How to properly care for “Money Tree” (Crassula)
The name "Money Tree" was coined in China in the era of the Han Empire (206 BC - 220 AD), which is confirmed by the finds of bronze and earthenware images during excavations of the imperial tombs. But the plant itself has been known to man from even earlier times, and South Africa is considered its homeland.
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We are talking about succulent from the genus Krassula or Tolstyanka (fam. Tolstyankovyh). In indoor floriculture, some species of this plant (K. treelike, K. oval, and others), because of the round shape of the leaves, are indeed more often called the “Money Tree”.
Money tree care after purchase
Crassul, like all succulents, can be easily grown from a cuttings or leaves - they take root within a few days. In case the plant was bought in a flower salon, it is necessary to remember some rules:
Important! Acquired “Money Tree” must necessarily pass the period of acclimatization in a new room.
- To carry out acclimatization, the pot is put in its future place, slightly shading the bush, and left for two weeks. During this period, the plant is sprayed with warm water and the leaves are wiped, and watering is carried out only with strong drying.
- After the lapse of time, adult specimens sitting in good soil and already adapted to the changing conditions are left in place and carried out the proper care.
- Young seedlings, half a month after purchase, should be transplanted by transshipment into a more convenient pot (wide and shallow) with fresh soil. After the procedure, watering is prohibited for about 14 days, only spraying the topsoil. At the same time, the plant should create a partial shade. Further care is carried out in the usual manner.
In a room culture “Money Tree” does not cause much trouble. Like all plants originating from the hot and arid points of the planet, it will respond positively to the sun, frequent changes in air masses, an adjusted irrigation schedule and a cool dormant period in winter. Even a beginner in floriculture will be able to grow a healthy specimen, having studied its life cycle and basic requirements.
The unpretentious Crassula can adapt to various room conditions, but the temperature ideally suited for it varies between 18 and 25 degrees.
In this case, the contrast between daytime and nighttime readings (within 5 - 10 degrees) is absolutely necessary.
In the fall season, when the plant begins to prepare for the dormant period, the temperature should be gradually reduced. In the winter months, the thermometer should show 10 - 15 degrees. And the state of the tree must be constantly monitored - hypothermia must not be allowed.
If it is not possible to create a winter cool, then “Money Tree” is placed far from heating appliances and closer to the glass.
Humidity and freshness of air
As a native of the arid zones of the earth, Crassula easily tolerates the low humidity of indoor air.
On the contrary, a humid microclimate can damage it - in the event of such conditions, it is necessary to significantly reduce the amount of watering.
Spraying for “Money Tree” should not be carried out (only in order to combat the spider mite), but Wipe dust sheets regularly.
In summer, the plant needs a constant change in air masses, so ventilation is very important, but drafts are unacceptable. It is allowed to take it to a balcony or veranda, protecting it from direct sunlight.
Crassula refers to photophilous plants, for which it is important to receive equally bright lighting all year round.
It may be in direct sunlight, but for a short time, and if the leaves do not touch the window glass - otherwise burns are possible, which are characterized by a change in the color of the leaves to red or brown.
With a lack of light, the bush loses its appeal. The leaves are reduced in size, the branches become long and thin, sometimes take a drooping shape. The plant has a depressed, painful appearance. But it can be called shade-tolerant, since for a short time the tree will withstand poor lighting.
Reference! To preserve the decorativeness of the crown and uniform comprehensive development of the branches, it is recommended to gradually turn the “Money Tree” relative to the main light source.
Need for support
Sometimes the "Money Tree" stops growing evenly, it seems to fall on one side. To prevent the plant from falling, the use of some kind of support is required. This state of affairs can arise for several reasons:
- Excessive watering, especially during the dormant period, does not allow the trunk to gain the necessary strength;
- Pot Size Mismatch the size of the plant: the tree has grown, and a small pot does not allow the root system to develop. A transplant is required;
- Incorrect crown formation leads to its weight - the bush does not support its own weight;
- Attenuation due to overheating in the sun in the summer.
To save the tree, it is necessary to find out and eliminate the cause. In the meantime, the plant will restore shape, help him by arranging the support.
