Pachira Aquatica (Money tree)

Justin24(9)October 15, 2011

Hello. I have a money tree in a pot about 5 inches in diameter. I actually received this plant from a friend of mine who knows next to nothing about gardening of any kind. She told me what was going on with her plant and I was fairly sure I could help, but now that I have the plant, I'm not so sure. It has just one "trunk" and its knotted, instead of several small ones braided. I know that the problem is the type of soil, the type of pot, and the amount of watering. The soil is moisture control, the pot has no drainage (just a catch rim at the bottom, no holes at all) and she watered it every day! There is no root rot, that I can tell, but the trunk is wrinkled and very soft. I'm not sure what else to say about the actual plant. I'm scared to replant it while its so sickly, I've just cut its watering down a bit (once a week) and making sure its got plenty of indirect sunlight. Its the middle of October right now, and the temperatures are around 80 on average so I'm not very optimistic that the little guy will make it through winter. At this point I suspect a fungus. Any tips on this, or should I break the bad news the my friend? Thanks in advance!

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Justin, since the trunk is wrinkled..........
Not a good sign.

If you fear repotting, 'I'd repot,' insert a stick/stake deep inside container. If the stick comes out moist, the soil is still wet. Don't water. Wait a few days and retest.
What size and material is the container?

I don't care for self-watering pots, but some people swear by them.
Daily watering in a self-watering pot is murder.
Did your friend water the soil or down a tube?

Can you place the plant outside? Since it's so warm, the soil will dry faster.

If it was my Pachira, I'd carefully remove 'and toss' its current pot, add fresh, well-draining soil, pot up, then place in bright light.

But it's up to you, of course. Good luck, Justin...Toni

    Bookmark   October 16, 2011 at 5:30AM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

Yep, sounds rotten.
Soft trunk is pretty much the nail in the coffin.
I've never seen a soft Pachira trunk recover.


    Bookmark   October 16, 2011 at 1:32PM
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@Toni- the pot is possibly glazed ceramic with basically no drainage at all. Since my friend knows next to nothing about taking care of plants, I would guess that she watered the soil only.

@Josh- yes, my fears were confirmed today. I got the soil to mostly dry and now its leaning from side to side- almost no roots to speak of. :(

Thanks guys for your thoughts, I guess I will tell my friend to start mourning!

    Bookmark   October 16, 2011 at 4:52PM
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