Pachira Aquatica

About a Pachira Aquatica

The Pachira aquatica was initially found growing in the wetlands and swamps in Central and South America. As an outdoor tree, it can be as tall as 50ft and produce both nuts and flowers; indoors it is much smaller and rarely produces either flowers or nut. A Pachira Aquatica first became popular as a houseplant in Taiwan during the 1980’s. The plant is often referred to as a Money Tree plant or Money Plant. The nickname Money Tree plant refers to an old story about a very poor man who prayed that somehow, he might be able get the money he needed very badly. Soon after praying, he found an unusual plant growing nearby and decided to take it home. When the plant produced seeds he planted them, grew more plants, and sold the plants to make the money he needed. So a Pachira Aquatica became known as a Money Tree plant. Other names for a Pachira Aquatica are Malabar Chestnut, French Peanut, and Saba Nut.

Pachira Aquatica Description

Today, a Money Tree plant is available throughout the world especially in bonsai form. A Pachira aquatica usually has a central trunk made up of three, five, or seven stems that are often braided together. Each leaf has 5-7 bright green, shiny, leathery leaflets.  When small, a Money Tree can be trained as a bonsai or used as a table plant. As the plant matures, it makes an impressive indoor tree  sometimes growing as tall as six feet or more.

Quick Care Tips

Prefers high humidity

Medium to bright indirect lightVery few houseplants should be placed in direct sun. High light refers only to bright indirect light since direct sun often burns the leaves of indoor houseplants. An area that is too hot and dry encourages Spider Mites and causes blooms to quickly fade. A northern exposure really doesn't provide enough light for high light plants. These plants need to be placed directly in front of an east-facing window, within 1-3 feet of a west-facing window, and within 5 ft. of a south facing window. A high light area has over 300 ft. candles of light.

Warm temperatures above 60°F (15.6°C)

Avoid cold drafts

Do not feed during the winter when the plant is resting

Best propagated in early spring and summer using plant cuttingsLearn how to propagate plants using stem cuttings, leaf cuttings, cane cuttings, and branch cuttings.


Other plants like a pothos and jade plant are sometimes referred to as Money Plants, but it’s the Pachira aquatica that’s used by the followers of Feng Shui. They believe that when placed in the right location in a home or business, a Pachira aquatica brings prosperity and good fortune.



The Leaves on My Money Tree Are Falling Off.

If the leaves falling off are yellow, too much water. Sadly it will also drop yellow leaves when the soil is very dry. If you are unsure about how wet the soil is at the bottom of the pot, you may want to get a water meter. You can read about water meters in the Glossary of the website. Temperatures that are too hot or too cold can cause leaf drop. A Pachira aquatica likes high humidity. Your Money tree can also lose leaves because of pests such as scale, mealybugs, and Aphids. Spray the plant with a mild solution of 8oz of warm water, mixed with a few tablespoons of rubbing alcohol, and a few tablespoons of liquid soap.

The New Leaves on My Money Tree Are Getting Smaller and Smaller.

If new leaves on your Money Plant are coming in smaller, move your plant to a brighter location and fertilize a little more often.

Can I Put My Pachira Aquatica Outside in the Spring?

Putting a Pachira Aquatica outside in warm weather is a great idea as long as you keep it out of the direct sun and remember to bring it indoors before nights get too cold. Putting this plant outside helps encourage new growth and may even help it to bloom.

There Is Some Sticky Stuff on the Leaves of My Money Tree Plant. Do You Know What It Is?

Your Money Tree plant probably has scale. The sticky stuff excreted by scale is called honeydew. Spray your plant with the green solution recipe in the Glossary) diluted to 1/2 strength every 10 days for a month