How to Prune a Money Tree?

The money tree plant, also known as the Pachira Aquatica, is a plant that LOVES to grow. In fact, you may have bought a small money tree, only for it to blossom into a gigantic plant that takes over your whole house…

As such, you may want to make a money tree smaller by giving it a prune. It isn’t difficult to prune a Pachira Aquatica plant, especially with this guide, which will take you through as easy step-by-step process to pruning money trees.

Many people are worried about cutting a money tree to make it less bushy, but they shouldn’t worry as the Pachira Aquatica is happy to be pruned. The most important thing to consider is the end goal and what you need to do to get there. For some, this means cutting the dead leaves from a money tree, whereas for others, it means pruning a money tree to make it smaller in size.

How to Prune a Money Tree?

You can prune a money tree with a pair of scissors and a steady hand. However, before you start cutting, it’s important to visualize what you want to create. Many money tree owners get too scissor-happy, which results in a tree half the size of what you wanted.

  1. Sterilize all pruning tools with rubbing alcohol
  2. Visualize what you want to achieve. Make a note of which branches and stems you want to remove from the plant.
  3. Now it’s time to cut your tree. It’s best to start with the largest pieces, and then prune your way to perfection. Use your sterilized scissors to cut a few centimetres above the plant nodes. These nodes are small bumps that allow new growths to split off from the plant.
  4. Like every good hairdresser or artist, it can be a good idea to step back and admire your work. This will allow you to see where to cut, and avoid cutting too much from your plant.

Do Money Trees Need to Be Pruned?

Yes. As the name suggests, the Pachira Aquatica is a tree. In fact, they are related to the chestnut tree! These genetics run deep, which is why the money tree can grow to 60 feet in outdoor environments. The plant grows extremely well, even if the conditions aren’t perfect. Now you can see why money trees must be pruned. Those thinking about purchasing a money tree should be mindful of the fact that consistent pruning is necessary.

When to Prune a Money Tree?

The best time to prune a money tree is during the spring or summer. This is due to your plant actively growing in the warmer months. Plants tend to be dormant during the winter months, which is why it isn’t a good time to give your money tree a make-over. With that said, removing one or two dead leaves is fine at any time of year.

The fact that you searched for the answer to this question is a good sign that your money true is ready to be pruned. Shops prune their plant when they want to sell them, so your plant may now look a lot different to when you bought it. You may now see stems growing from all angles, or maybe even a huge stem sticking from the top, which can reduce the aesthetic appeal of the plant.

There’s no need to worry about harming your plant, as money trees aren’t damaged when pruned. Just think of it as giving your plant a haircut to maintain their appearance. Some pruning is done to maintain healthiness of the plant by removing dead leaves or stems.

Reasons for Pruning Money Trees

Pruning is required. Well, if you don’t want your plant to hit your ceiling. Here are the top reasons why people prune money trees:

To Reduce Size

Reducing size is the main reason why people prune the Pachira Aquatica plant. This type pruning is known as structural pruning, and it involves removes large sections of your money tree.

Money trees aren’t too sensitive to being pruned, but removing large chucks of the plant can make it stressed. It’s wise to do this type of pruning during the warmer months and when you have a clear vision.

Money trees grow upwards. If left alone, the plant may reach the ceiling of your home. Well, if you don’t live in a palace. The top of the plant can produce thin stems that sprout at random angles. You can remove these top stems by using sterilized shears. It’s important to only make cuts above the nodes, as this will allow for new growth.

To Improve Shape

Our money trees won’t keep the same shape that we bought them in. As such we need to prune money trees to improve their shape and make them look more attractive. One of the biggest areas of growth will be from near the tree’s trunk. For this wild stems, I recommend cutting as close to the trunk as possible, but be careful not be damage the trunk itself.

You can promote growth in certain areas by cutting just above the node in that specific area. New leaves will grow from the node where you made the cut.

Root-Pruning a Money Tree

You may also need to prune the roots on your plant. The roots on money trees can get large, which means the plant will need to be moved to a larger pot. However, not everyone wants to move their plant to a new pot, so pruning the roots in the next best option.

First, remove the money tree from its current pot, and then take some of the roots to the side. You should then grab some sterilized shears, and trim roughly 33% from the tip of each root. Make sure the cuts are even, and then re-pot your money tree with some fresh soil/potting mix.

Maintenance Money Tree Pruning

This type of pruning is for maintaining the look of your plant. Once you have pruned your money tree into your desired shape, you can then keep the shape by trimming your money tree on a frequent basis. Maintenance pruning can be done at any time of year.

Just like with our hair, people believe making small cuts can actually encourage more growth. It can get quite technical, but some horticulturalists will trim just above a node to force more growth at that specific node, which will persuade the money tree in the shape you want.

You may also need to prune old leaves that have become yellow. I recommend removing any damaged or dying leaves from your money tree as soon as you notice them. You don’t have to, but damaged leaves will require your plant to force energy to that area, and start to affect the other leaves on your plant.

Tools for Pruning Money Trees

You don’t need a bucket-load of tools to prune a money tree. I recommend using just three essentials, which are shears, scissors, and some fresh soil if the roots have been pruned. Any brand will work. Below, I have linked to my top tools for money tree pruning.


So, that’s the correct way to prune money tree leaves. Just stick the steps above, and you will be rewarded with a happy money tree that continues to thrive and add character to your home. It doesn’t matter if you go too wrong, as money trees aren’t too sensitive to be cut. So don’t be shy tidy up your money tree!