How Do I Look After a Pachira Braided Stem Plant?

Updated July 20, 2017

Native to an area from Mexico to Guyana and northern Brazil, Pachira aquatica is sometimes called bombax, Malabar chestnut or money tree. It is sold as a braided-stemmed ornamental in dish gardens, but in its native habitat, it can reach 60 feet in height. Its roasted fruit tastes like chestnuts, and its young leaves can be cooked and eaten as a vegetable. To make this tree even more desirable, it is easy to grow with proper treatment.

Plant your pachira in well-drained soil. It is not fussy about the soil quality, but a quality potting mix will give best growth results.

Place your money tree in full sun to partial shade in a location protected from frost and hot, dry winds. Bring container plants indoors for the winter in colder climates.

Water regularly. Pachira can withstand some drought when in the ground. Fertilise monthly during the growing season with an all-purpose fertiliser. Use half-strength liquid fertiliser or time-release pellets on container plants.

Inspect the plant regularly for insects, especially if grown indoors. Treat by spraying with insecticidal soap. Plants grown outdoors are largely insect free.


In tropical or subtropical areas, a pachira planted in the ground will produce fruits. They rarely produce fruits when grown in containers. Pachira is easily grown from seed.

Things You'll Need

  • Well-draining potting soil
  • Fertiliser
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About the Author

Mary Francis is a horticulturist and expert garden writer with more than 15 years experience in the field. With degrees in both horticulture and business management, she has owned her own greenhouse business, an office organization business and now works full-time as a professional writer.