Money trees make wonderful houseplants, being both long-lived and low maintenance. Known botanically as Crassula ovata, these succulents originate from the dry regions of South Africa. As such, they will only grow outdoors in USDA plant hardiness zones 10 and 11 outside of their native habitat. Money trees can grow to 4 feet in height and spread up to 3 feet, if not pruned. They are also known commonly as jade plants and friendship trees.
Place your money tree in a location that gets plenty of natural light. Jade plants prefer direct sunlight but will tolerate partial shade. Avoid places where there may be a regular draft, such as near an exterior door. Keep the humidity low to simulate the native environment of the plant.
Water the plant thoroughly but only after the soil has completely dried out from previous watering. Money tree plants are naturally drought tolerant and store water in their thick leaves and stems. Good soil drainage is a must for these plants. Combine equal parts peat moss and sterile potting soil to create a healthy growing medium.
Apply a liquid fertilizer every three months but only when the soil is moist. Follow the dosage directions carefully.
Prune your money tree plant in the spring when it is in the strongest stage of growth. To make the plant fill out by developing more branches, cut stems just above a leaf node. Each stem you prune in this way should grow two more branches.
Clean the leaves monthly by wiping them gently with a damp cloth. Check for signs of insects while cleaning. Although Crassula ovata is not prone to disease or infestations, mealy bugs can sometimes be a problem. Swabbing the leaves carefully with a cotton ball dipped in rubbing alcohol should eliminate these pests. Spider mites and scale may can also affect the plant and should be treated with horticultural soap.