A money tree(Pachira Aquatica) is a popular houseplant with large green leaves that requires pruning to stay in shape and avoid overgrowth. If you are a beginner with the money tree and wondering how or when to prune it, you are at the right place.
Money tree needs to be pruned whenever you notice overgrowth or any damaged growth on the plant. You should use sharp and sterilized pruners to prune your money tree and the best time to do it is during the growing season.
To prune a money tree, examine the growth of your money tree and look for ‘V’ shaped branches attached to the main trunk. Prune the money tree at 1/2 inch above the V-shaped branch. Make sure you make a clean 45Deg angle. It would be best if you also pruned any branches with wilting leaves.
If you think pruning is not essential for your money tree, you are wrong as the growth of the plant can depend on it, and lack of pruning can lead to different problems.
We will discuss all the details you need about pruning your money tree in this article.
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Why does money tree need pruning?
All houseplants require pruning to avoid overgrowth. Just as we need to clip our fingernails or get a haircut, houseplants require pruning for their grooming.
Pruning can be very beneficial for your money tree other than just keeping it in shape.
Let’s understand why your money tree needs pruning.
To eliminate the damaged parts
Plants can develop various problems at different times, and all that can cause damages to the leaves, stems, or roots.
When you prune the damaged or dead parts of the plant, you give the plant some relief. Your house plant might be wasting its energy trying to revive the damaged parts. So pruning those off the plant allows the plant to focus its energy on new growth.
Pruning the damaged parts also makes space for new growth on the plant.
Getting rid of the damaged parts is good for the plant’s overall hygiene as there might have been a bacterial or fungal infection that could have spread throughout the plant from those parts.
To create balance
If you don’t prune your plant, it might grow too big, or it might start bending towards one side due to the weight.
Therefore, pruning keeps your money tree balanced so that it grows evenly and doesn’t get heavy on any side due to which it might fall.
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To get rid of overgrowth
The money tree can grow up to 60 feet in its natural habitat; however, it only grows between 3 to 6 feet tall as a house plant.
Now, if you don’t prune your money tree, it can grow taller than required, and you might not be able to handle that.
Pruning is essential to keep your money tree compact and suitable for your house and control excess growth.
To reduce crowded growth
Sometimes your money tree can become bushy where the leaves and stems don’t keep much space between them while growing. This leads to crowded growth, and the plant doesn’t get enough airflow.
Pruning helps to reduce the crowded growth and helps the plant to get enough air around it that keeps that healthy. Pruning also reduces the chances of fungal infection on your money tree.
To boost the growth hormone
Pruning not only makes your money tree look aesthetically pleasing, but it boosts the growth hormone of the plant.
If you notice slow growth or no growth in the money tree, you should consider pruning it.
Problems caused due to lack of pruning
Many houseplant owners fail to understand the importance of pruning and don’t realize that their plant’s problems can be solved by pruning.
Let’s check out the problems your money tree can face if you don’t prune it.
- Slow growth
- Leggy growth
- Spread of infections or diseases
- Poor health
Now let’s discuss these issues in more detail.
If you don’t prune your money tree from time to time, it will have slow growth. The dead leaves and stems that accumulate on the plant reduce the growth.
When the plant is full of dead or damaged parts, it lacks space for new growth. Pruning allows that space by getting rid of the dead parts that will not recover anymore.
Lack of pruning also reduces the production of the plant’s growth hormone, and therefore, you notice slow growth on the money tree.
Also Read: Why Is My Money Tree Not Growing? (+How To Encourage Growth)
Besides insufficient light, leggy growth can take place due to a lack of pruning.
A leggy plant money tree has long and weak stems with very few leaves on them. This kind of growth is not healthy as it is a sign that the plant is not getting enough nutrition or light.
If you prune the leggy stems on the money tree and give it proper light and fertilizer, the plant will have healthy growth.
Also Read: Why Is My Money Tree Leggy? (Causes+How To Fix)
Your money tree might be leaning due to lack of light or too much weight.
If your money tree is getting enough light but is not being pruned, it will overgrow and become heavy on the top of any particular side and start leaning.
If you don’t prune the plant even after this condition, it will become imbalanced and eventually fall on one side due to the excess weight.
Also Read: Why Is My Money Tree Leaning? (+How To Fix)
Spread of infections or diseases
Houseplants are susceptible to various problems such as pest infestation, fungal infections, or root rot. But with proper treatment, you can save your plant from these problems.
However, pruning is an essential part of treating all kinds of infections and diseases of the plant. If you take the necessary steps to eliminate the infections but don’t prune the damages, the infection will spread again.
When you don’t prune the affected areas, the infections or the pests remain and have the chance of spreading again. So without pruning, you cannot get a completely healthy plant again.
Lack of pruning can make the money tree dense, due to which some stems and leaves don’t get enough light. This encourages the growth of bacteria and fungus and also creates an excellent breeding ground for the pests.
Pruning helps light penetrate through all parts of the money tree that encourages proper airflow around the plant.
Therefore, all the parts of the plant can breathe freely. Pruning also prevents pest infestation for fungal infection on your money tree.
When to prune the money tree?
It is best to prune the money tree during the growing season, especially during the spring season. If you prune your money tree regularly during the spring season, it will have more healthy growth during the rest of the year.
However, it would help to prune your money tree when you notice that it has become too big or tall. You need to prune the branches that it extends from the top and sides of your money tree.
Another good time to prune your money tree is when you notice dead or discolored leaves on the plant. This can happen if your plant is having a problem like overwatering or not getting enough light. Pruning is the best option as these leaves will not recover.
It is best to avoid pruning the money tree during winter as that can easily stress the plant.
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How to prune the money tree?
We have compiled the steps of pruning the money tree to save you from any problems during the process.
- First of all, get a pair of sharp pruners or gardening shears for pruning the money tree.
- Use disinfectant to clean the pruners before and after pruning the plant. This will help to prevent the spread of pests or diseases.
- If you notice the money tree carefully, you will come across stems that grow from the main trunk and form a V shape. Prune the money tree at 1/2 inch above the V-shaped branch. This will help the money tree to remain in shape and also boost its growth.
- Remember to make clean cuts by holding the pruner at a 45-degree angle while making the cut.
- Take a good look at the money tree and cut all the overgrown branches from the top and sides of the tree.
- If you notice a branch with too many dead or discolored leaves, you can prune that stem.
- Do not go overboard with pruning, and avoid pruning any more than half the size of the plant. If you prune too many leaves or branches, the plant will get stressed and have stunted growth.
How to care for the money tree after pruning?
Pruning might cause stress to your money tree, and you might see droopy leaves on it, but you should not worry and give the plant some time to recover.
- Water the money tree properly and do not water when the soil is moist as that can cause root rot or pest infestation.
- Keep the money tree in a bright spot so that it gets sufficient light to perform its regular activities.
- Fertilize the money tree during the growing season. You can fertilize once or twice a month, depending on your plant’s requirement.
- Don’t forget to prune the money tree regularly to avoid overgrowth. You can also pinch the new buds with your forefinger and thumb to encourage growth.
- Repot the money tree every 2 to 3 years and prune all the damaged or dead parts while repotting. Make sure to repot in a new pot with drainage holes and fresh soil mix.
Reference: NYBG, WIKIPEDIA, CABI, Missouri Botanical Garden, Effect of light intensity on plant growth.
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