How Much Sun Does A Money Tree Need?

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You’ve added a gorgeous money tree to your collection of house plants but want to know how much sun does it need? Getting a plant’s sunlight tolerance correct is important for its well-being. So we’ve turned to our field of experts to see what they have to say about your money tree’s sunshine preference.

Money trees make excellent house plants because they prefer indirect sunlight. This means you don’t have to have a perfectly bright sunny spot for them to survive. They do fine in low light or near smaller windows. However, they will grow more with bright, indirect light for much of the day.

We’ll take a look at this and other questions about your money tree. Like what to do if its leaves turn brown, where you should put your money tree, and can it survive the winter? Please keep reading for more.

A money tree planted in pot inside the house, How Much Sun Does a Money Tree Need?

How Much Sun Does A Money Tree Need?

Money trees (Pachira aquatica) are a super popular house plant. Originally from Central and South America, these trees originate from the swampland and grow as tall as 60 feet when in the wild. But because they need warmth to survive, they’re grown as houseplants for most of the US zones. But just for fun, we’ll look at both indoor and outdoor money trees.

Sun For An Outdoor Money Tree

If you decide you want to grow your money tree outdoors, determine if you’re in the right zone. Only USDA zones 10-12 will work for these trees. They absolutely cannot tolerate frost and don’t do well if nights get any lower than 45 degrees. If you do live in an appropriate temperature zone, then you must think about moisture.

Your money tree will do best in an environment that mimics its natural homeland. Plant it in a swampy area next to a stream or river. It needs a lot of water (but also needs time to dry out as well). Mixed sun and shade will make your outdoor planted money tree thrive.

Sun For An Indoor Money Tree

Pachira Aquatica - Guiana Chestnut from Central and South America, commonly sold as a "money tree"

Inside, the best spot for your money tree is going to be in indirect sunlight. This means near a window but not where the path of the sunlight beams onto the leaves. A dresser top is a great spot for a small money tree. You also don’t want to place your plant too near a blower for the heat or air conditioner. Money trees prefer a consistent air temperature, and a drafty spot may cause them to stress.

The best consistent temperature for your money tree is somewhere between 60 and 75 degrees F. Since this is a pretty typical temperature for the inside of a home, it explains why they make such great house trees. You can move them outdoors for the summer if you have mild summers, but be certain that they are on a shady patio or porch and not in direct sunlight.

Why Are The Leaves Turning Brown On My Money Tree?

There are a few probable causes for your leaves to turn brown or yellow on your money tree. First, how much water is your plant getting? If your leaves are turning brown and falling off, chances are it’s being underwatered. If your leaves are turning brown or yellow and drooping, there’s a good chance you’re overwatering. 

If you have brown spots on your tree, particularly at the edges of the leaf, that seem to go through the leaf, you may have sun scorch. Money trees can get scorched when in direct sunlight, so the cure for this is to move them into more indirect sunlight.

Will Money Tree Leaves Grow Back?

Fortunately, money trees are pretty forgiving and will grow back new leaves relatively quickly. The best way to encourage new growth is through pruning. Take your pruning shears and clip any damaged leaves as close to the point of branching as possible. New growth will emerge near the cut you’ve made. 

It’s a good practice to routinely clip off any leaves which have suffered stress. This way, your plant is not sending energy to leaves that aren’t healthy. Instead, it can focus its energy on healthy growth and lustrous green leaves.

These Fiskars Softgrip Pruning shears are a great value and highly regarded by gardeners. It’s handy to have a pair of pruning shears to achieve really clean cuts when working with your plants.

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Where Should You Put A Money Tree?

We’ve already established that a money tree should not go into direct sunlight or be near a draft. But once you’ve got that figured out, what other things might you think about with your money tree? According to Feng Shui principles, a money tree with its five leaves represents the five core elements of feng shui: wood, metal, earth, fire, and water. This makes it a great plant for balancing out the elements of your life.

It’s also supposed to be a plant that brings you wealth by trapping the wealth into its braided trunk. According to Feng Shui, the best locale for bringing wealth is in the southeast corner of your space. Your money tree will help promote calm in the bedroom, but feng shui warns against placing it at the foot or head of your bed. 

This lovely little bonsai money tree is the perfect size for placing on top of a bedroom dresser. Be sure it’s in the southeast corner for optimum abundance gathering. 

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Can A Money Tree Survive Winter?

Money trees really require steady temperatures between 60-75 degrees. So if you’ve had your money tree outside on a patio, it will definitely need to come back inside for winter. They don’t like the cold and will die once temps dip much below 50 degrees outside. 

Once you have your money tree back inside, you want to be sure it’s in a great indirect sunlit spot. No direct rays of sun beaming on it through the windows and no sitting it on the heat vent. This gracious houseplant will grow like crazy for you, but only if you keep it happy.

Humidity Levels

You can really help your tree through the winter by paying attention to the humidity level. House heat can dry out the air, and your money tree wants about 50% humidity. You can handle this in a couple of ways.

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A humidity gauge will give you both your interior temperature and your interior relative humidity. If you notice your plant struggling, then see the humidity is steadily below 50%, you may need to help it out with a humidifier or a pebble tray.

Small humidifiers like this are perfect for tailoring your plants’ air without making your whole house too humid. Many of them run off batteries and have no cords, which makes them easy to put anywhere.

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Let The Indirect Sun Shine In

Now that you’ve read all about how to keep your money tree happy, you know what to do. Find that perfect indirect sunlit spot and place your perfectly potted plant. With a bit of care and some directed attention,  you’ll keep these beautiful tropical trees looking gorgeous and healthy. 

If you enjoyed this post here at GardenTabs.com, please check out a few others here:

How Big Do Money Trees Get? (Pachira Aquatic Facts)

How To Propagate Pachira Aquatica (Money Tree)?

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