care: How to Grow a Lucky Money Tree Plant

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