How to Prune a Money Tree Bonsai
The Money Tree or Pachira Aquatica is a symbol of luck and prosperity. Who couldn’t use a little more good fortune in their lives? The Pachira Aquatica has been given as a gift for many years and graces many homes and offices with its presence. It’s such a popular indoor tree because it is so easy to care for. It only requires a bit of water once a week and a nice bright spot in the home, and it is sure to do well.
Pachira Aquatica bonsais are excellent trees for beginners to start with as it is so forgiving. Yet, it’s still an interesting challenge even for more senior bonsai enthusiasts. As with any bonsai, pruning is critical to keeping the tree healthy and looking like a bonsai.
So, let’s look at how to prune a Money Tree bonsai:
So, let’s look at how to prune a Money Tree bonsai:
Why Should You Prune a Money Tree Bonsai?
When it comes to pruning a bonsai, you have to take your time and make sure that you have a clear image and plan in mind when you start to prune. It can sometimes take a while, and some enthusiasts have been known to leave a tree for another growing season and only do some maintenance pruning because they are not yet sure of the tree’s shape.
However, there are definite reasons that you should prune a Money Tree bonsai.
To Limit the Size and Shape of Your Bonsai
The whole art of bonsai is based on creating miniature versions of trees you would see in nature. As such, a full-grown Money Tree of 60 feet will not classify as a bonsai. Regular pruning of the leaves, trunk, and roots will keep your tree smaller and encourage growth where you want it, such as thickening the trunk and primary branches.
To Encourage New Growth
During the training of your bonsai, you may want to get more branches so that you can create a fuller look. By pruning your Pachira Aquatica, it will stimulate new growth, and you’ll see new branches and leaves popping up, sometimes in odd places.
To Keep Your Tree Healthy
By pruning away any dead or browning leaves, it keeps your tree looking healthy. By removing excess leaves, branches, and those that are dying, it frees up your trees so that it can focus its energy on growing the areas you want to keep in the final vision of your bonsai.
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How Should You Prune a Money Tree Bonsai?
You can prune a Money Tree bonsai in different ways depending on what you want to achieve. Let’s look at the different types and when is the ideal season to do each.
Structural or Heavy Pruning
This type of pruning is done to change the size, shape, or design of your bonsai. During this form of pruning, you’ll remove quite a lot of the tree and make quite drastic changes. This style of pruning is best done in late winter or early spring before you see signs of new growth.
This activity can be stressful to the plant, so make sure that you have a plan of what you want to achieve when you do this type of pruning so that you do not have to prune heavily too often.
This type of pruning is done to keep the tree small, healthy, and looking its best. During the activity, you only remove shoots that are growing too long or leaves that are getting too big. Maintenance pruning can be done on your Pachira Aquatica throughout the year.
Root Pruning is essential to keep your bonsai healthy and small. Root pruning is best done when you are repotting your Pachira Aquatica bonsai. This bonsai should be repotted once every two to three years. During this process, comb out the roots carefully in a radial pattern around the tree and trim down equally so that the roots fit comfortably in the pot. Do not trim more than one-third of the root ball to keep your tree healthy.
How to Prune a Money Tree Bonsai?
When you are preparing to prune a Money Tree bonsai, you must have a plan in mind. Don’t just start chopping away at your tree. Take a moment to look carefully at your tree and see what shape is coming forward, where you need to balance the tree, where you want to try to direct growth. Carefully consider all these aspects as you get your tools ready to start pruning.
Start by trimming the most significant and obvious pieces first. Try to make the top of the canopy in a rounded dome shape as this presents nicely and makes the tree appear older than it may be. When making cuts, ensure that you cut about half an inch from a node. Nodes are the areas where new growth would sprout from. Make your cuts at a 45° angle to further promote the new development.
Take steps back often to see what your pruning is doing to the overall shape and look of the tree. Don’t stress if your tree appears very bare after a pruning, especially structural or heavy pruning. The new growth will soon come in, and you will see a significant improvement in your bonsai.
Tools Needed to Prune Your Pachira Aquatica bonsai:
- For thick stems and trunks, you’ll need Pruning Shears.
- For shaping and maintenance, you’ll need Pruning Scissors.
- Disinfect all tools with at least 70% Rubbing Alcohol.
The Money Tree bonsai is such a hardy and rewarding tree to work within bonsai. It’s highly durable, so if you’re still learning about the art of bonsai, this is an excellent place to start. This fact is especially true when it comes to pruning, which makes many beginners nervous. With regular pruning, your Pachira Aquatica will continue to be healthy and look good in its pot.