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The Lucky Tree: How To Propagate Money Tree?

Learning how to propagate money trees can provide you with an endless supply of baby money trees. You no longer need to buy them from your local nurseries and can even send these lucky trees to your loved ones as a gift. Let us help you be a fountain of blessings through the proper propagation of money trees. 

In this post, you’ll learn how to turn one money tree into hundreds with a simple and easy propagation technique. 

Money trees grown from seeds are known as an elusive success for reproduction. Most gardeners would agree that there is a higher chance of successful propagation using cuttings in a shorter time. 

Start propagating your luck by learning more about money trees.

Table Of Contents


The Plant That Locks in Your Luck: What is a Money Tree?

Our world is a pool of different beliefs where there are two popular species known as a money tree. They include the Pachira Aquatica and Crassula Ovata. Pachira Aquatica is the money plant of the Western region. Though these plants are tagged as money plants, this post focuses on Pachira Aquatica. 

Pachira Aquatica, or money tree, is a tropical wetland tree from South and Central America. It grows in swamps and loves the humidity in the regions where it originated.

It is known for several names in different countries and locations, such as:

  • Brazil: Monguba
  • Guatemala: Pumpo 
  • US: Money tree or money plant
  • Malabar chestnut
  • French peanut
  • Guiana chestnut
  • Provision tree
  • Saba nut

The name Pachira Aquatica came from Guyana and Latin language, which means aquatic sweet water nut. It is popular as a houseplant but can grow into a full-grown tree outdoors. The trunks of a money tree are thick due to its role as a reservoir. Its fruits are edible in South America as Saba nuts or Guiana chestnut.

The flowers of the money tree have long and narrow petals

The flowers of the money tree have long and narrow petals that open like tulips or a banana peel. Like their petals, they also have long hair-like stamens with orange tips. Money tree flowers are hermaphroditic but not self-pollinating. They need the help of insects and bats to pollinate and produce fruits. 

Money trees as houseplants rarely have flowers and only produce small fruits with fewer seeds.

Why Is It Called a Money Tree?

There is an interesting story behind the nickname of Pachira Aquatica as a money tree. Once a poor man was praying for fortune. He found an odd or unusual tree and took it as an answer to his prayers. He sold its seeds and became wealthy. From then on the name money tree is given to the tree to represent good luck to whoever cares for it. 

In Feng Shui, the money tree is considered a tree of fortune and prosperity. The stalks are braided to symbolize the act of locking in luck in a household. Some tie a red ribbon around the trunk to bring more luck. A money tree stalk with seven leaves is a rare occurrence that is believed to be luckier for a household.  

Whether you believe in what the money trees symbolize, they remain an ideal ornamental plant to grow indoors.

Once established, they are established, they are easy to care for, and are low maintenance. Their nuts are also toxic to rats but edible to humans.

How To Propagate Money Tree? – 4 Easy Steps To Follow?

Propagating money trees from cuttings is like germinating seeds. It has an 80% to 90% success rate depending on the humidity levels, quality of the cuttings, and care that you provide.

Here are the 4 steps on how to propagate a money tree:

1. Identifying The Viable Nodes

Identifying the nodes
Identifying the nodes

The quality of the cuttings you’ll get from the mature money tree helps increase their chances of developing roots. Cut a stem from the money three with at least two to three nodes. A node is where a new shoot grows. When planted in the soil, it will grow new roots instead of shoots. 

Cutting too short stems may not survive. Nodes on the thicker part of the stem contain more starch that provides the cuttings enough stability during the rooting process.

A helpful tip from professional gardeners is to have at least two or three cuttings when propagating. It ensures that you will have a higher chance of having new growth, in case some seedlings don’t survive.

2. Separating The Cuttings

Use sharp pruning shears in cutting the stems. Cleanly cut stems prevent wounding the mother plant and expose its inner stems to potential invaders like fungal diseases.

Here’s how you should cut the stems:

  1. Cut the stem below the third or second node diagonally. The slanted end of the cutting will expose more of its inner layers to the soil which encourages more root growth. 
  2. Clean the cuttings by removing excess shoots and leaves. Removing the leaves helps the cutting focus all its energy on growing new roots rather than supplying nutrients to the leaves.
  3. Leave just enough leaves on the cuttings since they are essential for photosynthesis. The leaves absorb moisture from the humid air and absorb nutrients from the sun.

