The Dirt Doctors

Bonsai Money Tree 101: Growing and Caring for This Plant

Source: Pinterest

You can attract money in your life in many ways. You could, for instance, have a positive attitude, visualize money, focus on abundance, and manage your finances wisely.

Some people, on the other hand, turn to indoor plants in the hopes of attracting wealth and prosperity, as well as making their homes a great place to live. One of these plants is the bonsai money tree. If you believe in feng shui and have a green thumb, this plant may be ideal for your home.

What is a Bonsai Money Tree?

Source: Pinterest

The bonsai money tree is a plant that many consider as a symbol of prosperity and good fortune for those who own one. They’re highly popular with feng shui practitioners, as they usually sprout five leaves on each stem — with five being an important number in the feng shui world (more on this later).

This money tree has a great reputation for being one of the easiest trees to grow and take care of indoors. People grow this tree to add some green in homes, as well as offices, restaurants, lobbies and other public spaces.

The bonsai money tree comes in many names. Many stores market them as a money tree, a feng shui money tree, a braided money tree and a money plant.

This indoor plant can grow up to eight feet high. If you want, though, you could get an “outdoor” money tree, which can grow up to 60 feet high.

Feng Shui and Symbolism of the Bonsai Money Tree

A legend exists behind the cultivation of the bonsai money tree.

The story tells of a man who was down on his luck. He prayed for prosperity. Soon enough, he found a money tree and brought the plant home. He realized that he could cultivate many more trees from the plant’s seeds. He then made a business selling this plant to others. That’s how he became prosperous.

Some varieties of the money tree have a braided trunk that many say can trap fortune within its folds. The five leaves usually present on a stalk represent the five elements of balance: metal, wind, water, fire and earth.

Coming across a bonsai money tree with seven stalks is like hitting the jackpot — it’s incredibly rare and said to bring immense prosperity to the owner.

Bonsai Money Tree History

Everyone knows what a Japanese money tree is. However, only some know about its history, its characteristics, and the superstitions behind it. The money tree Bonsai is a delicate plant that can enrich the living atmosphere and nudge you to learn patience through care. It’s one of the main elements of Chinese feng shui and modern room decoration features. 

Surprisingly, the story of the Japanese money tree has its roots in ancient Chinese culture, when the ancient Chinese started cultivating the bonsai tree during the Han dynasty. There’s even a Han dynasty tomb, 2.000 years old, where the murals portray potted flowers and plants. 

The money plant Bonsai found its way to the Island of Japan during the Kamakura period, some 700 years ago. People have also associated money tree bonsai care with the spread of Buddhism. However, since then, the Japanese have been the most innovative in finding new ways to grow, propagate, and esthetically develop these plants.

There’s also a myth concerning the Japanese money tree originating in Chinese feng shui philosophy. According to feng shui, this tree symbolizes a harmonized environment and thus attracts good luck and fortune within the home. In Japan, it’s connected to the spirituality of Zen Buddhism. 

Bonsai in the Modern World

Nowadays, the Bonsai is popular among all cultures, especially in the Western world. People find comfort and peace of mind when growing and cultivating the Bonsai. These are just some of the reasons for its popularity and the expected Bonsai market growth of more than $15 billion market cap by 2028.

Even though it might not seem possible, the Japanese money tree plant can grow up to 20 meters in the wild, especially the species we grow, the Pachira Aquatic Bonsai. On the other hand, the typical indoor Bonsai grows between 1 and 80 inches based on how you propagate and care for it.

Today, there are also thousands of manuals and e-books on how to grow and care for this plant. People combine the Bonsai money plant with other plants, such as bamboo, spider plants, lilies, moss, cocoa trees, and many more. Inspired by Eastern culture, people cultivate it primarily for decorative and recreational purposes but also for attaining life balance, harmony, and luck. The fortune and luck superstitions tied to it make the  Bonsai money tree a rather popular gift. 

You can also learn a lot about other trees through the Japanese money tree plants. For example, you can place your outdoor Bonsai where you plant a coconut palm tree because it retains moisture and provides mild sun exposure or further away from the lettuce plantLet’s see how you can grow and care for your Bonsai.

How to Plant and Grow a Bonsai Money Tree

You can grow a bonsai money tree by purchasing cuttings or seeds. The ideal types of cuttings that you can use to propagate this plant are semi-hardwood cuttings from the tips. They’re easy to root in nearly any medium. What’s more, you can root them in water.

When talking about soil, you can plant a bonsai money tree in a variety of different soil types. They flourish, however, in loamy, peaty and well-draining soils. When growing a money tree indoors, make sure that you choose a well-draining container.

How to Take Care of a Bonsai Money Tree

Although a bonsai money tree is difficult to maintain, you still need to follow specific plant care guidelines to make sure that the tree thrives properly.

