How to Propagate Money Tree: Simple Steps for Beginners

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How to propagate money tree from stem cuttings in soil or water.

A money tree makes a fun, easy-care houseplant, and it’s a fairly fast grower if it’s in the right environment. Because of that, it’s easy to propagate that new growth into even more money trees to display in your home or give to others.

How to propagate money trees? Take a healthy stem cutting at least 6 inches long with two or more nodes. Money tree cuttings can be rooted in either soil or water, but the soil method has the higher rate of success. To root a cutting in soil, apply a thin layer of powdered rooting hormone to the cut tip, and inset the cutting into a small pot filled with potting soil. Keep the cutting moist through misting and light watering; new roots should start to form in 6-8 weeks.

In this post, I’ll show you how I take cuttings from my money tree and how to get the cutting rooted in soil or water. You’ll also learn how to take care of your new money tree after you’ve successfully propagated it, and the answers to some common questions.

Let’s get started!

Key Points:

  • Money trees are easy to propagate through stem cuttings rooted in soil or water. Cuttings should be taken from healthy new growth that’s at least 6 inches in length with several nodes.
  • Each cutting should be at least 3 inches long and have a minimum of two nodes. Remove the bottom 2-3 sets of leaves; keep the upper 1-2 sets of leaves for photosynthesis.
  • Rooting cuttings in soil is typically the easier and more successful method.
  • For rooting cuttings in soil, apply powdered rooting hormone to the cut end and insert it into a small container of potting mix. Water the cutting lightly and use a humidity dome, mister or humidifier to keep the environment moist. It may take 6-8 weeks for money tree cuttings to produce visible new growth.
  • For rooting in water, fill a small glass container with filtered water and submerge the bottom nodes beneath the water line. Change the water every few days; roots should start emerging in 6-8 weeks. Once roots are at least 1 inch long, transfer the cutting into a pot of soil.

How to Propagate Money Tree From Stems

Money tree propagation happens from stem cuttings. The plant will not grow from individual leaves or root division, and money trees kept as houseplants rarely flower to produce seeds. And that’s lucky for us- in my experience, stem cuttings are the easiest propagation method out there.

I’ll outline the whole process in this post, but if you’d like to see a visual, I think this video from Easy Peasy Gardening does a good job:

Let’s talk about identifying and collecting healthy money tree cuttings that give you the best shot at successful propagation.

Gather the Supplies

Supplies needed to propagate money tree cuttings in soil and water.

Here’s what you need for money tree propagation:

  • A healthy money tree with several stems 6+ inches long that also have multiple nodes
  • A sharp pair of scissors, cleaned with alcohol
  • Powdered rooting hormone
  • If rooting in soil, a small pot of well-draining soil (use a good quality potting mix for succulents or houseplant soil mixed with equal parts coco coir or peat moss, vermiculite or pebbles, and sand.) 
  • If rooting in water, a small, clean glass jar filled with filtered water

Have all your supplies gathered before you start to make the process smoother.

How to Identify Money Tree Nodes

The first step is figuring out where to cut your money tree to propagate.

Plants produce new roots and growth from fascinating little structures called nodes. Nodes are located on plant stems, and they typically look like small bumps or knots. This is where new leaves emerge from the stem, and node cells can also develop into roots if the plant needs them.

Here are a few photos of what money tree nodes look like:

Several nodes on a money tree stem.
Multiple small nodes on a money tree stem.

For your money tree cutting to develop into an independent plant, it needs at least one healthy node. Having two or more nodes on your cutting increases your chances for success.

How to Take a Good Money Tree Cutting

Once you’ve identified the nodes, select your branch(es) for cutting. For a stem to be ready for propagation, it needs to be at least 6 inches long.

Here are a couple of branches on my money tree that are large enough to be propagated:

A gardener shows where to take a money tree cutting just below a stem node.
A gardener shows a stem node a few inches down on a money tree stem, ideal for cutting.

The cutting itself should be at least 3 inches long and have at least two nodes.

Use clean, sharp garden shears or scissors to cut the stem at a diagonal angle:

A gardener taking a money tree stem cutting just below a node.

