How To Grow & Care For a Money Tree

Money Tree planted in a beige ribbed ceramic potThe money tree’s characteristic braided trunk, shiny, five-fingered leaves, and ease of care has propelled this houseplant into just about every plant shop and nursery. Originating from Central and South America, the money tree is a tropical plant often associated with Feng Shui elements of luck and fortune. Also known as Malabar chestnut or Guiana chestnut, this plant's symbolism of prosperity has made it a sought-after addition to homes worldwide. Money trees are believed to symbolize luck and prosperity in various cultures, making them popular gifts for anniversaries, births, graduations, or other auspicious occasions.

Popular Cultivars of Money Tree

While the most common money tree variety is the species Pachira aquatica, there are different intentionally-bred cultivars with variations in leaf color, size, and trunk braiding. Pachira aquatica variegata features stunningly speckled white and green foliage.

Best Growing Conditions for Money Trees

Light: Money trees prefer bright, indirect light but can also tolerate partial shade. Avoid exposing them to direct sunlight for extended periods as it may scorch their leaves.

Soil: The money tree thrives in a rich, but well-drained soil — they love moisture but won’t thrive in heavy, perpetually wet substrate. A mix of potting soil and perlite or sand provides the ideal balance for root health.

Humidity: In their native range, money trees live near freshwater wetlands and along tropical riverbanks; they thrive in highly humid conditions. If you have an especially dry home, consider misting the entire plant after watering the soil or keep your money tree in a humid bathroom.

How To Care for Money Trees


Money trees appreciate moderately moist soil but are susceptible to root rot if overwatered. Water thoroughly when the top inch of soil feels dry, typically every 1-2 weeks depending on environmental conditions.


To support healthy leaf growth, apply a balanced, water-soluble fertilizer diluted to half-strength every 4-6 weeks during the growing season (spring through end of summer).


Prune sparingly by removing dead or yellowing leaves and any unwanted growth to maintain the tree's shape and appearance. With intentional pruning, trimming, and shaping with wires, money trees can also be grown as a bonsai specimen.


Money trees can be propagated through stem cuttings. During the activee growing season, take a cutting from a healthy stem, allow it to callus for a few days, then plant it in a well-draining potting mix.


If your money tree has outgrown its container, it’s time to repot. Do this in the spring, when the plant has started to actively grow again, in a warm location to minimize shock to the plant. Water the money tree thoroughly the day before you repot. Choose a replacement pot that is one size larger than the current one and use fresh potting mix for a boost of nutrients.

Money Tree Pests and Problems

Identifying and Controlling Pests: Common pests for money trees include spider mites and mealybugs. Wipe the leaves with a damp cloth or use insecticidal soap to remove these pests.

Common Signs of Stress and Treatment

While not high maintenance, money trees are sensitive to their environment and will be quick to let you know if they’re not happy!

Sudden drop of leaves: Money trees may drop their leaves if exposed to cold temperatures or other stressors. Move them away from drafty doors and windows and be patient; the plant will recover if temperatures remain consistent and light levels are high.

Yellowing leaves: Drooping or yellowing leaves, is often due to overwatering. Adjust the watering schedule and ensure proper drainage to help the plant recover.

Money Tree FAQs

Q: What should I do if one of my money tree stems dies?

A: Provided you cut out the dead stem before it rots, the remaining living stems should support the plant just fine! Gently separate the dead stem from the other stems by hand. It can also be helpful to have a pair of pruners to cut the dead stem into pieces as you carefully unravel it from the living stems. If you do use pruners, make sure that they are sterilized after tending to the dead tree stem to avoid spreading disease.

Q: How tall can a money tree grow indoors?

A: Money trees can reach heights of up to 6 feet indoors if provided with proper care and growing conditions. In their native tropical wetland habitat, money trees can be 50 feet tall!

Q: Can I place my money tree outside during summer?

A: Money trees can be placed outdoors year-round in our warmest grow zones (zones 10-12). For the rest of the continent, money trees can only go outside during the summer months, in a partially shaded area. As a tropical wetland plant, they will not survive cold temperatures.

Grow a little good fortune in your home! By keeping an eye on the temperature and humidity of your home, a money tree will thrive and bring positivity to your space.

Last updated: 05/09/2024