How to Propagate Money Tree (Pachira aquatica)?

When my dad was having a tough time working in China, a few years back, a colleague gifted him a Money Tree plant for good luck.

Though being a skeptic, he cared for the plant with his whole heart. Later, all his problems swayed, and he became more financially stable.

Since then, my dad has been obsessed with growing Money Trees, and his beliefs have gone up to propagate the plants and distribute them among relatives.

Generally, there are two methods of breeding Money Tree, including propagation through cuttings and seeds. It may take anywhere from 1.5 to 2 months for the cuttings to root, while seeds may need 2-4 weeks only to germinate. 

Image shows the growth of Money Tree plant in a pot
Use stem cuttings of mother plant for successful propagation of Money Tree.

When I left home to continue my studies in Ohio, my dad handed me a small Money Tree plant as a souvenir. The plant is thriving happily, and recently I have moved it outdoors as it is growing big.

So, if you wish to save a little money to buy lego bricks for your kids while fulfilling the gardening desire, propagation of Money Tree is easy.

Stay tuned to the article to learn how you can do it! 

Why Propagate Money Tree?

In Chinese culture, Money Trees symbolize wealth and luck.

So, propagating a Money Tree can confer your home with riches, but this is just a sentiment.

Propagating Money Trees also helps plants, enabling them to rejuvenate from environmental upshots.

Image signifies a healthy Money Tree plant
Transplanting helps Money Tree to revive from various environmental problems by taking cuttings from a healthy mother plant.

No doubt, propagation can help you save some money if you want to gift the plant or take it for yourself, but many others come as blessings.  

Let’s look at some benefits you can leverage through propagating Money Trees.

  • Propagating Money Trees from cuttings allows the plant to sprout their roots quickly.
  • Stem cuttings adorn leaves in no time and soon reach flowering maturity.
  • Baby Money Trees grown from cuttings will be genetically identical to the mother plant, excluding the chance of hybridization.
  • Besides, you can grow plants in water and soil, which is difficult to achieve via seeds.
  • If the mother plant is diseased, you can easily save it and grow a new Money Tree from the healthy cuttings.

Best Time to Propagate Money Tree

As for Money Trees, light is an important factor for full fledge growth of the leaves and roots.

So, you must wait for the right season when the cuttings can get enough sunshine to flourish.

Transplanting the cuttings in cold soil in winter is not a decent time, as it may cause frost injury to the delicate tissues.

The best time to propagate Money Tree is from early spring to late summer (March to August).

Image represents propagated Money Tree seedlings
The ideal time to propagate Money Trees is when the surrounding is warm and full of sunshine.

Also, the plants need to sustain a surrounding temperature between 65°F and 75°F.

However, adult Money Trees can handle a temperature 10°F lower or above the optimum range.

But you shouldn’t take this risk with the cuttings as they are in the maturity phase.

Money Trees are flexible species that display promising growth in zones 10 and above. This means you need a warmer climate to see it growing cheerfully!

How do You Propagate a Money Tree?

Experienced growers don’t take a chance growing Money Trees and always desire healthy stem cuttings.

We will also discuss the other parts for propagation, like seeds with fewer fruitful propagation odds.

But first, gather a few supplies for the process.

Materials Required to Propagate Money Tree

You can check the table to get your hands on the necessary tools and materials for propagation.

Tools and MaterialsSpecifications
GlovesTo protect the hands
PrunersTo snip the cuttings from the stem
Isopropyl AlcoholTo disinfect the tools
Terracotta Pots with Drainage HolesTo place the cuttings and seeds for growth
Zip-lock Bags (Large)To cover the cuttings for sustaining warmth and humidity
Cactus Potting MixSubstrate for growing the cuttings
Coarse SandTo provide the drainage and aeration in the potting mix
Organic PerliteTo supplement the soil with aeration and drainage
Rooting Hormone PowderTo quickly root the cuttings in soil and water
HumidifierTo provide the humidity for the cuttings and seeds
Glass BottlesTo grow the cuttings in water
Balanced NPK Liquid FertilizerTo feed the seedlings and cuttings
Multipurpose Hygrometer and ThermometerTo measure humidity and temperature levels
pH MeterTo measure the acidity or basicity of the soil
Moisture MeterTo measure the moisture content of the soil
Heating PadTo provide the necessary heat for the developing seeds

1. Propagation via Stem Cuttings

First, select a healthy green stem and omit the brown or dried branches.

If there are plenty of green branches, you can spare a few to increase the chance of propagation.

Money Trees must be in a juvenile state for you to take the cuttings, and it’s hard to find the proper materials from a mature plant.

Simply snip about 6 inches long cutting using sterilized pruners at an angle of 45°, having 2-4 leaf nodes at the bottom.

Image signifies stem cuttings for propagating Money Trees
Borrow green and non-woody stem cuttings from the mother Money Tree plant to ensure successful propagation.

Leaf nodes are like brown bumps on the stem from where the roots sprout after you place them in the soil or water.

After procuring the cuttings, remove the top leaves, wrap the cut ends in a paper towel, and place the paper towel ends in a plastic bag to keep them hydrated.

Also, it’s ideal for taking cuttings in the morning when there is enough moisture on the parts.

A. Propagation in Water

Do not be confused between transplanting the cuttings into the water and water propagation; both are the same.

For this, take 6 inches of cuttings with 2-4 leaf nodes at the bottom and follow these simple steps.

