How and when to prune money tree (Pachira Aquatica)


Pachira aquatica is the scientific name of the popular money tree, which in its natural environment can reach 20 m in height, but is generally grown as a houseplant or bonsai. It is characterized by its striking braided stem, large leaves and very showy and fragrant flowers. In this article we will take care of analyzing everything about pruning money tree. We will see what tools you should use, when you should prune, and what steps you should follow in order for the task to be carried out successfully.


Although the money tree is very well suited to growing indoors, don’t forget that it can grow very large. For this reason, it is advisable to find a large place to place it and transplant it into larger pots as it grows.

Pruning Money tree - Pachira aquatica

Because it is a tropical plant, it does not tolerate low temperatures, so you should always protect it during winter. You must also make sure that the environment where it is placed maintains a humidity of at least 60%, otherwise it may tend to loosen its leaves. Always avoid drafts of dry air such as those generated by heating systems.

1. Fun facts about money tree


In general, we open each of our articles with the care of the plant in question. But in the case of the money tree, it was more interesting for me to dedicate a mini section to listing some of the most interesting facts about this particular plant.

  • The money and luck tree: according to beliefs that have existed for many years, having one of these little plants at home will bring us luck. That is why it is also very common to see her decorating executive offices to bring luck to a business.
  • Luck and more luck: generally each stem generates between 5 or 6 leaves. If you have a stem with seven leaves on your plant you should be very happy, it is believed that this detail brings even more luck to your home.
  • Positive energy: some practices such as feng shui (ansestral art that seeks to promote the well-being and harmony of people) use the money tree to create positive environments in an environment.
  • Abundance: there are several stories about this plant, but the one that caught my attention the most is the one that tells that a very humble farmer found a small herb with intertwined stems. Showy as it was, he took it to his house, and with very little care the plant developed. That year, the farmer had the biggest harvest in many years. This man related the plant to the abundance of his harvest, hence the origin of the name money tree.

2. What tools you need for pruning money tree


The tools with which you can prune a money tree will vary depending on the size of the plant. Obviously they will not be the same tools if your Pachira aquatica is outdoors and is already 6 m tall, than if you grow it in a pot indoors.

In general the pruning of any money tree grown as a houseplant can be carried out with simple hand scissors. While if you have a large tree in the garden, you may need tools that allow you to cut branches of greater diameter. This could be long-handled scissors, saws, or even chainsaws. Depending on the type of pruning you need to carry out.

In general the pruning of any money tree grown as a houseplant can be carried out with simple hand scissors.

Regardless of which tool you use, never forget that you must disinfect its cutting blades. Carrying out this simple task helps to prevent the spread of diseases or pests from one plant to another.

2.1 How to desifected tools

There are many ways that you can disinfect your pruning tools. Here we will see three of the most common and easy to do.

  • Method 1: rub the scissors blades with a cloth dipped in alcohol (ethanol). After cleaning, allow the tool to sit for a couple of minutes for maximum disinfection efficiency.
  • Method 2: prepare a mixture 1/9 of chlorine and water (one part of chlorine and 9 of water). Then soak the scissors for half an hour in that mixture. After those 30 minutes you can start pruning.
  • Method 3: this third method is effective but from my point of view not so recommended. Here what you should do is pass the blade for a few seconds through a flame. This will disinfect but also burn the blade.

You already have the three methods to disinfect your scissors before trimming your money tree, which one do you choose?

3. When to prune Pachira aquatica


Successful pruning depends not only on cutting the right branches, but also cutting them at the right time. And what is the right time to prune a money tree?

It’s very simple, most of the pruning on a money tree should be done during the season that the plant is active. That is, the months with warmer temperatures between spring and early summer.

Most of the pruning on a money tree should be done during the season that the plant is active.

Those months are selected for cutting because because the Pachira aquatica is active, it will take less time to heal the wounds. While if we can, during the winter the healing will take longer, producing stress on the plant that can damage it.

