The money tree, or the pachira aquatica, is an evergreen plant that is native to the wetlands of Central America. It is a non-fastidious plant that can grow in all soil types and light variations. The pachira aquatica is commonly referred to as the lucky money tree because of its use in feng shui. There, it is thought to bring wealth and prosperity to those who place it in the home.
Plant your money tree in nutrient-rich but light soil and place in a well-lit area. Though the tree can adapt to all types of soil and light combinations, this soil and sunlight will promote healthy and vibrant growth. Pachira plants prefer well-drained, sandy loams. Create this environment by mixing one-third sand with two-thirds soil. The money tree should receive at least four to six hours of sunlight each day. However, avoid placing the plant in direct sunlight as the plant's foliage is susceptible to sunburn.
Promote a humid environment for the money tree. Mist the tree's foliage weekly with water and place the tree on a humidity tray when grown indoors. Increase the misting schedule during the dry, hot summer months to two to three mists each day.
Water the money tree two to three times each month. Money tree plants prefer moist to dry soil but can only sustain short periods of drought. Check the soil's moisture levels before watering to avoid over-watering issues. Place your finger approximately one inch into the soil. If the soil feels dry, it is certainly time to water your plant. Decrease the watering schedule during the winter months.
Fertilize the money tree monthly. Use a well-balanced fertilizer that contains nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium. Incorporate the fertilizer into the soil using half strength. Avoid placing fertilizer directly on the roots or trunk of the plant, as this will cause root burn.
Re-pot your money tree annually, preferably in the early spring. Increase the pot size to promote a larger plant. Clean off the excess soil around the root system and place into the new pot using new soil. Water lightly immediately after re-potting. Check the soil's moisture levels the following day and continue with the watering schedule. The schedule may need to be adjusted after the re-potting process is completed.
Pinch back new growth and nodes to control the growth of the money tree. Though the tree is a slower growing plant, it may need some pruning to ensure proper growth. Only pinch as necessary to eliminate unwanted growth. Never remove all new growth simultaneously to avoid growth stunt and dieback.