I really want a money tree, but I hate how they are braided. I also don't like how you have to keep cutting them back to keep them small. I want to let my future money tree get big. I saw one huge one that had been braided a foot from the pot, but them the rest of the long limbs where straight...and it looked funny.
-Will they do just fine w/o being braided?
-How tall do they get as an indoor plant?
-What light do they want?
-How often do I water them?
-How quickly do they grow?
As an indoor plant they will get very tall ... as long as you're able to maintain favorable cultural conditions and learn to do the root maintenance that is needed to keep them healthy over the long term - both are keys to longevity, good growth, and good vitality. They want lots of light, but won't tolerate full sun (outdoors) in mid-summer. Indoors, you should avoid direct afternoon sun unless there is good air movement in the room (fan).
Watering isn't something you should 'schedule' unless you grow in a very free-draining soil that supports little or no perched water. These soils are much more forgiving and allow much greater latitude when it comes to allowing you to water on a schedule, instead of on an 'as needed' basis, which is the much preferred method when using commercially prepared peat-based soils. Even though this plant grows in swampy areas and develops specialized root tissues (aerenchyma instead of parenchyma) that allow O2 for root metabolism to come from above ground instead of the root zone, it needs a soil that drains well and holds plenty of air in containers, even when saturated; this, because the plant isn't easily or quickly able to make the transition from soggy to well aerated, and will suffer in heavy, water-retentive soils.
The plant is genetically very vigorous and grows quickly in relation to most other trees. HOW fast it grows depends on your ability to eliminate those things that are limiting to growth. IOW - if you only provide cultural conditions the tree doesn't like, it will grow slowly or possibly decline steadily. If you provide cultural conditions it likes, the tree can grow to 8' ceiling heights in only a few years unless you prune.
You, as the grower, hold the answers to most of your questions in your own abilities. The plant is genetically programmed to grow fast and look beautiful. How well it lives up to it's potential depends on your abilities to minimize or eliminate the factors that limit growth and vitality.
Well, still no sign of a single trunked Money Tree... Oh, BTW I'm talking about the Pachira aquatica. I don't know if it's been mentioned or anything... But I now know that to some people Jade plants are known as Money Trees...
Anyways, I went to the local nursery today, and I was looking at a braided Money Tree, and I saw that a stem had fallen off, and was half dead and sad on the dirt in the pot. I picked it up, and I told the woman that works there that she should stick it in water and see what happens, and she gave it to me!
I came home, stuck the poor thing in water and it's already perky-ish again ( granted two leaves may fall off ).
I saw somewhere online that they root in water, and even though water is a dreaded way to propagate, I'm just gonna see what happens. Can't hurt to try, right?
ticollins, They are often used for bonsai. They get large, but most never get taller than 3' due to how people braid them and slice them every time they get some growth on them. It would be like someone keeping a Maple 3' tall it's whole life by cutting it down every so often. I think it's wrong... So I hope my little cutting roots!