Money Tree (aka Guiana Chestnut or Pachira Aquatica) is a broadleaf evergreen plant native to South America and Mexico.
It can grow to 20′ or 30′ feet in its natural environment. However, away from its native setting, this tree is only winter hardy in USDA hardiness zones 10-12.
However, it can be kept as a houseplant and is often kept as a Bonsai. It usually tops out at about 6′ feet high when grown in this way. [source]
Care of this tree as a houseplant can be challenging because it naturally loves very wet soil.
However, keeping houseplant soil wet is a sure way to develop fungal and bacterial infection problems.
In this article, we discuss the care of Money Tree and recommend steps you can take to nurse it back to health if it fails to flourish in your setting. Read on to learn more.
Avoid Killing Your Money Tree
Guiana Chestnut needs plenty of bright sunlight and consistently warm temperatures. Provide the right amount of light and the right amount of water.
Even though these trees grow in very wet soil in the wild, you should keep the soil in your potted plant consistently moist but never soggy.
Ideal temperatures for this plant range from 65° to 80° degrees Fahrenheit. Never allow the temperature to drop lower than 50° degrees Fahrenheit.
If your home is a comfortable temperature for you, it will probably be comfortable for your plant.
Use The Right Kind Of Water
Money Tree is sensitive to tap water, so it’s best to use rainwater, bottled water, or filtered water.
Know How To Spot And Treat Root Rot
Root rot is a sure killer of plants of all sorts, and it is always the result of overwatering.
To spot this fungal infection, be alert to signs such as:
- Wilting leaves
- Yellow leaves
- Brown leaves
- Fungus gnats
- Slow growth
- Musty odor
If you suspect your plant has root rot, unpot it and examine the roots. They should be white and firm.
If you find that they are mushy, slippery, brown, and/or black, they are rotten.
If this is the case, follow these steps:
- Use a very sharp, sterile implement to cut away the rotten parts.
- Rinse the roots and give them a fungicide treatment.
- Finally, prune away any damaged leaves.
- Repot the plant in an all-new, fresh potting mix. It should be light and airy.
- Be sure to use a pot that is not excessively large and has ample drainage holes in the bottom.
It’s best to use a brand new pot, but if you use the same one (or repurpose a different one), be sure that it is thoroughly cleaned and sterilized.
Withhold water for a few days to allow the roots to dry out.
Establish a new watering routine in the future to ensure your plant is receiving just the right amount of water. Remember never to leave it standing in soggy soil.
Don’t Let Your Tree Go Thirsty
You should be careful not to drown your tree, and you must also take care not to underwater it.
It’s good to wait until the soil is almost dry to the touch and then provide a thorough watering.
If you notice that your tree’s leaves are becoming wrinkled, that’s a sign of thirst.
Don’t Let Your Tree Go Hungry
Provide your Pachira Aquatica with half doses of any standard houseplant fertilizer (20-20-20) every month throughout the growing season.
In addition, whenever you repot your plant, incorporate a bit of organic nourishment (e.g., compost or aged cow manure) into the soil to provide slow feeding.
Let The Sun In
The right amount of sunlight will help prevent having your Money Tree stand in soggy soil.
This plant needs very bright, indirect sunlight for about six hours a day. It also needs some shady time and darkness for rest.
Avoid allowing it to stand in direct sunlight because this can cause leaf burn.
Remember to turn the plant regularly so that it doesn’t lean toward the sun.
Control Humidity & Air Circulation
Pachira Aquatica likes a humidity level of about fifty percent. You can maintain this humidity level by using a humidifier with a sensor that turns the machine on and off as needed.
If you cannot do this, using a pebble tray will help keep the air around the plant adequately hydrated.
A fan turned on low facing into the corner of the room will keep air circulating without blowing directly on the plant.
Good air circulation helps prevent fungal growth, which causes root rot.
Prevent Insect Pests
If you follow the suggestions presented here, you should not have a problem with insect pests.
However, plants compromised by poor growing conditions are more attractive to pests, such as:
- Spider mites
Daily misting with water will help increase humidity around your plants’ leaves, which discourages mealybugs.
You can add an extra level of protection to your Money Plant by misting it with a solution of Neem Oil from time to time.