Money tree is commonly referred to as the Malabar chestnut, Guiana chestnut, and Water chestnut. It is native to the freshwater swamps and estuaries in the tropical rainforests of Mexico as well as Central and South America. As such, it is used to plenty of humidity and moisture levels. The best way to grow the Money Tree is by mimicking the natural growing conditions found in marshy wetlands.
The best way to propagate Money tree plants is by taking cuttings. Healthy money tree cuttings can be rooted in water and then transferred to the soil when they’ve grown. They may also be rooted directly in the soil. Although soil propagation is more successful, using water is a fun way of watching the roots take hold.
Let’s take a look at how you can propagate Money Tree plants.
First Things First: These are the Tools You’ll Need
Table of Contents
Before you can begin the propagation process, you will need access to the right tools:
● A vase
● Small pot
● Rooting hormone
● Potting mix
● Pruning shears
How to Water Propagate Money Trees
Let’s start with water propagation for money tree plants because it’s more fun (although it requires more work).
The first step is to take a stem or leaf cutting. Let’s discuss each method below
How to take stem cuttings
● Find a healthy branch and cut it below the leaf nodes using pruning shears (make sure it is sterilized)
● Make sure that the stem cutting contains at least three nodes (two nodes may be sufficient, but we don’t recommend it)
● Allow at least 2 to 3 days to let the stem cuttings callous over (note that callusing can take anywhere from a few hours to a few weeks, or even months in some cases). The callus is where the end hardens a bit.
Note that callusing can take longer if you made thicker stem cuttings.
How to take leaf cuttings
● Find healthy, medium-sized leaf
● Use sterilized pruning shears to cut the leaf nodes where they connect at the stem
● Allow a few days for the leaf cuttings to callous
Soil Propagation for Money Tree
Here’s a quick guide on how to propagate money tree in soil:
● Prepare a potting mix (don’t use peat moss-based soil or perlite).
● Toss the potting mix into a small container.
● Create a poke in the container and insert the leaf or stem cuttings into the soil (you’ll need to bury at least two nodes of the stem cuttings in the soil for best results)
● Cover the plant with a plastic bag to encourage growth or use a humidifier to manage the moisture levels of the ambient environment.
● Keep the cuttings away from direct sunlight (keep them in indirect light instead) in moist soil.
● Keep monitoring the cuttings for signs of root growth (this will usually take around 3 to 5 weeks)
● Once the new roots start growing, repot the new plant into a bigger pot.
Pro tip: Avoid using soil mixes that contain perlite or peat moss because they may cause a high rate of failure.
Money trees can be propagated using their roots. This requires careful timing and patience. Most botanists agree that winter is the ideal time for root propagation because of high carbohydrate levels. Here’s how to propagate money tree using their roots:
● Remove the money tree plant from its pot and clean the root system of any excess soil
● Create a straight incision on the root close to the parent plant
● Tying the root cuttings into a bundle is a useful technique for keeping them organized and in place (make sure the ends with the nodes are pointing in the same direction)
● Once the root cuttings are safely bundled together, you can keep them in the sand for about three weeks.
● Now, you can place each root cutting in potting soil.
● Cover the root with a plastic bag, making sure to keep it away from direct sunlight to prevent the cuttings from drying out. Remove the plastic once you see that the plant has stopped growing.
● Make sure to water the cuttings regularly to keep a moist soil (watch out for root rot, though).
● Move the plant to a larger pot once you notice new growth.
Seed Propagation of Money Tree Plant
Money tree propagation using their seeds is a slightly more complicated method and requires quite a bit of patience and technique. It is not recommended for beginners who are just getting started. Here are the steps you can follow:
● The more seeds you want to propagate, the more plant containers you’ll need.
● Fill the containers with money tree potting soil.
● Water the container (but make sure any excess water drains out).
● Bury each seed about half an inch below the soil’s surface.
● New growth will take about two to three weeks, after which you should keep the plants in bright indirect light.
● Once the money tree plant has fully grown, repot it to a larger container, making sure to provide indirect sunlight.
How to Use Root Hormone with Money Tree Cuttings
Although you don’t need to use root hormone with your plant cuttings, it does help the roots develop at a faster and more reliable rate. If you want to speed up the process of root growth, then consider using root hormone. Let’s take a look at how you can apply root hormones on money tree cuttings:
● Moisten the bottom few inches of the cutting so that the rooting hormone can stick to it
● Pour some rooting hormone into a clean vessel and dip the cutting into it.
● The rooting hormone should only be applied to the bottom portion of the cutting that is to be inserted into the soil.
● Remove any excess powdered rooting hormone by lightly tapping the cutting against the edge of a container.
