How To Propagate Pachira Aquatica (Money Tree)?

Small pachira aquatica on cup filled with soil and wooden backgroundIf you have a money tree living in your home, according to the practice of Feng Shui, this little tree can bring good fortune your way. Why not increase your luck by adding another money tree to your home’s decor? New money trees are easily propagated from healthy trees. We’ve researched the best methods to teach you how to propagate a money tree.

A money tree, or pachira aquatica, can be propagated either from a seed or by rooting a cutting that has been taken from a healthy, young tree. 

Once you have obtained either a seed or cutting you can:

  • Plant the seed or cutting in a rooting medium.
  • Keep the rooting medium warm and moist until you observe new growth - approximately 4 to 6 weeks.
  • Transplant the newly sprouted money tree into a permanent pot.

Voila! You will soon have another money tree to adorn your home. Keep reading to learn all the detailed steps you’ll need to know in order to care for a newly planted seed or cutting in order to successfully propagate a pachira aquatica.

How To Propagate A Pachira Aquatica From A Cutting?

The success rate of propagating a pachira aquatica, or money tree, from a cutting is fairly high given the right amount of care. You’ll want to start by taking a fresh leaf-bud cutting from a healthy tree.

How To Make A Cutting

  1. Sterilize your pruning shears.
  2. Select a healthy branch roughly 3 inches in length, with healthy leaves, petiole, and the start of an auxiliary bud.
  3. Cut the branch from the tree, by making a semi-circular cut into the tree’s trunk from below the base of the auxiliary bud to above the petiole of the leaf.
  4. Plant immediately.

How To Plant The Cutting

  1. Prepare a container, one pot for each cutting, filled with rooting medium.
  2. Treat the cutting with a rooting hormone.
  3. Plant the cutting by completely covering the auxiliary bud with rooting medium (1/2 to 1 inch) and leaving the leaf exposed.
  4. Water.
  5. Keep the rooting medium warm and moist. When new growth appears, provide plenty of indirect sunlight.
  6. Transplant to a permanent pot.

A helpful tip for keeping your rooting medium warm and moist is to cover the top of the container with plastic. Prop the plastic so it does not press down on the cutting. The plastic will create a humid microclimate around the cutting.

Within 4 to 6 weeks you should observe new growth and your cutting will develop new roots.

What Is A Rooting Hormone?

Treating a fresh cutting from a pachira aquatica with a root setting hormone can promote growth and improve the likelihood that your cutting will sprout and form roots.

How To Use Rooting Hormone

Carefully follow the instructions provided with the rooting hormone. Plan your planting schedule accordingly because the concentration of hormone and the duration of treatment for absorption are both critical for the successful propagation of your cutting.

Typically, treat the cutting with rooting hormone immediately after making a fresh cut. Treatment will vary depending on your use of a powder, liquid, or gel-based hormone. Plant the cutting directly after it has been treated with the rooting hormone.

Where To Purchase Rooting Hormone

You can purchase a commercial rooting hormone at most local gardening centers, retail nurseries, or online.

Coat the ends of a moistened, fresh cutting with MiracleGro’s powdered rooting hormone and plant immediately.

Click here to find MiracleGro’s Fast Root1 at

Apply Clonex Rooting Gel to a freshly cut end by using a dropper and plant the cutting immediately.

Click here to find this on Amazon.

Dilute Dip’N Grow with water, per instructions, and soak a freshly cut stem in the solution prior to planting.

Click here to find this on Amazon.

How To Propagate Pachira Aquatica From A Seed?

You might never obtain a pachira aquatica seed at home because when cultivated for ornamental purposes as a household plant or bonsai, the pachira aquatica does not typically flower to produce seeds.

In the wild, the pachira aquatica is known for the nutty, edible seeds it produces. The tree goes by several other names: Guiana chestnut, Malabar chestnut, and water chestnut. Seed pods collected for propagation are best cultivated when the pod has dried and begun to crack open.

To propagate a pachira aquatica from seed:

  1. Prepare a container, one pot for each individual seed, filled with rooting medium.
  2. Saturate the rooting medium and allow all excess water to drain from the pot.
  3. Plant each seed, 1/4 to 1/2 inches below the surface of the rooting medium.
  4. Keep the rooting medium warm and moist. Once you observe new growth, provide plenty of indirect sunlight.
  5. Transplant to a permanent pot.

