Pachira Aquatica Propagation
If you want to propagate your Money Tree plant (Pachira aquatica), there are a few ways to go. Propagation can be done using stem cuttings or with seeds. Cuttings are a more common way to go, but also a bit more complicated.
Propagating Pachira aquatica through stem cuttings is the most common method, although it requires some skill. It is best to do this in the summer, or in the late spring. Make sure to do it in the morning, when there is not too much heat.
To propagate your Money Tree plant, select a healthy branch to take your cuttings from. Cuttings should be longer than six inches and contain strong, healthy leaves. Also, make sure that the cutting contains a few leaf nodes. You should cut using sharp, clean (preferably sterilized) pruning shears. This will ensure health and prevent any potential diseases from forming.
It is always the best to plant your cutting immediately after taking it. However, if this is not possible, make sure to wrap it in a damp paper towel. Place the cutting in a plastic bag to retain moisture. Such cutting will be viable for around 24 hours.
When you are ready to plant your cutting, remove leaves from the bottom third of the cutting. Unlike many plants, Pachira aquatica doesn’t root well in water. Instead, you should use a specific rooting medium. A blend of half/half peat moss and perlite or peat moss and sand will work great for the purpose.
Before planting, dip the cutting into water to dampen it. Make sure to remove any extra moisture from the cutting and then dip it into a rotting hormone. Powdered rooting hormone works best for this purpose.
To plant your Money Tree cutting in the rooting medium, use a pencil to first make an indentation in the medium. Then plant the cutting, but make sure that only the bottom third of the cutting is inside of the medium. Once it is inside of the hole you made with a pencil, make sure it is stable and secure in the medium.
When your cutting is planted, water it and place a plastic bag over it. The bag will increase the humidity for the cutting. Make sure that the bag is not pressing on the top of the new plant. If this happens, use a pencil or a chopstick to prevent the bag from touching the cutting.
Once this is done, place your cutting in a calm area away from direct sunlight. You need to monitor your cutting carefully. The goal is to keep the rooting medium moist but not soggy. Watch for condensation on the inside of the plastic: if there is none, make sure to water your cutting.
Rooting should take around 4 to 6 weeks. After this, your new Money Tree Plant should have developed roots.
If you wish so, you may propagate your Pachira aquatica through seeds. This is a less common method, but it requires less work.
To propagate your Pachira aquatica from seeds, you will need to collect them. This is typically done from the original plant, once the seed pods have dried and are starting to crack open. The seeds are nut-like and should look healthy and strong. Make sure not to use the damaged ones.
To plant the seeds, prepare a 6-8 inch pot for each seed. The pots have to have drainage holes. For a potting mix, use five parts of potting soil with two parts of coarse sand and one part perlite. Before planting the seeds, water the containers until the soil is completely saturated. Wait for about 10-15 minutes until the excess water has drained off.
This is the time to plant the seeds. Each seed will have a pale spot on one end, which is known as the “eye”. When planting, make sure that the “eye” is pointed sideways. Place Money Tree seeds in the potting mix about ¼ inch deep. Water lightly so the seed is settled into the soil. Add more soil on top if needed.
It is important to give seeds appropriate temperature to germinate. Money Tree plant seeds prefer warm soil. You can use a seedling starting mat for this purpose, although it is optional and will depend on circumstances. Make sure to keep your seeds in bright, indirect sunlight.
Monitor the seeds. Water when the top inch of soil has dried out. Check daily for any development. Once the new growth starts coming up, remove plants from the heating mat (if you have used one).
Keep the soil moist as the seedlings grow. Make sure not to splash water onto the seedlings while watering. Your new plants should be under bright but indirect light during their first growing season. If you wish to plant your Pachira aquatica outdoors, you may choose to harden it afterwards. If you choose to grow your Money Tree plant indoors, transplant the new plants into their new pots.
Photo credit: mauro halpern Castanheiro-do-Maranhão. Guiana-chesnut, Munguba, “Pachira aquatica” via photopin (license)