How to Grow and Propagate Money Trees – Water & Soil

There’s no doubt that money trees are amazing plants. In fact, wouldn’t it be great to have even more, and without having to open your purse? Well, you can! Money trees can be propagated, which means you produce new plants by using a small cutting of your current plant.

Growing money trees from cuttings is a fun and economical way to get more plants in your home. The great news is that anyone can propagate a money tree. Follow the information below, and you’ll have an impressive money tree collection in no time.

How to Propagate Money Trees?

You can propagate money trees with the cutting method. This involves taking a small cutting from your plant, rooting it in a bowl of water, and then planting it in soil (or leaving it in the water).

The key for correct propagation is properly handled cuttings. Follow the steps below to learn the best way to propagate money tree plants…

Propagating Money Trees with Cuttings

The first step is to look for healthy sections of your plant. It’s these sections that you will be cutting and using to propagate a new money tree. In fact, you just need one healthy section that measures at least a few inches long and comes with 2+ leaf nodes.

You may be wondering what a leaf node is. Well, a node is the place where a leaf grows from. They look like small bumps on the stem. During the propagation process, these nodes act as the place where new roots can grow from.

Plants are delicate. As such, make sure your scissors are both sterilized and super-sharp. It may sound strange to sterilize your scissors, but contaminating your plant is a very real threat.

Once you have cut off your chosen stem from the money tree, the next step is to locate the nodes near the bottom of your stem, and then make an angular cut 1cm below the node. The cut should be roughly angled at 45 degrees.

You should now have a few stems with healthy cuttings. The next step is to wrap a damp towel (made of paper of otherwise) around the cuttings, and then place that end of the stem into a plastic bag, which will maintain hydration.

You have two options when it comes to propagating the money tree cuttings. You can use water or soil…

Propagating Money Tree Cuttings in Soil

The best way to propagate a money tree cutting is with potting mix. I use peat-moss soil with a good amount of drainage. It’s also a good idea to use a rooting hormone in the cutting before planting it in the soil, which kick-starts the propagation process. You can use any brand of rooting hormone, but my favorite is this one from Amazon.

The next step is to find an appropriate container for your new plant. I recommend using a small container with multiple drainage holes. Start by placing damp potting mix into the container. Remove the leaves from the nodes at the bottom of the stem, and then dip the bottom of the stem into the rooting hormone.

The final step requires making a hole in the soil for your stem. Carefully place the stem into the hole, making sure not to remove any of the rooting hormone liquid. Keep the stem in position by firming placing some soil around the stem. With care and frequent watering, your money tree will be well on its way.

Propagating Money Tree Cuttings in Water

If you want to go down the water propagation route, then the next step involves placing the cutting inside a vessel of water. Please note, you will not be leaving your money tree in water permanently, but rooting it in water before moving it into a pot of soil. This step will allow your propagated plant to grow its roots, which is vital for your plant to thrive and live a healthy life.

Before placing your stem into water, you will want to apply some rooting hormone (Amazon link). I recommend leaving the bottom third of your stem in the water, with the rest of the stem poking into the fresh air.  

Some believe that water propagation isn’t possible, but this isn’t true. You can propagate money trees in water, but soil propagation is generally preferred. The lack of nutrients and oxygen isn’t enough for optimum growth when the plant is left in water.

The choice of vessel is completely up to you, but I enjoy using a glass that allows me to watch the process unfold. Glasses also allow the stem to rest gently on the rim, which prevents the whole stem from becoming submerged.

With your cutting sitting inside the water, it is now time to place the vessel is the correct location. I recommend placing it in a warm location with lots of sunlight. It should take between 4-6 months before you see a developed root system. The advantage of rooting a money tree in water is that you can watch the whole process unfold, and know the exact time your money tree is ready to be potted.

The Downside of Propagating Money Trees in Water

Watching your money tree grow in water is a fun and unique experience. However, that doesn’t mean it’s the smartest option at your disposal. The roots of a money tree grown in water can be more vulnerable.

Roots grown in soil grow with a solid foundation of nutrients, which simply isn’t the case with water grown plants. Soil roots are also hardier than roots grown in water. Watching your plant propagate in water is very fun, but as we said, it will lead to roots that are more vulnerable to damage when the plant is potted or transported. Soil prorogation is also more successful than water propagation.

What Type of Water to Propagate Money Trees?

You may have a few questions if you have decided to go down the water propagation route. One of these questions may be about what type of water is best for water propagation. Well, I recommend using clean water, preferably filtered water.

You can use tap water, of course, but the water in many locations is packed with additional chemicals that could harm the fragile plant.

It’s important that the water never becomes stagnant. As such, make sure no dust or bacteria forms inside the vessel. I like to change the water every four days, which ensures the water never ‘goes bad’.

Can Money Trees Live in Water Long Term?

Yes, but I don’t recommend it. Money trees live in humid environments and can survive for some time underwater, but they are not aquatic plants. The Pachira Aquatica has longed grown on land from nutrient-rich soil.

Money trees that spend a long time in water will develop fragile roots that won’t be able to take in all of the required nutrients. As such, I always recommend that people propagate their money tree in soil from the start. Propagating in water, and then moving it into soil, only causes problems.

How To Grow Money Trees from Seed?

Money trees naturally grow from seed pods on the forest floor. These pods open up when they dry out, which allows the seeds to disperse and start their growth journey. If your money tree grows too big, you can learn how to prune it.

It will be near impossible to get seeds from your current money tree plant, but there are plenty of online vendors and garden centres that sell packs of seed. Here are the steps to grow a money tree from seed:

  • Grab a seed and planter for each money tree that you want to grow. I recommend using medium-sized planters with holes. Make sure each seed is healthy with no cracks
  • Fill each plant pot with peat-moss soil, and then sprinkle on some water
  • Plant the seed 1cm deep into the soil. Top tip – place the seed sideways, so that the pale spot is facing to the side, not upwards or downwards
  • Water the plant, and then place it in a warm environment with plenty of sunlight
  • Keep the soil moist with frequent watering
  • Seeds love direct light from the sun, but seedlings do not. Once the seedling has emerged, move the pots out of direct sunlight
  • Allow the seedling to grow stronger, and move it into a permanent pot when it’s ready

The Best Soil for Money Tree Propagation

When looking for the best soil and planter for your money tree, it is important to keep a few things in mind. Firstly, your money tree shouldn’t be left in soggy soil, so make sure to get a planter with drainage holes. Using plant pots without drainage holes can lead to your money tree developing root rot.

It is best to use a soil with a sandy texture, like peat-moss soil. My favorite soil for propagating money trees is the Hoffmans Organic Cactus & Succulent Blend (Amazon link).

In regards to the pot, you will want to replace it every other year, especially if you want your money tree to grow. Using a larger plant pot is also effective in preventing build up of water, which will minimize the risk of root rot.