Contrary to popular belief, Money Trees do not grow twisted trunks; these majestic plants require braiding to attain their unique appearance.
Although braiding does not require specialized tools, you should be careful about time, technique, and aftercare to ensure a healthy-looking Money Tree.
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Do Money Trees Braid Themselves?
Did you know the most-prized Feng Shui plant, Money Tree (Pachira Aquatica), can grow about 60 feet tall in the wild?
However, contrary to popular belief, these tropical wetland plants do not grow braided trunks.
Instead, the native South American tree rapidly grows out of unruly stems that reach about 24 inches yearly, requiring growers to braid these trunks (stems) in plaits to create a uniform-looking plant.
Why are Money Trees braided?— Simply because they look untidy and pitiful when unbraided, which is opposite to the ornamental appearance they are known for.
You should not start braiding the tree immediately after the growth or wait years before beginning.
Braiding a mature Money Tree is impossible because they are less tensile, which prevents bending due to thickening trunks.
On the other hand, braiding a young Money Tree will deform the trunks altogether, ruining the ornamental plant.
Remember, they should have grown at least 14-16 inches long before braiding to attain a solid structure when usually about a year old.
Besides, they live for 10-15 years and grow 7-8 feet, giving them a taller and sturdier appearance.
However, if you ever find one or more trunks drying, do not panic; trim it off to protect others.
Is Braiding Money Trees Compulsory?
If you ever find a Money Tree growing in the wild, you will witness a large tree with multiple trunks attached growing unruly.
Braiding Money Trees is not compulsory, but you should strictly braid them when growing indoors to provide an ornamental appeal.
Therefore, choosing to braid the Money Tree is all about keeping up with practicing the culture!
Wait at least ten months before the young plant grows stems about a foot tall to begin braiding.
Avoid braiding the tree when it gets significantly tall with thickening trunks because twisting thick trunks would snap them, causing irreparable damage.
Most importantly, do not use tools but hands to twist the stems while braiding to prevent cracks and wounds.
How Do You Braid Money Tree Stem (Trunks)?
Now that you know why and when you should braid the Money Tree, let us discuss the steps to braiding one.
- Start by ensuring your plant meets the requirements mentioned above.
- Wait until it is above 12 inches tall and the shoots are still supple.
- Sanitize the pruning shear to trim shoots or branches extending off the main trunk and browned or wilted leaves.
- Beware of the number of trunks available, 3 or 5, because braiding many trunks would be slightly different.
- For three shoots, take two shoots in one hand and the third in the other hand.
- Start from the base and begin intertwining the shoots, creating plaits like you would braid the hair.
- For five shoots, take two in one hand, the other two in the other hand, and leave the middle one.
- Start intertwining the two pairs of shoots around the middle, creating plaits.
- Braiding five shoots will look thicker and sturdier than braiding three shoots.
- Next, leave a few inches at the top with offshoots and leaves.
- Secure the braid using duct tape, coir string, or thin rope, whichever is available.
- Add two wooden or steel stakes beside the braided plant to provide support.
- You can tie the plant to the stakes to prevent it from leaning sideways.
- Do not braid the shoots tightly, as they will thicken over time.
- Continue rebranding the offshoots once they grow 6 inches or more, usually after a few months.
- You can remove the stakes once the plant has held the structure.
- The base becomes bulbous as it grows older, providing natural support.
- Provide a well-draining potting mix and a pot slightly larger than the root ball to induce rapid shoot growth.
- Ensure six hours of bright-indirect sunlight daily, weekly watering, and monthly feeding in spring and summer to grow taller.
- 65-80ºF temperature and humidity above 50% are the best fit to grow Money Tree.
- Remember to prune off extending branches and dead or curled leaves to regroup energy toward trunk growth.
- Repot the tree once every 2-3 years to provide room for the root-growth.
If your Money Tree is dying, learn about the causes and symptoms to revive it.
After 2-4 years of braiding, Money Tree may need rebraiding. So, remove the string, rope, or anything that has helped the plant braid.
Begin with braiding the newly developed shoot parts, along with the old braid upwards. Continue braiding the trunks until you reach the leafy parts.
From Editorial Team
Growing a Money Tree is believed to bring luck, positivity, and prosperity to anyone who cares for it.
Therefore, it can be a great idea to grow and braid your Money Trees and even propagate them in spring.
However, care to provide optimal growing conditions to keep the Money Tree growing taller and sturdier.