The Money Bonsai Tree, scientific name Pachira aquatica, is one of the easiest plants to grow. What makes this tree great for beginners is its durability, hardiness, and tolerance to low light and drought.
It is cultivated for its edible nuts that taste like peanuts, and for its beautiful showy flowers.
Scientific name: Pachira aquatica syn. Pachira macrocarpa, Bombax glabrum, Bombax macrocarpum.
Common Names: Money Tree, Good Luck Tree, Money Plant, Water Chestnut, Guiana Chestnut, Malabar Chestnut, Saba Nut, Monguba, Pumpo, Fortune Tree, Provision Tree.
Origin: Native to Central America and northern South America.
Appearance: It is a tropical tree with a smooth green bark and shiny green leaves that are palmate, or fan-shaped.
Flowering: It produces showy cream flowers which hide in dense foliage. Narrow petals open like a banana peel revealing yellowish stamens, pollen-producing reproductive organ of a flower.
Flowers are followed by edible football-shaped pods that are packed with light brown, and striped with white. These nuts are very tasty and can be eaten cooked or raw. One interesting characteristic about this plant is that its leaves and flowers are also edible.
Outdoor/Indoor Use: Both. Can be grown outdoors if you live in a warm tropical climate.
Light Requirements: Full sun to partial shade. It likes a lot of sunlight, however, you should protect it from direct sun during the hot summer months.
Water Requirements: Like most tropical plants, Money Tree likes moist well-drained soil. Provide it with plenty of water during hot summer months. It will also enjoy occasional misting. This plant adapts very well to different conditions.
Hardiness: Grows best in the USDA Zones 10 – 11. Needs to be protected from cold temperatures below 30F.
Insects and Diseases: Generally diseases and pests.
Propagation: By seed and cuttings.