Pachira, a fashionable indoor plant

Pachira aquatica - Money tree

Pachira is a graphic indoor plant with a modern style.

Key Pachira facts:

Family – Bombacaceae
Type – tree, indoor plant

Height: 64 feet (20 m) in the wild
Height:6 ½ feet (2 meters) indoors
Exposure – abundant indirect light

Soil: soil mix  –  Foliage: evergreen  –  Flowering: all year long

The planting, repotting, watering and care are all good practices that will increase the pachira’s growth and protect it from disease.

Planting pachira

Planting is an important step because it defines how well your pachira will grow. It helps the plant grow healthy and lush.


Small pachira in a potPlace your tree in good soil mix. The money tree doesn’t need much soil, its root system is very shallow and small.

However, since it grows quite tall, make sure the pot is heavy enough so it won’t tip over.

It is recommended to place clay pebbles at the bottom of the pot to facilitate drainage and avoid having the roots wallow in water.

Also, keep a small hand mister with soft water nearby. Squirt the plant often to give it the moisture it craves.


Pachira is a tropical plant, so it will only grow in specific climate parameters. Crucial is to have both warmth and moisture.

Growing and caring for Pachira

Caring for pachiraPachira is a fabulous tree native to tropical regions of Central America. Luckily, it adapts very well to living indoors in a house or apartment.

When growing it indoors, it’s best to place it near a source of light, but not in a spot that gets direct sunlight, especially during the brightest hours of the day.

Keep surrounding moisture high by misting the leaves often with soft water.

If leaf tips start turning brown, it means the air around the plant is too dry.

Don’t add any fertilizer at all during the dormant phase (winter, or October to March).

Pruning pachira

  • No pruning is formally required.
  • However, you can prune in spring above an eye to encourage growth of new shoots.

Propagating pachira

Pachira cuttingUse portions of the stem to start new little trees:

  • cut a portion of the stem that has at least two groups of leaf nodes
  • stick the bottom node in well-draining potting mix,
  • keep moist,
  • and within weeks you should see new growth appearing on the top node.

Once this happens, you’re ready to repot it carefully.

Important: Before cutting, mark the trunk with chalk to show which side is up. It’s very difficult to identify this once the stem is all chopped up! Planting it upside-down might work, but there’s a high risk of failure.

Watering pachira

PachiraWater abundantly when the soil around your pachira dries up, but don’t wait for it to be totally dry.

  • Space the waterings during the winter season because its needs are reduced.

For strong growth and magnificent leafage, you can add leaf plant fertilizer once a month.

If you notice leaves curling up or sagging, it usually reveals a problem with the watering.

Sick pachira plant

There are several things that can cause problems with a pachira. The result is often yellow or brown leaves.

What to do if pachira leaves turn yellow

If the leaves are turning yellow, this is usually because there is excess water or that drainage is insufficient.

You must then:

  • Leaf with no diseasesStop watering and only resume watering when the soil is dry, in moderate amounts.
  • Increase drainage, that is, ensure water can flow away. Put clay pebbles or gravel at the bottom of the pot.
  • Check that there are good-sized holes at the bottom of the pot and that water doesn’t stagnate inside it.

What to do if pachira leaves turn brown

Pachira brown leavesThis is usually a sign that there’s a lack of water and the surrounding air is too dry.

  • In winter, place it further away from radiators and other heat sources.
  • All year long, mist water on the leaves, preferably with non-hard water.

Read also:

Smart tip about pachira

In winter, the plant fares well in an unheated lean-in, provided it doesn’t drop below 40°F (5°C).

Images: CC BY 2.0: yoppy, CC BY-SA 2.0: Quinn Dombrowski; dreamstime: Olivier Le Moal; Pixabay: Skibka, J.C@mμ z , LEEROY agency