Finally, it should be noted that if it is a cleaning pruning. That is, where we will remove branches or foliage in poor condition (sick, dry, yellowish), this pruning can be done at any time of the year. Since if the branch is dry it does not affect the plant at all. And if it is sick it is better to cut it as soon as possible.

Since you are interested in knowing how to prune a laurel, I have no doubt that it will be useful to know about the pruning of any of these shrubs:

4. How to prune money tree


As with practically all plants, when taking our pruning tools we must be clear about what pruning we need to do on our plant. Since it will depend on what we must cut.

In the case of the money tree we can divide the pruning into the following three:

  • Training pruning.
  • Maintenance and cleaning pruning.
  • Root pruning.

Given that the objectives pursued by each of these prunings are very different, in what follows we will analyze each of them separately.

4.1 Formation pruning

The formation pruning of a money tree is not complicated, but you must be clear about how you are going to form it, and how large you want it to be. With these well-defined aspects, it is only a matter of taking the scissors and cutting those branches that do not match the shape we are looking for. Aquatic Pachiras are very well suited to pruning, so don’t be afraid to cut.

When the braided stem is well defined, all new shoots that are generated from the base should be cut. Otherwise, the plant will waste energy while losing its original shape. Whenever you cut a shoot that grows from the base, do so close enough to the trunk, but be careful not to hurt the trunk when you make the cut.

The formation pruning of a money tree is not complicated, but you must be clear about how you are going to form it, and how large you want it to be.

In case you notice that some part of the foliage is being left with few branches, needing to densify that area, a correct pruning can help you. What you need to do is find a branch that has a node that points in the direction you need to densify. Then cut said branch at the height of that node, after a few days you will see how a new shoot begins to emerge from that node.

4.2 Cleaning pruning

The clean pruning of a money tree is the same as the clean pruning of any plant. With it, what we seek is to improve the health and aesthetics of the plant. Regarding health, we will eliminate all those branches that have been attacked by any plague or disease. While we will improve the aesthetics because we will cut all those dry, damaged or yellowed branches.

By cutting these branches we will also allow the Pachira aquatica to use its energies on the foliage that is healthy. Therefore, in addition to improving health and aesthetics, we will be allowing a more efficient use of energy.

As we said in section 3, cleaning pruning can be done at any time. Remember that when you see a diseased branch or attacked by a plague you should act as soon as possible, since this way you allow the problem to not spread. On the other hand, try to get rid of cleaning residues by pruning correctly, we don’t want the problem of this plant to go to another plant in your garden

4.3 Root pruning

As we already mentioned in the first paragraphs of this post, Pachira aquatica is a plant that can develop a lot. If you give it the conditions it needs, you will see that the pot where you have it planted will become small quite often.

Given this, you can do two things, transplant to a larger pot or prune roots. If you want to keep your money tree for its entire life as a houseplant, you won’t always be able to increase the size of the pot. So at some point you will have to prune the roots without question.

If you want to keep your money tree for its entire life as a houseplant, you won’t always be able to increase the size of the pot.

Obviously to prune the roots you have to remove the plant from its pot (as if it were to be transplanted). You can make the procedure easier with copious watering before you begin.

Once the plant is out of its pot, start pruning those roots that are in poor condition. Whether they are dry, with some aspect of disease or in the process of putrefaction. Once this is done, you can continue to thin more roots, until 1/3 of the total roots are cut off. Never cut more than 1/3 since the plant will suffer a very important stress.

After this root pruning, replant your Pachira aquatica. It is a good time to change the soil. Once the transplant is complete, water the plant again.

5. Money Tree trimming – Video


To finish this article, and as we always like to end each of our articles with a video, we have selected one from the elementalnursery channel. In it, you will see some interesting tips on how to trim your money tree. So that you can review in a much more graphic way everything that we have seen so far.

More information for money tree:

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