If you are someone that loves owning houseplants, a money tree (Pachira Aquatica) can be a great addition to your collection. These are among those houseplants that do not need much effort to be kept. You only have to replant them once they have outgrown the pot. This usually happens every year or two.
Now while these plants are easy to keep, when it comes to the soil for Money Tree, you need to know about a few things. For instance, you should know that most money trees are susceptible to root rot. Therefore, the soil you choose for your money tree must have good drainage properties. In this post, we will discuss all these things that can help you choose the best soil for money trees.
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What Soil Is Best for Pachira Money Trees?
When it comes to the soil you are choosing for your money tree, you need to be very careful. The soil you go with will affect the health and vitality of your tree directly. From nutrients and minerals to water and aeration, the money tree will be dependent on it completely. So, without wasting any time, let us straight away answer your most searched query: “what soil is best for Pachira money trees?”
If you are wondering what kind of soil is used for money trees, they mostly prefer a kind of soil mix that is loamy and well-draining. These plants tend to survive in both acidic and alkaline soils. However, a neutral pH range of 6 to 7.5 is the most suitable for them. So, if you wish for your money tree to thrive, make sure to maintain this pH range for your soil.
Now, since money trees need thorough watering for enough moisture, as mentioned earlier, the soil should have excellent draining properties. Make sure to note this if you do not want your plant to suffer from root rot. For this, soil that has a sandy, peat-based medium may work for the money tree.
Such soil types can drain easily, and make sure that they do not hold a lot of moisture content. Now, when it comes to a soil mix that has high ratios of organic compost, you may think that since it has a lot of nutrients, it will be great for your money tree. However, that is not the case. While this soil may have high nutrient content, it also holds too much moisture which is not ideal for money trees.
In addition to a sandy and peat moss-based medium, if your soil mix has perlite or vermiculite, it will be a great choice for money plants. You can also add some compost to it. Now, if you are shopping for potting mixes for money trees, you know what ingredients you need to look for. To sum it all up, some ingredients that you must pay attention to include:
- Peat Moss
While going for a pre-made soil mix is a great option, you can always mix up your own soil for Money Tree. For this, it is crucial to know about the primary components you can use in detail. Below, we are going to discuss the same. Keep reading to find out the common soil bases and potting mix additives you can use for your money tree soil mix.
What Are the Primary Components Used in a Potting Soil Mix?
While deciding to keep a money tree, most people have this question in mind, “do I need special soil for the money tree?” If you are among those people, by now you may have realized that you do need a specific kind of soil for your money tree to survive. There are certain soil bases and additives that are ideal for money trees.
Most commercial or homemade potting mixes have these as their ingredients. Let us begin with the common soil bases you can choose for money tree soil mix. Have a look:
- Clay: This soil base is made up of very fine mineral particles. While it can hold moisture, it does not drain well. Therefore, it can become easily compacted. Also, it has poor nutrient content.
- Sand: When it comes to this soil base, it has the largest particles of all soil bases. These particles are mostly shaped irregularly and, and can drain quickly. Since the particles are large, they have a lot of air spaces between them, making the soil base excellent for providing aeration to plant roots.
- Silt: The next soil base that is commonly used is silt. This one has medium-sized mineral and rock particles. These particles together make up silt.
- Loam: This soil base is the most-preferred soil base for most houseplants. If you decide to choose this as topsoil for your plants, you must know that it contains a combination of silt, clay, and sand. These three together form a soil that has proper drainage, retains moisture, and provides aeration.
- Chalk: The next soil base is chalk. It has calcium carbonate as its main component. Such kinds of soils are generally gravelly, have well-draining properties, and are alkaline.
- Peat: Another soil base that you may have heard of is Peat. It has partially decomposed organic matter like peat moss and is also known as turf.
So, these are the most common soil bases you can choose from. While these have some properties that are ideal for money plants, these alone cannot be used as a soil mix. You need to add some additives to them so that they become perfect for the growth and development of your money plants. Some common potting mix additives that you can make use of are:
- Organic Matter or Compost: This is the most common soil additive that is used for most of the nutrient content in the soil. It is usually a combination of dead and decomposed material and is known as a slow-release fertilizer.
- Sphagnum Moss: Another thing you can use as a soil additive is dried sphagnum moss. It is usually used in sandy soils to improve moisture retention properties in them.
- Coco Coir: This soil additive is nothing but shredded coconut husk. It is easily available and can improve moisture retention. It is usually used in naturally dry substrates.
- Perlite: This soil additive is the end product of volcanic glass treated under high temperatures. You can use it to lighten money tree soil and keep it loose. With it, you can easily prevent compacting of the soil.
- Vermiculite: You can also use vermiculite as a soil additive. This material has a variety of minerals. There, you can use it to provide nutrients to the soil. Along with taking care of the nutrients, it can also help in the lightening and aerating of soil mixes.
- Pine Bark: If you are looking for a soil additive to improve moisture retention in your money tree soil mix, the slivers of pine bark are for you. With these, you can also help your soil replenish its nutrient content.
- Pumice: This soil additive is a kind of volcanic rock that you can use to loosen the soil and improve its aeration. Due to this, it is widely used in enhancing clay substrates.
- Rocks or Pebbles: You can also use rocks or pebbles as soil additives. These in the soil can help drain it rapidly. Also, in arid regions, the use of gravel in the soil can make it easier for the plant roots to penetrate deeper, and hence find more water.
