The Money Tree bonsai, also known as the Pachira plant, is a traditional symbol of good luck and good fortune; legend has it that an industrious farmer prospered from braiding the young trunks of this beautiful green plant. And indeed, the unusual trunk gives this lush green ornamental its unique appeal. Each stem typically features five to seven leaves along one stem creating a delightful mini-umbrella shape--but it's deemed good luck to discover seven leaves on any stem! This easy-care bonsai is the perfect choice for the novice. And, offers the recipient your hope for luck and prosperity.
- Braided Money Trees are a popular favorite bonsai
- With five to seven beautiful glossy-green plume-like leaves on each stem
- Many believe the leaves, which resemble an open hand, symbolize the five fundamental Feng Shui elements: metal, wood, water, fire and earth; if a space is not balanced, a money tree will help create harmony by adding the missing element
- Bonsai's trunk has been expertly trained and braided; continues to grow as plaited
- A hardy, easy-care indoor bonsai which survives in both direct sun or low light, with occasional or frequent watering--indoors or out
- Bonsai measures 14"H x 9"W
- High-fired ceramic container measures 6"L x 4"W
- Planter size and color may vary
The Story of the Money Tree Plant
According to the legend of the money tree plant, a poor, hard working old farmer one day came across an unusual plant in the fields. Since he'd never seen anything like it before, he decided to dig it up. The little tree was difficult to uproot, but he managed to bring it home. At home, he found that the tree was resilient and grew without much care. He decided to take a lesson from the plant, and decided to be stubborn, resilient, and not to give up on the things he worked for. Soon, he became a great entrepreneur.
The Real Story of the Money Tree Plant
The real story behind the braided money tree is not quite as romantic, but no less fascinating. The story goes back to the 1980's. During a typhoon, a truck driver in Taiwan was unable to drive his truck. So, he stayed home and helped his wife braid hair in her beauty salon. The thought struck him--why not braid a few money tree plants together? He took five plants and made a shape out of them. They were an instant hit, immensely popular throughout Asia. Today, the braided money tree plant has become one of the world's most popular houseplants.
The plant has significance to followers of feng shui. Its five leaves symbolize the five elements of feng shui: wood, water, earth, fire, and metal. Some say that if the plant is placed near places where money is kept (or where wealth is needed), prosperity and wealth will follow. The plant is referred to in Asian cultures as "Bringer of Good Fortune", particularly when given as a gift. A new proverb even arose to describe the intertwining trees: "The five fortunes come home, richer at each juncture."
The braided money tree plant, known as Pachira aquatica, is indeed one of the easiest houseplants to take care of. It grows well in low-light conditions, and makes a perfect gift for office space. If you forget to water it for a few days, no problem.
The trees are typically grown as ornamental plants; when you receive them, they will be about 5 years old (one to two feet in height). Properly cared for and repotted every few years, they can grow to upwards of 7 feet.
Plants do best with indirect sunlight. Allow the soil to dry completely between waterings. If leaves start "crinkling", it means the plant is being under-watered; when they turn soft and yellow, it means it is being over-watered.
Some people prefer to keep the trees braided; others separate the braids and grow them as individual trees. Either way, these trees will definitely provide enjoyment for years to come (and who knows, maybe even riches!)
Tips on Watering
Careful watering is key to maintaining healthy bonsai. Never allow your bonsai to completely dry out. Watering instructions may vary slightly depending on the tree or plant species. Please refer to the information tag attached to your bonsai for specific information. Over time you will be able to evaluate each particular bonsai's water requirements and create your own watering schedule to accommodate it. Note whether your bonsai is considered an indoor or outdoor tree and refer below to more specific watering tips for each type.
Best results are achieved by watering with a small watering can or hose attachment with a fine-spray nozzle so that water cascades are softer, avoiding blasts to bonsai and potting soil. To water, thoroughly soak the container's soil until water runs out of the bottom drainage holes. Periodic misting of the tree's foliage is also recommended.
Trimming and Pinching
Bonsai trees benefit from trimming to maintain their miniature size and beautiful form. Pinch and trim new growth back to the farthest safe point, being careful not to remove all new growth. For more in-depth tips about trimming (and training) techniques, an instructional book will provide the best, safest recommendations to keep your bonsai in tip-top shape.