6 Best Fertilizers for Money Trees | How And When To Use

The money tree, or Pachira aquatica, is an incredibly popular houseplant. It’s commonly used in feng shui and — as you might have guessed from the name — is believed to bring wealth to those who care for it.

Money trees can reach up to 60 feet tall in nature! But those kept as houseplants typically remain under 8 feet tall. In gift shops and garden centers, you’ll often find this tropical evergreen boasting an intricately braided trunk. 

Anyone can grow a money tree as long as they provide adequate sunlight and water. For optimal growth, however, fertilizer is also important. I’ve reviewed some of the best fertilizers for money trees below along with how I recommend using them for the best results.

Best Money Tree Fertilizers

In all honesty, money tree care isn’t very complicated but read through the entire article for all the insight into the how, when, and why to fertilize. 

If you’re confident in the when and how of feeding your money tree, feel free to jump straight to trying one of my top recommended fertilizers:

Best Fertilizers for Money Trees

Best Organic Fertilizer

Neptune’s Harvest Fish & Seaweed Fertilizer 2-3-1

Organic, liquid concentrate for indoor and outdoor use. Enhances growth and foliage appearance quickly and is great for improving poor soil.

Bonide Liquid Plant Food 10-10-10

Best Liquid Fertilizer

Bonide Liquid Plant Food 10-10-10

Evenly balanced NPK that is perfect for money trees throughout the growing season. Expect fast results from this liquid feed.

Choosing the Best Fertilizers for Money Trees

While plant nutrition is a complicated science, home gardeners only need to focus on a few macro and micronutrients to grow healthy money trees! Feeding your money tree a relatively balanced fertilizer and ensuring the soil is the proper pH will take care of most nutritional needs. 

Money Tree Fertilizer N-P-K Ratio

An N-P-K ratio is a sequence of 3 numbers representing the three most important nutrients in plant nutrition: Nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. You’ll find N-P-K ratios displayed prominently on most fertilizer packaging.

Nitrogen (N) is the macronutrient most plants consume in the highest quantities. On a cellular level, plants need nitrogen to create structural proteins and chlorophyll. Nitrogen supports vegetative growth and leaf production.

Phosphorus (P) is essential for photosynthesis, cell division, and more. Its most important functions are in root development and reproduction.

Potassium (K) is key to healthy flower and fruit development. It regulates the movement of water and nutrients along with the rate of photosynthesis.

Money trees respond well to a variety of N-P-K ratios. If you’re looking for the simplest solution, however, I recommend investing in a balanced fertilizer with a ratio of 10-10-10. This means that the fertilizer contains 10% nitrogen, 10% phosphorus, and 10% potassium.

Soil pH and Nutrient Uptake

Money trees prefer slightly acidic or neutral soil with a pH of 6.0 to 7.5. Soil pH is important because it affects how easily plant roots can absorb certain nutrients. 

The most common nutrient deficiencies in money trees are iron and magnesium. Soil that is too alkaline will impact iron availability. Meanwhile, magnesium isn’t readily available in overly acidic soil.

Granular Vs Liquid Fertilizer

Since money trees respond well to diluted fertilizer, my go-to tends to be a liquid formula. However, I also know of many people who use granules, spikes, and other options with great success.

Liquid Concentrate or Spray

Liquid fertilizer is my go-to choice when feeding any potted plant. It’s super easy to dilute liquid fertilizer to suit your plants’ needs. Plus, there’s less risk of creating pockets of concentrated nutrients that will burn the roots.

One downside of liquid fertilizer is that it’s usually more expensive than dry formulas. However, that’s not a big deal when fertilizing money trees and other houseplants!

Fertilizer Granules

If you have a money tree growing outdoors, granular fertilizer is likely the most convenient and economical option. Fertilizer granules make it easy to cover a large area. 

You can definitely use fertilizer granules in containers as well. However, they wouldn’t be my first choice. 

Fertilizer Spikes

Fertilizer spikes deliver nutrients in a way very similar to granules but in a slightly different package. Like granules, fertilizer spikes release nutrients slowly over time. This lowers the risk of fertilizer burn. 

I recommend using fertilizer spikes to feed large, potted money trees when you are unable to keep up with liquid feedings.

Organic vs Synthetic Fertilizers

Organic fertilizers are those with nutrients sourced from sources like animal manure, peat bogs, and aged compost. Synthetic fertilizers are those with nutrients sourced from things like mined minerals and gasses. 

