Money Bonsai Tree, scientific name Pachira aquatica, is one of the easiest plants to grow. What make this tree great for beginner is its durability, hardiness and tolerance to low light and drought.
It cultivated for its edible nuts that taste like peanuts, and for its beautiful showy flowers.
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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 a 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, striped with white. These nuts are very tasty and can be eaten cooked or raw. One interesting characteristic about this plant is that 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 hot summer months.
Water Requirements: Like most of the 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 disease and pests free.
Propagation: By seed and cuttings.