This increases the cutting’s surface area that will be in contact with the soil or water and gives your cutting a better chance to root. If your plant is large enough, take at least three stem cuttings.

Remove the leaves from the bottom of the cutting to help the cutting focus on new root growth rather than supplying the existing leaves with nutrients. Don’t remove the top two to three sets of leaves- they’ll support the cutting through photosynthesis.

In this photo, I marked the stems that need to be removed:

Lower stems to remove on a money tree cutting for propagation marked with red x marks.

To remove the lower leaves, bend the leaf downwards against the stem’s natural upward growth. It will snap off cleanly at the node juncture.

This is what the cutting should look like with the extra leaves removed:

Exposed node tissue on a money tree stem cutting for propagation.

How to Propagate Money Tree in Soil

Money tree cuttings typically do best when rooted in soil since the new roots have more hardiness and established ability to anchor in soil for healthy growth.

Plus, the transition from water to soil can be tough on a cutting, and rooting in soil also saves you the step of repotting later. So I heartily recommend the soil rooting method.

Here’s how to root your money tree cutting in soil step-by-step:

Apply Rooting Hormone

Money trees aren’t the fastest to produce new roots, so a rooting hormone helps speed the process up and may increase your chances of a successful propagation attempt.

In my opinion, powdered formulas are preferable since they’re easy to use and typically inexpensive. Just be careful not to breathe in the dust, and try to avoid getting the rooting on your skin- it can cause irritation.

To use the rooting hormone, dip the cut end into the container and shake off any excess powder. Be sure to cover the exposed nodes:

Powdered rooting hormone applied to the cut end of a money tree cutting.

Gently Plant the Cutting

Make sure your potting soil is moistened thoroughly but is not soaking wet. The moisture level of a wrung-out sponge is just about right.

Plant the money tree cutting in the soil, being sure to cover all exposed nodes.

A money tree stem cutting in a small pot of soil for propagation.

I planted my cutting by gently pushing the cut end of the stem down into the soil, but you can use a chopstick or pencil to make a guide hole for your cutting. I find that the money tree stems are pretty sturdy, so I don’t personally take this step, but it certainly wouldn’t hurt anything if you wanted to.

Gently pinch the soil around the cutting to help stabilize it, and add more soil if you need to.

Water Appropriately and Monitor for Growth

After planting your cutting, start a light-but-frequent watering routine. You want to keep the soil evenly moist but not have standing water that could lead to root damage in money tree cuttings.

It will take around six weeks for your cutting to start producing new roots. You can test for new roots by gently pulling on the cutting. If you feel resistance, that’s a great sign that new roots are anchoring the cutting in the soil. If the cutting still wiggles freely, wait another week or two and test again.

After new roots form, it may take a few more weeks after that to see new leaves sprouting off your cutting. So just be patient and enjoy the process!

How to Propagate Money Tree in Water

While rooting the money tree cuttings in water is easy, it does have a downside. Cuttings propagated in water are not as resilient because the new roots don’t have to work to grow in water. This makes it more difficult to transition the cutting to soil and continue to grow.

So your cutting may struggle or even die (hopefully not!) after transplanting into soil.

If you’d like to give it a try, you need a clear bottle or tube and some water- filtered or distilled water is best for cuttings if you have hard water. A clear bottle will show how much water is present while allowing a resting place for the upper leaves.

There should be just enough water in the bottle or tube to keep the money tree nodes on the cutting submerged.

A money tree stem cutting in a jar of water for propagation.

These are some ways I increase my chances of success with propagating a money tree in water:

  • Dip the cut end of the money tree cutting in rooting hormone.
  • Change out the water at least once per week to keep it fresh.
  • Remove residue from the developing roots by rinsing with water.

It may take several weeks for new roots to start sprouting, typically about 6 weeks. Once the roots are 1-2 inches long, transfer the cutting to a small pot of well-draining soil, and keep the soil consistently moist until you see new leaves growing.

RELATED: Sometimes you don’t want to take cuttings for propagation, but your money tree is starting to look a little overgrown. That’s where pruning a money tree can help maintain a symmetrical shape and good health!

