Can’t be bothered to keep track of your plant’s watering schedule while still needing a live plant to make your home look snazzy? Then you should grow a money plant (not to be confused with the Chinese money plant, jade plant or money tree, they may sound the same, but they’re world’s apart) at home. Here’s your 101 guide to keeping the evergreen, ever-popular feng shui money plant (or you can call it jade plant) lush and bountiful so you can have good luck all year long.
The money plant (epipremnum aureum) is that one plant that your mom, your auntie, your teacher, and that one crazy plant neighbour will undoubtedly have. You may have spotted it in various places around these homes; the garden, the dining room table, near the TV and even in the bathroom! This is a testament to the plant’s adaptability to all sorts of living conditions.
Although it is known as a money plant in Malaysia, due to its correlation to good feng shui for wealth and luck, it is also known by many other names – devil’s ivy, pothos, taro vine and so on. The money plant comes in many varieties in terms of foliage colour, but they are all essentially a vining plant with lobed leaves. It normally grows up to 6-10 feet in homes, but in wild conditions, they are known to grow up to 30 feet long.
Are you ready to fill your home with vines? Here’s where you can start:
What are the types of money plants?
In Malaysia the most common type is the Golden Pothos which leaves have an attractive green colouration with splashes of yellow variegation. A similar version to this is the Marble Queen Pothos which has a green and white variegation instead of yellow. Yet another popular type is the Pothos N’Joy with green and white coloration on smaller leaves – a popular choice for minimalist homes. One can even get a Neon Pothos if bright, lime green leaves are needed to add a splash of colour; or go dark with the dark green Satin Pothos which has silver variegation. There are just so many varieties out there, that you will be spoilt for choice.
While it may seem like they’re from the same family as money tree, Chinese money plant and jade plant, they’re, in fact, not the same.
Do I keep my money plant in water or in soil?
The epipremnum aureum is one of the very few plants that can thrive in either soil or water – but it grows faster in soil, indefinitely. If potted in soil, any regular, well-draining soil would do. They do not like wet feet, so it is suggested to have a good mix of black soil with some perlite or loose sand to allow excess water to seep out. On the flip side, the money plant is also good with being fully submerged into pure water – which is perfect for lazier plant keepers since all you need to do is to top up the water once in a while. In fact, they can adjust pretty easily when moved from soil to water, or water to soil. Regular tap water works well enough, no special filtered water needed.
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How often should I water my money plant?
If kept in soil, allow the soil to fully dry out after each watering. Be sure to water deeply each time, saturate the soil fully and let any excess water drip out. Check the status of the soil dryness to determine the best watering schedule. Although money plants can easily tolerate dry conditions, try not to leave it dry for too long too often to avoid stressing the plant. If kept in water, you would only need to check the water level every 2 weeks and top up if necessary. However, we would suggest cleaning the entire pot by taking the plant out and giving the pot a good scrub every month. This is due to the stagnant nature of the water – it helps avoid any algae growth and to get rid of any mosquito eggs that may have been laid there.
Read more: 17 indoor plants you can’t kill (so easily)
Should money plant be kept in sunlight?
Outdoors, it is best grown in shade and best to avoid direct sunlight. If placed indoors, it only requires bright indirect light to thrive. However, it can also survive in low-light conditions but the variegation on its leaves may revert to green. The best places in the home are areas that have windows to allow some natural light in and keep your plant happy. Epipremnum aureum can be placed in many ways – in hanging baskets so that its vines can trail freely, in regular pots or jars, with a moss pole for climbing, trellises, or even tethered to hooks on the wall to facilitate the climbing vines.
WARNING: Money plants are toxic to cats, dogs and small children so be sure to place it out of reach to keep them from being ingested/chewed on.
How regularly should the money plant be fertilised?
These are not heavy feeding plants, so the use of slow-release fertiliser pellets are good enough to supplement the plant monthly if grown in soil. Plants placed in water should have a bit of liquid fertiliser (1 drop diluted in 1 litre of water) added into it – about 1 tablespoon should be more than enough. If you do miss your fertiliser schedule, it wouldn’t make much of an impact on your plants, so don’t worry!
Can I propagate a money plant?
Yes, definitely! In fact, vining plants are one of the easiest plants to propagate. Choose a long vine section about 8 inches or more and cut it off below the node (a brown bumpy thing below the leaf). With this section, you can cut it into 2-3 separate sections, but ensure that each piece has at least one node attached. Place the sections into water and roots will start growing out within 10 days. If you don’t want to cut off a long vine, then just take 2-inch sections off your existing plant as you prune it – pruning epipremnum aureum will make them grow bushy as opposed to letting vines grow, which will result in a leggier plant – it really depends on what sort of look you are going for! Once the sections have rooted, you can choose to let it continue growing in water, or plant it into a pot of soil.
Why are my money plant leaves turning yellow or getting brown spots?
This could be an indication of two things – either too much sun or root rot from overwatering. When the plant is exposed to too much direct sunlight, all you need to do is move it to a less sunny area for it to recuperate, and trim off the yellowed leaves. Brown spots indicate leaf burn, and these will usually appear on the white spots on leaves that are getting the full glare of the sun.
When it comes to root rot, it requires a little more effort – first check if the soil is damp. If it is, remove the plant from the pot and inspect the roots for black, mushy parts. You can easily remove these parts if there is only a small area affected, and place it back into the pot with fresh soil and monitor the plant. If a larger section or more is affected, it is recommended that you cut off all the stems below the leaf node, and place in water to propagate the epipremnum aureum with new root growth (see propagation section above).
Why is my money plant not growing, even with regular fertilising?
Your plant can be stunted when you are underwatering the plant. Be sure to ensure that the plant is getting a thorough watering by saturating the soil fully and letting the excess water drip out. If it’s not a watering issue, it is most likely a pest issue. Mealybugs, scale and spider mites are one of the most common causes for a plant being stunted, and slowly turning weak and mushy. Treat plants with a horticultural spray like neem oil outdoors, every 2 weeks to combat the issue.
When it comes to money plants, they are hardy and can tolerate neglect, but it is always advised to give your plant some TLC from time-to-time to keep it growing and looking its best.
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