Money Tree Bonsai Species Guide
The Money Tree bonsai species is an extremely popular indoor plant that has come into the hobby in recent years. This tree is often seen with a braided trunk and broad evergreen leaves. Mature trees also flower and carry seeds that, once roasted, are edible.
Fung Shui practitioners also love this quaint tree and believe that this tree can bring positive energy to any room that it is placed in.
The Money Tree bonsai is thought to bring good fortune and prosperity, and the traditional braiding of the trunk further symbolizes the luck the tree brings its owners. Although this tree is not the easiest tree for bonsai, it makes a unique and exciting bonsai that does very well indoors.
Here’s what you’ll find in our Money Tree bonsai species guide:
Here’s what you’ll find in our Money Tree bonsai species guide:
Quick Money Tree Bonsai Species Care Sheet
We’ll go into more detail on caring for your Pachira Aquatica bonsai in the sections below. However, as a quick reference, we’ve summarised the essential notes in this table.
Well draining bonsai soil containing akadama.
Summer: About once a week, when the top two inches of the soil is dry.
Winter: About once every ten days, when the top two inches of the soil is dry.
Every two to three years in spring, before the new buds start to swell.
Shaping and pruning season
Strong pruning: Late winter.
Maintenance pruning: Throughout the year.
Summer: Full sun whether indoors or outdoors.
Winter: A warm spot that is free from frost.
Young trees: Once a week with liquid fertilizer during spring and summer. Slow release bonzai pellets can also be used every eight weeks.
Older trees: Once every two weeks with liquid fertilizer.
Slow release bonzai pellets can also be used once every eight weeks instead of liquid fertilizer.
Seeds and cuttings.
Pests and diseases
Spider Mites and Mealybugs if there is insufficient ventilation.
Fast growers that produce stems and leaves from the top of the tree, without side branches or shoots.
Formal Upright (Chokkan)
Informal Upright (Moyogi)
Forest or Grouping (Yose-ue)
Central and South America as well as Japan.
- Division: Tracheophyta
- Class: Magnoliopsida
- Order: Malvales (mallows)
- Family: Malvaceae (mallows)
- Genus: Pachira
- Species: Pachira Aquatica
Read our guide
How to Care for the Money Tree Bonsai Species
Although the Money Tree bonsai species is not a particularly difficult one to care for. As long as you make sure that it gets enough sun, water, and ventilation, you should be able to grow this bonsai tree without too many problems.
The best soil that you can choose to grow your Pachira Aquatica bonsai in has good drainage. Choose a pot with enough drainage holes and further improve the drainage by adding a layer of gravel or larger rocks to the bottom of your pot.
After ensuring good drainage, you can fill the pot with good quality bonsai soil. Alternatively, you can also use potting soil that is further enriched with sand, peat moss, akadama, and perlite to ensure the best result for your money tree. The soil ph should be in the neutral range, between 6.0 and 7.5.
The Money Tree bonsai species is not very water-hungry, and it can store some water in its trunk, meaning that it can go slightly longer between waterings. Also, the Pachira Aquatica does not like having its roots wet, so good drainage is essential.
When watering your Pachira Aquatica bonsai, you can do so once a week during summer. However, make sure that the first two inches of the soil is dry before watering as the tree prefers that the soil dries out before being watered again.
Pachira Aquatica love humidity, so they will appreciate a weekly misting along with watering.
Repotting is a significant phase for any bonsai as it keeps the tree healthy in the pot. The Money Tree bonsai species is no different and should be repotted every two to three years or when you notice that your tree becomes overly thirsty.
Repotting should be done in the spring before the buds begin to swell. When root pruning your Money Tree bonsai, be mindful not to remove more than ¼ of the roots to ensure that your plant remains healthy.
As with most bonsai trees, once you’ve repotted your Pachira Aquatica, don’t fertilize it for at least four weeks and make sure to put it in a safe, warm spot in the shade and only water sparingly until the roots have had a chance to establish in the soil.
Shaping and Pruning
Although light maintenance pruning can be done throughout the year, your Pachira Aquatica will benefit from a heavier pruning in late winter to allow new growth in the spring. Strong, healthy plants can be defoliated entirely if you want to change the shape and development of your tree.
Shaping of the Money Tree bonsai species can be achieved with the clip-and-grow method or by wiring. It is essential to note that when wire training, the tree grows quickly, so you will have to monitor it to ensure the wires are removed before they start digging into the tree and cause scarring.
Also, wiring is best used while the tree is young and bendable. Wiring an older tree will not be possible as the trunk is no longer pliable, and forcing it into a shape can cause damage.
Location and Sunlight
Pachira Aquatica bonsai love the sunlight. They can be kept indoors in locations with a lot of bright light for the largest part of the day. They can also thrive outdoors as long as the climate is on the warmer side. Outdoor, they will do well with half sun, half shade during the day.
It’s recommended that when temperatures drop below 54 degrees, your bonsai should be moved inside as they don’t do well in the cold and are susceptible to damage from the frost.
The Money Tree bonsai species does well during the growing season with regular feeding once a week with liquid fertilizer or once every eight weeks with fertilizer pellets. Fertilizing frequently in the spring and summer will increase the growth of your tree, which is excellent while the tree is still young and being shaped.
