Money tree (Pachira aquatica) is a hardy houseplant that can grow in nearly any condition, including low light and infrequent watering. Money tree's ease of care makes it a good choice for busy people, or for those who are new to gardening. Mature, healthy money tree plants can be propagated by a technique called air layering.
Soak a handful of sphagnum moss in a bowl of water for several hours before you begin the process of air layering.
Use a razor blade or a clean, sharp knife to make a slanting cut into the stem of the money tree plant. The cut should extend no more than one-third into the diameter of the stem.
Hold the cut stem carefully so it doesn't break, and insert a toothpick, a matchstick, or a sliver of wood into the cut to keep the cut open. The open cut will develop new roots.
Dust the cut with a small amount of powdered rooting hormone, or dab the hormone into the cut with a clean cotton swab. Although rooting hormone isn't required, it will speed up the air layering process.
Remove the sphagnum moss from the water and squeeze out the excess water so that the moss is damp but not dripping and the moss is a tight mass. If the sphagnum moss is too wet, it can cause the stem to rot.
Wrap the damp sphagnum moss around the stem of the money tree plant so that the cut area is completely covered by moss. Tie the moss firmly around the cut with twine.
Wrap the sphagnum moss securely in two layers of clear plastic wrap to retain the moisture in the moss. Secure the plastic wrap above and below the sphagnum moss with electrician's tape. Be sure the plastic is sealed so that moisture can't enter or escape.
Watch for roots to develop under the plastic wrap. This can take as little as 30 to 60 days, or as many as eight months. When you see roots, remove the plastic wrap and cut the stem just below the sphagnum moss. Loosen the sphagnum moss, but don't remove it.
Fill a pot with commercial potting mixture. Be sure the pot has a drainage hole in the bottom. Set the pot in a saucer of water and allow it to absorb water through the drainage hole until the potting soil is damp, then remove the pot from the saucer.
Plant the rooted stem of the money tree plant in the potting mixture. Put the pot in a clear plastic bag and leave it for about a week to give the money tree's root system time to establish, then remove the pot from the bag.
Things You Will Need
- Sphagnum moss
- Razor blade or sharp knife
- Powdered rooting hormone
- Cotton swab
- Clear plastic wrap
- Electrician's tape
- Pot with drainage hole
- Clear plastic bag
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