If you’re looking to add some foliage to your home and desire that “tropical” look then money trees may just be the perfect option. These trees are native to Mexico and northern South America but are now grown worldwide. They’re prized for their supposed ability to bring good luck, as well as being a beautiful plant in their own right. Today we’ll look at everything you need to know to get started growing money trees indoors.
When starting with a money tree it’s usually best to buy a pre-grown plant. Luckily, money trees are very common and can be bought at most nurseries or big box home stores. This is the best way to start, and lets you enjoy the plant in the shortest amount of time.
You can always choose to grow from a seed or cutting, but this is a significantly longer process. Money tree seeds do grow very easily, so while it may take some time to become a true tree the process is rather easy. Check out our guide on growing from seeds, all the tips here are applicable when growing a money tree from seeds.
The last thing to keep in mind is your container and soil. Money trees have the potential to grow anywhere from a small desk bonsai all the way up to full fledged trees over 20’ tall. The size your tree will grow to is largely based on its container, so be sure to choose one that is an appropriate size. Transplanting is fairly easy for younger plants, so you can do so if the container that comes with the plant is not the right size.
For soil you’ll want to pick something well draining and nutrient rich. The vast majority of potting soil you can buy at the store will be perfectly fine. Add a few inches of gravel or pebbles at the bottom of your container before adding the soil to promote extra drainage and airflow.
For lighting, you’ll want to give the plant as much bright, in-direct light as possible. It’s also a good idea to turn the plant every few days to promote even growth and prevent reaching or leggy growth. Many gardeners line this up with watering so that they don’t forget to do so.
During the warmer months you can move the tree outdoors, but make sure to keep the plant out of direct sunlight. Too much direct sunlight can burn out the plant, so it’s best to focus on in-direct light and areas with partial shade.
Lastly, grow lights are another option for those looking to supplement natural light. This can be a good way to encourage winter growth when the sunlight is usually less intense. Money trees grow quite well under grow lights.
Watering & Feeding
Money trees like heavy but infrequent watering. You’ll want to soak the soil each time you water. Look to make sure that water is leaking from the drainage holes of your container to ensure the soil is properly saturated.
After that, wait until the top 3” of soil is dry to the touch before watering again. You’ll likely end up watering this plant a bit less than others, and that’s perfectly okay. Overwatering is a large concern here, so make sure you’re not watering too much by following the above soil check.
In addition, you can feed the tree roughly once per month during the spring and summer when the plant is growing. Use a water soluble fertilizer diluted to half strength, and only do so when the soil is moist. Fertilizing dry soil can cause damage to your plant. During the fall and winter the plant will naturally slow growth, and consequently doesn’t need to be fertilized during this time.
Humidity and Temperature
Money trees do best in temperatures in the 60-80°F which makes them great for indoor growing. As noted above, you can move them outdoors in the warmer months, but do bring them in as the nights begin to drop too low. Any exposure to freezing temperatures will damage your plant, even if it doesn’t get cold enough to frost.
Money trees also like a bit of a humid environment which can sometimes be a problem especially in the winter. We have an article on increasing humidity around your plants, but a simple misting every other day is usually good enough to promote healthy growth.
Growing Money Trees Indoors
Money trees are a great addition to any home, and really add some exotic foliage to any room they’re in. Being easy to care for makes them one of the best trees you can grow inside your home. And who knows, maybe they will bring you a bit of good luck?
Growing Money Trees FAQ
Why Is My Money Tree Losing Leaves?
Changes in leaves, both losing them and size, are often related to a lack of light. Try to increase the time your plant spends in sunlight and see if the problem persists.
Alternatively, money trees will often drop leaves right after being transplanted or after being moved. If you’ve just brought the plant home, or moved its location, then seeing it drop a few leaves is completely normal.
Can I Put My Money Tree Outside?
Yes, money trees will grow perfectly well outdoors during the warmer months. Do make sure to bring it indoors at night when the temperature drops, and never expose it to frost conditions.
How Do You Propagate a Money Plant?
Money plants will naturally produce baby plants from their roots and stems. You can simply cut these off the main plant, then re-pot into a new container. Take care to water and provide adequate light and these cuttings will grow into a full fledged plant of their own.