The money tree plant is a small succulent. Money tree plants are considered good luck--legend says the leaves of the money tree invite money and the special way the trunk is twisted holds on to it. It can range from a few inches in height to 7 feet, depending on how it is grown.
The money tree plant has the typical thick leaves of a succulent. There are five leaves that sit on the top of the tree and are arranged in the shape of a human hand. The leaves hold the moisture that the plant needs. The young leaves are green and as the plant gets older, the leaves turn brown. The trunk can be straight or have anywhere from three to five twists.
Allowed the top 1 inch of the soil to dry out between watering. During the winter, the money tree plant needs to be checked about once a week to see if it needs water. During the summer, it needs to be done every other day. The soil should be well drained with at least three drainage holes in the pot . Do not add anything to the soil that would hold water, such as peat moss. The money tree is a relative of the cactus and too much water will kill the plant; so will allowing the roots to stand in water. When the leaves get old, they can be pruned back to encourage a new one to grow. Pruning is not necessary, however some light shaping will enhance the appearance of the plant.
The money tree plant needs to have alternate periods of indirect sunshine and shade each day, about 3 to 4 hours of each. It cannot take extreme heat. If the plant is exposed to direct sunlight for an extended period, the leaves can become scorched or fall off. The money tree plant has very little tolerance for frost. Bring the plant indoors at the first sign or new growth will die off, followed by the rest of the plant.
The money tree plant is susceptible to infestations from mealybugs, aphids and red spider mites. These insects can make the plant deformed. The money tree plant is very sensitive to any type of pesticides. Instead, wipe the leaves with a cotton swab that has been dipped in rubbing alcohol.
The money tree is most often used as a house plant throughout the world. It is also used in rock gardens, container gardens and for bonsai. The money tree is an important component in a feng shui environment because the five leaves are said to represent the five elements of feng shui: metal, wood, water, fire, earth.