Seeds that propagate in the wild have been observed to sprout while floating in water however, we recommend using a rooting medium for favorable results when propagating a pachira aquatica seed at home.

Can You Propagate A Money Tree In Water?

Horticulturists recommend not propagating a pachira aquatica cutting in water, but for best results, place the cutting into a moist, rooting medium with the bud covered (at least 1/2 to 1-inch deep) and the leaf exposed. The rooting medium provides the cutting time to develop water-absorbing roots without becoming oversaturated and prone to rot or becoming completely dry and stagnant.

How To Make A Rooting Medium

Several different materials can be used, either unaided or mixed to make a rooting medium. The key is to create a well-drained medium that still holds moisture.

Sand, Unaided

Sand, for example, when used unaided as a rooting medium, is coarse enough to allow drainage yet fine enough to retain moisture. Do not just scoop up any sand from outside, however. Use silica sand or construction sand. Avoid gathering sand from the beach because too high a salt content can be detrimental to your cutting.

Soil, Mixed

Potting soil typically contains a mix of mediums like sand, silt, and clay in order to achieve the right balance of drainage and moisture retention. Be careful when using soil as it can become compact and choke out your cutting. Soil gathered from outside can host root-borne diseases so, you might want to sterilize gathered soil or treat with a pesticide before propagating your cutting.

Peat Moss, Mixed

To make a rooting medium for the pachira aquatica cutting, we recommend using a mix of either peat moss and sand or peat moss and perlite. When mixing materials for propagation, use a 50/50 blend to ensure consistency throughout the medium. You can substitute coconut husk for peat moss to achieve the same result.

Can You Grow Money Tree From a Cutting?

Growing a money tree by propagating a cutting from a mature tree is generally successful. Cuttings taken from younger trees tend to have the best results. After you have successfully sprouted a cutting, transplant the new growth into a permanent pot to continue to grow your money tree.

How To Transplant A Money Tree

  1. Select a pot that is slightly larger than the tree’s root system and has drainage holes at the bottom. Add a thin layer of permeable soil to the bottom of the pot.
  2. Gently remove the money tree from its old pot by keeping the soil and roots intact.
  3. Plant the money tree by setting the tree into the new pot and gently adding more soil to fill in around the tree’s root system. Gently press the soil to stabilize the tree but, do not compact the soil tightly.
  4. Water the tree.
  5. Place the money tree in a warm room in your home where it will receive plenty of indirect sunlight.

Dropped Leaves After Transplant - What Could be Wrong?

The pachira aquatica, or money tree, is generally a low-maintenance plant. However, it can be sensitive to transplanting. If your money tree drops leaves after being transplanted, don’t worry! The tree simply needs time to adjust.

Be patient and make sure that the tree has:

  • Moist but, not soggy soil.
  • Plenty of indirect sunlight or fluorescent light.
  • Consistent room temperature, preferably between 65°F - 75°F.
  • High humidity, preferably 50% relative humidity in the room.

How Often To Transplant A Money Tree

Your money tree will continue to grow given ideal conditions. Typically, ornamental pachira aquatica trees will reach heights between 6 and 8 feet. When your tree’s root system outgrows its pot, transplant the tree yet again to keep a healthy, long-lasting plant.

Can You Root Any Tree Branch In Water?

Rooting a plant in water works well for plants that have adventitious root systems but, water is not ideal for rooting trees. Like the money tree or pachira aquatica, trees are best propagated by either planting a seed or cutting into a rooting medium.

You can propagate a cutting from any tree branch by using a rooting medium, the key is when to make the cut and where to make the cut.

Hardwood Trees

Make your cutting from hardwood trees during their dormant period. Select a branch that appears to have had new growth on the end and make a diagonal cut approximately 6-inches from the end of the branch. If the branch has any buds, make the cut below the bud.

Softwood Trees

Make your cutting from softwood trees during the early summer months. Select a branch that is pliable yet, not newly green. Cut approximately 3-inches of the branch, including two sets of leaves.

Plant tree branch cuttings in the same way you would for a pachira aquatica cutting.

Once your pachira aquatica, or money tree, has taken root and been transplanted into a permanent pot you can enjoy this lovely tree in any room in your home.

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