How to Repot a Money Tree: Complete Beginners Guide
Repotting a money tree (pachira aquatica) can be intimidating, mainly because money trees are just that – a tree! Indoor money trees can grow up to 8 feet in height, almost becoming a two-person job. However, with some research and planning (using this guide), you can quickly overcome those challenges and safely replant your money tree.
If you have repotted other indoor plants, the process isn’t dissimilar to how to repot a money tree. However, specific steps unique to money trees should be accounted for, and we’ll explore them in this guide.
So let’s get straight into what you are here for, repotting your money tree.
How to Repot a Money Tree – Step-by-Step
We are confident you can master the repotting technique if you follow this process closely. As this is a beginner’s guide, we will explore each step in detail. However, feel free to skip over parts of the guide where you feel confident.
Okay, let’s begin.
What You Will Need:
- fresh potting mix (refer below for the best soil to use for money trees)
- new pot
- sterilized scissors or sharp knife
- butter knife or chopstick
Removing Your Money Tree from the Old Pot
Although it sounds simple, this step can sometimes prove to be more challenging than it appears. Here is the process we have found helpful for removing money trees from their containers.
- Prepare Your Tree – old dry soil can be stubborn and difficult to manage during the repotting process. To help facilitate the process, try watering your plant 3-4 days before your designated repotting day. It helps to moisten your soil, stopping it from becoming solid and preventing you from lifting your money tree, particularly when you have a narrow pot opening at the top.
- Clear an Area – Depending on how tall and heavy your money tree is, you may need to clear an area on the floor or complete the process outdoors. Planning means you won’t be caught in awkward positions with obstacles in your way.
- Loosen the Soil – This excellent tip makes the next step much more accessible. If your money tree is in a plastic container, push it on all sides to loosen the soil’s grip on the container. If you have a ceramic pot, try running a blunt knife or chopstick around the edges of the soil.
- Remove the Tree – Now for the main event – the tree extraction. For small trees that can easily be lifted, grasp the base of the trunk with one hand and gently, but firmly, and slowly lift. Place the other hand on the pot and push it downwards. All things going well, it should lift out easily. If it is stuck, repeat step 3 until you can feel movement.
Suppose your money tree is too heavy and large to lift, tip the pot onto the side and leverage it out slowly. You may need another person to help stabilize the pot while you tackle the tree extraction.
- Inspect Root Ball – We encourage our community to inspect a plant’s roots when they get the opportunity. Tease the outer roots by loosening the soil. Monitor for rotting roots and remove them if necessary with sterilized scissors or a sharp knife.
- Set it Aside – Once you are happy with the condition of your money tree’s root system, set it aside gently.
Repotting Your Money Tree
Let’s focus on setting your money tree up to thrive for the next few years.
- Prepare the new pot – setting your new money tree’s home up right can make a massive difference to its health. Ensuring your pot has proper drainage for excess water to drain is critical. Fill the pot with soil to elevate your money tree so that the top of the root ball sits approximately one inch below the pot’s surface.
- Plant Your Money Tree – carefully maneuver your money tree into the pot, and set it down gently on the soil. Backfill soil around the sides of the root ball until it can stand independently.
- Tuck Your Plant In – Gently pat down the loose soil around the pot’s surface. Be careful not to push it down too hard. The idea is to compact the topsoil just enough that it doesn’t get displaced when watered.
- Give it a Drink – the final step in the process is to give your money tree a healthy drink. Water your money tree until water begins to exit from the drainage holes in the pot. This also helps to confirm none of the drainage holes are blocked and that the soil is well-draining.
Congratulations – you’ve just successfully learned how to repot a money tree!
For those that prefer to learn with visuals, here is a quick tutorial by My English Tropical Garden.
However, your responsibilities don’t stop here. For care tips after repotting a money tree, keep reading.
After Care for Transplanted Money Trees
The best thing to do with your newly transplanted money tree is to return it to its original position.
Returning your plant to the same light conditions, temperature, and humidity levels will help it to settle into its new home.
If you want to be extra cautious, you can leave your money tree in a position that receives a little less indirect light than before. After a few days, you can gradually move it back to a brightly lit place. Transitioning your money tree will reduce stress and facilitate the root ball re-establishing itself.
Tips for Repotting Money Trees
As promised, some specific tips apply to money trees during the transplanting process that we’ll explore in this section.
What is the Best Soil For Money Trees?
Potting soil is one of those factors that can make a big difference in your plant parenting journey. If you set your money tree up in soil that mimics the properties of the soil in its natural environment, it will thrive and reward you with solid growth.
So what makes good soil for a money tree?
Money trees are susceptible to root rot, a fungal disease that thrives in overly soggy wet soil. It infects the root system, causing it to rot. As the disease develops, it spreads up the trunk of the money tree, ultimately causing its demise.
To avoid this, choosing soil with a loam consistency is critical. The specific properties of loamy soil are:
- a portion of the soil is made up of sand (like horticultural sand),
- includes porous materials that are light and facilitate the flow of air, and
- organic materials (like sphagnum or peat moss) have water absorption abilities.
You can read about a soil recipe we use for our succulent houseplants HERE. The only tweak we’d recommend for the money tree is increasing the amount of organic matter used in the recipe.
How to Choose a Pot for Money Trees
It may sound strange. However, when it comes to the choice of pots, money trees, and snake plants have very similar requirements. The properties to look for in the ideal pot for a money tree are:
- a pot made from a porous MATERIAL,
- has enough WEIGHT and correct pot size to provide a counter-balance for your top-heavy money tree, and
- one that has good DRAINAGE to expel excess moisture.
Porous materials like terracotta and cement help to maintain a good balance of moisture in the soil. It extracts water and helps keep the soil aerated by allowing oxygen flow.
Drainage is also a critical feature of the ideal pot for money trees. As we explored earlier, money trees are susceptible to root rot. By allowing any excess water to escape via drainage holes, you can be confident that you are giving your money tree every opportunity to thrive.
Signs it is Time to Repot a Money Tree
Repotting isn’t a complicated process. However, it can be time-consuming. So we only want to transplant our money trees when required and avoid frequent repotting.
Here are a few signs that indicate that your money tree needs repotting.
- Roots Protruding from Drainage Holes – when you see roots starting to protrude from the bottom drainage holes in your pot, it is time to repot. This indicates the root ball has outgrown the size of your pot and it needs more space.
- Pot Falling Over – when your money tree keeps falling over, it is a sure sign that it has outgrown your pot. Money trees that repeatedly fall over indicate that it is too top-heavy, and you need to repot them into a heavier and broader pot.
- Not Growing – similar to roots protruding from the drainage holes, if your money tree appears to be experiencing stunted growth (no growth), it could be a sign that it has outgrown its home. Giving the root system some more space will encourage more root growth.
- Broken Pot – it sounds obvious. However, if you see cracks forming on the sides of your pots, it may be signs that the root ball is crowded. In any event, the pot is breaking and should be replaced immediately.
Closing Comments for How to Repot Money Plants
Repotting money trees does not have to be a daunting task. With the proper preparation and guidance from our step-by-step guide, you can master the process within a short period.
There are a few simple tips to keep in mind that specifically relate to money trees, such as choosing the correct soil, using the assistance of another person for larger money trees, and using the right equipment.
Your money tree will soon enjoy its new home and reward you with brilliant growth.