The bonsai Money tree is a popular indoor bonsai that is known for representing good luck. In nature, these trees can grow up to 65 feet tall. The bark is greyish brown, and the trunk is swollen at its base. Mature bonsai may produce flowers that are yellow-green or cream colored. Choosing a tree with one trunk is best, as the trees with three trunks tend to crush each other as they grow. The lack of branches and compacted leaves makes this tree a bit harder to bonsai than others.

How to Care for Money Bonsai

The Money bonsai is a perfect tree for intermediate level bonsai growers. As an indoor tree, it likes to have lots of light all throughout the year. Overwatering is a huge bonsai killer,so these trees should be allowed to dry out slightly before watering. Feed from spring to autumn. As they respond well to pruning, this should be done aggressively during the winter and periodically during the rest of the year. Pests are uncommon, but when they do occur, there are ways to rid your tree of them.

Indoor or Outdoor?

Money bonsai are indoor trees that like lots of light. Place these bonsai directly in front of a south facing window to ensure that they receive as much light as possible. Artificial lighting can be used to increase the amount of light the bonsai receives if light intensity from the sun is insufficient. Leave the lights on for around 10 hours a day.

As an indoor species, they also like high humidity, which can be difficult to achieve indoors. Misting the leaves or placing a humidity tray filled with water or wet gravel under the pot can help.

In the summer, you can place the tree outdoors if the temperatures stay above 54 degrees Fahrenheit. Once the temperatures start to drop, bring the bonsai back inside. Money bonsai should never be exposed to frost.

Watering

Always check the bonsai’s soil before watering. Allow the soil to dry out slightly before watering. Use a fine nozzle watering can when watering so that the topsoil is not disturbed.

To encourage the growth of smaller leaves, water with a little bit of water instead of drenching the plant. If the growth of larger leaves is desired, drench the tree when watering. Make sure the container in which your bonsai is housed has drainage holes at the bottom. Having a well draining soil is also important so that your roots are not overwatered, which will cause root rot.

Fertilizing

Feeding the Money bonsai fertilizer will cause it to grow very fast. Use a liquid, not an organic, fertilizer once a week. When applying liquid fertilizer, put the amount specified on the packaging into a watering can with whatever water you use to water your bonsai. Then, water your bonsai with the fertilizer-infused water.

Some recommend using a balanced fertilizer throughout the year. While this will work just fine, you can also try using fertilizer with different nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium ratios. In this case, you could use a fertilizer with a higher nitrogen content in the spring, balanced in the summer, and a lower nitrogen content in the fall. Fertilizer is not needed in the winter.

Training Techniques

Money bonsai respond very well to pruning. Pruning should be done in late winter. This will cause the tree to grow exponentially in the spring. Throughout the year, maintenance pruning can be done by cutting back a pair of leaves or two here and there. You can defoliate your tree if it is strong and healthy.

Wiring may also be done, but keep an eye on it. The wires can cut into and leave scars on the soft bark of the tree. Wire during the winter, when the tree is not growing as much.

Common Pests and Diseases

In general, pests rarely occur on the Money bonsai. When spider mites or mealy bugs do occur, it is likely because your house is dry. A pesticide used for tackling the specific pest will rid your tree of these critters. But in order for the pests to really go away, the living conditions of the tree must be improved.

Having a Money bonsai is the perfect way to brighten up any home. This indoor tree is worth every penny. Give it lots of light all year to make it happy. Water sparsely to encourage growth of small leaves, and water more to grow bigger leaves. Fertilizing should be done weekly from  spring to autumn. Prune aggressively and often, and wire when necessary. Pests can be dealt with and diseases can be cured. Happy growing!