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Money Tree Care: Guide to Taking Care of your Plant

Whether you’re stuck at home or just want to bring more life to your apartment, plants can freshen up your space. They also get bonus points for making it look like you have a green thumb, even if you’re prone to letting everything wilt and wither away. 

For those of us who have never successfully grown anything, money trees are easy and forgiving. It can give new plant owners a confidence boost, and be a great entry to your apartment gardening career.

What is a Money Tree?

A money tree, or pachira aquatica, is a broadleaf evergreen tree. It’s known for its durability and wealth. Money trees originate from Central and South America, where they naturally grow in swamps. 

Money tree plant care is relatively easy to handle. It's the main reason why they’re wildly popular. 

They’re also a favorite among feng shui enthusiasts. That’s due to their five sprouts of leaves. According to Feng Shui principles, the universe revolves around five elements. Those are water, earth, metal, wood, and fire.

Are Money Trees Really Lucky?

There are several legends around the origin of the money tree. One famous story is a poor man who prayed for money and took home this odd plant with a braided trunk as a good-luck omen. He allegedly made a killing growing plants from its seeds. 

A money tree symbolizes wealth and prosperity, giving luck to all that grow it. Whether it’s lucky or not, those with a green thumb are likely to see success when growing their own money tree.

Money Tree Care: Lighting

Money trees may be easier to grow than most alternatives. However, there are plenty of considerations in terms of lighting. 

Money tree plant care requires indirect or low light. Placing it on your apartment balcony or in direct sunlight can harm the leaves. However, that doesn’t mean they don’t need plenty of light. Just keep it somewhere with partial lighting to keep your money tree healthy.

Money Tree Care: Watering

A money tree is ideal if you’re prone to going weeks without remembering to water your plants, only to find them half dead. Money trees only need watering every one to two weeks. If you’re lucky enough to get plenty of natural light in your apartment, you should water your money tree more often. 

The best way to care for a money tree is to water it until liquid seeps through your pot’s drainage holes. You’ll need less water in the winter unless you live in a climate with consistent year-round weather.  

Money Tree Care: Temperature and Humidity

Where you live matters when it comes to money tree care. These lucky trees thrive in higher humidity areas like Houston, Orlando, New Orleans and other Southern cities notorious for bad summer hair days. 

But don’t worry, you can still successfully grow a money tree live in climates with low humidity. For starters, try grouping your plants to promote releasing moisture through their leaves and benefiting one another. Plants nestled in trays with pebbles can also increase humidity, as well as misting them regularly.

People living in dry climates might need additional tools like humidifiers to keep your money tree happy. As a good rule of thumb, money trees enjoy high humidity and temperatures from 65-80 degrees.

Where Should I Put a Money Tree?

How to care for a money tree is often contingent on where you place it. From indirect sunlight to high humidity, consider where your tree will thrive with minimal care. If you enjoy practicing feng shui, try putting your money tree in the southeast area of your space. This is known as your money area and is thought to promote abundance.

How to Avoid Money Tree Root Rot

Despite all of the pros with growing a money tree, there are a few issues like root rot. Money trees should be placed in a pot with good drainage in moss-based soil. Humidity is also your friend when it comes to money trees, and you should make sure the soil is dry to the touch before watering. 

To combat root rot, try repotting your money tree in fresh soil in a pot with better drainage to alleviate the issue. Moving your money tre to less light could also help if it’s in a sunny spot in your apartment.

Are Money Trees Toxic?

It’s always wise to consider little ones and furry friends underfoot before introducing a new houseplant. Proceed with caution and check with your vet and pediatrician before introducing any plant to your home. However, money trees are generally considered safe for humans, cats, and dogs but could possibly be harmful to more exotic animals like hamsters or canaries. 

The good news is touching a money tree or ingesting a small amount is unlikely to cause a reaction or illness, but could cause some stomach upset in your pet. Keep in mind some animals and humans are more sensitive to plants and trees than others and reactions can vary. 

Final Thoughts

Money tree care turns your thumb green without much effort and could bring you some good luck along the way. Grab a colorful pot and find a spot in your apartment with low lighting and watch your money tree thrive.

By: Susan Finch
May 8, 2020
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