How to Propagate a Money Tree

The money tree, also known as Pachira aquatica, is a popular and easy to grow houseplant renowned for its braided trunk and bright green leaves shaped like the palm of a hand. Propagating a money tree is a simple process that will allow you to grow new plants from cuttings taken from a parent plant. With a few basic supplies and proper care, you can multiply your money tree houseplants for free.

Selecting a Healthy Parent Plant

When choosing a parent plant to take cuttings from, select one that is healthy and thriving. Avoid taking cuttings from plants that are stressed, diseased, or pest-infested. The best candidate will have:

  • Abundant green foliage
  • No signs of wilting or yellowing leaves
  • A well-established root system
  • Active growth with new leaf emergence

Select a plant that is a few years old, as younger plants may be more difficult to propagate. Also look for plants with braided or twisted trunks, as they tend to propagate better.

Taking Cuttings

When: The best time to take money tree cuttings is during the active growing season in spring and summer. This gives the cutting the best chance to form roots.

What to use: Take cuttings from new growth that has no flowers or fruit. Select shoots around 4-6 inches long that have at least a few leaves. Use a clean, sharp pair of bypass pruners or scissors to detach the cuttings. Make a straight cut just below a leaf node.

How many: Taking 3-5 cuttings will help ensure at least one or two successfully propagate. More cuttings can be taken depending on the parent plant’s size and growth rate. Avoid over-cutting to prevent stressing the parent plant.

Care for cuttings: Immediately place the cuttings in a cup of room temperature water. Keep them hydrated until you are ready to prepare them for rooting in the next steps.

Rooting Money Tree Cuttings

Once you have gathered quality cuttings from the parent plant, the next step is encouraging them to develop a root system. This involves providing the right environment and using a rooting hormone.

Prepare a Rooting Container

Money tree cuttings can be rooted in pots of soil, but rooting in water is often more successful. Prepare the rooting container:

  • Water: Fill a small glass/jar with room temperature, filtered water. Replace the water every few days.
  • Soil: Use a well-draining potting mix, or create a blend containing equal parts peat moss, perlite, and potting soil.
  • Drainage: Ensure containers have holes for drainage. Add perlite to soil mixes to improve drainage.

Apply Rooting Hormone

Using a rooting hormone like indole-3-butyric acid (IBA) will significantly increase the chance of successful propagation.

  • Apply powder to the cut end of each cutting according to product instructions. Tap off any excess.
  • If using a liquid hormone, submerge the cut end for a few seconds.
  • Rooting hormone stimulates root growth and helps cuttings take up water and nutrients.

Insert Cuttings

Gently insert the stem cutting into the rooting medium. Leave 2-3 nodes underground and 2-3 nodes above the surface. Firm the soil or anchor the cutting in the water so it stays upright.

Caring for Money Tree Cuttings

With the cuttings inserted into the rooting medium, proper care is crucial during this root establishment phase. Follow these tips:

Temperature, Light, and Humidity

  • Maintain warm temperatures around 70-80°F. Lower humidity slows growth.
  • Bright, indirect light encourages rooting. Avoid direct sun.
  • High humidity above 50% helps prevent shriveling. Use a pebble tray or humidifier.
  • Keep soil moist, not soaked. Add water slowly to prevent dislodging.
  • Change water every 2-3 days if rooting in water.

Monitoring Progress

  • Look for new growth like leaves emerging as a sign roots are developing.
  • Check water levels and top off as needed.
  • Remove any cuttings that rot or turn yellow and dispose of them promptly.
  • Be patient! It can take 4-8 weeks for cuttings to be fully rooted.

Transplanting the Rooted Cuttings

Once the cuttings have developed a robust root system about 2-3 inches long, they are ready to be transplanted! Follow these next steps:

  • Gently remove the cutting from the rooting medium. Rinse off soil.
  • Prepare a small planting pot with drainage holes, using well-draining potting mix.
  • Make a hole in the soil, insert the roots, and fill in around the plant.
  • Water thoroughly until it drains from the bottom. Allow excess to drain away.
  • Place the newly potted plant in a warm spot with bright indirect light.
  • Gradually acclimate it to normal indoor conditions over 7-10 days.
  • Resume a regular watering and feeding schedule. Apply balanced fertilizer every 2-4 weeks in the growing season.

With its fresh beginnings in a new pot, the cutting will continue growing into a full money tree plant that can bring good fortune and positive energy to any space! Enjoy multiplying your money trees for free with propagation.

Common Questions about Propagating Money Trees

Propagating houseplants can seem daunting, but mastering a few simple skills allows you to generate new plants for free. Here are answers to some frequently asked questions about propagating money tree houseplants through cuttings:

How long does it take for money tree cuttings to root?

Expect it to take 4-8 weeks for money tree cuttings to develop roots. Root formation depends on several factors like temperature, light levels, and humidity. Warmer conditions speed up the process. Check for root growth by gently tugging on cuttings. New leaf growth is also a promising sign of rooting. Be patient, as some cuttings are slower rooters than others.

What are the signs that money tree cuttings are rooting?

The most obvious signs that indicate rooting is occurring include new leaves and shoots emerging from cuttings, and the appearance of visible root growth. Drooping or wrinkled leaves that perk up after watering is a good indication the cutting has formed roots and can take up moisture. Minimal foliage loss also points to a successfully rooting cutting.

How can I speed up the rooting process?

Rooting hormones are very effective at decreasing the time it takes for cuttings to form roots. Maintaining warm temperatures around 70-80°F also speeds up the process, while cooler temps delay it. High humidity levels above 50% prevent cuttings from drying out while rooting. Filtered light is better than dark conditions. Avoid disturbing cuttings while they root.

What causes money tree cuttings to die before rooting?

The main reasons cuttings fail to root are from drying out, rotting from excess moisture, or lack of energy to form new roots. Prevent failure by misting often, keeping soil barely moist, maintaining high ambient humidity, providing bright filtered light, applying rooting hormone, and avoiding disturbance or overhandling of the tender cuttings.

Can I root money tree cuttings in water?

Yes! Rooting cuttings of money trees in water is not only possible but often more successful than rooting directly in soil. Water propagation boosts humidity right around the cutting. Change the water every 2-3 days to prevent rotting. Transition the cutting to soil once roots are 2-3 inches long.

When is the best time of year to propagate money trees?

Early spring through summer is the ideal time for taking money tree cuttings. The active growing season gives cuttings the boost they need to form roots. Warm temperatures and increased sunlight also speed root establishment so cuttings can be potted up faster. Winter is not recommended as growth slows.


Propagating money trees through stem cuttings is an easy and free way to expand your houseplant collection. Follow the simple steps of taking quality cuttings, treating with rooting hormone, providing warm and humid conditions, and carefully potting up the rooted plants. In a few months, with proper care, your money tree cuttings will develop into full-sized, thriving houseplants. The endless fortune and abundance represented by these special plants can multiply when you propagate for more money trees!