- Soil Activator: This soil additive is a synthetic product. Its purpose is to aid the release of nutrients in the soil. You can add it to your soil mix if you wish to make the nutrients in the soil more available to your plants.
- Sand: While this is also a soil base, many use it readily as a soil additive. The purpose of using it is to avoid compacting of the soil. You can use it to enhance the aeration and drainage properties of your soil mix.
When it comes to an ideal soil mix for Money trees, any one of these soil bases or additives alone is not enough. However, if you combine a few of them together, you can get a perfect mixture that is sure to help your money tree grow and flourish.
How to Mix Your Own Soil for Money Trees?
When someone thinks about “what kind of potting mix you use for a money tree,” the first solution that comes to their mind is a ready-made soil mix. While these are easily available and are of great quality too, sometimes, you may just want to mix up your own ingredients. Not only is it fun but you can also adjust the soil mix as per your plant’s needs.
Are you among those who would choose DIY soil mixes over the read-to-use ones? If yes, it is super simple to make your own soil for Money Tree. We also have two recipes for the same. Have a look:
For the first recipe for making your own soil for Money Tree, you will need the following ingredients:
- One-Part Peat Moss
- One-Part Perlite
- One-Part Coarse Sand or Rocks
Once you have all these ingredients, you only have to mix them all together using the required amount of water. Like in the recipe, a peat moss base is used to create a variety of soil mixes. It can easily retain the needed moisture for the roots and is readily available. While peat moss is great for money trees, you cannot use its own.
When used alone, this soil base can be too heavy to plant your Money Trees in. However, with perlite and sand/rocks, the soil becomes light and airy. Sand also improves the draining property of the mix. With this recipe, you are sure to get a soil mix that can keep your money trees happy and blooming.
For this recipe for making your own soil for a money tree, you will need the following ingredients:
- One-Part Coconut Coir
- One-Part Compost
- One-Part Perlite or Vermiculite
After you collect all these ingredients, use a large container to mix them all together. While doing so, you can also add some water to the mix. In this recipe, Coconut Coir is used. It is a byproduct of the coconut fiber industry. This product is usually available in the form of compacted, dried bricks. So, before you use it, make sure to add water to it so that it expands.
Further, you should also know that this growing medium is very low in nutrients. So, your money tree cannot survive in it alone. The purpose of the one-part compost in the recipe is to add these needed nutrients to the soil mix. As for Perlite or Vermiculite, they will help make the mix have good drainage properties.
Are Money Tree Pots Important Like Their Soil?
By now we know that choosing the right soil for a money tree is important. The same goes for the container or pot you will choose for it. You need to make sure that it is of proper size and allows water to drain easily. For the latter, the pot you choose must have at least one drainage hole (if not more) in it.
This is needed as money trees require intermittent, deep watering. The basic method you can use to find out if your plant is well watered is by observing the water dripping from a drainage hole. Further, these plants are also susceptible to root rot if they remain in standing water or soggy soil for a long time.
Thus, at least one hole is a minimum requirement. Of course, if the pot has more drainage holes, it is even better. All of these will allow the water to drain effectively and quickly. Now, you may be worried about the soil flowing out of the drainage hole. In case you are, there is a simple trick that can prevent the soil from flowing out of the drainage holes along with water.
Before you plant or replant your money tree in a new pot with drainage holes, cover these holes. For it, you can use a fine mesh like a cheesecloth or a coffee filter. With this barrier in place, there is no chance that the soil can flow out through the pot when you water your money plant. Coming to the size of the pot, consider the height of the money tree and choose accordingly.
When choosing soil for Money Tree, the keyword you need to keep in mind is drainage. The same goes for its pot selection. Your soil mix should have well-draining materials along with some organic matter for nutrients. As for the pot you choose for it, it should have at least one drainage hole so that the roots remain dry. Keep this in mind and your Money Tree is sure to bloom and flourish beautifully.
Can I use cactus soil or succulent soil for a money tree?
Yes, since soil or succulent soil is well-draining, you can use it to plant money trees. If you do not want to make your own soil mix, this soil type is a great alternative. Simply look for a formula that has dried peat moss in it.
Does the size of the plant affect the kind of soil mix for money trees?
Yes, the size of the plant can affect the kind of soil mix you choose for your money tree. While most money trees need to have sand in their soil mix, it is even more crucial in the case of large money trees. It is because large plants need this extra weight to support them.
Do money trees like wet or dry soil?
A humid soil environment is the most ideal for money trees. However, they cannot tolerate soggy soil or standing water. Make sure that the soil drains well and dries completely between every watering session.
Can I use orchid soil for a money tree?
Yes, it is possible to use orchid soil for the Money Tree. Orchid soils usually are rich in peat moss, vermiculite, and perlite. All of these are ideal for plant growth and development when it comes to money trees.
How often do you have to switch soil for money trees?
When it comes to repotting money trees, they need it after every two to three years. You can also choose to refresh their soil. This is done by applying a balanced, water-soluble fertilizer to it once a month both in spring and summer.
What is the soil pH for a money tree?
Although money trees can survive in both acidic and alkaline soils, a neutral or slightly acidic pH level is the most ideal for them. The most suitable pH level for a money tree is between 6.0 and 7.5. At this pH range, the plant roots can absorb nutrients readily.