Selecting an organic or synthetic fertilizer for your money tree is ultimately a personal choice. As far as performance goes, you can expect to see similar (if not identical) results from either option.

Best Money Tree Fertilizer Reviews

When feeding a money tree, less is always more. So it’s important to arm yourself with a high-quality fertilizer that can be diluted or otherwise adjusted to your money tree’s exact needs.

With the right strategy, almost any houseplant fertilizer will work on a money tree. For the best results possible, though, these are the 6 formulas I recommend:

Pros

  • Listed for organic gardening by OMRI
  • Concentrated formula is easy to dilute
  • Safe for weekly feeding

Cons

  • It May have a fishy odor

This Neptune’s Harvest fertilizer is popular for use on outdoor grown plants such as vegetables and flowering perennials. If you don’t mind the odor (and I know that many gardeners are fine with it), I can vouch for how well it works on money trees and other houseplants too.

While any fertilizer can be overapplied, I find that this particular formula makes it very difficult. It’s designed to be diluted with water and you can easily adjust the strength as needed. The low N-P-K ratio also reduces the risk of fertilizer burn and is a great option for the light-feeding requirements of Money Tree plants.

When diluted to the proper strength, a single bottle of this fertilizer will last you a long time (even when feeding weekly!).

How To Use: The recommended application for houseplants is 1 tablespoon of fertilizer per gallon of water. For money trees, however, I’d err on the side of caution by using as little as 1 teaspoon per gallon of water. Re-apply every week. 

Pros

  • Balanced nutrient profile
  • Designed for all houseplants

Cons

  • Must be diluted

This liquid concentrate from Bonide is affordable, compact, and easy to dilute. It’s a great option for a money tree, as well as any other houseplants under your care.

Because of the balanced N-P-K ratio, this formula is a great starting point for new money plant owners. It’s guaranteed to provide everything your money tree needs with minimal risk of overfeeding.

As is, this fertilizer is meant to be diluted before each application. For money trees, I recommend diluting to at least half-strength to prevent fertilizer burn.

How To Use: Per the packaging, mix ⅛ teaspoon of fertilizer per 1 quart of water. Water houseplants as usual.

Pros

  • Pre-measured capsules are easy to use
  • Safe for use around children and pets
  • Delivers nutrients slowly to prevent fertilizer burn

Cons

  • Not very cost-effective

If you’re enchanted by the fertilizer spike concept, I definitely suggest trying out EarthPods. These capsules work just like spikes but with a few key advantages (at least, in my opinion).

The first thing I like about EarthPods is their size. It’s much easier to feed money trees and other houseplants without overwhelming or damaging the root system. You’ll also be able to distribute the pods more evenly throughout the soil.

Another thing I like about this formula is the quality and range of ingredients. EarthPods deliver a steady supply of macro- and micronutrients and beneficial microbes.

How To Use: Push EarthPods completely into the soil around your money tree every 2 to 3 weeks during the growing season. The recommended number of capsules per feeding depends on your plant’s size.

Pros

  • Simple to use on potted houseplants
  • Releases nutrients for up to 2 months

Cons

  • High risk of fertilizer burn if misused

Miracle-Gro is an affordable brand that delivers quality nutrition if you know how to best use its products. Often fertilizer spikes get a bad press due to their price point and quantities needed to cover larger areas. However, I know of many people who swear by this formula for their indoor plants!

My one concern about using this fertilizer on a money tree is the overall strength. The spikes can’t be diluted and aren’t guaranteed to distribute nutrients evenly. So I recommend spacing them as far away from your money tree’s root system as possible or crumbling them into granules to get a more even distribution.

How To Use: Make a hole in the soil for each fertilizer spike. Gently press the spikes into the surface, covering them with soil.

The recommended number of spikes to use is determined by your money tree’s container size. You can find these feeding guidelines on the product label.

Pros

  • Easy-to-use pump bottle
  • Can be applied directly or diluted
  • Balanced N-P-K ratio

Cons

  • Requires frequent applications

Fertilizer spikes aren’t the only Miracle-Gro product I recommend for money trees. This liquid plant food is another great option.

With proper use, it’s very hard to overfeed with this formula. It has a balanced and non-concentrated N-P-K ratio that minimizes the risk of fertilizer burn.

