Common Name: Guiana Chestnut, Malabar Chestnut, Money Tree, Saba Nut, Wild Kapok tree
Botanical Name: Pachira aquatica
The Pachira aquatica, more commonly referred to as Money Tree is a compact tree that is known for it's stunning good looks and easy-care nature. The Money Tree earned this distinctive nickname through legend attributing this indoor plant to bringing luck and wealth. While this legend may or may not hold true, this indoor plant is sure to bring a wealth of plant styling opportunities into your home.
The slender trunk of the Money tree is wide at the base and becomes more narrow towards the lush canopy. These plants often consist of several trees painstakingly braided together as they grow to create a plaited trunk. Shiny, oblong palmate leaves grow in bunches of five and radiate from a center point. Each leaf features a light green midrib and dark green foliage.
The Pachira aquatica can be found in Central and South America where it commonly grows in swamps or wetlands. In nature, these deciduous trees can grow to be 60 feet tall. When grown in a pot, they maintain a much more manageable height of no more than 8 feet tall under the right conditions.
Part of what makes the Pachira aquatica such an easy-care houseplant, is that it can handle just about any amount of indirect light. A Money Tree houseplant can do perfectly well near a bright, South-facing window or in a more removed corner or hallway where it receives low indirect light. This indoor plant needs to consistently receive bright indirect light in order to grow as quickly as it is capable of growing.
Water your Pachira aquatica when the top several inches of the soil are dry. Money Trees thrive with routine and deep watering, making this a great plant for anyone prone to over-watering. With that said, it's important to make sure your Pachira aquatica is planted in well draining soil and in a pot with drainage. As much as Money Trees like moisture, they don't like soggy roots.
These indoor plants can store water in their trunks, allowing them to wait for an extended time between watering. Often, during the colder months it is normal for the Money Tree to need less frequent watering.
Average room temperatures between 65 and 75 degrees are ideal for Pachira aquatica. Money Tree houseplants are not cold hardy, so if you move your plant to an outdoor space in the warmer months, make sure to bring it back inside well before the threat of frost.
Pachira aquatica plants like high humidity, which makes sense given that they naturally grow in damp conditions. Place your Money Tree in the corner of a kitchen or use a humidifier or a pebble tray with water to increase the dampness around the plant. Keep in mind that if this indoor plant receives lots of humidity, it may not need to be watered as often.
Routinely fertilize a Money Tree plant using a diluted complete liquid fertilizer. This will help the indoor plant gain height and push out new growth. It is not necessary to feed a Money Tree during the colder months when the plant is dormant.
Pachira aquatica can reach heights of 8-10' Indoors, but you will more than likely need to prune it back to keep it in line and to restore its shape!
Pet Friend or Foe
Money Trees are Non-Toxic to pets! Friend
- The Money Tree is a plant that tends to thrive when left in one spot. Moving the plant to new locations too often can be stressful for a Money Tree and may cause the plant to drop leaves.
- Under ideal conditions, Money Tree houseplants can grow quickly. This can be a nice problem to have, but it can also mean these indoor plants can outgrow an area. Prune a Money Tree by removing the leaves just below the axil, or where the leaves emerge from the stem.
- Pachira aquatica can be propagated through cuttings. When taking a cutting, select a branch that is at least 6 inches long and has several nodes. Cuttings can be propagated in soil or water.