The Cottage Smallholder


stumbling self sufficiency in a small space

Money tree

flowering money treeMany years ago I was staying with a friend with time on her hands. In the past, I had noticed the tall green leaved plants that stood in three pots in her drawing room. They didn’t flower. They just made up a dull wall of leafy greenness.

When I arrived for this particular visit, they were covered in tiny white flowers, as insignificant as the plants.
“The flowers are not real,” she whispered. “They are teeny pieces of tissue paper secured with a twist of florist’s wire. It took me two days to make them. My husband didn’t even notice them, having complained how dull the plants were.”

Yesterday I was astonished when I spotted that our giant money tree was in bud. This plant is a hefty specimen. It languishes in an old porcelain washbowl on Danny’s desk in the Rat Room. Had Danny been busy with the scissors and tissue paper?

I examined the flowers carefully. They are real buds on slim, delicate stalks compared to the sturdy trunk of the tree.

This money tree was given to me by Peggy and Tommy. They were moving house and it was too big to take with them. Peggy filled me in on the tree’s history,
“My sister gave me this tree. Ever since it arrived we have had enough money. Not loads of money but enough to get along. I do hope that it has the same effect on your life.”

I tottered to Jalopy with the massive plant and it travelled home in the front beside me – its seat belt on.

This evening Danny carefully examined the buds as I photographed them.
“Do you think that they might unfurl into large cheques? Or even small ones?”


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20 Comments

  1. Mine is in flower now second time in 20 yrs

  2. chichi okoye

    i just drew back my bedroom curtains to look at my money plant that i have not watered for ages. i have black out thermal curtains, and keep them drawn a lot of the time to keep my home a little warmer. i have had a strange aversion/lazyness about watering the plants on my bedroom windowsill this whole year, sometimes weeks go by. i used to water all my plants a few times every week. well, it is a south facing window, and this year i was always surprised that the plants were doing well without water. today i decided that enough was enough and they needed a drink and i was stupefied to see beautiful flowers on my money tree plant. a little googling and i found this page, and then this on wikepedia

    To encourage bloom, allow the plant to go without water around the time of the first frost. When the days get short, withhold the water completely and let the plant withstand the cool nights. Several weeks of this dry, cold treatment followed by regular watering will result in blossoms around the shortest day of the year. Regular watering, or nights too warm, and the plant will remain healthy, but bloom-less

    this is almost exactly what happened to my plants, by coincidence, although i dont believe in coincidence, just some higher intelligence, cos sometimes we dont know why we do what we do until the results are clear.

    am please to have the flowers!

    • Fiona Nevile

      Hello chichi okoye

      If you own a money plant that flowers it’s a very lucky sign. Wey hey!

  3. kate (uk)

    Forgot to say- be patient, one of my money trees spent last winter in my unheated greenhouse and was in a very sorry state indeed last spring, despite being wrapped in fleece. I took off all the rotting bits that had caught the cold ( most of it),replaced the top inch or so of compost, put the almost leafless stumpy bit I was left with in a moderately sunny spot on the staging for most of the spring so the soggy bits would get dried out and heal, then onto the patio for the summer: by autumn it was a splendid plant once more and is spending this winter in a warmer place!It can take a long time for a plant to fully recover.

  4. kate (uk)

    I would suggest re-potting it in new soil, get either cactus compost or multipurpose compost and add some grit for extra drainage, make sure the pot you put it in has a drainage hole and some bits of crock or polystyrene in the bottom to help drainage as they dislike wet roots and soggy compost. When you water it try to use rainwater and only give it a fairly dilute feed,succulents aren’t hungry plants- I would also take some cuttings in case the plant doesn’t recover- just take off a healthy leaf and stick it, stem end down, into some sandy soil, it will root readily if kept warm.Your plant is five years old and was rescued from an office, so it may just have given up, so take some cuttings. They like to be warm ( above about 7) but don’t like to be in bright sunlight or near a strong heat source.Your wilting sounds like either too little water, too much heat or too cold or poor soil and drainage.

  5. Fiona Nevile

    Hello Justin

    You need to water the money tree and that’s why it’s dying. We water ours every couple of months or so. Some liquid fertiliser might help to.

  6. Hi, I have bee reading all your info, in hope that i will get help with my money tree plant. Just recently it has taken a turn for the worst. This money tree plant, is very spindly in form, with many branches. The leaves are looking healthy but it is losing its condition from the branches shrivelling up and dying then, dropping off. they basically are so weak they will drop off back to the next segment down, revealling the green insides of the branch. Although the soil is very dry, there is a water tide mark, about an inch from the bottom of the base of earth on the trunk, i have not watered it again since Xmas 2008, as info on when to water is very confusing. I rescued it from a empty office 5 years ago when it looked in a terrible state, but now i am unsure how to help it. It is in a big pot of 10″ deep and the plant stands to a height of approx 12″. I have never changed the soil or the pot.It is not like the picture of the plant at the top of this page but a very spindly branch type tree with the same leaves etc. Any adive is appreciated.

  7. Hi, we have 3 money trees, the oldest was my husbands grandmothers and I believe is over 50 years old, it is in flower at the moment, which as far as we are aware is the first time it has! It’s kept in the conservatory which is hot in the summer, but cold in the winter. I water it maybe every couple of weeks if that.

  8. Our plant has never flowered but is healthy after seven years. Seeing the price of them in the garden centres I am determined that I will never have to buy one and would be grateful for any advice on feeding positioning and potting. Not one of my fingers is any were being green!

  9. My sister gave me my money tree about a year ago we were skint at the time going through a bad patch .now we always seem to manage . i have taken 20 cuttings off the first plant and they are thriving all over the house ive started doin pools and lottery regular my sister also gave my other sister a tree at the same time as me and hers died shes has been skint and unlucky ever since

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