Money Tree Care Instructions


The money tree (Pachira aquatica) is a tropical, shrub-like tree that can grow up to 60 feet in the wild. Also called the Malabar or Guiana chestnut, this perennial is commonly grown as a houseplant and is nicknamed the money tree for its use in feng shui interior decorating, as the plant is said to attract prosperity to the home owner. Home gardeners who wish to cultivate this plant outdoors should live in United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) growing zones 10 or 11, as the plant is not cold-hardy. In other locations, the money tree should be grown as an indoor container plant.

Step 1

Grow your money tree in soil that is loose and well-draining. If you have heavy, water-retaining soil, amend it as deeply and widely as possible with peat moss and coarse sand. Indoor plants can be grown in a soil-less potting medium or one that has large amounts of perlite.

Step 2

Choose a location for your money tree that receives at least six hours of sunlight, but preferably eight to 12 hours. Indoor plants will benefit from being placed near a window that receives bright but indirect sunlight, as too much direct sunlight will scorch the leaves. Outdoor plants should be placed where they will receive morning sun followed by dappled afternoon shade.

Step 3

Protect your money tree from hot, drying winds or drafts. For outdoor plants, this may mean choosing a sheltered location, such as a south-facing wall. Indoor plants should be kept far away from heater vents.

Step 4

Keep the soil wet. These trees thrive in standing water and are often found growing in flood plains, estuaries or along the banks of bodies of water. This is one plant that you do not have to worry about over-watering, according to information published by the California Rare Fruit Grower's Association, although you should reduce the amount of water in the winter to allow the plant to go dormant.

Step 5

Fertilize your money tree monthly with a water-soluble, balanced (10-10-10) fertilizer. Stop fertilizing in late fall to allow the plant to go dormant.

Things You'll Need

  • Peat moss
  • Coarse sand
  • Perlite-rich potting soil
  • Watering tool
  • Water-soluble, balanced (10-10-10) fertilizer


  • Floridata: Pachira Aquatica
  • California Rare Fruit Grower's Association: Malabar Chestnut
  • University of Hawaii: Pachira Aquatica
Keywords: Pachira aquatica care, money tree plant, growing malabar chestnut

About this Author

April Sanders has been a professional writer since 1998. Previously, she worked as an educator and currently writes academic research content for EBSCO publishing and elementary reading curriculum for Compass Publishing. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in social psychology from the University of Washington and a master's degree in information sciences and technology in education from Mansfield University.