How to Thicken a Money Tree Bonsai Trunk

The Money Tree is a fascinating species to work with. It represents prosperity, wealth, and luck, making it a very positive bonsai to keep in your home. Money Tree bonsai in feng shui is also popular. Many feng shui practitioners well respect the Pachira Aquatica as bringing positivity into any room, which is perfect as Pachira Aquatica makes excellent indoor bonsai.

However, to have a good-looking bonsai, you will need to thicken a Money Tree bonsai trunk. This may require some work but is so rewarding in the end.

thicken a money tree bonsai trunk

Why Do You Want to Thicken the Trunk of Your Money Tree Bonsai?

There are a few things that are critical in the art of bonsai. The balance between the different areas, i.e. roots, the base of the trunk, rest of the trunk, branches, and foliage. This balance is essential to make the tree appear older and pleasing to the eye.

Another vital part of achieving balance is having a thick trunk. A beautiful thick trunk helps to keep the balance of the tree appealing. It also makes it appear to be much older and more like a mature, miniature version of a tree you might find in nature.

The Pachira Aquatica naturally has a very tall and skinny trunk, so you may have to try a few different methods to thicken the trunk of your bonsai.

We have a detailed bonsai tree care guide with all the relevant information. Check the guide out here!

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Ways to Thicken a Money Tree Bonsai Trunk

Bonsai is not a sprint to the finish but rather a process that takes time and patience. As such, the best way to thicken the trunk of your Money Tree is by naturally allowing the trunk to get thicker over time. However, that could take years, even with fast-growing tree species.

That’s why there are a few other ways that you can speed up the process and get a fatter trunk in a shorter period. Be aware, though, that even with these methods, it will still take some time.

Method 1: Growing in the Ground

This is by far the most natural way of thickening the trunk and will take some years. You take your Money Tree and plant it directly into the ground or in a big outdoor training pot and leave the tree to grow naturally.

Of course, you can still trim the branches and leaves that get out of hand and fertilize and water as you would normally, but basically, you are allowing the tree to thicken the trunk naturally.

Method 2: Sacrificial Branches

This method can be used alongside the first option to speed things up slightly. For this method to work successfully, you’ll keep a lower branch close to the base of the trunk. This will be the sacrificial branch, so don’t get attached to it.

Now you leave the tree to grow while pruning all the other growth except for the sacrificial branch. This branch will feed the trunk many nutrients to help with its development and thus thicken it.

Method 3: Trunk Merging

This method is one of the fastest ways of thickening a trunk. However, it’s not possible with all species of trees and can also come with its own pitfalls to be wary of. The Money Tree is often braided as it was initially thought that this would lock in luck. If kept like this and allowed to grow, the trees will eventually fuse together and give the appearance of a single thick trunk.

One of the pitfalls is that if any tree used in the fusion dies, it will leave a gap in the trunk. The fusion will then take much longer. Also, if you don’t use trees from the same parent, you might end up with a bonsai with different characteristics, making an unbalanced bonsai.

Method 4: Cut Back the Trunk

Cutting back the trunk is another way of speeding up the thickening of your trunk. Once again, it can be used effectively with the first method of growing the tree in the ground. You will let the tree grow naturally, and once you start getting a nice thick trunk, you will trim it back to approximately one-third of the height of your desired bonsai.

Then you will leave it once more to grow out. Repeat this process for about three cuts, and you should have a very nice thick and tapered trunk.

thicken a money tree bonsai trunk

Final Thoughts

The art of bonsai is a unique and addictive hobby. You may only start with one simple bonsai, but soon you may find yourself adding rapidly to your collection. Another lure of the hobby is working with many different species of trees and creating amazing miniature versions.

Thickening the trunk of your Pachira Aquatica can leave you with a great-looking bonsai that is well balanced. Incorporating a Money Tree bonsai in feng shui within your home can also brighten up any room.

5 Responses

  1. Hello
    I have 3 small trunks braided and one broke. Other two grew twice the height and now the plant is lop sided. Should I cut the 2 taller stems to match height of the shorter stem to let it grow evenly?

    1. Hi Candice. How far down did the trunk break? If you trim the other two, will they still have leaves? If a trunk ever breaks again, you can craft a splint and tie the two broken ends together, as the Money Tree tends to heal back quite well. You have two options depending on how it affects the other two trunks. If you decide to make it even, it’s hopefully not too much you need to prune off. The other choice you have is preventing the other 2 trunks from growing higher while the 3rd one catches up, but we like your proposal of cutting the other 2 for balance and even growth more. We hope this helps you decide what to do.

  2. “Method 4: Cut Back the Trunk

    Cutting back the trunk is another way of speeding up the thickening of your trunk. Once again, it can be used effectively with the first method of growing the tree in the ground. You will let the tree grow naturally, and once you start getting a nice thick trunk, you will trim it back to approximately one-third of the height of your desired bonsai.

    Then you will leave it once more to grow out. Repeat this process for about three cuts, and you should have a very nice thick and tapered trunk.”

    Do you mean the top of the stem including all the leaves and branches are to be cut off?

    1. Hi there. Yes, but remember to only cut back a third of the desired height you want your bonsai to be. So you’ll chop off the top part with leaves and branches, let it grow back, and then cut it off again. It will thicken the main base of the money tree.

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Leri Koen was introduced to the art of bonsai at a young age. Some of her fondest memories from her childhood is watching her father tend his prized bonsai. These fond memories soon turned into a passion as she discovered her own love of the art, and admiration for these artists.

She could easily spend hours reading about different bonsai techniques, or marveling at some stunning bonsai.

Some of her favorite trees to use in bonsai include Acacia, Bougainvillea, Ficus. She is hoping to soon propagate a few Pomegranate seeds and Wisteria and watch them develop into stunning bonsai with care and love.

Leri Koen

Leri Koen

Writer

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