How to Braid a Money Tree Bonsai
A money tree (Pachira Aquatica) bonsai is a pleasant addition to your indoor space. There’s a belief that it also brings good luck and fortune. A popular choice in money trees is a braided one, which looks attractive and unique. Braiding the tree is a personal choice and isn’t very necessary, especially if you prefer the plant in its natural state.
However, if you want to know how to braid one and what it entails, you’re at the right place. In this article, we’ll tell you how to do just that in simple steps.
Advantages of Braiding
Money trees are braided for a lot of reasons, primarily for aesthetics. Most of the leaves grow at the top, with very little foliage at the bottom. As a result, the trunk of a solitary plant may look long and slender. Braiding can give it a fuller look.
This practice is also useful as it provides stability to the tree. The trunk is slender at the bottom with a cluster of dense leaves at the top. Therefore, it can become fragile and could bend under its weight if not braided.
The braids also enhance the beauty of your space as they look unique and exotic. This feature makes the money tree a popular gifting choice. The money tree is also a symbol of good luck and many people genuinely believe that it brings prosperity.
The leaves on the tree are in a cluster of five, which is an important number in Chinese culture. Also, there are five elements of nature: Earth, Fire, Water, Wind, and Space.
Firstly, make sure that your money tree is young and in a healthy state. You shouldn’t braid a mature money tree as its trunk is a bit firm and usually resistant to movement. Measure the shoots before you begin, as they should be about 14-16 inches long.
Braiding on shorter shoots would hinder the growth of the plant. There should be at least three shoots to braid.
To begin the braiding process, grab the shoots from the base. If you’re braiding three shoots, grab one in each hand and leave one in the middle. Likewise, if there are five shoots, grab two in each hand and leave one in the middle. It would help to know the traditional French braid hairstyle, as it follows the same steps.
To make the first plait, bring the shoot(s) in your left hand over the shoot in the middle and cross them over. Now, cross the left shoot(s) over the middle one. Continue braiding in this manner and work slowly. Untangle any leaves on the shoots during the process.
Once you get to the leafy part of the plant, you can stop braiding. You may then secure the braid with a string, garden tape, or even a shoelace if you must. Don’t fasten it too tightly, as the tree needs some breathing space.
After you’ve braided the shoots and secured them, plant two stakes on opposite sides of the money tree. The stakes ensure that the braided shoots don’t lean over on either side, and there’s vertical growth. If needed, you can also tie the stakes and the tree with a string.
After a couple of months or more, if the plant has grown considerably, you can re-braid the extra growth. To do this, first, remove the string that you previously used to tie the plant. You can then resume braiding on the new stems. Follow the braiding steps as above.
Once done, leave some room on the top, i.e., close to the leafy part. Next, secure the braid with another string, this time a longer one. You might also need longer stakes. With subsequent growth, you should also re-pot the plant as required.
Finally, make sure to take good care of your braided tree and keep it hydrated.