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Pachira (Money Tree) Problems, any experts?

Posted by faerybutterflye 7B OK (My Page) on
Tue, Apr 16, 13 at 11:48

I received my money tree from my grandmother about 3 years ago, as a rescue project. She had almost killed it & I decided that I was going to bring it back to life. I pruned it down & it put out a new growth. Since then, it has grown from a pitiful 1 foot tall to over 3 feet tall. It's always been one of my healthier, more robust plants. Always putting out new hands so quickly, I can barely keep track.

Well, we moved a few months ago & of course, all my plants had their adjustment period. My money tree went from a western window to an eastern window at our new house. I think the central heat vent upset her some, she dropped quite a few scorched leaves. I have a moisture meter (for my orchid, but used for houseplants too) that I use to get a medium dry reading before I thoroughly water with 10-15-10 fertilizer. My pachira seems a bit upset with me lately. It's developed some yellowing on the leaves & a few brown spots. She's been dropping a lot of leaves. Is this something normal that I shouldn't really worry about, considering the change in environment? Or is this something else? Also, she's getting so tall! Should I prune her back to make her more manageable or should I just grab a new, taller stake to keep her steady? Any help would be greatly appreciated! I have more pictures, if they'd help, but have only figured out how to post one at a time.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Pachira (Money Tree) Problems, any experts?

This is an upclose image of the problem leaves, hope this helps.


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RE: Pachira (Money Tree) Problems, any experts?

They are (IME) rather unreliable plants - we used them for a while ten years ago and most died in a year, so we stopped.

Yes, I would prune as much off the top as I dared.


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RE: Pachira (Money Tree) Problems, any experts?

Hello!

This is one of the most predictable, reliable plants that I've ever grown. Mine was grown from a single leaf, unceremoniously bitten from my brother's plant when he was drunk, and stuck in a cup of sloggy soil. The rest is history. I've propagated from tip-cuttings and from single leaves in the time since, and have never had a problem with this plant....other than its strong apical dominance.

The leaves don't look too bad...I've certainly seen worse on plants in offices, restaurants, bathrooms, and even on my own plant. With such huge leaves, there are bound to be some blemishes, some pest damage, some damage from dry air, et cetera, much like avocados Wintered indoors. When was the soil flushed last?

If you want to play it safe, chop it down so that only two healthy leaves remain. It probably won't branch, but it will send up a sturdy new top. My goal would be to get it off any sort of stake.

I'm going from memory....I think I chopped mine on May 24th last year, and then re-potted on the Summer Solstice, June 21st. The key is to move the plant outside into some shade where it will kick into growth-mode. Then, after 2 - 3 weeks, chop it and it will put out new growth quickly. At the Summer Solstice, when the plant is hitting its stride, re-pot. Because the plant is growing so actively, the recovery should be short and sweet, and the new growth should be more compact :-)

Don't worry, we can all work together on this Summer project.


Josh


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RE: Pachira (Money Tree) Problems, any experts?

I took all my plants outside on a nice day & flushed them well a couple weeks ago with the water hose. I just bought a new 6' stake for it yesterday! :( It came to me staked on a 4' one, my only worry with no stake is putting it outside in southern Oklahoma. It's always windy, some days windier than others up to almost 30 mph sustained, I just wasn't confident that being 5' tall, it would handle that kind of wind without breaking. How do your taller ones do outside, or do you even have that kind of wind where you live?

We have one more 32 degree night, coming next Tuesday. I planned on repotting all my houseplants some time in the next few days & then moving them all outside after that. But if you think I should wait to repot, I will. They're all in need of repotting, I usually do them all at the same time, but I can make an exception.

Glad to have a summer project. Looking forward to it :)


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RE: Pachira (Money Tree) Problems, any experts?

Oh, it's very windy here :-)
Last Summer, my tree blew over three times, and took some minor damage with each fall. I do recommend that you keep your tree staked *until* you prune it...thereafter, ween it off the support so that it can stand on its own. I have to put the pot inside a much heavier pot to keep mine from toppling.

Josh


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RE: Pachira (Money Tree) Problems, any experts?

Sounds like a plan. I bought 3 bags of potting soil, a large bag of orchid bark, a bag of vermiculite, & a bag of perilte. Plan to make this mixture of potting mix for my plants well-aerated. I'm sure that the 2 years without a repot have their roots in need of some air & I imagine it will make them happy! I've got the dirt-in-my-fingernails itch today! It's gorgeous in southern OK & I've been outside weeding my flowerbeds, trying to get out the damned Bermuda grass without uprooting my new seedlings :-/ I'm just antsy to get all my houseplants repotted, as well.

IDK if you can see well in the first pic, where I pruned it back hard when I first got it. It's down near the butterflies, that cut is what made it branch off into the current 5' tall piece. Hopefully if I prune it back hard again, it will reward me again. It really is a lovely plant & I think it's current state is partly the stress of the move & partly the fact that our new house has central heat vents near the only suitable spot for it. I'm sure it'll do great over the summer, with your help of course! :)


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RE: Pachira (Money Tree) Problems, any experts?

Okay, I totally jumped the gun. I repotted all my houseplants & they seem to be doing well. I'm moving them outside later today & hoping for the best. We had our last frost last night & from today on, our forecast lows are in the 40s-50s. Josh, feel free to yell at me! That dirt-under-fingernails itch got the best of me! I had every intention of waiting & being patient...& yeah, I suppose patience isn't one of my strongest suits. :-/

But I am taking your advice on waiting to prune it until Summer Solstice. Hopefully you will still help me when I prune it back & give me some tips on how to get the section I pruned off rooted into a new plant. :)


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RE: Pachira (Money Tree) Problems, any experts?

