Pachira aquatic is a tropical tree native to northern South America and Central America, although Hawaii and Southern California have succeeded in cultivating it in their soils. In its native soils, left to grow wild, you can find it reaching as high as 80 feet. A large market exists to sell the seedlings restricted to small pots as houseplants called money trees. Often several seedlings are braided together to form an unusual trunk, placed in a plant pot and then covered in glued rocks for a tropical look. In time, the plant will fail if you don't remove it from the pot and give it new soil.
Take the money tree out of the plant pot you bought it in, holding it over a dustbin or bag to collect the old soil. Shake the plant slightly to loosen the roots and break off any rocks glued to the top of the roots. Soak the roots in room temperature water to clean them while you prepare new soil.
Make a mixture of equal parts of dampened peat moss, perlite and potting soil to create a soil that drains well but still holds moisture for the roots. Fill a plant pot about one-third of the way with this mixture.
Lift the plant from the water and trim off any dead or broken roots. Trim the root mass back by about a third using clean, sharp scissors or pruning shears.
Set the trimmed roots into the prepared pot, setting them gently on the soil. Pour the rest of the soil mixture in over them and tamp it down gently to make good soil-to-root contact.
Water the repotted money tree with enough water to drain from the bottom of the plant. Water the plant often so that the soil stays moist but not waterlogged, which causes the roots to rot.
Things you need
- Peat moss
- Potting soil
- Pruning shears