Potting Mix for Money Tree
Money tree plants need a potting mix that is nutrient-rich and porous with well-draining soil. Avoid using standard potting mix because they may hold too much moisture. Instead, opt for peat moss-based soil and a pot that provides good drainage. Excessively moist soil is bad for your money tree plant because it could lead to root rot.
The Chinese Money plant does best in well-draining soil with a pH in the range of 6.0 to 7.0. You can also add perlite to ensure the soil doesn’t get too wet.
When Should I Take a Money Tree Cutting?
Timing is very important when taking a money tree cutting. Like most tropical plants, the best time to propagate money tree cuttings is during its growing season. This usually occurs with warm temperatures in the spring to early fall months. During this time, you will notice that your money tree is growing at a faster rate and is converting more light into energy at a faster rate.
With that said, you could propagate money trees throughout the year if you’ve got enough experience under your belt. You’ll need to keep the plant in a more controlled environment, such as using humidifiers, heat mats, and grow lights. The plant thrives in marshy wetlands, so make sure to avoid direct sun. Bright indirect light is ideal – just like the swamplands.
Is It Better to Propagate Money Tree in Water or Soil?
Now that you’ve learned how to propagate money tree, it’s time to discuss what propagating medium produces the best results. The two most common methods of propagation are water and soil. Most people agree that water is a good method of propagation only because you have the ability to monitor the cuttings before transferring them to a potting mix.
With water, you can monitor the plant stems for signs of root rot and see if the root system is developing properly. Plus, it’s not as hard as it first appears. As long as you can stay committed to changing the water, you should be good to go. Besides, monitoring the fragile developing roots take hold is a fun and educational experience.
But if you want, you can skip the water-rooting process and propagate money trees directly in the soil.
So what’s the difference?
Most people seem to agree that Money Tree propagated in water has slightly less resilient roots than those grown in soil. In water, the root system you see has developed without the nutrient base of a soil-propagated plant. As such, it will take the roots some time to properly get acclimated to their new home.
Moreover, money tree plants accustomed to water must grow new roots when transplanted into soil.
Ideal Growing Condition for Money Tree Cuttings
Your journey with money tree cuttings doesn’t stop at successful propagation. You have to provide the new money tree with the ideal growing conditions. Although the growing requirements of a baby plant aren’t much different than those of a mature plant, there are a few things to keep in mind.
Let’s take a look.
Although money trees thrive in the temperature range between 64°F to 80°F. However, baby plants should be kept in warmer temperatures of about 75°F to 80°F. The best time to propagate money tree plants is in the summer, when the natural warmth will provide a nice growth surge.
Just make sure not to keep the money tree in direct sun or a heater. This can damage the fragile baby plant while it is still growing. Instead, you should look for a spot that provides the plant with bright indirect light to encourage growth.
Remember that money trees grow in humid marshy wetlands, so aim for a slightly moist environment. This is especially true for a baby plant. Be careful when watering your fragile saplings because too much could lead to root rot. Instead, use small amounts of water for healthy growth.
If you notice that the leaves are turning an unsightly shade of yellow, consider lowering the watering sessions. On the other hand, if the leaves look wrinkled, you should mist the plant more and see if that improves foliage health.
As discussed earlier, money trees require humid environments with 50% or higher levels of relative humidity. An easy way of achieving this is by placing the money tree near a humidifier. Or you could mist it frequently.
Like their natural habitats, money tree plants do well in bright light. But do not provide them with direct sunlight because it could cause the plants to dehydrate, turning their leaves into a shade of brown. In worse cases, they may even fall off. Instead, place the plants in a room with windows, skylights, or artificial grow lights.
For best results, place your Money Plants in north or south-facing windows to reduce the amount of direct light exposure. Another suggestion is to shield the plant with curtains or blinds to protect the fragile leaves from harsh sunlight.
The container size mostly depends on your overall goals with the money tree. For example, if you want to keep the money tree as a desk plant, you should choose an appropriately sized container to prevent the plant from growing bigger than your requirements.
But if you want your money tree to grow into a large plant, consider repotting it every year in a slightly large plant (in a pot that is one size larger or about two inches bigger).
It is just as important to ensure the container has a drainage hole in the bottom to prevent standing water from accumulating. You can also get a nursery pot that offers adequate drainage holes. You could also drill in the planter if it is made from ceramic or clay.
Wrapping Up – Propagating Money Trees
Keep an eye on your Money Tree to monitor its root system. The cold months, in particular, can be stressful for baby plants because they simply don’t have the robust foliage or root system needed to ward off the cold. Making a few adjustments within your care routine will keep your money tree happy all year long and help it achieve maximum growth.
Share your tips for money tree propagation, and we might update this space with more information!