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Braided Money Tree

The Braided Money Tree (Pachira Aquatica) is a beautiful and unusual plant that makes for an excellent addition to any home. The tree is composed of several trunks that wind around one another, reaching anywhere from a foot to several feet in height. The bonsai version is around a foot, while full sized trees reach up to seven feet.

Plentiful green foliage tops this artistic display providing a package that is a decorator's delight. In the bonsai style it makes for a particularly nice addition to the indoor garden.

Caring for any bonsai requires time and thought. But acting on some simple guidelines your Braided Money Tree can flourish for years. Growing one from scratch requires expert-level knowledge, but many will acquire their first Braided Money Tree after it has developed for a few years.

As with any bonsai, watering is critical. Bonsai generally like plenty of water, but absolutely require good drainage. That's provided by two essential factors: soil and pot.

The soil should be a loamy mixture of earth and small pebbles lying in a pot with one or more drainage holes. The holes should be covered with wire mesh or small rocks to allow water to flow but still retain the soil. Adding some river sand to the mixture will help create porous areas that aid in good drainage. Some will do well in a mixture of peat, vermiculite and perlite.

Braided Money Trees prefer a little less water than some other species. Once per week is plenty. Some will do fine on as little as a cup per month, but the exact amount will vary with the size of the pot and the composition of the soil. Misting at the same time is a good practice. It helps the leaves absorb some needed moisture and keeps them dust free.

The soil should be allowed to dry out between waterings and there are several indications of when the proper amount is being applied. If the leaves become wilted and yellowed, that is a sign of excessive moisture in the soil. When they become wrinkled or curled, they're receiving too little.

These trees prefer medium sunlight. Indirect sun is best, but a couple of hours of direct sun is fine, provided the area doesn't get too hot. A corner that receives some sun followed by shade is ideal. As a native of wet, hot regions the Braided Money Tree will do less well when the temperature drops. If you keep it outside on the porch, bring it in when the temperature falls below 50F (10C).

It's generally unnecessary to provide any fertilizer for this plant, especially in the bonsai size and style. Just trim the leaves when they die and ensure they get plenty of fresh air.

With the right care, your Braided Money Tree will provide years of beauty.