When your tree is older, you can change the routine to fertilize once every two weeks to keep your tree healthy.
You can grow Money Trees from seeds, and many bonsai enthusiasts prefer cultivating in this way. However, the best and easiest way to propagate Pachira Aquatica is through cuttings.
You can take hardwood cuttings from a healthy Pachira Aquatica and place them in water until a few roots have developed. Once you see a few roots, you can transfer the tree gently to a pot with soil.
You can also place the cutting directly in the ground and still achieve success. However, it may take slightly longer for your tree to develop roots in this way.
Pests and Diseases
The Pachira Aquatica is a relatively hardy tree that can be kept free from pests under the right conditions. If your tree is in an area without good ventilation, you may get spider mites and mealworms.
The best way to treat these pests is with a spray bottle filled with water and a tablespoon of dish soap. You can also treat periodically with a pesticide to keep pests away if you notice them coming back.
The most common ailments that you may face with your Pachira Aquatica bonsai is root rot from overwatering and drying out from too much direct sunlight. This is why correct watering and positioning are essential to the health of your bonsai.
The Money Tree bonsai species presents fast-growing trees, especially if you feed it properly while still young. Many Pachira Aquatica come in a braided style where a few trees, usually five, are braided together. Although this can work for a regular indoor plant, it is not so ideal for a bonsai.
This is because the trunks of the Pachira Aquatica don’t fuse together like some other species, such as many ficusses. The braiding followed by growth of the trunk can smother some of the weaker trunks causing them to die.
As such, most bonsai growers prefer to unbraid them and instead style them in a forest style or repot the trees separately in their own pots.
These trees occur naturally in an upright position. As such, the formal upright (chokkan) or informal upright (moyogi) are naturally suited styles for growing your Pachira Aquatica bonsai. Since so many of them come in groupings, you can also style them in a forest grouping (Yose-ue) with excellent results.
The brave bonsai enthusiast might also attempt other styles such as the slanting style (shakan) or even the semi-cascade (han-kengai) style if you use careful wiring while the tree is young and bendable. However, this tree does not naturally produce many side branches, making these styles more challenging.
Considerations for Growing an Indoor Money Tree
If you are considering introducing the Money Tree bonsai species to your collection, there are a few things you need to take into account. The Pachira Aquatica can do very well indoors if you make sure that you meet the requirements to keep the tree healthy.
To remain healthy indoors, your Money Tree bonsai will need to be placed in a space where it can get a lot of bright light during the day. If you have a table or windowsill in front of a window that receives sunlight for most of the day, this would be an ideal position.
The Money Tree bonsai needs good ventilation to stay pest-free. Without adequate ventilation, your bonsai may become infested with spider mites or mealworms, which can cause a lot of damage to your tree.
Common Issues When Caring For a Money Tree Bonsai
There are not many issues that you may encounter with your Money Tree bonsai if you meet their care requirements. However, there are two problems that you could face with your Pachira Aquatica bonsai, especially if it’s your first one.
Root rot can be an issue in many different bonsai, especially those originating from warmer, drier, or more tropical climates. The Money Tree bonsai does not enjoy having its roots submerged in water. This can cause root rot, which will affect the overall health of your tree.
To avoid this issue, make sure that you do not water too regularly and that the soil has a chance to dry out between watering. A good indication is to water when the top two inches of the soil is dry.
Too Much Sunlight
Another issue that can occur with a Money Tree Bonsai is too much direct sunlight. Even though this tree thrives in a lot of light, too much direct sunlight can cause damage to your tree. Make sure that when you place your tree outdoors, it is in a spot that receives direct sunlight for half the day and shade for the rest.
Interesting Facts About Money Tree Bonsai
There are so many interesting facts and lore surrounding the Money Tree. Why not read through some of these interesting facts around the Pachira Aquatica.
- According to the legend, a poor man prayed for a way to make money. He soon discovered the Money Tree, realized how easy it was to propagate from cuttings, and started selling the cuttings. He soon became a rich man by selling the trees.
- Practitioners in Fung Shui love using Money Trees as they believe that these trees bring positive energy into a space.
- Money Trees can become quite tall, up to seven feet.
- Money Trees usually have five to six leaves on each stem. However, on rare occasions, there may be seven leaves, which is supposed to be extremely good luck.
FAQs about the Money Tree Bonsai Species
We have compiled a few of the most commonly asked questions regarding the Money Tree to help with any lingering uncertainties. If you have any more questions, feel free to let us know.
Bonsai is an art form of creating miniature versions of real trees. As such many different species of trees can be used in bonsai. Money Trees are one of the species that people like to train as a bonsai.
Your money tree should be watered about once a week during summer and less during the winter months. A good guide is that when the top two inches of soil is dry, you can water your tree.
Money trees do well when kept indoors in a spot that gets a lot of light and ventilation. They can also do well outside if kept in a spot that receives sun for half the day and shade for the rest of the day. However, if you live in an area that gets very cold during winter, i.e., less than 54 degrees, you should move your Money Tree indoors.
Money Trees prefer higher humidity, so they would benefit from regular misting, especially if you are located in a drier climate. Misting will also help to keep pests away from your tree.