Do you need some good luck? Are you prepared to try anything to see your fortunes change?
Legend has it that growing a money plant in your home will bring you prosperity and luck. Whether you believe this ancient superstition or not, the money tree is an attractive plant and looks great in any indoor environment.
If you’re trying to improve your fortune or just want to brighten up your home, these little shrubs are a brilliant way to improve your decor. They can also purify the air you breathe and even help you stay healthy!
We’ve put together ag great guide on how to grow a money plant. It will walk you through the history of the plant, ideal growing conditions and some useful tips and tricks.
Who knows, you might see your luck change when you have this hardy little shrub blooming on your desk but even if the legend doesn’t come true for you there are plenty of scientifically proven benefits to having indoor plants.
The legend of the money plant
There are two types of money-making plants according to the myths. The Jade is known as the “money plant” and the Pachira Aquatica which is called the “money tree”.
In Feng Shui, the ancient Chinese art of changing the flow of energy through your home, the money plant features heavily. It says the energy of the money plant comes from new growth which is why it is so important to have a thriving shrub.
Where your plant is grown in your home also has an effect on how the energy moves through your rooms and, as the legend goes, how healthy your bank balance looks.
These plants are commonly given as wedding gifts or housewarming presents in some Asian countries as they symbolise wealth and good fortune. Another great reason for giving newlyweds a money plant is their longevity – these shrubs can last for more than 50 years.
The money plant is also known as the “friendship tree” and “lucky plant” and many people see it as a gift between long term friends as they survive for decades.
Feng Shui also says money plants clear the air of harmful pollutants from electrical items or cleaning products. This benefit actually has roots in scientific fact as all plants take in and purify the surrounding atmosphere.
To get the benefits of this lucky plant, Vastu experts say the shrub should be in the southeast corner of your home. In Feng Shui, practitioners say it should be in an office or workspace but never in the bathroom.
The five leaves on a money plant are said to represent the five symbols of Feng Shui. These are metal, wood, water, fire and earth. When combined, these elements are supposed to attract wealth and luck.
Benefits of growing a money plant
Taking aside all the benefits to your bank balance and luck, there are some good points to growing this shrub.
All houseplants clear and purify the air we breathe. Through a process called photosynthesis, plants take in carbon dioxide and light then use it to turn food into energy. The by product of this chemical reaction is oxygen which is then released.
A money plant can also do more than help you breathe easier, it can actually prevent illnesses. The plants roots suck up water from the soil which is used within the plant and then evaporates through the leaves.
This transpiration adds moisture to the air – increasing the humidity in your home. Increased humidity really helps through the winter months as the heating in your home can dry the air.
Plants can also increase your productivity as they boost your mood. It is also claimed that having plants around can increase your memory by up to 20 per cent.
Dry skin, sore throats, coughs and colds can all be prevented or alleviated through having a money plant indoors. Some research even says houseplants can help stop the spread of flu. So, it isn’t just your wealth the plant will improve but your health too.
Ideal growing location
You might be used to seeing money plants in oriental takeaways, shops and restaurants. What you might think is simply a plant chosen to reflect the history and culture of the country can actually be chosen for more practical reasons.
Money plants thrive in artificial light and hot temperatures making them perfect for the hot and bright conditions of a restaurant or takeaway.
As money plants are originally from South Africa, they need dry, hot climates. It is a succulent which is a type of plant similar to a cactus so it can survive without water for a long time.
The best place to put your new money plant is on a sunny windowsill or, better still, in a conservatory that gets the sun most of the day. The thick, shiny green leaves are perfectly set up to store water.
They don’t do well in the cold though and should never drop below 10 degrees Fahrenheit. Make sure the room your tree is in stays well ventilated.
Growing from stem or leaf cuttings
Growing in the wild, money plants can reach up to 60 feet tall. But the cool thing about these plants is they will only get to around 15 feet tall if planted in a container. And the smaller the container, the smaller the plant will grow.
They are really easy to grow from cuttings. Just take the stem or leaf cutting and let it dry out for about three days. Then take a small pot and plant the cutting into some soil which is well drained.