3. Planting The Cuttings

Plant your newly cut money tree stems in one pot and apply the rooting hormone on its tips. Rooting hormone contains auxins that trigger the rooting process of plants. It is in powder form and can be easily applied to the exposed part of the stem. 

Here are some of the rooting hormone brands that you can try:

Garden Safe Brand TakeRoot Rooting Hormone
Garden Safe Brand TakeRoot Rooting Hormone

Another material that you should carefully consider is the potting mix you’ll use. Money trees need moist soil since it thrives in moist soil conditions.

To enhance the water-absorbing capacity of the soil, you must add peat moss or coco coir and mix it with sandy soil. Peat moss and coco coir hold moisture longer and sandy soil helps prevent root rot.

Here are some ideal peat moss brands that you can add to your potting mix:

Mix the coconut coir or peat moss into the sandy soil and proceed with the planting directions below:

Materials:

  • Stick
  • Water
  • Potting mix
  • Pot
  • Money tree cuttings
  • Rooting powder
  • Transparent plastic bag

Directions:

  1. Place the potting mix in a small pot. Let it remain dry so you can easily place the cuttings.
  2. Use the stick to create a hole in the soil. 
  3. In a small saucer, place one teaspoon of rooting powder. If you’re propagating more than three money tree cuttings, you may add accordingly.
  4. Dip the slanted ends of the seedlings on the rooting powder. Do not immediately push the cuttings to the soil to avoid brushing off the rooting hormone. 
  5. Place the cutting on the soil and let the bottom node get buried in the potting mix. 
  6. Water the newly planted cuttings.

4. Boosting The Rooting Process of The Cuttings

The location and indoor conditions will affect the survival of the cuttings. So, you must recreate a humid environment to help them be in their element for growth. Cover the cuttings with a clear plastic bag to create a humid environment and place them indoors.

Consider a location where they can get indirect morning sunlight and room temperature around 53.6°F to 77° (12°C to 25°C). The ideal temperature for money trees is 68°F or 20°C. In some cases, gardeners place them in the window sill of their bathroom since money trees thrive in moist and humid environments.  

Plant cuttings don’t have enough energy to withstand extreme temperatures and too much exposure to sunlight. It takes around 6 to 8 weeks for money tree cuttings to grow roots. You will notice the cuttings with roots through their sprouting leaves and green stems. Also, they won’t budge too much since the roots keep them upright.

Propagated money tree cutting
Propagated money tree cutting

Once the cuttings have grown enough roots and developed new leaves, you may transplant them in separate pots. They will need a bigger space to stretch out their roots and solely benefit from the nutrients in the soil without competition.


Plant Care For Money Tree

Money trees are easy to grow once they are established in the soil. They appreciate an occasional mist or a humidifier around the house but can remain healthy without them.

Here are some of the crucial money tree care tips from professional growers and propagation enthusiasts:

Location and Temperature

The ideal location for a money tree is next to the north or south-facing window. It provides long hours of indirect sunlight exposure that helps keep the trees healthy. Though their leaves are thick and long, they burn under direct sunlight. 

There should be ample indoor humidity to help money trees grow. They should not be placed in areas where there are cold drafts or next to heaters since they are also frost-sensitive. 

Pruning

Money trees can grow for up to 7 feet indoors and 30 feet outdoors. It is a healthy practice to prune them to your ideal height from time to time. New shoots will eventually grow from the cut stems. 

Pruning also triggers the growth of new shoots at the bottom of the trunk, making your money trees bushier.

If you are not a fan of a bushy money tree, you can instead use them as cuttings to propagate baby money trees. 

Watering & Fertilization

Though money trees love moist soil, they can also have root rot. So, only water the established money trees once the soil is 50% to 75% dry. Allow the excess water to run from the drainage holes to ensure that the roots are deeply watered. 

Money trees are not heavy feeders, but they will appreciate extra care through monthly fertilization. An all-purpose 10-10-10 or 20-20-20 fertilizer is enough for them to grow new leaves and maintain their luscious growth.

Here are some ideal all-purpose fertilizers that you should try:

How To Braid a Money Tree?

how to braid a money tree

The braided stems of a money tree are one of its eye-catching features. Braiding a money tree is not easy since the stems have a higher chance of breaking during the process.