The best place for Crassula
As a plant that requires the maximum amount of light, the Money Tree feels great on the sun-drenched windowsills of the southeast side of the house.
At this location, the risk of burns from direct radiation is excluded. Southern windows are also suitable, but they require shading in the summer.
The location of plants on the north or west side requires additional illumination, especially in winter.
Crassula in the interior
A properly formed Crassula looks like a small compact tree with a lignified trunk of brown color, the thickness of which depends on the age of the plant.
Adult specimens usually grow by 1-1.5 m, but much higher plants (up to 3 m) are also found.
Branches after pinching greatly expand in width, forming a spreading crown with a large number of rounded leaves of fleshy and puffy texture. It is because of the shape of the leaf that the plant has been dubbed “Money Tree”.
Coloring of a leaf can be green or silver - blue tonality. For the formation of a beautiful crown in a pot, only one plant should grow.
Blossoms in room culture is very rare. The first buds can form after 8 - 10 years of life. Small, star-shaped flowers are collected in small panicles. Coloring in white, pink or yellowish tint.
In the interior, “Money Tree” looks very impressive - a small copy of huge trees unwittingly attracts the eyes of guests.
Flowering of the “Money Tree” directly depends on the growing conditions:
- It blooms in the natural environment at the beginning of the growing season - in the spring. The tiny stars of fragrant flowers with five petals make up the inflorescences in the form of a brush or whisk. White and pink shades prevail.
- In the natural environment, plants that have reached adulthood bloom (8 - 15 years), and at home this age is even more solid - in the region of 20 years, subject to the constant observance of all care rules.
- Flowering in room culture is extremely rare and not every plant. Flowering period - winter months (very rarely - spring). Inflorescences ripen on young shoots. The cooler the room, the longer flowering (up to 3 months).
- In the home culture, the “Money Tree” of the right age forms buds after prolonged or short-term stress: the cessation of watering for a month or a sharp change in temperature. A return to normal conditions may produce flowering. But you can also destroy the plant (dry or freeze).
- After the first flowering at home, this process can be repeated annually, but five-year intervals are also possible.
Money tree negatively refers to such a procedure as a transplant. Therefore, this action is carried out only if absolutely necessary, with extreme caution.
- Young seedlings should be replanted regularly in the spring, as they grow quickly and require a larger pot. Purchased plants should also be transplanted in order to improve the soil and the vessel, but only after a period of acclimatization in a new place (2 weeks). Adult trees are subjected to this procedure as they grow, but not more often than after 3 years.
- The transplant is carried out at the beginning of the growing season, that is, in the spring. Due to the strong fragility of the branches and a weak, fragile root system, the procedure is carried out by transshipment methods: the plant is carefully removed from the old pot and, together with a lump of earth, is transferred to the roots in a new vessel, then fresh soil is added and slightly compacted at the edges.
- To better adapt the tree to the new soil, do not deepen the trunk too much - the surface of the earth should remain at the same level so that the root neck is not damaged.
- Since the soil gradually becomes unusable, it periodically has to be completely changed. To do this, the roots are carefully cleaned from the ground, inspected and cut if necessary (all sections are treated with activated carbon) and placed in a new substrate. After the transplant, they watered for a week - two are put in a cool place.
Attention! “Money tree ”is characterized by a weak root system, which does not correspond to the volumetric crown. Therefore, when transplanting, you must choose a wide, weighty pot with a stable bottom and fill it with heavy drainage pebbles. This will prevent the plant from turning over and breaking.
If you want to grow a “Money tree” on your own, you can use two methods of planting:
- Planting a plant with seeds. Use small wide pots in good drainage holes. The seeds are placed in them, slightly sprinkled with earth, and create the likeness of a greenhouse using a transparent vessel. Seeds require daily ventilation and soil moisture. Sprouts may appear within half a month.
- Planting by cuttings. A branch is cut from an adult plant and placed in water. After root formation, the stalk can be planted in cactus soil or in ordinary soil. The cuttings take root and when planting immediately in the ground.