Tips for Success with Money Tree Propagation

Once you’ve got your cutting in soil or water, there are a few steps to take to ensure the money tree grows well. Here are some tips for success with propagating money tree from stem cuttings:

Be patient. The most critical tool for propagating money tree cuttings is time. Money tree does not develop roots quickly, as it can take anywhere from six weeks to a few months for the roots to grow enough for new leaves to grow.

Increase the humidity. According to plant experts at Penn State, money tree originates from the tropical areas of Central and South America and therefore thrives in humid areas. The average home humidity is about 40-60%, and money tree prefers a bit higher at 50-60% humidity.

You have a few options here:

  • Place your money tree cutting in a kitchen or bathroom window- these areas tend to have higher humidity due to frequent running water.
  • Use a plastic bag to create a humidity dome and cover the money tree cutting to trap moisture. Set up the humidity dome after planting the fresh cutting in soil, and leave it in place until new roots develop.
  • Mist the cutting frequently.
  • A plant humidifier would be another option that would work very well in any room.
A gardener mists a money tree stem propagation in soil.

Avoid harsh sunlight. In nature, money trees grow in swampy, dim areas, so they don’t do well in harsh, direct light. Over-exposure to sun could be to blame if you notice your money tree getting yellow leaves.

Place your money tree in a location where it will receive bright, indirect sunlight for at least 6 hours daily. I put my cuttings on a ledge a few feet back from a large south-facing window. A west-facing window is another good location.

Money tree stem cuttings in water and soil in a sunny area.

If you don’t have enough sunlight available, a grow light is a great substitute. 

Maintain consistent temperature. Room temperature in this location between 68 and 78 degrees Fahrenheit should be just about right to prevent stress on your developing plant. Avoid placing your money tree cutting near drafty windows or heating/air conditioning vents where it may be exposed to temperature changes.

Avoid disturbing the cutting or new transplant. Money trees are notorious for dropping leaves when disturbed, so do your best to leave it be as much as possible.

How to Care for a Money Tree After Propagation

Once your cutting has successfully sprouted new roots, optimal care and environment are important for continuing healthy growth.

Place the money tree where the room temperature is 65 to 75 degrees F and it will receive indirect sunlight. Bathroom windows are ideal due to the humid, moist environment.

Water when the top 2 inches of soil feel dry to the touch. Avoid moving your newly propagated money tree once it’s established in the ideal spot. After a minimum of 6-8 weeks, you should see new leaf growth, which means healthy root growth is occurring.

Infographic outlining how to propagate money tree cuttings.

Frequently Asked Questions about How to Propagate Money Tree

Money trees cannot be propagated from a leaf. The most effective way to propagate a money tree is with a stem cutting that has multiple leaf nodes.

It takes approximately 6 weeks to a few months for the roots of a money tree cutting to grow enough for transplanting.

Money tree cuttings will root in water after a minimum of 6 weeks.

Final Thoughts

With their reputation for bringing wealth and prosperity into your life, why not have as many as possible? Personally, I have yet to see much in the way of financial gain from my money tree, but its beautiful green leaves and interesting shape are enough for me!

I hope these tips for how to propagate money tree cuttings have been helpful to you. In my experience, it’s an easy, fun process, so there’s really no reason not to give it a try!

I’d love to hear from you! Do you have any other questions about money tree propagation, or do you have any tips you’ve discovered? The very best way to learn is from one another, so please feel free to share your thoughts in the comments!

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2 Comments

  1. Hi Marsha! Brown leaves could be due to a couple of issues, so you’ll have to do a little more investigating.

    If the browning is at the leaf edge or tips, it’s probably from low humidity. If that’s the case, try misting your money tree daily or running a humidifier.

    Brown leaves could also be natural die-off, particularly since the winter months are the usual dormant period. Normal aging/dying should be confined to the older, lower leaves at the base of the leaf canopy, and the rest of the leaves should look healthy. If that’s the case, there’s nothing to worry about!

    Brown leaves could also point to root damage, which is the most serious problem. Check the base of the stems for discoloration/softness or a bad smell. If you see these signs, it could be root rot. I talk about how to recognize root and rot and what to do here: https://www.seedsandspades.com/money-tree-root-rot/

    Hope this helps, Marsha. Thanks for asking!

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