While you can apply this fertilizer directly to the soil, money trees tend to respond best to a diluted mixture. You can add this liquid to your regular watering routine throughout the growing season.

How To Use: Mix up to 4 pumps of fertilizer per quart of water. Water normally. Re-apply weekly during the growing season.

Pros

  • Slowly distributes nutrients for 2 months
  • Won’t attract pests

Cons

  • High nitrogen content

If your money tree responds well to fertilizer spikes, I also recommend this formula from Jobe’s.

As with other fertilizer spikes, these eliminate any need for measuring or bulky storage. They’re also less likely to attract pests than other formulas. These traits make them a great option for apartment dwellers looking to kick their houseplant maintenance up a notch.

Because of the high nitrogen content, I recommend keeping an eye on your money tree for signs of fertilizer burn when using these spikes. I also recommend considering breaking the spikes into smaller sections and distributing them evenly away from the root system.

How To Use: Drive fertilizer spikes into the soil evenly around your money tree or break individual spikes into smaller pieces, leaving space between the spikes and the roots. Reference the fertilizer packaging for the recommended number of spikes for your pot size. Water the soil thoroughly after application.

How to Fertilize Money Trees

The number one rule of fertilizing a money tree is to dilute your chosen fertilizer by half. This is the best way to minimize the risks of overfeeding and root burn. Alternatively, you can dilute the fertilizer by one-fourth and feed more frequently.

Avoid applying fertilizer on or directly next to your money tree’s trunk. Instead, evenly distribute the fertilizer across the surface of the container — if your money tree is planted in the landscape, spread fertilizer throughout the drip line — leaving a small margin around the plant’s base. This is particularly important when using fertilizer spikes or pods!

Fertilizing Money Trees During Winter

If you keep your money tree as a houseplant, then fertilizing in the wintertime is rarely necessary. 

The only time I’d recommend winter feeding is if your money tree is planted outdoors in an extremely warm (i.e., tropical) climate. But you should still fertilize less frequently than during other times of the year.

Avoiding Money Tree Fertilizer Burn

Fertilizer burn can happen almost instantly or build up over several weeks or months. But all cases of fertilizer burn are the result of too many nutrients — nitrogen is the usual culprit — in the soil. 

The best way to avoid fertilizer burn is to not over-apply fertilizer in the first place. Watering potted money trees until water runs from the bottom is another great preventative strategy.

When to Fertilize Money Trees

Money trees should be fertilized during the growing season. This is when the plant is actively absorbing and utilizing key nutrients in the soil to grow and produce new leaves.

Most money trees enter the growing season in spring whether they’re kept as houseplants or planted outdoors. You can continue feeding your money tree through summer and into fall. 

How Often to Fertilize Money Trees

Some gardeners have success using a slow-release fertilizer only once or twice per year. However, larger specimens require feeding once or twice per month in the growing season. 

How often you feed your money tree ultimately comes down to your chosen fertilizer formula. Just remember: the stronger and longer-lasting the fertilizer, the less frequently it should be applied.

Verdict: Best Fertilizers for Money Tree

Few houseplant enthusiasts own just one plant. So, in my opinion, it’s important for any high-quality money tree fertilizer to also be appropriate for other common houseplants. 

So which will you choose for your Money tree? Select Neptune’s Harvest Fish & Seaweed Fertilizer 2-3-1 if you want a super easy-to-use, fast-acting, and minimal risk of overfeeding. It’s versatile enough to use both for indoor and outdoor plants and is available in 3 different sizes depending on your fertilizing needs. 

Neptune’s Harvest Fish & Seaweed Fertilizer 2-3-1

Best Organic Fertilizer

Neptune’s Harvest Fish & Seaweed Fertilizer 2-3-1

Organic, liquid concentrate for indoor and outdoor use. Enhances growth and foliage appearance quickly and is great for improving poor soil.

Alternatively, choose Bonide Liquid Plant Food 10-10-10 which offers an even balance of nutrients and gets to work as soon as roots begin to absorb it once watered into the soil. Also suitable for use on a range of houseplants.

Bonide Liquid Plant Food 10-10-10

Best Liquid Fertilizer

Bonide Liquid Plant Food 10-10-10

Evenly balanced NPK that is perfect for money trees throughout the growing season. Expect fast results from this liquid feed.

FAQ’s Fertilizing Money Trees