I won't yell ;-)
I once re-potted my Pachira in December...and it sulked until damn near July.

Given the floppy height of the tree, I really would have pruned it first, and then re-potted later when the tree started to grow again. It might not make too much of a difference, but the proper order of operations gets the most out of the re-potting.


Josh


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RE: Pachira (Money Tree) Problems, any experts?

I wish your plants good intentions :-)


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RE: Pachira (Money Tree) Problems, any experts?

Josh, I'm a horribly impatient person in the spring! I notoriously plant seeds too early & then worry over the last few frosts of the season. I don't know what my deal is, LOL! I think being able to go outside & enjoy the fresh air & see everything slowly turning green, after a long & cold miserable winter, just gives me that itch, starting some time in late February & driving me to temptation in late March or early April, ALWAYS. I wonder if it's because I happen to have some extra cash laying around to spend on plants at that time of year or just the fact the weather's finally so enjoyable. *shrug*

I think I am going to have a similar experience to you, my pachira's already sulking & pissed off at me. All my other plants seem not to mind, which is weird. Because I disturbed the pachira's roots least of all & yet it's the one making the most fuss over being repotted. I guess that's what I get for being such an impatient mess! I moved my plants outside for their vacation today, but I think they're going to have to come back in tonight. Our low's forecast around 50 & I'm not sure they'll all appreciate that. What do you think?

Teen, thanks for the good wishes! I'm hoping that by the fall, all my plants will be happy & thriving :)


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RE: Pachira (Money Tree) Problems, any experts?

After re-potting, I keep my Pachira in the shade and out of the wind. I'd bring it back inside, put it in a sunny window, and keep it moist while the roots re-establish themselves in the mix. Resume fertilization in two weeks.

50F would be fine for a Pachira at the end of the season...but I wouldn't risk it with a plant that hasn't been hardened off. Leaf-loss is probably the worst that would happen, yet that would set the plant back significantly.

Josh


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RE: Pachira (Money Tree) Problems, any experts?

Thanks, Josh. I did bring them all back in last night, back to their former places. It is cloudy & stormy today, but the window will be sunny later or tomorrow. I've been checking them all regularly with my moisture meter & waiting for them to give me a medium dry reading before I water them. And no fertilizing for 2 weeks, got it. Should I wait 2 weeks to move it back outside, as well?


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RE: Pachira (Money Tree) Problems, any experts?

Hello!
Don't wait until dry right now...after re-potting, keep the mix slightly more moist while the roots establish. As soon as the weather improves, move the plant into some outdoor shade protected from wind.

Josh


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RE: Pachira (Money Tree) Problems, any experts?

Greenman is correct. Tropical plants like pachira love the warm outdoors. Too bad we still have warm afternoons and cold nights up here


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RE: Pachira (Money Tree) Problems, any experts?

Well, my pachira & syngonium are rather upset with me after repotting. Lots of yellowing leaves that are falling off left & right! The others of my group are doing fine. In fact, my dieffenbachia pleasantly surprised me. It always has transplant shock & drops leaves like crazy, but this time, only one leaf partially yellowed so far & it's actually opening a new leaf. I've been keeping them all a little moister than usual, as suggested, to help them reestablish roots.

Josh, I'm hoping that the pachira will hold on for me until summer solstice. I keep trying to put my plants outside, but so far, they've only had a few days nice enough to go out for the day. We've had a lot of strong wind & honestly, there is no place to protect them from such wind. (Today, it's sustained 24 mph gusting up to almost 50!) The weather this spring is just unbelievable. We were 85 degrees yesterday & only 48 degrees today, with a freeze warning tonight into tomorrow morning!

I'm a little concerned with the leaf-dropping on the pachira...it's lost 5 of the bottom leaves & is already starting to yellow on the other remaining ones. Is this normal & will it recover?

This post was edited by faerybutterflye on Thu, May 2, 13 at 13:06


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RE: Pachira (Money Tree) Problems, any experts?

Maybe it will, maybe it won't. That's the risk of re-potting out-of-season. With Pachira, I've learned patience and the importance of timing. Just watch the tree, try to give it as much indoor light as you can, and fertilize 2 weeks after the re-potting.

We've had unseasonably warm weather this Spring....we're in the mid-90F's now! Winds are gusting about 30 mph, and I had to move my Pachira into the covered area by my front door. Not as much light as under the maple tree, but definitely brighter than the light indoors.

Due to the wind, I have it triple-potted for extra weight ;-)

Josh


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RE: Pachira (Money Tree) Problems, any experts?

Wow, I thought mine was tall! Very pretty. Hopefully, it recovers. I don't know why I have to learn everything the hard way :(

Upon closer examination, not ALL the remaining leaves are yellow--yet. There are 2 new "hands" growing. Next week, I'll fertilize it. Even if it does drop all its leaves, I'll still put it outside when the weather settles a bit more & let it get into a growing stage, then prune it back hard, as planned.

Next time, I will definitely listen...my hubby's laughing at me b/c I ask for expert advice & then do what I want & "look at that poor tree now, you should've listened." What can I say, I have a hard head! ;-)


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RE: Pachira (Money Tree) Problems, any experts?

As long as the roots and trunk remain healthy, it will re-grow all new leaves if need be. Yeah....I'm really looking forward to chopping mine - I hope I don't kill it! ;-)

Josh


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