Here are a few guidelines when taking care of this particular money tree:


Feed the bonsai money tree with a well-balanced, water-soluble plant food at half the recommended strength. Do this once a month in the summer and spring when it’s producing new leaves. Take note that you don’t need to use fertilizer during wintertime when plant growth naturally slows.


Money trees prefer infrequent but deep watering. Water the plant when 50 to 75 percent of the soil is dry. Remember to discard any excess water accumulated from the saucer. You can prevent root rot by making sure that the bonsai money tree is never standing in water.


Position the indoor plant in bright indirect or medium sunlight. If the sun isn’t out, don’t fret. The bonsai money tree can adapt to low and fluorescent lights.


Bonsai money trees need high humidity, so make sure that you use a pebble tray (pictured) or a humidifier. Source: Pinterest

Money trees prefer a bit of extra humidity. So, ensure you bump up the humidity during wintertime with a humidifier or a pebble tray. Regular misting year-round is also highly encouraged.

Diseases and Pests

Pests and diseases hardly attack vigorous bonsai money trees. If your indoor plant suffers from dry air, mealy bugs or spider mites can bother it. If this is the case, use a humidifier to improve the condition of the money tree and use appropriate pesticides.

Repotting a Bonsai Money Tree

You’ll need to repot your bonsai money tree to keep it healthy. Repotting is an easy process. Just pick a pot with drainage holes that has a size that’s slightly larger than the root ball. Don’t make the container too big, as it will hold more water than necessary, leading to root rot.

Then, choose a potting mix containing vermiculite, pine bark, and peat. Remember to fertilize the plant once a month.

If you have no space left in your mini garden but want to add a plant to your home, grow a bonsai money tree. Although this tree won’t literally produce money, it can attract prosperity (if you believe in feng shui) and beautify your home interior.

Money Tree Bonsai Propagation Methods

While there are multiple propagation methods you can use on a Bonsai money tree, the types are only two: sexual and asexual propagation. In most cases, you’ll grow your Bonsai using the latter by taking a part of a parent plant and regenerating a new one.

Next, you must choose a soil with good water retention, drainage, and aeration. The container, on the other hand, should be rectangular, the same size as the trunk.

Additionally, every Bonsai enthusiast must learn tips on correct propagation using various methods to avoid damaging, dehydrating, or overwatering the new plants. 

Side Cuttings and Shoots

Using the side cuttings and shoots is the easiest way to propagate your Japanese money tree. The tree tends to grow new shoots from the sides of the trunks. Once you notice them, you can carefully dislodge them and place them in moist, not wet, soil. 

Nonetheless, it might take years before your Bonsai becomes mature enough to grow shoots. That’s why you can use another simple method – cutting the young twigs and placing them in moist soil.


Seed cultivation is the most common sexual method for the propagation of trees. The Bonsai money tree also has seeds; you can grow them indoors or outdoors. However, before taking measures, you must first investigate the Bonsai species and see if you should place it in soil or replicate the process by soaking the seed in water.

Air Layering

Air layering involves inducing new growth by stopping the flow of nutrients from the current root system. You can do it using the tourniquet or the ring method. 

For the former, you’d need copper wire to wrap around a part of the plant, and if done right, new roots will start to show there. The ring method, on the other hand, doesn’t involve wrapping – all you have to do is cut a ring off the trunk or branch where a new root will grow.

Bonsai Money Tree Companions

The Bonsai tree has multiple companion plants that look great besides it, and you can use them for different seasonal conditions and design solutions. The companion plants can also improve the soil quality, humidify it and reduce airborne pollutants and pests.

For example, you can use bamboo as a money tree companion. You can even select from bamboo varieties to pair them with your money tree Bonsai. There’s a variety of dwarf bamboo species from which you can choose and use for a compact and natural combination in your Bonsai pot.

Moss is another great companion of the Bonsai tree. Bonsai lovers consider moss the number-one companion plant that accents the bodily shape of the Bonsai. On top of that, most varieties are quite affordable and fast-growing.

Other great Bonsai companion plants are the Spider Plant and the Peace Lily. Spider Plants have many benefits for the soil and the nearby plants. Spider Plants can remove indoor airborne pollutants, humidify the soil and absorb the potentially dangerous ozone. Peace Lilies are also elegant companions of the Bonsai money tree and go well with other companions, such as ferns and peperomia.

You can also plant companions to deter various pests from your Pachira bonsai. For instance, if you want to scare away asparagus beetles or flies, you can use basil as a decorative companion.

Fertilizing Bonsai Money Tree

Fertilization is an essential aspect of money tree Bonsai care and production. Japanese money tree experts suggest that we fertilize the Bonsai between March and October. It would be enough to fertilize the tree twice a year, once in the spring and once in the fall. 

Fertilization is essential because of the replenishment of the soil’s nutrients. Consequently, the Bonsai money plant needs fertilizers for growing flowers and fruits. That’s why there are organic and synthetic Bonsai fertilizers. 

