The money tree, or Pachira aquatica, is also referred to as water chestnut, saba nut, Malabar chestnut and Guiana chestnut. It is an indigenous tree to areas in Central America and Northern South America. The money tree is a common sight in tropical locales where it grows along fresh water rivers and streams. In the home garden, the money tree is grown both as an ornamental bonsai specimen and for its edible nuts. A money tree can grow to as tall as 60 feet in the wild and is hardy in the USDA Zones 10 to 11.
Choose a planting location for the money tree that will provide full sun to partial shade. The planting area should also offer some protection from wind, Floridata.com recommends. Ideally, the planting area should also offer plenty of moisture, like along a river bank or on the edge of a fresh water pond.
Dig a planting hole for the money tree that is three times the diameter of the growing container and about 1 1/2 times its depth. Money trees grow best in acidic soil. If the soil in the planting area is alkaline, acidify the soil. To do this, mix from 1/2 to 1 cubic foot of peat moss or composted oak leaves into the soil you removed from the planting hole.
Scoop some of the garden soil and soil amendment mixture back into the planting hole until the planting hole is approximately the same depth as the planting pot of the money tree.
Remove the money tree from its planting pot. Tip the planting pot on its side. Use a hammer, a block of wood or a trowel and give the base of the planting pot near the drain holes a few quick taps in a downward direction. Slide the planting pot off the root ball of the money tree.
Loosen any matted or encircled roots on the root ball using your fingers. If the root ball is severely matted, make two or three vertical slashes on the root ball with a sharp knife.
Set the money tree into the previously dug planting hole. Scoop soil in and around the planting hole to help set the money tree. Adjust the money tree, if necessary, so it is sitting vertically in the planting hole.
Pack the soil down around the root system using your foot. Then, fill the planting hole with water. After all the water has dissipated, scoop in more soil to fill the planting hole with soil.