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How To Repot A Money Tree (Pachira Aquatica) Plus The Mix To Use

The Money Tree, or Pachira aquatica, is a popular & novel houseplants. It's proclaimed to bring good luck & prosperity into our homes. Here's how to repot a Money Tree plus the special soil mix to use.

a small money tree tied with a red ribbon at the top sits inside a talavera pot

The Money Tree, or Pacquira aquatica, is proclaimed to bring good luck into our homes. There are actually a few plants which go by the names of Money Plant and Money Tree. Who knows how the Pacquira got this name but we’ll run with it. Lovely as it is, there’s 1 thing you need to know about repotting a Money Tree and that’s the mix to use.

In its native subtropical and tropical habitats this plant is a tree which reaches 50-60′. It grows on the edges of streams and swamps and this plays into the mix that it prefers when grown as a houseplant. In other words, the Money Plant isn’t a native desert dweller.

a small money tree (pachira) tied with a red ribbon grows in a small grow pot

My little Money Tree before the repotting. The root ball wasn’t pot bound but it needed a bigger base.

A couple of fun facts before we get into the transplanting. This plant, when growing in its environs, has various common names like Malabar Chestnut and French Peanut. When sold in the houseplant trade it goes by Money Tree. This is a marketing ploy just like Lucky Bamboo.

You might find it tied with a red ribbon just like mine. Red is a symbol of happiness and good luck in Chinese culture.

My Money Tree was wrapped with black tape at the bottom to hold the trunks together as they form a braid. I cut the tape off after the transplanting but left the red ribbon on. It’s a young plant and I want the trunks to stay together until they grow into each other over time. Besides, I’m not cutting off any of the prosperity component!

The mix:

coco fiber in a block a bowl of compost & a bag of charcoal lay on a pebble walkway

Here are the ingredients I used for the mix. That’s local organic compost in the bowl.

My Money Tree was planted in straight peat moss when I bought. The grower did this so it was light for transporting.

I use (approximately) : 3/4 coco fiber with chips, 1/8 charcoal & 1/8 local organic compost.

Charcoal improves the drainage & absorbs impurities & odors. I use Tank’s local compost. Give Dr. Earth’s a try if you can’t find any where you live. Both enrich the soil naturally so the roots are healthy & the plants grow stronger.

looking down on a pail of coco fiber & coco chips

I broke off half of the coco fiber block & hydrated it with a bit of water. Coco coir is sold this way too. Don’t worry if you don’t use it all after hydrating – it stores just fine.

The mix needs to be rich (think by a stream or swamp) but also freely drain. Options include: succulent & cactus mix, horticultural sand, coco coir, peat moss, perlite & pumice chips. For instance, 1/2 succulent & cactus mix & 1/2 horticultural (not builder’s) sand would work. Or, 1/2 coco coir & 1/2 pumice. I always add in compost to level up the richness factor.

Steps to transplanting a Money Tree:

Good to know about repotting a Money Tree:

Spring into early summer is the best time for repotting a Money Tree. Mine was in a very small grow pot & fell off a table & lost a lot of the mix. I repotted in early February but here in Tucson the days are warm & getting longer. Sometimes, for whatever reason, you have to repot in winter & that’s okay. Just know that spring is the best.

looking inside a small grow pot at the root ball of a money tree

You can see how low the mix was in the pot plus the black tape at the base which held the small trunks together.

You can repot a Money Tree every 2 years or as needed. Some plants do better slightly potbound, but this isn’t 1 of them.

The pot size or type doesn’t matter. Just make sure you go up a pot size or 2 & that it’s proportionate to the size of the plant.

It’s important that the pot has at least 1 drain hole.

looking down on a green plastic grow pot with lots of drain holes

The grow pot which I transplanted my Money Tree into has lots of drain holes. It really doesn’t need this many but the plant will appreciate it.

Going hand & hand with the above, make sure whatever version of the mix you use drains well.

It’s okay to shave the root ball a bit if you need to. Bonsai masters will shave off 1/8 to 1/4 of the root ball every fews years & then put it back into the same container. This stimulates new root growth but allows the plant to stay in the same prized pot. I’ve never done this; instead I just go up a pot size or 2.

Money Tree care after repotting:

I water thoroughly until it drains out of the mix. The plant was put in my very bright utility room for a few days after I filmed the video. I’ve since moved it into the guest bathroom to join my Peperomias. There’s a skylight which keeps the room bright with natural light all day. If only it was bigger I’d have room for more plants!

looking down on the crown of a money tree

Looking down on the crown.

So there you have it, repotting or transplanting a Money Tree isn’t difficult at all. Just be mindful of the mix you use and yours will be happy. Good luck here we come!

Happy gardening,


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  1. Hello,

    How often do you water them and how much sunlight so they need. I like to keep them in my house. My leaves on the money tree is limp and has yellow on some of the leaves. I’m hoping once i replant them with the soil you mentioned will help bring back life.

  2. Hi Laetisha – Bright natural light but no direct sunlight. How often you water depends on the environment it’s growing in. I live in the desert & deep water mine every 7-9 days. In the winter less. Nell

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