Money Tree Plant (Pachira aquatica)
The lucky chestnut (Pachira aquatica) originally comes from Mexico, Peru and Brazil, where it reaches heights of over 20 metres. It is related to the baobab tree, as can be seen from its thickened trunk, and belongs to the wool tree family (Bombacoideae), a subfamily of the mallow family (Malvaceae). In Asia, or rather according to the teachings of Feng Shui, the lucky chestnut is considered a symbol of prosperity and luck, because with its hand-like leaves it is supposed to catch coins – and hold on to them. Hence the name
The lucky chestnut has a thickened stem, which is usually decoratively braided in the case of the plants available as house plants in the trade. It can store water very well. It grows up to two metres high, which is why it can almost be called an indoor tree.
The leaves are dark green, palmately divided and arranged in groups of five. At the front the fresh green leaves converge pointedly. Over time, they form a regular tree crown
In indoor culture a flower is very rare. However, when it flowers, large, greenish-yellow flowers with red stamens, reminiscent of feathers or brushes, appear on the lucky chestnut. In its natural habitat, the plant also produces brown, woody and edible fruits with a diameter of 15 centimetres.
The lucky chestnut prefers a bright location all year round, but cannot tolerate direct sunlight. Make sure that the air humidity is relatively high – otherwise it reacts by shedding its leaves. In summer it likes temperatures between 18 and 20 degrees Celsius, in winter it should be a little cooler, but not below twelve degrees Celsius. In the summer months the plant can also be placed outside in a place protected from wind and rain
Conventional, nutrient-rich potting soil is suitable as a substrate.
The lucky chestnut needs very little water, as it can store large quantities of water in its thickened trunk. However, you should still water it regularly, especially during the summer, and the soil should dry completely before watering it again. In winter, on the other hand, the houseplant is rarely or hardly ever watered. To ensure that the air humidity is adequate, we recommend spraying the lucky chestnut from time to time
Supply the houseplant with commercial flower fertilizer every two weeks from May to August.
The lucky chestnut should be repotted every one to two years, depending on its size and growth. The best time for this is spring.
A cutback is usually not necessary. Withered or dry leaves can be removed by hand, provided they do not fall off by themselves
In winter the lucky chestnut should not be kept at room temperature. It is better to overwinter it in a bright and cool place. Temperatures between 12 and 15 degrees Celsius are ideal. However, it should not be colder.
When bought new, the lucky chestnut is usually twisted into an artistically braided trunk. You can continue this weave by hand, or you can separate the individual trunks again. The sometimes very close weave can sometimes favour pests and plant diseases.
You can propagate the lucky chestnut in summer by sowing or by using head cuttings. Place the shoot tips in a moist peat and sand mixture and then cover with foil. Let the cuttings take root at 25 to 30 degrees Celsius in the ground. It is also possible to sow them individually in moist standard soil at the same soil temperature.
Diseases and pests
If the air is too dry, leaves fall more frequently, otherwise the houseplant is relatively insensitive to diseases and pests.
Frequently asked questions
Which soil is suitable for the lucky chestnut?
The lucky chestnut is content with conventional, nutrient-rich potting soil
How often must the lucky chestnut be watered?
The lucky chestnut hardly needs any water. However, it should be watered regularly, especially in the summer months. Make sure that the soil dries completely between waterings
How big does a lucky chestnut get?
The Lucky Chestnut can grow up to two metres high and is therefore almost a member of the indoor trees.
Can you slice a lucky chestnut?
You don’t have to cut back the lucky chestnut.
- Growth height
- from 100.00cm to 200.00cm
- Growth characteristics
- Sheet shape
- full page
- palmately divided
- Leaf characteristics
- Fruit characteristics
- sunny to semi-shady
- Type of soil
- sandy to loamy
- Soil Moisture
- moderately damp
- Lime tolerance
- sensitive to lime
- Nutrient requirements
- Decorative or utility value
- Leaf decoration
- picturesque growth
- Interior greening
I am Don Burke, one of the authors at My Garden Guide. I am a horticulturist that cultivates, grows, and cares for plants, ranging from shrubs and fruits to flowers. I do it in my own garden and in my nursery. I show you how to take care of your garden and how to perform garden landscaping in an easy way, step by step.I am originally from Sydney and I wrote in local magazines. Later on, I have decided, more than two decades ago, to create my own blog. My area of specialization is related to orchid care, succulent care, and the study of the substrate and the soil. Therefore, you will see many articles dedicated to these disciplines. I also provide advice about how to improve the landscape design of your garden.