A potted Pachira aquatica braided money tree
image by Ryan Kitki: Wikimedia Commons
Braided money tree plants, known botanically as Pachira aquatica and also commonly called Malabar chestnuts, are tropical perennial fruiting plants. Grown widely as indoor houseplants they are hardy for outdoor growing in USDA hardiness zones 9b through 11 and thrive in moist soil. Grown indoors it is unlikely to bear fruit, but mature plants grown outdoors will produce chestnut fruits after bloom in the summer or fall.
Select a location for your braided money tree that affords shade or dappled shade outdoors or bright, indirect light indoors. When replanting, choose a commercial potting soil mix containing peat moss, which is ideal for holding some moisture while allowing enough drainage to prevent root rot.
Water your braided money tree plant regularly, once every seven days or so, keeping the soil moist at all times but not consistently wet. Monitor the soil often and adjust seasonal or situational watering, as needed. If you have indoor heating, you will need to water it more frequently. When grown outdoors in the summer or in arid climates, it will also need more water.
Give your money tree a monthly dose of well-diluted, general-purpose plant food to boost the leaf production and keep the plant foliage green. Follow the fertilizer package instructions for application, but cut the ratio of fertilizer to water in half. Apply the fertilizer over previously watered roots to prevent burn and increase the uptake of applied nutrients. Pachira generally are not heavy feeders.
Cut away any damaged or yellowing leaves as they appear, using a clean pair of sharp household scissors. Discard the leaves. Pruning beyond this is only needed to shape the plant.