Plant Care for the Braided Money Tree


The braided money tree--scientifically known as Pachira aquatica, and also called the Feng Shui money tree and the Malabar chestnut--is a tropical tree native to Central and South America. According to the system of feng shui, the braided money tree's five leaves on each branch symbolize the five fundamental elements of feng shui, and many people believe that the money tree brings luck and prosperity to its owners. With its shiny green leaves and its braided trunk---really multiple trees braided together--the money tree makes an attractive ornamental houseplant. By providing your braided money tree with the proper conditions, you can help your plant thrive.

Step 1

Plant your braided money tree in a pot with ample drainage holes, using four parts commercial potting mix to one part river sand. Use a container one size larger than the money tree's current pot. Using too large a pot can cause you to overwater the money tree, resulting in root rot. Gently break up the root ball, and shake the tree to get rid of the old soil.

Step 2

Put your money tree in bright, indirect light, ideally in a north or east-facing window. To avoid leaf scorch, indicated by bleaching and yellowing, don't place the money tree in direct sunlight, especially when the plant is young.

Step 3

Water with room-temperature water whenever the soil seems dry. According to the Eastern Leaf website, watering frequencies for a money tree range from once a week to once a month. Irrigate until water comes out of the drainage holes, and empty the saucer afterward so the plant doesn't sit in water. If your money tree's leaves are crinkled, the tree may be under-watered. If the tree has yellow and drooping leaves, over-watering is probably the culprit.

Step 4

Feed your money tree with a balanced liquid fertilizer, applied at a dilution of 1/2 strength, every four to six weeks from May to November.

Step 5

Prune the branches at the stems to promote new growth.

Step 6

Keep your money tree on a tray with pebbles and water to provide needed humidity, but make sure the water isn't past the level of the saucer.

Things You'll Need

  • Commercial potting mix
  • River sand
  • Balanced slow-released fertilizer
  • Sharp pruning scissors
  • Tray
  • Pebbles


  • Eastern Leaf: Money Tree
  • Daves Garden: Money Tree, Malabar Chestnut
  • Lucky Bamboo: About Money Tree
Keywords: braided money tree, Feng Shui, Malabar chestnut, root rot, fertilizer, humidifier

About this Author

Carol Sarao is an entertainment and lifestyle writer whose articles have appeared in Atlantic City Weekly, The Women's Newspaper of Princeton, and New Millennium Writings. She has interviewed and reviewed many national recording acts, among them Everclear, Live, and Alice Cooper, and received her Master of Fine Arts degree in writing from Warren Wilson College.

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