  • Grab a clean and transparent narrow-necked bottle.
  • Prepare a rooting hormonal solution in distilled water as per instructions on the pack.
  • Place one-third length of the cutting inside the water.
Image showcases the propagation of Money Tree in water
Remove the topmost leaves from the cuttings or keep the leaves as it is to transplant the cuttings in the water.
  • Keep the stem cutting in an area that receives dappling sunlight.
  • Refill the bottle with a new hormonal solution every 3-4 days.
  • Wait for a few weeks to observe the root growth.
  • Once the roots grow about 1-2 inches in length, transfer the cutting to a pot with cactus potting mix.

You can easily place multiple cuttings in the bottle, but ensure not to cram many as it may cause the cuttings to suffocate.

Cuttings with leaves at the top can also be propagated in the similar way as mentioned above, but the cuttings may take more time to develop roots.

B. Propagation in Soil

This method is less troublesome, and you do not need to change the growing container. If you are ready for the experiment, the floor is all yours!

  • Prepare a cactus potting mix in a terracotta pot with drainage holes. Cactus mixes have good drainage and prevent soggy conditions.
  • Poke 2-3 inches deep holes in the soil using chopsticks.
  • Dip the cutting ends in rooting hormone powder and shake the excess.
  • Place the cuttings in the soil with the cut ends facing down.
  • Cover the cuttings lightly with the soil at the bottom.
  • Use a wide zip-lock bag to cover the cutting from the top and the pot to maintain the humidity.
  • Locate the setup in bright indirect sunshine for 4-8 weeks until they develop roots.
  • Damp the soil fairly with water if it seems dry to the touch.

It make take 5-6 weeks for cutting roots to grow visible and another few weeks to transplant to a new container!

You can also learn the methods of propagating Money Trees from stem cuttings from this video.

2. Propagation via Seeds

I personally don’t recommend you propagate Money Trees from seeds, as the seeds possess less chance of germination.

Indoor Money Trees rarely set the seeds, but the one growing in the garden can readily set them after flowering.

Generally, each Money Tree plant forms oval and green pods that harbor the seeds in spring and fall.

When the seeds mature, the pods split open longitudinally, and the seeds become visible.

Following this, you can collect the seeds by hand.

Once having seeds in your possession, they are ready to be planted.

  • Prepare separate 6-8 inch wide terracotta pots for each seed with drainage holes.
  • Fill the containers with potting soil, coarse sand, and perlite in a ratio of 5:2:1.
  • Blend the mix with distilled water until it gets saturated and moist.
  • Make a hole about one-fourth of an inch deep using chopsticks and place the seeds into the holes.
  • Position the seeds so that the pale spot on the seeds stays sideways.
Image represents the seeds of Money Tree plant
Place the seeds such that the pale spot on the surface faces sidewards in the soil.
  • Lightly water so that the seeds settle on the soil.
  • Add more soil from the top to weakly cover the seeds
  • Locate the pots to a south-facing window and over a heating mat maintained around a temperature of 26°C.
  • Cover the pot with a zip-lock bag to sustain humidity and warmth.
  • Water when the top one inch of the soil dries.
  • After 14-28 days, the seeds will sprout and remove the heating mat once the seedlings emerge.
  • When the seedlings develop the first set of true leaves, move the seedlings to a spot that receives dappling sunlight.

Money Tree seeds don’t require pretreatments before germination.

You can propagate the Money Tree seedlings for one growing season under bright, indirect sunlight.

After that, transplant the seedlings to a more sunny outdoor spot for the next growing season.

Tips to Take Care of Money Tree after Propagating

The seedlings and cuttings are most vulnerable in their growth stage. So, they may require a lot of tending when they are on the way to becoming mature plants.

  • Try to remove the leaves from the top of the stem cuttings to encourage the plant to use the energy for growing roots.
  • Make 45° while taking the cuttings so that the surface area for the root development increases inside the soil.
  • Use moisture meters to check the humidity levels of the potting mix.
  • If the moisture levels in the device read around 3-4, mist the potting mix with water up to 2 inches deep.
  • Maintain pH levels between 6 and 7.5 in the soil.
  • Keep the seedlings indoors to harden for the first growing season and transfer them outdoors in the second growing season.
  • Move the seedlings to a new mix having coarse sand, potting soil, and perlite after they develop their first true leaves.
  • Sustain humidity levels around 50-70% indoors using a hygrometer by keeping the cuttings beside a humidifier.
Image shows measuring the moisture levels in the soil of Money Tree
Consider watering Money Trees when the moisture levels in the soil drop.
  • Keep the stem cuttings away from the vents, air conditioners, or fridge.
  • Forgo pruning for the first year until the plant develops foliage and continue normal pruning in the following spring and summer.
  • Repot Money Tree every once in 2-3 years when the plant is root bound. Use 2 inches wide container every time you do the transplant.
  • Provide water every once a week in spring and summer. Cut the watering to once in 2 weeks in fall and winter.
  • Avoid using tap water to cease the accumulation of excess salts in the potting soil.
  • Use balanced 10-10-10 liquid fertilizer every 2-3 weeks in spring and summer after the cuttings develop roots.
  • Cut back the fertilizer application in fall and winter.
  • Spray neem oil on the stem cuttings or after they develop new leaves once a month to keep the diseases and pests at bay.

Braid your Money Tree after the cuttings develop 6-8 inches of new growth with leaves, but consider growing the cuttings in the same pot for braiding.

Conclusion

Money Trees may not assure real luck and wealth to gardeners, but they can certainly proffer the joy of propagation.

Use stem cuttings if you want satisfactory results, but you can also try the seeds.

Ensure to maintain the correct requirements like sunlight, watering, soil, and fertilizer during and after the propagation.

The mellow needs of Money Trees make them an easy plant to propagate, even for wannabe gardeners.

Is your Money Tree showing alarming symptoms of brown leaves and dying? Protect the plant by securing all the basic care to help it prosper.

Happy Gardening!

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