"Money Tree! most often propagated by cuttings - leaf or stem. The operation is performed in the spring, but with a strong desire to grow a talisman, you can cut the mascot at other times of the year. Use apical shoots and slightly dry them (2 days). The finished material is planted in loose soil and periodically moistened. Rooting occurs about three months.
A faster way is rooting the cuttings in water, followed by timely planting. In this embodiment, roots form earlier, especially in bright light.
Sometimes broken leaves take root on the ground on their own. Then they can only transplant.
Seed propagation is used much less frequently. It involves the use of a greenhouse and a double pick of seedlings. Sprouts appear in 10 to 14 days.
To give the Fat Tree a shape of a tree, it is necessary to form a crown. This is a very responsible and lengthy process that allows you to achieve the decorativeness of "Money Tree". An exception to this is T. treelike, which itself forms its tree contour.
- To create a crown, you need to start from the beginning of plant growth. The first step is to deletee lateral branches until the bush grows to the desired height. The condition for the first step is that half of the trunk should be bare.
- The second stage of tree formation can be considered pinching the upper growth point. In this case, lateral buds wake up, shoots of which will become the basis of the crown. During this period, it is necessary to start turning the plant relative to the light, otherwise the crown will turn out to be one-sided.
- Further conducted creating a contour of the crown. In all lateral shoots, after the formation of the fourth pair of leaves, the upper buds are removed for greater branching. The longest branches are pruned to prevent weakening and shading. Slices are tightened themselves, but ideally, the formation is preferably carried out only by pinching. Branch up.
- If necessary, remove the already formed adult branch, the section is treated with activated carbon. Such pruning is necessary to free the middle part of the crown.
- It is necessary to form a crown constantly as the Money Tree grows. Trimming is done over the brown rings on the trunk (leaf scar). The tree transfers all the measures to create the crown calmly and grows even more actively. But between the scraps, the plant should rest.
- The condition for obtaining a beautiful tree shape is the presence in the pot of only one seedling or cuttings.
- To give the trunk thickness, pinch all the young shoots.
The first signs of plant aging are dropping leaves, loss of turgor by the trunk, complete rejection of flowering (if this specimen had it). In this case, you have to apply the Money Tree rejuvenation method, that is, strong pruning. This, unfortunately, is only a temporary measure, but it can extend the life of the plant.
Rejuvenation is also used for severe damage to plants by diseases or pests.
In the warm season, the Fat Girl needs regular, but very moderate watering. The soil in the pot between waterings should dry at least half. Abundant moisture threatens to rot the root system and the possible death of the plant. Therefore, the flowerpot should be kept in a pan and drain excess fluid.
The water for irrigation is secured and warm.
Feature! A “money tree" without watering can be quite a long time - it is more afraid of waterlogging than overdrying.
When providing the “Money Tree” with a winter dormant period, watering is canceled, since the plant has enough moisture accumulated in the leaves. If the soil is very dry, it can only be slightly moistened (every two weeks) to prevent the roots from drying out.
When warm in winter, watering is carried out according to the summer principle - depending on the temperature and drying of the soil (twice a week).
It is not required to spray the plant either in summer or in winter. But it is useful to wipe the leaves from dust with a damp sponge.
At home, “Money Tree” grows on soils that are not very rich in nutrients. Therefore, it does not like frequent top dressing.
During the growing season, it is enough to fertilize the soil once a month. With a cold wintering, the use of top dressing is negated.
The main feeding rules:
- Fertilize after watering to protect the roots from burns;
- You can not use fertilizer for transplanted and diseased specimens - this can lead to the death of the plant.
As a top dressing for “Money Tree”, standard fertilizers for cacti are used or alternate with conventional mineral fertilizers and organics.
Diseases and Pests
“Money Tree” is quite resistant to diseases and pests.
All diseases that can still affect the plant come from non-compliance with the rules of care:
- Various rot - violation of the watering schedule;
- Leaf fall - too abundant watering of the “Money Tree” or overheating during the period of winter rest;
- Shriveled leaves - when the roots dry out or a small amount of light;
- Light spots on leaves - burns by the sun.
