Money Tree - rescued but now out of control - help!

pavinderSeptember 14, 2011


I rescued a Money Tree a year ago, removed 3 dead trunks and cleaned up the surviving 2. There were almost no leaves a year ago, but many new shoots have sprouted from below the trimming points.

They are growing really fast but very long and straggly, so some are hanging downwards under their own weight. Others are thicker but still bending (so they are growing sideways).

Because there's a huge difference between the thick original trunks and the thin new green branches it looks kind of unattractive and I don't know how to trim it now to get it looking good.

The original trunks are about 4 feet tall and the new branches are at least 2 feet long. I don't want the tree to be much taller so I don't want to tie the branches for them to grow upwards. But if I leave them hanging they're really messy and just grow further outwards taking up lots of space.

Can some kind person please suggest a good way to cut/trim/tie the branches?

Thanks in advance.

Photos are here:




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Sorry, the links on the original post don't seem to be working. Hope this is better:

    Bookmark   September 14, 2011 at 2:29AM
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Here are a couple more photos:

    Bookmark   September 14, 2011 at 2:43AM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

Great job! Those trunks are awesome.

Long, lanky growth is most likely due to low light conditions. Does it sit in
that location all day?

That said, even if the plant is outside in proper light, the growth will still be very
long! The only difference is that it will shoot straight up instead of outward.

The only way to rein these guys in is to prune them. I would prefer to prune them
earlier in the summer, but it probably won't hurt now. (I know folks who prune their
Money Trees in December).

Pruning can only do so much, however. Unless the light is improved, the new branches
will continue to exhibit floppy, sidewise growth.


    Bookmark   September 14, 2011 at 11:03AM
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Thanks for the reply, Josh.

I didn't know that lankiness could come from lower light. Thanks for the information. Of course it makes sense now I think about it.

The plant has been closer to the window than in the photo, but the curtains have been shut a lot of the time since May/June to keep the room cooler (it gets up over 40C/100F inside in summer) - so yes, the light has been really dim during the warmer months when it has been growing fastest.

After summer, once the weather cools down I keep the curtains open more often, so would it be best to wait until after summer to prune them?


    Bookmark   September 14, 2011 at 8:38PM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

Sure, my pleasure.

Lankiness from lower light is called 'etoliation,' just to put a name on the symptom.

Actually, we've missed the optimal pruning window for this year.
It's best to prune plants in the month prior to the period of most robust growth.
For Pachira, that would usually be May - June. You can prune whenever you'd like,
but be aware that it's not optimal timing.


    Bookmark   September 15, 2011 at 9:58AM
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Thanks again Josh, much appreciated.

    Bookmark   September 16, 2011 at 1:45AM
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