You can buy specialist cactus soil for this job but any sandy soil will do just as well. Only add a tiny bit of water until the soil is a little damp.
PRO TIP: When your plant is growing well, you should make sure to take off the dried or dead leaves as they are said to decrease luck and will also prevent your plant from thriving as well as it should.
Pests and disease that can affect your money plant
Like any plant, there are diseases and insects which can attack your tree but a money plant is a little more tolerant than other species.
Too much water can cause your money tree to develop root rot. This is the most common disease and causes the plant to turn yellow and the leaves will be soft. If you see this developing, stop watering immediately.
If you are still seeing the plant suffer despite stopping watering then the only remedy is to replant it in drier soil.
PRO TIP: You should wash the roots to remove any remaining rot first and then cut away any rotten stalks.
A fungal infection is rare but can be possible. You will see white or brown spots on the leaves if this happens and you should treat it with an antifungal spray or chemical. Any black spots might be due to too much light though so check the colour.
Insects can also attack your plant and insecticidal soap or a spray will get rid of them quickly and easily. Just remember to follow the instructions and repeat the treatments to get all of the remaining pests.
Step by step guide: How to grow a money plant
1. When should you plant?
You can start growing your money plant at any time between spring and autumn but it is easier to start them in the spring. If you decide to grow from seeds, you can just sprinkle them straight onto the soil and then cover with about 1cm of soil. Add enough water to make sure the soil is moist all the way through.
2. Growing in water
You can grow a money plant from a cutting in two ways – in water or soil. Select your cutting first and take about 30cm of a healthy branch.
Cut the branch at a 45 degree angle. Make sure the branch you choose has lots of buds on it as this shows it is healthy and there will be new growth.
Fill a bottle with water and then add your cutting – leave at least one of the new buds below the water. Then put the whole container in sunlight to grow and change the water around once a week.
3. Growing in soil
Choose a pot which is the size you want your plant to grow. Remember, the bigger the pot, the bigger the plant. Make sure it has holes in the bottom and fill with soil.
Cut your stem in the same way as if you were adding it to the water and then add your cutting to the pot. Tie it to a cane so it can climb something for support as it grows.
As we’ve already mentioned, money plants love light! So make sure your plant is in a room that has plenty of natural or artificial light. If this is going to be a problem, consider a LED light or hydroponics set up.
While natural light is best, a money plant will thrive even in a windowless room so don’t be put off growing one if your home is dark!
One of the biggest mistakes you can make with a money plant is to over water it. If you have over-watered your plant, you might see the leaves drooping or appearing to wilt and the stems and leaves may turn brown.
You should only give your plant water if the soil has completely dried out. This might seem at odds with how you would usually treat a house plant but money plants do best with very little care and attention.
This may mean you only have to water your money plant once every 14 days but don’t worry it will survive!
The amount you water your money plant will depend on how big it is, how big your plant pot is and the amount of sunlight it is getting. Test the soil with your hand before watering and if it feels damp leave it alone!
In winter, as the temperature drops, you might not need to water as frequently and you may find yourself only watering the plant a couple of times over the season.
Unlike some houseplants, money plants don’t need specialist feeds. They will do just as well with an off the shelf plant food which is for any type of plant.
As a rule of thumb, a general purpose plant food should be added into the water you give your plant about once every three month.
The great thing with a money plant is that it won’t grow bigger than the container you put it in. This is why it is so important to think about the size plant you want before starting to grow it.
These plants can get really big and heavy and as they grow you might want to increase its size or move it to a new area. Don’t forget, they can last as long as 50 years so you might want to make it bigger if you move to a bigger house.
When re-potting, do it in spring and don’t drench it in water. Wait until you see new growth until you add some fresh water.
So if you want to change your fortune, increase your wealth or just create a better atmosphere in your home then a money plant is a great addition.
The low maintenance shrub means you get all the benefit of a houseplant without the time-consuming safeguarding.
You should put it in a sunny spot and make sure not to over water it. Watch out for diseases and pick off dried leaves to help it stay healthy.
Now you know how to grow a money plant all you need to do is follow these steps then sit back and watch your fortunes improve!