How to Propagate a Money Tree in Water and Soil

By: Matt Slaymaker
December 18, 2023
How to Propagate a Money Tree
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The money tree (Pachira aquatica) is one of the good luck plants in Feng Shui. It’s a beautiful plant with a braided trunk and foliage that comes in leaflets of five. Relatively low-maintenance, this lovely plant makes a wonderful gift because of its association with financial well-being. Moreover, it's perfect for cat and dog owners as it's one of the popular pet-safe plants.

Learning how to propagate a money tree isn’t difficult, even for beginners. Moreover, it’s a simple way to get more of these amazing plants for your own home or to share with your loved ones.

Can You Propagate a Money Tree?

Money trees can be propagated from stem and leaf cuttings, as well as from seed. Propagating from seed is the slowest way, while the quickest propagation method is from stem cuttings in water. If you want your new plant to have the spectacular braided trunk typical of money trees, you’d need at least three successful cuttings. After all, many people believe that the braided trunk is what helps secure the plant’s luck! Also, this gives the money tree’s trunk the support it needs to stay upright.

When Is the Best Time to Propagate a Money Tree? 

First of all, make sure that your plant is healthy and grows well. This will increase the chances of success. The best time to propagate your Pachira tree is during the growing season, from spring to summer. This way, your new cuttings will have time to adjust in stably warm temperatures.

Money Tree Propagation: Supplies You Need

If you’ve decided that you want to grow some more adorable money trees from cuttings to expand your indoor plant collection, here are the equipment and supplies you will need:

  • good pair of scissors or pruning shears
  • gloves
  • glass vase 
  • water

For propagating in soil, you’ll additionally need:

  • small spade or trowel
  • rooting hormone (optional)
  • potting soil
  • small pot

Make sure that the scissors, pruning shears, trowel, and pot you’ll be using are clean. This is essential to prevent disease; bacteria can stay on your gardening tool from previous planting activities and infect the new cuttings. Wear gloves to protect your hands.

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How to Propagate a Money Tree in Water

How to Propagate a Money Tree in Water

The easiest and most popular way to propagate your money tree is in water. This method lets you see your new plants’ roots developing and growing, and you can monitor when they get large enough to transplant into pots.

Propagate a Money Tree From Stem

To propagate a money tree in water from stems, you’ll need several cuttings. This way you’ll have more plants, and it will be easier to braid three of them to make your new money tree sturdier. Take your cuttings in the morning after watering the plant in advance.  

  • Choose the stems that you will use for cuttings; select healthy stems several inches long with leaves on them.
  • Cut each stem below a node where the leaves are attached to the stem; remove all the leaves except the upper two.
  • Fill the glass vase with fresh water and put your cuttings in it so that the nodes are underwater.
  • Place the vase where it will get plenty of indirect sunlight that your cuttings need to develop roots.
  • Change the water every week.

Propagate a Money Tree From Leaf

If you want to cut off as little as possible from your original plant, you can grow a new money tree from a single leaf. It may take a bit longer to grow, but it will leave your money tree looking its best. To propagate a money tree from leaf, here’s what you need to do:

  • Choose a medium-sized leaf.
  • Cut it at the base where it connects with the stem, leaving the little node from which the leaves grow intact.
  • Put the leaf in a small cup filled with fresh water; only the base of the leaf should touch the water to avoid rotting.
  • Put the cup in indirect sunlight and change the water every week.

How Long Does It Take to Propagate a Money Tree in Water?

It normally takes from two to four weeks to propagate a money tree in water. Don’t get discouraged if it takes a bit longer; the new plants will be worth it!

How to Propagate a Money Tree in Soil Step by Step

How to Propagate a Money Tree in Soil
Source: Simplify Plants

Propagating a money tree in soil is often recommended to enable the plant to grow strong roots. The soil contains many vital nutrients that the cuttings need to develop into full-grown plants.

