How to Prune a Money Tree Like a Pro: A Step-by-Step Guide.

To prune a money tree, use sharp pruning shears to trim off the branches at a 45-degree angle, just above a leaf node. Money trees are popular houseplants that symbolize wealth and prosperity.

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However, they can grow quite large if left unattended, making regular pruning necessary to maintain a manageable size and shape. Pruning not only helps control the size of the tree but also promotes new growth and thickens the foliage. In this article, we’ll discuss the step-by-step process of how, when, and where to prune a money tree and some tips to keep in mind while doing so.

So, whether you’re a seasoned gardener or new to plant care, keep reading to learn all about pruning your money tree.

How to Prune a Money Tree Like a Pro: A Step-by-Step Guide.


Step 1: Understand The Basics Of Money Tree Pruning

Money tree plants are a popular addition to many homes, but it’s essential to know how to properly care for them. Pruning a money tree is a vital part of maintaining its health and appearance, but it’s important to do it correctly.

Follow these simple steps to prune your money tree effectively.

The Anatomy Of A Money Tree’S Stem, Leaves, And Nodes

Before starting, it’s important to understand the basic anatomy of a money tree plant.

  • Stem: The main trunk of the money tree is sturdy and can grow up to six feet tall.
  • Leaves: The money tree’s leaves are typically green and have a glossy finish. Each leaf consists of multiple leaflets arranged in a palmate pattern.
  • Nodes: Nodes are the small, brown, and slightly raised rings found on the stem. They are the points of growth from which new leaves and branches sprout.

The Purpose Of Pruning, Including The Removal Of Dead Or Diseased Branches And Stimulating New Growth

Pruning a money tree serves several purposes:

  • Removing dead or diseased branches: When branches on a money tree start to die or become diseased, they should be pruned to prevent the spread of the problem to other parts of the plant.
  • Stimulating new growth: Pruning can encourage new growth, particularly if you prune in the right areas. Cutting off the top of the money tree will encourage branching and more foliage to grow.
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When pruning your plant, it’s best to use a sharp, clean pair of pruning shears. It’s also important to avoid cutting too much at once, as this can shock the plant. Instead, make small, deliberate cuts to remove the dead or diseased parts of the plant.

Common Mistakes And Misconceptions Associated With Pruning A Money Tree

Pruning a money tree might seem daunting, but it’s a simple process that can be done by anyone with a little bit of knowledge.

  • Cutting off too much: If you cut off too much of the plant at once, it can be shocking and might not recover. Instead, prune smaller amounts at a time and allow the plant to recover before pruning again.
  • Not pruning at all: Failing to prune your money tree can result in a top-heavy plant that is more prone to breaking and damaging. Regular trimming keeps the plant balanced and healthy.
  • Pruning at the wrong time: Money trees should be pruned in the spring or summer when they are actively growing. Pruning in the fall or winter can result in slower healing time.

By understanding the basics of money tree pruning, you can maintain a healthy, attractive plant that will last for years to come. Remember to prune carefully, avoid common mistakes, and enjoy the benefits of a well-maintained money tree plant.

Step 2: When To Prune A Money Tree

Identifying The Appropriate Time For Pruning Based On The Tree’S Growth Stage

Pruning a money tree at the right stage is crucial to ensure healthy growth and a bountiful harvest.

  • Inspect the plant to determine its growth stage. Check for new growth, such as leaves and branches.
  • If your money tree is young and still growing, avoid pruning until it has grown to the desired height. This will help the tree develop a strong trunk and branches, which will support the weight of the leaves and fruit.
  • If the tree is mature enough and needs pruning, do it during the tree’s dormant period, which is usually in the fall or winter. This will help the tree recover faster, as there will be less energy required to heal the wounds caused by pruning.
  • Avoid pruning during active growth periods, such as in the spring and summer. This is because cutting off branches and leaves during these periods can stress the tree and affect its growth.

Seasonal Considerations, Including Pruning During The Dormant Period

Pruning during the dormant period, as mentioned earlier, is the best time to prune a money tree.

  • Prune in the fall or winter when the tree is inactive, as this will help the plant recover faster.
  • Avoid pruning during periods of extreme weather conditions, such as during heatwaves or cold snaps.
  • Always use clean and sharp pruning tools to prevent damage to the tree.

Indicators That The Tree Needs Pruning, Such As Overcrowding And Low Yield

Knowing when your money tree needs pruning is key to maintaining a healthy and productive tree.

  • Overcrowding of branches and leaves, which can slow down growth and reduce yield.
  • Lack of new growth, which could indicate a need for pruning to encourage new shoots and branches.
  • Discolored or diseased leaves, which can spread to other parts of the tree if left unpruned.
  • Heavy or droopy branches that could break off under the weight of fruit or leaves.
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Be sure to prune these areas carefully and appropriately to ensure that your money tree grows back healthy and stronger.

Step 3: Tools And Supplies Needed For Pruning

Essential Equipment For Pruning, Including Sharp Scissors/Shears And Clean Pruning Saws

Before any pruning activity, ensure that you have the right tools for the job.

  • Sharp scissors/shears: These are suitable for cutting the small branches, leaves, or twigs of the money tree. Dull scissors could damage the tree or cause injury.
  • Clean pruning saws: For larger branches, a pruning saw is more suited to get the job done swiftly. Always keep it clean by washing it after every use with warm, soapy water to prevent the spread of diseases to your tree.

Optional Tools And Supplies To Make Your Job Easier

The right tools can make all the difference and reduce the time spent on the job.

