Why are so many plants called Money Tree?
There’s been some confusion about what a Money Tree (Plant?) actually is. Is it a Tree? Is it a Plant? Does it have big pancake leaves or long thin leaves – fleshy fronds or a little tree trunk?
In feng shui, particular plants, properties about plants, and the arrangement of objects in space, come with good or bad energy. Plants with good feng shui are lucky, promising wealth and prosperity. Over time, and between continents, this concept has been watered down and used to name popular houseplants.
So, if you’ve got your hands on a plant with the common name Money Plant or Money Tree, it has little to do with the plant genus and more to do with Chinese necromancy.
The Pilea peperomioides (Chinese Money Plant), Crassula ovata and Pachira aquatica – at least when they’re healthy – are all considered good feng shui, bringing good luck and good fortune to the owner.
There are a few origin stories that explain why Money Plants and Trees are lucky. For the Crassula ovata (also called Jade Plant) and the Chinese Money Plant, it’s all do with the round shape of the leaves. Humans are hardwired to find circular shapes calming, so there’s some scientific-basis for the link. Our suspicion is that it’s actually a bit simpler, and circular shapes = coins = prosperity!
Pachira aquatica comes with its own mythology. The story goes that a poor man prayed for wealth and instead found this strange little tree with braided roots. This tree quickly sprouted many others and the poor man became wealthy from the profits. Most Money Trees have stems with five leaves, but if you have one with seven leaves, make sure you take good care, as these are especially lucky!
Another reason Money Plants and Trees have got such a good rap is that they grow very successfully in the home, adapting to most indoor environments. They’re all easy maintain, and Money Plants have the added bonus of being easy to propagate (propagation means growing a new plant from a cutting as opposed to seed).
If you keep your Chinese Money Plant in good nick, pretty quickly it will sprout offshoots that can be divided at the root, or cut off at the base of the stem, popped in water until it sprouts new roots and re-potted. In fact, some say that Money Plants only bring the owners good fortune when these plants (and their wealth-bringing properties) are shared.
If you want to really cash-in on these plants’ wealth bringing properties, it’s important to arrange them correctly. A comprehensive guide to feng shui requires a lot more than a blog post but a key takeaway is to position your Money Plant/Trees in view of a window that is southeast facing.
Whatever you call them – why not treat yourself to all three wealth-bringing plants and call it an investment!