Care from the money tree is very simple. Many people love to grow money trees in their homes and offices because they are considered lucky symbols. You don’t have to be lucky to learn how to properly care for this houseplant.
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Tips and tricks for the easy care of the money tree
Native to South Africa and Mozambique, money trees are easy to grow indoors and can live up to 100 years with consistent care. In some cultures, the Crassula ovata symbolizes good luck, wealth and prosperity.
What is a money tree?
Crassula ovata are succulents with thick, oval leaves and sturdy stems. It leans on the bonsai and grows like a mini tree. Although these plants grow slowly, about five inches per year, they can grow up to two feet tall.
Properly care for the lucky charm
As you will see in the care instructions below, this plant is very low maintenance. The most important factors you should consider when growing it are water, light, temperature and fertilizer.
- Watering: one of the most important things when caring for the money tree is to make sure that it is watered properly. Never let it dry out completely. However, don’t water the Crassula ovata too often either, as this can lead to root rot. It does not need to be watered on a specific schedule. Rather, do it when the surface of the soil just feels dry. If your penny tree loses leaves or has leaf spots, it is usually due to too little water. In the winter, when the plant is dormant, you need to make it moisturize the soil only half as much as in the spring and summer.
- Light: Too much direct sunlight can burn the leaves of young plants or cause the leaves of mature plants to develop red tips. Too little sunlight can stunt growth or cause plants to look droopy. Aim for four to six hours of indirect sunlight per day, and stagger the money tree gradually if you need to adjust the amount of light it receives. Depending on the time of year, you may need to place your plant in full sun.
- Temperature and humidity: Crassula ovata prefers an average room temperature of 18 to 24 °C. At night and in winter it can tolerate a cooler environment, down to 13 °C, although it should never be kept in temperatures below 10 °C for an extended period.
- Fertilizing: For proper care of the money tree, fertilize it about every six months. Use a balanced, water-soluble fertilizer. It is important that you water your plant as usual and then water it with the fertilizer water. Never do this when the soil is dry, as this will harm the roots.
- Soil: As you’ve already noted, the money tree does well in a dry environment, so you’ll need soil that dries out completely within a day or two. Pre-mixed succulent/cactus soil is excellent for this purpose. This soil mix contains a lot of perlite and rock. Soil with a high percentage of perlite and rocks allows moisture to escape quickly into the bottom of the pot. This type of soil does not retain much moisture, which is perfect for plants that love dry environments. Such fast-draining soil prevents overwatering and keeps the plant in optimal health.
Common problems with the care of the money tree
While this plant is relatively low-maintenance and not particularly temperamental, you may encounter a few problems that leave you wondering why your Crassula ovata isn’t thriving as it should.
- Red edges on the leaves appear when the plant is exposed to high light intensity. This is not a cause for concern.
- Yellow leaves are probably due to overwatering. Reduce watering and do not leave the plant in soggy compost, always allow it to drain afterwards.
- If many leaves are falling off your money tree, it is a sign that it is under stress. It may have been moved to another location. In this case, try to acclimate it gradually. It could be that it is over- or under-watered. Check your watering system and adjust accordingly.
- Shriveled leaves are a sign of withering. Give your plant a small amount of water daily – the leaves should soon be plump again.
- Watch for insects that look like white, fluffy blobs on the underside of leaves. You may discover mealybugs on the foliage. Wipe them off with a damp cloth or cotton swab soaked in an insecticide that contains fatty acids or vegetable oils.
- If the leaves and stems of your plant are covered with fine webs, they could be spider mites. The top of the leaves may be mottled, while mites and eggs can be seen with a magnifying glass on the underside of the leaves. Treat them with a spray containing fatty acids and vegetable oils.