Money Tree Propagation in Soil (From Leaf and Stem Cuttings)

Here’s how to propagate your cuttings in soil:

  • Prepare your stem or leaf cuttings as described above.
  • Fill a small pot with well-draining potting soil (you can mix in some perlite for better drainage).
  • Dip the bottom of each cutting in root hormone (optional).
  • Stick the stem or leaf cuttings into the soil.
  • Water them moderately but frequently to prevent the soil from drying out.
  • If the atmosphere in your home is not humid enough, you can cover the cuttings with a transparent plastic bag to create a greenhouse effect and retain humidity.

How Long Do Money Tree Cuttings Take to Root in Soil?

It takes around four to eight weeks for the money tree cuttings to take root in soil.

How Do You Propagate a Money Tree From Seed?

How to Propagate a Money Tree From Seed

Usually, money trees grown indoors don’t flower and develop seed pods. That’s why you will need to either buy them or get them from an outdoor money tree. Once you have the seeds, here’s how to propagate a Pachira tree from seed:

  • Fill small containers with potting soil; you will need a separate container for each seed.
  • Water the soil and let any excess water drain.
  • Place each seed around half an inch deep into the soil.
  • Water when the upper layer of the soil feels dry and watch for new growth.

Money Tree After Propagation: Care Tips

After you’ve succeeded with your money tree propagation, keeping your new plants in conditions that will promote their growth is essential. Pachiras are aesthetic, low-maintenance and easy-to-grow plants. Still, there are several factors and money tree care specifics that you need to consider if you want to grow a thriving plant.

What Helps a Money Tree Grow

  • Well-draining soil: Money trees need soil that drains well but also retains sufficient moisture. Potting soil mixed with sand or peat works well for money trees.
  • Moderate watering requirements: The money tree requires moderate but regular watering; tap water that’s sat for 24 hours overnight or distilled water is best.
  • Indirect bright sunlight: Money trees thrive in bright sunlight; avoid direct sunlight to prevent sunburnt leaves.
  • Medium to high humidity: Money plants grow best in medium to high humidity (over 50%) and thrive when misted regularly. It also prefers warm temperatures from 65-75, which are especially important for new plants adjusting after propagation.
  • Seasonal fertilizing: Fertilize your money tree once or twice a month during the growing season with a balanced liquid fertilizer, diluted at half strength; avoid fertilizing in autumn and winter when the plant is dormant.

Money Tree Common Issues

Some of the common problems that money tree owners encounter with their plants are leggy stems with few leaves, yellowing or browning leaves, and soft, wilting stems. Your money tree may grow leggy if it’s not receiving enough light. The solution is to move it to a spot with bright but indirect sunlight.

Leaves may droop and grow yellow both from overwatering and underwatering, and the best way to find out which is to check the soil. If the soil is dry, water your plant, and if it’s wet, refrain from watering for a while. Additionally, a soft trunk is a definite sign of overwatering.

How to Propagate a Money Tree: FAQs

Q: Is it better to propagate money trees in water or soil?

A: Propagating in water is quicker, as it normally takes two to four weeks for the new plant to develop roots. It’s also rewarding to be able to see the roots grow.

Q: When should I repot a money tree?

A: If you want your Pachira to grow into a large plant, repot it every two or three years, when its roots become pot-bound. To keep your plant small, keep it in its old pot, as this is the best way to curb its growth.  

Q: What kind of soil do money trees like?

A: Money trees like well-draining soil that contains sufficient nutrients; for instance, potting soil mixes with sand or peat.

Q: Why won’t my money tree grow?

A: Reasons for growth issues can include dormancy during autumn and winter, insufficient light, pot-bound roots, as well as overwatering or underwatering.

Conclusion

Propagating a Pachira tree is easy and very rewarding. Not only do you get new plants for your own home, but you can also grow a money tree to give as a gift to someone, who can use some luck and seeks financial well-being!

The money tree gives off an elegant tropical vibe, and it looks great with other tropical beauties, like guzmania or calathea. A larger money tree can be a major highlight alongside a lady palm or a ZZ plant.