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Money Tree: Varieties, Placement & How to Grow a Chinese Money Plant

Money plants are lower maintenance than you might think. Here’s exactly how to make sure your money plant thrives.

Money Tree: Varieties, Placement & How to Grow a Chinese Money Plant

Juliet Taylor


August 22nd, 2022

The money tree is known by many names, including the good luck tree, the Jade Plant, and the Feng Shui money tree. But what is a money tree?

Well, there are a few different types of plants that are known by the same name of “money plant” or “money tree.” The most common money plant is the Jade Plant (which is also most often known as the money tree). The botanical name for the Jade Plant is crassula ovata and its leaves bear a resemblance to small coins, which is likely where the association with money began.

Similar in appearance to the Jade Plant is the Pilea Peperomiodes, known colloquially as the Coin Plant or the Chinese Money Plant. The Pilea Peperomioides has rounded leaves which strongly resemble the flat surface of circular coins. It is the most traditional money plant and is commonly used for Feng Shui decoration.

The third plant that often shares the label of Money Tree is parchira aquatica. This plant is a low maintenance tree which has multiple stems. Often those stems are braided together during growth. In Feng Shui, three braided stems represent new beginnings while five represent the five Chinese elements: fire, earth, metal, water and wood.

living room plants decor money trees luck plants feng shui ideas white couch

Money Plant Feng Shui

The symbolism of money plants is likely rooted in their appearance. There are a few superstitions around money plants. Popular belief dictates that a money plant will loose some of its power when another plant is grown from a cutting of its leaves.

This has led to the gift of a money plant cutting (or a money plant itself) representing gifting your wealth to someone. According to the superstitions, homeowners who grow their own money plants from gifted or stolen clippings are more likely to gain wealth.

Money plant has a wealth of significance when it comes to Feng Shui. Because they are considered to attract wealth and prosperity, the principles of Feng Shui dictate that money plants should be put in the area of the house most connected to success and abundance. This means that money plants should be placed in the South Easternly area of a home, as this is the direction most associated with wealth in Feng Shui. This principle also applies to the room – if your house is not facing the South, you should make sure to place your money plant or money tree is situated in the South-eastern corner of the room.

Money trees are also commonly placed near areas in the home where wealth is likely to cross the mind. This makes them a great addition to office desks, front doors, and the entryway of a house (if the house is South-facing).

How to choose money plant

Choosing a money plant will first mean determining which type of money plant is best suited to your home. If you wish to keep your money plant indoors, a smaller plant like the Jade plant is likely your best option. Other things that should influence your decision are

  • Maintenance requirements of the plant
  • Conditions of your home (e.g. full of light or low light)
  • The cost of the plant itself and catering to its needs 
  • Your lifestyle habits (are you away often?)
  • The type of energy that you want to attract
  • The décor style of your home
  • How important air purification is to you

To get a sense of which money plant is right for your home, we really need to delve into all of the different types of money plants. Each type of money plant has a unique set of its own needs, care requirements, and maintenance level. To help you understand the requirements for each, here is a breakdown of money plant care by type.

How to grow money plant

5. Pothos

heartleaf philodendron money plant indoor vine pothos

Sunlight: Thrives in bright, indirect light. Pothos is somewhat tolerant of medium and low light, but will not grow as quickly and may appear to droop. Pothos will burn in direct sunlight, so keep near a window.

Water: Water your Pothos plant when the top half of the soil has dried out. This is usually every 1-2 weeks. In summer, water more often. Adjust your watering schedule in accordance with light exposure (the more light, the more water your Pothos will require to stay healthy).

Pothos is a type of money plant that is often left out. This is because it is known by a much more common name: Devil’s Ivy. However, Pothos is recognised as a money plant in many cultures and believed to bring good luck. It is also very fast growing – one of the fastest growing vines that can be kept indoors – and it is fairly low maintenance.

4. Swiss Cheese Money Plant

swiss cheese plant indoor money plant

Sunlight: Prefers bright, indirect light. The Swiss Cheese plant cannot tolerate more than a few hours of direct sunlight a day. It is somewhat tolerant of low light, as it is native to American forest floors underneath shady tree canopies.

Water: Swiss Cheese plants should be kept consistently moist (not wet). This can be achieved by spraying them lightly with water every now and then. A good way to test the water level is to stick a finger approximately one inch into the pot’s soil. If the soil feels dry, the plant absolutely needs water. This is usually every two to  four weeks.

The Swiss Cheese plant is another plant that is considered to bring good financial luck into a home. It is recognisable for its large leaves with characteristic holes that resemble slices of its namesake, Swiss cheese.

3. Money Tree (parchira aquatica)

money tree indoors small hardwood floors window bright sunlight ideas decor
money tree indoors small hardwood floors window bright sunlight ideas decor

Sunlight: Prefers bright, indirect sunlight. Direct sunlight will burn the leaves of the money tree.

Water: Every one to two weeks. Make sure the soil has dried in between. Increase watering if there is increased light exposure.

The money tree is one of the more iconic types of money plant. This plant holds great cultural significance as a symbol of wealth and prosperity, and the braided stems represent different things depending on the number and style.

2. Chinese Money Plant (Pilea Peperomiodes)

coin plant mini money tree small money plant for good luck

Sunlight: Prefers bright, indirect sunlight. Light shade will cause the plant to grow slightly larger leaves (to give the plant a greater surface area for photosynthesis) while direct sunlight can burn the leaves of the Chinese Money plant.

Water: A light watering each week (make sure that the soil is completely dry in between each watering).

The Chinese Money plant is a very traditional money plant for Feng Shui due to its coin-like leaves. Its appearance has great cultural significance which has led to it becoming one of the most popular houseplants in the world. It is also durable, easy to care for, and does not grow too large, making it one of the best money plants for small spaces. If money grows on trees, this is the plant to pick.

1. Jade Plant

coin plant mini money tree small money plant for good luck

Sunlight: The Jade plant will be healthiest if it gets 4-6 hours of direct sunlight, and is shaded slightly from the afternoon sun.

Water: Once every two to three weeks – wait until the top 1-2 inches of soil has dried before watering again. If the plant is outdoors, waterings should be slightly more frequent.

The Jade plant is actually a type of succulent, meaning that it is well adapted to desert-like conditions. As such, it can store water in its leaves for long periods of time. It is also very tolerant of direct sunlight and requires lots of light to stay healthy. This makes Jade plant easily the lowest maintenance money plant. They are also quite small and perfect for indoors.

It should be noted that a few of the plants on this list – including Jade plant – are harmful to cats and dogs. Swiss Cheese plant in particular can be very toxic to pets if ingested. Remember to stay alert and aware about the types of plants that you bring into your household and their effects on your pets. Read here for a list of common houseplants that can actually be very dangerous for animal companions.

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