$35.00 – $150.00
If you’ve ever noticed a little potted tree with an unusual braided trunk, you’ve encountered a money tree. The trunk braid and leaves have symbolism for many people who believe that they bring good luck and financial success. But even if such considerations aren’t meaningful to you, you can definitely still enjoy this plant for its fun and unusual trunk, lively green leaves, and relatively low-maintenance watering needs.
If you saw a money tree, or Pachira aquatica, in its native habitat of Central and South American swamps, you probably wouldn’t recognize it. The tree can grow up to 60 feet tall (versus a max of 3 to 6 feet indoors), and that ubiquitous braided trunk isn’t a natural feature. When grown in a nursery, the supple young, green trunks are slowly braided by cultivators before they harden and turn woody.
Money trees prefer bright, indirect light and moderate-to-high humidity. Direct sunlight can lead to leaf-scorching, but the plants can do relatively well in low light. Exposure to too many drafts, though, may cause leaf loss. Heater vents and hot, dry air also need to be avoided.
Although money trees like humidity in general, you should let its soil dry out between watering. A good schedule for most environments is to water when the top 2-4 inches of soil are dry. Water thoroughly but avoid the roots sitting in water. During the growing season, fertilize once a month with a liquid plant food at half strength, but skip fertilizer in the winter.
Medium humidity. Place your plant away from hot or cold air drafts.