Did you just get a money tree? Wondering how often to water it? If you are a beginner in the world of gardening, then a money plant is the ideal choice to start your gardening journey with. Money plants – Crassula ovata – are hassle-free, low-maintenance, and easy-growing plants. They are not only one of the most common indoor plants, but they are also great air-purifiers as well.
You can plant them in hanging baskets, small pots, self-watering pots, and even in a glass vase hydroponically! Here’s what you need to know about taking care of a money tree, from watering needs to sunlight requirements and a lot more.
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Money plant: A symbol of wealth & prosperity
If you are thinking of adding a little greenery and extra life to your space, money trees are a beautiful and unique option. In Feng Shui, the money tree is a symbol of good fortune and wealth.
It is believed that it brings wealth, happiness, good luck, and prosperity to the home. It is native to the swamps of South America. With five leaves on every branch, this braided trunk tree is formed by intertwining 5 types of trees.
Not only does it demand very little care, but it can easily thrive outdoors as well as indoors. Give a money tree the right amount of light, water, humidity, etc. and it will flourish. Don’t have green fingers? Don’t worry- the good news is that it is very hard to overwater money trees.
In the wild, money trees can grow up to 20m. However, indoor money trees usually grow between 2 to 2.5m tall.
There are various types of money trees. Some of the types are:
- Green Pancake Plant
- Chinese Money Plant (Pilea Peperomioides)
- Golden King (Variegated Plant)
- Marble Plant
- Golden Plant
- Split Leaf Plant
- Satin Plant
- Neon Plant
- Swiss Cheese
- Silver Plant
- Marble Prince
- Marble Queen
- N’joy Pothos
How often to water your money plant
The million-dollar question is: How often to water your money plant? Since money trees love water, you have to do it regularly. As long as the water isn’t lagging in the soil, of course.
Check the soil – if the top few centimetres are dry, you need to water the plant. Usually, they need more water in summer and spring as compared to winter and fall. Actually, in winter the soil needs to be barely moist. Also, you’ll see that your plant loves the rainy season so it’s highly likely to see it growing during that season. Humidity is what helps it, but make sure not to leave it drowning!
As long as your soil and potting container have proper drainage, it will be very hard to kill the plant by overwatering it. Maintain a watering schedule and stick to it.
Money tree plant care
1. Planting season
Money tree doesn’t have a specific growing season – you can plant it in any season, anytime, and it will start growing. You can propagate the plant by stem cuttings. Regularly prune the new growth to keep your new plants in the best shape and condition.
Money trees are versatile – they can grow in both direct and indirect sunlight. They don’t do well in low light levels though. However, exposure to a lot of direct sunlight can turn the leaves yellow. Plus, it can burn them as well.
Place your money trees in bright indirect light for almost 6 hours every day. You can keep them under fluorescent light if your home isn’t provided with enough sun.
A nutrient-rich, well-draining potting soil is great for money trees. If you can get your hands on peat moss-based potting mix, that would be ideal. However, regular, quick-draining soil will work as well. If the soil you have needs more drainage, you can add gravel or sand to it.
4. Temperature & Humidity
The ideal temperature range for money trees is from 15°C to 30°C. If the temperatures fall below 10°C, the leaves of the plant will develop sods and turn yellow. Don’t place the money trees near cold or warm drafts.
Money trees love humidity. If you live in a dry area, you can increase the humidity by misting the leaves, keeping a pebble tray full of water near the plant, getting a small space humidifier, etc.
For money trees, you can use both inorganic and organic plant food. Add urea to the pot frequently along with occasional phosphate and potash. You should fertilise the money plant once a month in spring and summer when it is actively producing new leaves. Throughout the fall and winter months, fertilise the plant bi-monthly. A slow-release fertiliser is your best option.
Common money plant issues
1. Dry brown leaf tips
If the leaf tips of your money tree are getting brown, it means that the room is too dry. Increasing the humidity is the step you have to take to save it from this condition.
2. Stem Rot
If you overwater the Jade plant (another common name for money plant), which is very hard to do, or if there is a drop in the temperature, the stems can start to rot. Plus, if the leaves have become limp, it is usually due to a temperature drop. Keep the plant in a heated room so that it can revive.
3. Yellowing leaves
If the leaves are turning yellow, dropping, and discolouring, it can be due to a couple of reasons. The leaves can turn yellow if you keep them in direct, bright sunlight for too long. This bleaches them. Move the plant to a place where it will receive plenty of indirect sunlight.
Apart from this, yellow leaves indicate too little or too much water as well. Plus, an abnormal amount of phosphorus or iron in the soil can also be the reason for yellow leaves. If you overwater the plants, the important nutrients get leached away and the green leaves turn yellow.
4. Root rot
If you let the plant soak in water, it will result in root rot. Don’t let your plants sit in soggy soil. To avoid your plant from dying, uproot the entire plant. If the roots are turning brown and soggy, then you have to treat them. Cut off all the affected areas. Plant it back in a new pot with fresh soil and drainage holes. The plant will revive in a few days.
5. Common money plant pests
The common pests that a money tree suffers from are mites, aphids, scale, and mealybugs. Spider mites hang out around the end of the leaves, right where they are connected to the stem. They suck the life out of the plants.
The beautiful tropical creeper, characterized by its heart-shaped leaves is popular for its health benefits and ornamental appeal. When we are new to the world of plants, we tend to over-do everything since we don’t have the right gardening knowledge. Most of the people keep watering their plants, thinking that this will make them grow better. In the case of money trees, this is true – you can water your plants frequently, as long as the soil drains well. With the help of the plant care tips that we have mentioned above, you can easily take care of your Crassula ovata and see it thrive.