Money trees (Pachira aquatica) are a common house plant that requires little maintenance to grow. Money trees need a minimum of 6 hours of indirect sunlight a day and must be provided with a well-drained soil and proper watering. Braided money trees are also popular for their feng shui elements and charismatic trunk appearance. You can train your plant to grow with a braided trunk relatively easily to add style to your money tree.
Purchase money trees that has been grown in clusters of three or five. This is crucial for the braiding aspect of the money tree. Separate saplings may also be purchased and transplanted later.
Transplant separately purchased saplings into a large container. Carefully remove the money trees from the original container by placing the container on its side and pulling the plants loose. Mix together one part pebbles and two parts soil. The pH level in the soil must be no less than 5.0 and no more than 7.0. Separate trees need to be replanted 2 inches apart.
Fill in around the plants with soil mixture. Thoroughly water the soil, but be sure the plant is not sitting in standing water. Proper drainage is vital to this tree's survival.
Braid the tree stalks together gently. The best time to do this is when the plant's stalks are less than one-half inch in diameter, or while they are still green. In alternating succession, begin to braid the stalks until you reach the leaves or are unable to continue. Around the top of the braid, loosely tie a string. Braid again once the stalks have grown between 6 to 8 inches longer.
Provide the plant support with two stakes. The stakes should be placed on opposite sides of the trees. Attach a piece of string on each stake and tie it to the braided tree. This will help anchor the tree.
Care for the tree. Soil should be allowed to dry completely between waterings. Fertilize it once a year with a slow-release fertilizer during the spring.
Transplant the money tree in to a larger pot once it appears to have outgrown its current pot. You can tell it is ready for a new pot if the leaves begin to brown or if the plant appears wilted. This indicates that the roots are not receiving enough nutrients because the pot is too small. Although money trees do better in confined pots, it is crucial they be provided with ample space for their roots to spread and grow. This is especially crucial when growing large braided money trees.
Prune the tree, which is essential for new growth, but slows down the growth rate. Top pruning will create a bushier tree. Generally, you want to prune the tree about once a year. Remove branches from the lower third of the tree that stick out or are not part of the main braid, but balance it out by removing some of the leaves from the top. Prune less frequently if you want your braided money tree to grow faster.