  • Rubbing alcohol: Always have rubbing alcohol on hand to sterilize your tools before and after every pruning job. This will help prevent the spread of diseases to other parts of the tree.
  • Long-handled pruners: When pruning back tree branches, it’s often helpful to have long-handled pruners to reach those hard-to-get-to spots.
  • Pruning paint: Pruning cuts can be susceptible to infection, especially during the rainy season. Applying pruning paint to the cuts will help seal the cut and minimize the risk of infection.

Factors To Consider When Selecting Pruning Tools Based On The Size Of The Tree

The size of your money tree is the most significant factor to consider when selecting pruning tools.

  • Hand pruners: These are suitable for small trees under four feet in height. Use clean and sharp hand pruners to cut branches with a diameter of up to 1 inch.
  • Loppers: For medium-sized trees, use loppers to get rid of branches with a diameter of more than one inch but less than two inches.
  • Hand saws: Use a hand saw for large trees to cut away branches with a diameter that is more than two inches. Select the right pruning tool according to the size of your money tree. This will ensure the tree is growing correctly and remains healthy.

Step 4: How To Prune A Money Tree

The Right Technique To Use Depending On The Goal Of The Pruning (Shaping, Stimulating New Growth, Etc.)

Knowing the pruning technique based on the goal is crucial because it helps you achieve the desired results.

  • Shaping: To shape the money tree, use the topping technique. Decide the height you want to maintain and trim off the stem or branches above that point in a straight line. Use pruning shears to make a clean cut without damaging the stem.
  • Stimulating new growth: To stimulate the growth of new branches, use the pinching technique. Pinch off the tip of the stem with your fingers, leaving about 1/4 inch of the stem. This technique redirects the plant’s energy to the lateral buds causing new growth.

Step-By-Step Instructions With Visuals Detailing How To Prune A Money Tree

Pruning a money tree might seem daunting, but it’s relatively easy.

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  • Prepare the tools: Get the necessary equipment like pruning shears, rubbing alcohol, and gloves. Wearing gloves protects your hands from scratches and infections while pruning.
  • Disinfect the equipment: Dip the pruning shears in rubbing alcohol or a solution of one-part bleach and nine-parts water to disinfect them.
  • Assess what to cut: Identify the branches or stems you want to cut. Use the shaping or pinching technique to achieve your goal.
  • Cut the stems or branches: When cutting, ensure that you are at least 1/4 inch above the node, not too close to the stem or branching point, and not leaving a stub.
  • Disinfect the cut: Dab the cutting point with rubbing alcohol to disinfect it and avoid infection.
  • Observe the plant: After pruning, observe the plant for any adverse effects and adjust if necessary.

Check out the visual guide below for easy understanding.


Tips For Avoiding Common Mistakes, Such As Over-Pruning Or Damaging The Stem

Below are tips to avoid common pruning mistakes:

  • Over-pruning: Avoid pruning more than a third of the plant’s overall foliage in one session. Over-pruning stresses the plant and slows down growth.
  • Damaging the stem: Ensure to make cuts at the correct angle and not leaving stubs or pruning too close to the stem or branching point as it causes permanent damage.
  • Pruning at the wrong time: The best time to prune a money tree is in the spring and summer when it’s actively growing. Pruning during the dormancy period can hurt the plant.

With these tips, you can avoid any issues while pruning and promote healthy growth.

Step 5: After Pruning Care

Now that you have pruned your money tree, it’s essential to provide appropriate aftercare to ensure its continued growth and health.

Appropriate Aftercare, Such As Watering And Feeding The Tree

  • Water your money tree regularly to keep the soil slightly moist, but not waterlogged. Over-watering can result in root-rot, which is harmful to your plant’s growth.
  • Maintain a consistent watering schedule, as erratic watering can cause leaf loss and disrupt the tree’s growth patterns.
  • The money tree is a light feeder, so adding fertilizers to the soil every two to three months can be beneficial, but avoid fertilizing during the colder months.
  • Look for a houseplant fertilizer with an npk ratio of 3: 1:2, as this is ideal for healthy growth.

Monitoring The Tree For Any Signs Of Damage Or Poor Growth

  • Regularly inspect your money tree for any signs of insect infestation, disease, or leaf damage.
  • If you spot any damaged leaves, remove them as they can become a breeding ground for pests.
  • Look out for signs of poor growth, leaf wilting or yellowing, as these may indicate a lack of water, light, or nutrient deficiencies.

Tips For Maintaining The Tree’S Health And Longevity

  • Ensure that the money tree is adequately exposed to indirect sunlight, as direct sunlight can damage the leaves.
  • Keep the tree away from cold, drafty areas or air conditioning vents, as this can stress the tree and affect its growth.
  • To encourage a compact and bushy growth, prune your money tree regularly by removing any leggy stems or crowded branches.
  • If you’re repotting the tree, use well-draining soil, which can help prevent root rot.
  • Lastly, avoid moving the plant frequently, as this can cause undue stress and interfere with its growth patterns.

Following these guidelines for after-pruning care, your money tree will thrive and add beauty to your living space. Remember, prevention is always better than cure, so keep an eye on your plant’s growth and respond to any issues promptly.


With these simple steps, you can easily prune your money tree and keep it healthy and thriving. Pruning is essential to keep the tree’s shape, promote new growth, and prevent diseases. Always use the right tools and make clean cuts to prevent any damage to the tree.

Start by removing any damaged or diseased leaves and branches, then prune to shape the tree. Remember to always avoid pruning more than 30% of the tree at once to prevent stressing the plant. Adequate sunlight, water, and soil nutrients, along with proper pruning, can keep your money tree growing beautifully for years to come.

Happy pruning!