The money tree (Pachira aquatica) is a tropical wetland tree native to Central and South America. The versatile tree ranges in size from bonsai to 7 feet tall and is a good houseplant choice. The money tree is thought to bring good luck, perhaps because it forms five stems on each branch, symbolizing the five elements of feng shui philosophy--metal, wood, water, fire and earth.
Braid three to five young, green stems together when the plant stands about 14 inches tall. Overlap them loosely so the plant has room to grow, taking care not to snap the young plants. Stop braiding when you reach leafy growth.
Tie a string loosely around the top of the braid and secure the ends of the string to two stakes, placed on either side of the money tree. This prevents the braid from moving or coming undone as the plant grows.
Braid the trunk another few inches in a month or two as the tree grows. Again, braid the trunk until you reach leafy growth and tie it off.
Untie the string and remove the stakes when the tree has reached the desired height.