Money tree plant, Malabar chestnut (Big Leaf)
The Malabar chestnut (Pachira Aquatica), also known as the money tree plant, is considered to be a symbol of good luck and prosperity. Usually grown indoors, they are hardy outdoors in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 9b to 11. In the wild, the plants can reach 60 feet tall but are usually confined to 6 or 7 feet indoors. Tree size is largely determined by its age and pot size. The tree usually has five trunks, braided together. Braiding contains the tree’s sprawl and symbolizes locking in luck or money.
The money tree plant prefers indirect light and will tolerate low light. If the plant begins to yellow or wither, it needs more light. Outdoors, a shaded spot is best. The plant thrives in humid areas, such as a bathroom. Turn the plant weekly to encourage even growth. Check the new container for adequate drainage and drill more holes if necessary.
Your money tree plant needs water every seven to 10 days. Water when the top 3 or 4 inches of the soil is dry, keeping the deeper soil moist, but not wet. Trees may need more water in hot environments or when indoor air is dry. A daily light misting provides the extra humidity that money trees prefer. A quarterly dose of timed-release fertilizer is the easiest way to feed your money tree, but a twice-monthly dose of half-strength water-soluble fertilizer throughout the spring and summer will also provide the nutrients your money tree needs.