Money tree trunk soft… really? In this article, we will talk about the money tree’s soft trunk, and what it means. The money tree is scientifically known as Pachira Aquatica. The Pachira Money Tree is a fun plant to grow. This unique tree has many interesting properties including a flexible trunk that can be braided. The tree can mature in as few as four years. The trunk of this tree is extremely soft and flexible and can easily withstand high pressures.
The name derives from a myth that a chap who was down on his luck found the plant, started growing it, and sold the plants to make money. In the east, this myth, as with many things to do with money, has got a bit larger than life and people tend to then get carried away and put money, and ribbons and good luck charms on these plants to bring money and luck.
The leaves of this tree are thick and leathery and can be used for making various things like shoes, bags, jackets, and other stuff. It is now grown throughout the entire tropical countries of Southeast Asia but originates from South America. A similar, related species are indigenous to Asia.
Is the Money Tree Trunk Soft?
The trunk should not be soft. If it is this may be a sign that your plant is unhealthy. Let’s first take a look at the “trunk”.
Most money trees that you can buy consist of several plants that have been woven together. So typically a few plants are braided together to give the braided “money tree” stem that is symbolic of the plant. So you should probably say “my money trees trunks” as the plant is typically multiple plants.
The money tree is a plant accustomed to a relatively warm climate, with high humidity. This is not what houses in most of the world provide – typically houses have lower humidity, and not always a warm climate. Hence, if you have a money tree in a sub-optimal climate, ensure that it is not exposed to wind, fans, air conditioning drafts, and so on. They optimally need a temperature as close to 68°F as possible. They can tolerate lower temperatures down to about 50°F but this is sub-optimal and your plant can become dormant and shed its leaves.
The trunk can become soft if conditions are outside this range, and your plant starts to become unhealthy. Typically, in the colder winter months it is good to let the soil dry out – overwatering in winter months can cause your plant to become prone to various forms of rot – this is why I no longer have a money tree. I had a leak in my conservatory roof, and in winter this made the plant a bit wet, it went soggy, flopped over and that was the end of it. I decided that in my climate this was just not the tree for me.
How Can You Tell if a Money Tree Has Root Rot?
You should not overwater a money tree (even by accident as I discovered). I would probably use a soil moisture meter such as this one. Typically you should water the plant only when the top layer of soil is dry to the depth of your index finder (3-4″).
Root rot in many plants tends to have a similar set of symptoms. Your plant will look dry – the leaves sag and look dry – but when you check the soil it is wet. This is because the roots are rotting, and consequently, even though there is water, the plant cannot absorb the water.
It is important to act quite quickly at this point. Remove your plant from the soil and rinse the soil off what remains of the roots. Many people suggest spraying plants with fungicides – as a Ph.D. microbiologist I think this is a bad idea – you may just invite additional problems. Rather use soil that contains beneficial protective fungi such as this one.
Repot the plant in this soil and do not water it! Money trees actually store a lot of water in their stems and roots. So they can survive quite a long period without water. After a week or so, water your plant a little and then wait. Only water when the soil gets dry, and you stand a good chance of saving your plant.
Learn more about Money Plant Sunlight Needs – A Closer Look
How Do You Revive a Dying Money Tree?
First, you need to diagnose why it is unhappy. Is it too dry – check if the soil is wet or dry? If the soil is dry and the plant looks sad, give it water. This should solve the problem.
If the soil is wet and the plant looks sad, then you need to either repot it and do so in dry, well-drained soil, or let the soil dry out naturally. A plant that has been wet for too long will suffer root rot, and then it cannot absorb water and looks “dry”.
If the tree receives water occasionally and is not wet or dry, it could also be a light issue. Move the plant to a spot where it gets a few hours of gentle sunlight and a few hours of dappled sunlight. These plants cannot grow in the dark! They do need light, as is normal for all plants.
Why is My Money Tree Trunk so Thin?
A plant with a long straggly thin stem is probably stretching too much get to the light. Move it closer to a window, or light source. You can also install a supplemental light source such as this one.
I have friends who grow these plants outdoors in big pots and put them in a suitable spot in summer, and then move them indoors for winter. Our area is just too cold for them to survive winter outdoors. The plants are frost sensitive. My friend believes that putting the plant outdoors helps to thicken the stem a bit.
Final Words on Money Tree Soft Trunk
In conclusion, The Pachira Aquatica tree has a trunk that is soft and flexible, yet strong enough to hold up its branches. Its bark is light and porous, and its roots are spread wide. Keep your plants in well-drained soil, do not overwater them, and give them enough indirect sunlight, and you should have beautiful healthy plants. Remember to keep the temperature in the 60°-70°F range with higher humidity, if possible. If you cannot provide higher humidity, you can mist the leaves daily with a sprayer bottle.
Why is my Money Tree Trunk Soft?
If the trunk feels soft, it can be because of too much, or too little water. Feel the soil. If the soil is dry to a depth of 3-4", water the plant. The stem should swell and firm up. If however the soil is wet, then you have probably overwatered the plant and the roots are rotting. It is best to repot the plant in dry soil and hopefully it will have enough energy to grow new roots.
How to Save Soft Money Tree Trunk?
Your tree can have a soft trunk due to being dry or too wet. If the soil is dry, water the plant. If the soil is very wet, then the plant probably has root rot. Do not water it - let the soil dry, or repot it in dry soil. Wait a week or two before you water the plant.
Why is My Money Tree Floppy?
If the tree is starting to rot it gets floppy - the stem maintains strength through turgidity imported by water. Imagine a carrot - it is 90% or more water, but feels hard - this is because it is turgid and the water gives it strength. When the carrot rots it become floppy - this is the same for a money tree. If the stem starts to rot, the tree becomes floppy.
Why is Money Tree Trunk Getting Soft?
There are two main reasons for this: you tree is dry - if the top few inches of soil are dry, water your tree. The roots will absorb moisture and the stem will get hard again. If however your money tree has wet soil and the stem is soft, this can indicate it is struggling to absorb water due to its roots being rotted or under stress. Repot the tree in dry soil and allow it to recover for a week or two before watering.