Pests rarely hit the Money Tree due to arsenic in the leaves. In addition, a healthy plant itself can cope with parasites. If improperly maintained, a spider mite, scutellum, aphid and mealybug may appear. To eliminate them, treatment with acaricides or insecticides is required.
How to reanimate?
Features of the “Money Tree” as a succulent plant can avoid the death of damaged specimens.
When dropping leaves, losing turgor, stretching branches and other problems associated with improper care, it is enough to remove the damaged areas.
It is necessary to create comfortable conditions for the plant to return to its original appearance.
But when a root rot is detected on the “Money Tree”, drastic measures are required to resuscitate it. The infected roots are removed from the plant, treated with an antiseptic and transplanted into new soil. If all the roots have died, then the top of the tree is cut off and rooted, as when grafting. Only in this way can the plant be saved.
The most common mistakes when growing
“Money tree” is very unpretentious and does not require much time for maintenance. But newcomers by inexperience sometimes have problems, and they have to overcome the consequences of mistakes:
- Failure to shape the contour or the creation of a one-sided crown (they did not turn the plant relative to the light) - this can lead to the turning of the bush due to the heavy crown.
- Too frequent watering - leads to the formation of root rot, falling leaves and even death of the tree.
- Incorrect room layout - a lack of light threatens to stretch the branches, chop the leaves and loss of decorativeness; direct rays of the sun inhibit the plant due to overheating and burn the leaves.
- Insufficient soil moisture - leads to drying out of the root system.
- Feeding without pre-watering - will cause burns on the roots.
- Feeding a sick or transplanted plant - glut of nutrients, soreness and loss of appearance.
- Transplanting “Money Tree” immediately after purchase - the plant does not undergo adaptation and slows down growth and development.
Answers to popular questions
When will the Money Tree bloom?
Only mature trees are ready for flowering - this can happen in 10 - 20 years. In addition, the plant needs a period of winter dormancy to form flowers, and sometimes a little stress in the form of drought or shade. And not all Fatwolves bloom in room culture.
How long does a tree live?
Under natural conditions, the plant lives for decades and reaches considerable size. In the apartment “Money Tree” entirely depends on the care and love of the flower grower - in comfortable conditions it can be passed on through several generations.
The tree is fading. Why and what to do?
It is obvious that the plant was watered too often, and the root system died from waterlogging. It is necessary to make cuttings from the healthy part of the crown and grow new trees. Be sure to adjust their watering schedule.
Money tree is said to be poisonous. Is it true?
Indeed, in nature, the Crassulaceae can accumulate a sufficient amount of arsenic in the leaves. But the cultivated tree does not have such an opportunity, since the land in which it grows does not contain this poison. For children and animals, the plant is safe.
Caution! Do not use the leaves of the wild "Money Tree" inside - they contain poison.
Does the tree have healing properties?
Even in ancient China, they used the leaves of the “Money Tree” to treat abscesses, wounds and insect bites - the plant has anti-inflammatory properties. They can cure a sore throat, it helps with kidney diseases.
In addition, the tree has a strong connection with the owners of the house: if a family member falls ill, the plant wilts and loses its external luster. When a person recovers, the plant soon also returns decorativeness.
You need to go on a business trip for a month. How to leave a tree?
There is a rule regarding watering “Money Tree”: it is better to dry than to pour. Before leaving, the plant should be watered, mulch the soil and put the pot away from the window. In this state, it will feel great all month.
Why is it impossible to form a round crown?
It is necessary to form a crown gradually, pinching the distinguished branches. So that the crown is not one-sided, the plant needs to be turned from time to time relative to the light source. All branches will receive the same lighting and will begin to develop synchronously.
Learn more about taking care of Money Tree from the video below:
Growing “Money Tree” is not difficult. Subject to simple rules, you can get a beautiful and healing plant that can create comfort in the house and monitor the mental and physical condition of family members.
In addition, forming a crown, it is possible to create a unique tree outline that will delight with its splendor for many years. And the tree will certainly respond to care and love by flowering.