Following are some of the main recommended organic types of Bonsai fertilizers to use at the beginning of spring and end of fall:

On the other side, synthetic fertilizers can be much more hazardous but boost the growth of your indoor Pachira Aquatica Bonsai. Following are some of the recommended synthetic Bonsai fertilizers rich in:

However, the most frequently recommended synthetic fertilizing products are the ones rich in urea, essential for replenishing the nitrogen levels in the pot’s soil. The Bonsai fertilization rules give you a straightforward answer to your question: “how to care for money tree Bonsai?” 

Prune A Money Tree Bonsai

Pruning is essential for both the tree’s health and aesthetics. It’s also crucial for the growth and development of the tree, including the sprouting of new leaves. Pruning is also great for a wilting Pachira Bonsai – you can remove the brown leaves and leave the Bonsai to regenerate. 

Additionally, pruning the Bonsai is important for getting that popular braided, knotted, and symmetrical trunk shape. A practical pruning tip uses wiring and similar techniques to support such growth from the early stages of development.

There’s no specific time for pruning or trimming your Bonsai tree. However, the pruning frequency of your Bonsai will depend on the size and growth of the tree. Some larger Bonsai plants may need weekly wiring or pinching.

Pinching is a pruning technique in which you use your fingers to remove the soft end of the buds or the sprouts before they harden. This way, you stimulate hormone production and support healthier trunks and shoots. 

By removing the top body of the shoot, you’re removing the hormone inhibition and stimulating even faster growth. Pinching is good for reducing the space between the leaves and preventing the elongation of the internode. A pinching tip for you: use twig shears and cutters to prune outgrown branches and shoots or parallel same-size branches.

A top wiring tip: always start with the secondary branches and use wires ⅓ of the branch thickness! The wires will hold the branches and sprouts in their new position, guaranteeing the desired body shape and size.

Effective Tips and Precautions While Growing Bonsai Money Tree

It can be hard to master caring for a Bonsai money tree. The money tree plant’s characteristics are more specific than other decoration plants. Growing Bonsai isn’t the same as planting rainbow corn or growing pumpkins.

There are millions of tips and tricks for growing your desired Bonsai tree. For example, there’s a crazy trend among experienced Bonsai enthusiasts for pairing money trees with serrano pepper plants. It’s called the “Bonchi” (Bonsai-chili). Nonetheless, the location and conditions are crucial for all Bonsai types.

Following are our top 10 tips and precautions for growing a bonsai money tree: 

  1. If you have an indoor Bonsai, keep it by the window, preferably on the Southern side!
  2. If you have an outdoor Bonsai, ensure it gets 6 hours of sun daily!
  3. You can assess the watering time by putting your finger 1 or 2 inches in the soil. If it’s dry- water the plant!
  4. Be careful – organic soil mixes can keep density and lead to overwatering!
  5. Don’t water your outdoor Bonsai if there’s been excessive rain!
  6. Also, avoid overwatering by carefully assessing the temperature and avoiding the usage of oversized pots.
  7. Use natural pest-removal solutions, such as neem oil, to eliminate the common Bonsai pests like spider mites and scale insects.
  8. Choose a quality soil substrate mixture with Akadama, organic Pumice, Fine Gravel, and Lava rock.
  9. Protect your Bonsai with shaded cloth structures or big trees from storm and wind damage.
  10. Prune and shape regularly!

Final Thoughts 

The Bonsai money tree holds a central role in feng shui and the balancing of energy. It can equally enhance the looks of your apartment and garden! On top of that, you can combine it with other plants like a spider plant, peace lilies, a variety of moss, and dwarf bamboo. Bonsai is plenty of fun to grow. They can teach us patience and dedication and rewire us to nature!

FAQs About Bonsai Money Tree

1) How often should you water a bonsai money tree?

The preferred interval is once a week. However, depending on the dryness of the soil and the temperature conditions, you can water it more frequently or rarely.

2) What kind of soil do you use for a money tree bonsai?

The best Bonsai soil contains Kadima, organic Pumice, Fine Gravel, and Lava rock.

3) Where should a bonsai money plant be placed?

If you have an indoor Bonsai, keep it by the Southern windows. If you have an outdoor Bonsai, ensure it gets 6 hours of daylight.

4) Should I cut the brown tips off my money tree?

Yes, you can. However, experts prefer that you prune or pinch the brown tips away to avoid damaging the plant.

5) do you keep a money tree bushy?

The trick to keeping your money tree bushy is regular and proper pruning. Removing the brown and wilted leaves or pinching the soft end of the buds will stimulate growth hormones and thicker branches.

6) When is the right time to repot the money tree?

The best periods to repot your money tree are spring and early summer. Nonetheless, you shouldn’t repot your money tree Bonsai more than once every two or three years.

Exit mobile version