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How to Prune a Money Tree Plant

garden shears closed image by Kathy Burns from

The money tree, known botanically as Pachira and also commonly as Malabar chestnut, has become a popular, low-maintenance houseplant. Its evergreen, glossy surfboard-shaped leaves make a statement in any setting, and the thick, somewhat bulbous trunk is sculptural and adds interest to a room. As a tropical plant, the money tree is grown primarily indoors or outdoors in the frost-free portions of USDA zone 8 and in zones 9, 10 and 11. According to the California Rare Fruit Growers Association, Pachira rarely requires pruning, save removal of damaged tissues or to shape the tree, if desired.

Trim away any yellowing leaves, dried brown leaves or any leaves that look to be suffering from disease or insect infestation. Trim the individual leaves as needed at the bottom of the leaf stem just outside of where it connects with the branch.

Preserve a classic and manicured tree shape by pruning any water sprouts or branches that emanate from the bottom third or half of the trunk, keeping it bare. Cut these off as they appear throughout the year being careful to make the cut flush against the trunk without cutting into the trunk tissues.

Clean up all dropped leaves, stem cuttings and leaf pieces from the surface of the soil keeping it clean and clear of all debris to prevent the creation of a breeding ground for pests or disease.

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