However, it’s possible to lock the money tree seedlings together with proper technique and timing. Check out the materials and steps below in braiding a money tree:

Materials:

  • Seven pieces of 2-month old healthy money tree
  • Wire ties or nylon string
  • Stake

Directions:

(1) Select the money tree seedlings with straight or close to straight stems. 

(2) Pull the seedlings and let them rest for 2 hours to soften the stems. Braiding them immediately after harvest increases their risk of breaking. 

(3) Tie the seedlings together using a wire tie. Place the wire tie at the top right below the leaves. 

(4) Start braiding the stalks by following the fishtail braid pattern in the image below. Divide the stalks into three groups where the left side contains three stalks, one stalk in the middle, and three stalks on the right.

Braiding pattern for money tree
Braiding pattern for money tree

(5) Then, place the outer stalk from the right on top of the middle stalk. Repeat the process by placing the outer stalk from the left side in the middle.

Actual braiding technique
Actual braiding technique – Source

(6) Repeat the process until the braid reaches a few inches above the roots. 

(7) Use a wire tie to keep the braid intact while preparing the pot. 

(8) Replace the wire tie with a string to easily remove it after planting the money tree in the soil. 

(9) Once the soil is compact and fixed, remove the string to allow the roots to breathe and the stalks to grow bigger. 

(10) Place the stick next to the newly braided stalk to support its weight. Loosely tie the braided money tree stalks to the stake with a wire tie or a red ribbon. Voila! You have locked in your luck using your money tree.

Young braided money tree
Young braided money tree

Final Thoughts

We hope that this post helped you learn how to propagate money trees and lock in all the luck in the world for you and your household. Money trees are easy to grow as long as you know what they need. 

Flaunt your newly braided money trees from your propagated seedlings! Share this post with your friends and grow more money trees for a prosperous year.

About Jeanne Keith F.

Jeanne Felipe is a content creator of anything that can make this world a better place. She is a self-improvement junkie and a nature lover at heart. She loves to help people through her writing, either finding the right tools or doing the right thing to accomplish their goals. Quotes, sprouting plants, and cute dogs make her feel ecstatic. In her free time, she loves tending her garden and cooking Chinese and Mexican dishes. Connect her on Linkedin.

3 thoughts on “The Lucky Tree: How To Propagate Money Tree?”

  1. I need help! I inherited a money tree that was dying and managed to make it worse by transplanting it to a pot too big and creating root rot. By the time I learned how to properly care for it, one of the braided trees had completely died. I am left with a top heavy, super tall plant with over 2 feet of skinny, brittle “trunks” loosely twisted together but too weak to support the 3 feet of healthy-ish growth on top. For over a year I have tried everything I can think of to nurse this plant back into health only to continue to make it worse. Every article I read seems to contradict a previous one. It like to be watered but too much water is bad. It likes sun but sun will burn the leaves. Last week I transplanted it into a tall, cylindrical pot/vase because any regular pot tall enough to support it’s height is too big and continues to encourage root rot. I was hoping that the depth of the soil would support the height; but I fear (after 1 watering) the trunk covered in soil maybe getting soft. I am considering, as my last ditch effort, using your method to cut off the bottom half of the plant in order to try to grow a healthier root system on a more stable but smaller plant. Thoughts?

    Reply
    • Hi Alissa,

      Thank you for keeping your money tree alive even if it’s in its worst condition. The plant s probably too weak from teh root rot and transplant stress it endured. To answer some of your concerns here’s my take:

      – Everything that’s lacking or too much can be bad for almost anything, even in watering plants. Money trees grown as houseplants are not used to wet feet while money trees that are grown outdoors can adapt to wet feet. For your case, you can keep then damp and at the right proportion with the soil.

      You did a good job in transferring it to a smaller pot. Don’t be too hard on yourself. Consider your experience as a learning stage.

      – Money trees can actually endure direct sun, especially those that are grown into a full-grown tree. However, the braided money trees indoors are not used to the harsh sun. You can keep it in a place with indirect light. However, if you wish to train it in the future to endure direct sun. You can gradually expose it in the sun until it adapts to the new environment.

      – You may cut the top and let it grow again but it also pays to propagate and grow a new plant through propagation and start again. In case the old money tree dies, you have a new one to replace it.

      Good luck Alissa! We hope the method works for you

      Jeanne

      Reply

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