Uncovering the Symbolic Spiritual Meaning of Money Trees

Money trees have become a popular houseplant known for their distinctive braided trunks and bright green coin-shaped leaves. But beyond their ornamental appeal, money trees have a symbolic spiritual meaning that makes them a meaningful addition to any home.

With their association with financial luck and general well-being, money trees offer more than just visual enjoyment – they represent aspirations of prosperity and abundance.

Origins and History of the Money Tree Plant

The money tree plant is native to tropical parts of Asia including Taiwan and southern Japan. It is scientifically known as Pachira aquatica, but is also referred to as Malabar chestnut or Guiana chestnut.

Money trees are often braided or twisted together – this offshoot technique causes the trunks to become interwoven as they grow. The braiding of several trunks is meant to symbolize the bringing together of multiple streams of good fortune and wealth.

While they have long been popular in Asian cultures, money trees rose to widespread fame in the 1980s when they were prominently featured as office plants in businesses and homes. The idea was that the presence of money trees would attract financial luck.

An interesting bit of trivia is that money trees became associated with pop culture icon Madonna in the 1980s. She featured money trees in several music videos, likely drawn to their spiritual symbolism of ambition and prosperity.

Symbolic Meaning of Plants and Trees in Spirituality

Plants and trees have held symbolic meaning in spiritual traditions across the world. They represent life, growth, strength and the resilience of nature.

Ancient Asian philosophies like feng shui believe that placing certain plants inside the home can affect the energies within. Greenery is thought to promote the flow of positive chi – the circulating life force.

Bonsai trees are shaped in spiritual ceremonies to achieve harmony and balance. Bamboo is considered lucky since it is resilient and continues growing despite being cut down.

Similarly, the money tree is valued as a symbol of steady, persistent growth towards wealth and vitality. Its ability to grow in low light conditions is seen as reflective of the ability to persevere through challenging times.

Significance of Plants in Feng Shui

In feng shui, plants play several symbolic roles. Flowering plants like orchids represent achieving peak potential and mark special occasions. Leafy plants signify revitalizing energy and growth.

Having pairs of plants is seen as lucky because it represents duality and balance. Certain plants also carry symbolic meaning related to their appearance – for example, jade plants represent prosperity because their leaves look like jade coins.

When designing a space with plants, feng shui principles recommend including a variety of shapes, sizes and textures. This diversity is believed to nurture a diversity of positive energies.

The Money Tree as a Feng Shui Symbol

In feng shui and other Asian spiritual practices, money trees are highly regarded as symbols of prosperity. The trunks represent stability while the leaves symbolize income and abundance.

Money trees are typically placed in the southeast corner of a home or office. The southeast is associated with wealth luck in feng shui due to its connection to both the wood and fire elements.

Wood represents steady growth and nourishment from the earth. Fire brings brightness, warmth and vigor. Combined, the two cultivate optimal conditions for attracting prosperity.

Optimal Placement of Money Trees

Feng shui principles recommend placing money trees in certain directions to maximize their symbolic effect:

  • Southeast – promotes overall wealth
  • East – enhances health and family
  • South – strengthens reputation
  • Northwest – benefits career

Avoid keeping money trees in the southwest corner as that area is associated with romantic relationships rather than prosperity. The northwest can also strengthen learning and self-cultivation.

Meaning of the Money Tree’s Braided Trunk

The signature braided trunk of the money tree is meaningful in feng shui symbology. A braid brings several strands together into one sturdy form, just as different income streams create greater financial stability.

The trunk lifts the canopy of leaves into the light, symbolizing efforts that support aspirations of growth and livelihood. Its sturdiness represents being firmly grounded while reaching towards greater heights.

Finally, the braided shape has no beginning or end, forming a circle that embodies the endless circulation of wealth and fortune.

Caring for the Braided Trunk

To maintain the money tree’s braided trunk, be careful not to over-rotate the plant as it grows. Slowly rotate it only a quarter turn every few months to encourage even growth towards sunlight.

Periodically check for rubbing branches and rearrange or untangle them. Support a heavy canopy by staking the trunk to avoid breakage.

Pruning back overgrown branches preserves the distinctive braided shape and symbolism of continuous fortune.

The Spiritual Symbolism of the Money Tree’s Coin-Shaped Leaves

The broad, coin-shaped leaves of the money tree are one of its most iconic features. Their distinctive shape represents affluence in feng shui and makes the plant easily recognizable.

It’s believed that the more five-lobed leaves the money tree has, the better its ability to attract financial luck. The leaves fan out in a way that resembles a palm catching a shower of gold coins.

As the money tree grows, sprouting new leaves and creating new branches, it reflects steady accumulation of wealth and expansion of prosperity.

Caring for the Leaves

Money tree leaves can develop brown tips from underwatering or low humidity. Mist the leaves regularly to boost moisture. Add pebbles underneath the pot to increase humidity.

Leaves dropping prematurely may indicate too much direct light. Filter the sunlight or move to a shadier spot. Regular pruning stimulates lush new growth.

Wipe leaves with a damp cloth to remove dust buildup that can block light absorption for photosynthesis. Care for the leaves ensures they continue symbolizing prosperity.

Growing Your Own Money Tree

Part of the money tree’s symbolic meaning is the process of caring for it and supporting its growth. When you nurture your own money tree, you create a living representation of cultivating prosperity.

Money trees can be grown from seeds, cuttings or air layering. Place a cutting or air layered plant in water until roots develop before planting in soil.

Use a well-draining potting mix and water when the top several inches become dry. Fertilize regularly in the growing season. Situate in bright, indirect light.

Braid three or five seedlings together as they grow to create the signature money tree form. Train new growth to fill out the braid.

Growing a money tree from seedling conveys meaning related to getting efforts off the ground and steadily working towards goals. Caring for your own money tree can be a spiritual mindfulness practice as well as a feng shui symbol.

With their long history as symbols of prosperity, money trees continue to be popular as meaningful houseplants that convey aspirations of growth and fortune.

Beyond simply attracting wealth, the money tree represents vitality and shared strength through its braided trunk. Its resilience through challenging conditions inspires perseverance on the path towards meaningful pursuits.

The bright energy of the money tree’s verdant leaves brings a vibrant spirit into the home. Caring for your own money tree mindfully cultivates your ability to nurture growth in other parts of life.