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Taking Care of My Money Plant in Water

I grew up to a saying that if you stole a piece of money plant and it grew and flourished in your house you would prosper and get rich. So its a plant most houses had and its a hardy plant so we had a few of them at home too.

Some months back in an attempt to add some green to my house, Mom got me a cutting to grow in a bottle. Now that the plant has grown at bit and has settled into the bottle, I got down to do some reading about it.

Some things I didn’t know about the money plant –

  • The scientific name for the Money Plant is Epipremnum aureum or Scindapsus aureus.
  • It is found from Northern Australia through Malaysia and Indonesia into China, Japan and India.
  • It flowers in the wild.
  • The sap of the money plant is poisonous if consumed. The presence of insoluble raphides make it toxic to dogs, cats and children. Symptoms may include oral irritation, vomiting, and difficulty swallowing. I need to keep it out of reach of the dogs.
  • It has even caused enough ecological damage to be listed on the USDA Florida Exotic Pest Control Council list 1999 as an invasive species.
  • Other names of the money plant are – Australian native monstera, centipede tongavine, devil’s ivy, golden pothos, hunter’s robe, ivy arum, silver vine, Solomon Islands ivy and taro vine.
  • Money Plant is efficient at removing indoor pollutants such as formaldehyde, xylene, and benzene.
  • It can be used in aquariums, by placing it on top of the aquarium and allowing the roots to grow in the water. The plant absorbs many nitrates and uses them for growth.

Some I didn’t know but had figured out over time –

  • The money plant is a hardy plant and its leaves last longer that most other plants.
  • It grows in both soil and water but once planted the medium can’t be changed.
  • The simplest way to get a new plant is to take a cutting off an existing plant and planting it into soil or water.
  • Water grown money plants are smaller and more slender that soil ones.
  • The first couple of weeks require constant changing of water. As the plant settles-in the die-off causes a lot of foul smell.
  • The water tends to stay clear longer after the roots have settled in.

Notes to myself from around the internet to help me keep my plant healthy –

Temperature – Requires temperatures between 15-30deg C, below 10deg the leaves develop spots and turn yellow.

Sunlight – Leaves turning yellow and shedding  is a sign of excessive sunlight. Money plants don’t like too much heavy sunlight so in summer you could place a wet cloth above it and put some ice cubes in the plant in the afternoon.
Update 26/09/’16: My plants are kept in a mostly cool and mildly lit place. Not much sunlight reaches here so my plants have been growing very slowly. In an attempt to make them grow faster, last month I put my plants out for some light and by mistake put them out in direct sunlight and forgot. By the time I remembered again some hours had passed and most of my leaves had gotten sunburned. I did try salvaging them with lots of TLC but only 1 out of 4 plants survived. DON’t put your house plants out in direct sun!

Watering – It is advised to change water every 2-3 days. (I did this in the initial weeks but now the plant has settled so have reduced the change to once in a week or two based on water quality.)
Update 10/07/’15: After losing my first plant to a virus and taking care of 3 new cuttings for a year now, I’d add that after the plant has settled with a good number of roots and if the water quality is good and doesn’t get messy, the change of water could be done once a month. If the water is clean, you need to change just half the water. If it looks dirty and has a lot of debris, rinse the bottle and change the water completely.

Gel – I have to try gel out for my bottled money plant. Theoretically the gel should absorb the water and the plant can take from it as and when required.  I’ll have to top up water every week or so but it solves any mosquito problems. That said  I’m not sure if this would work for a water grown plant.
Update 10/07/’15: I bought some gel last year and tried it out for a year in two bottles while the third stayed as a control with water. I didn’t see any marked difference between the plants growing with gel and those without. It also meant I couldn’t change the water in the gel bottles through the year and had to just keep toping it. That’s an upside though as it made it really low maintenance. But as such the gel didn’t make a difference to my plants wellbeing.

Trimming – New leaves grow out from the tips of the creeper. Trimming side shoots will give a  single long stem or cutting off the tip will encourage side growth to give a more fuller plant. Also as the plant is growing I keep pushing it back into the bottle a little off and on. That way the nodes that touch the water will give out roots and over time I will be able to snip off the bottom roots as they start to rot without affecting the plant much.

Fertiliser – It can survive on naturally found salts in water and does not require addition of nutrients to the water. But any nitrate base fertiliser can be used. A weak solution of liquid fertiliser to be added into the water keeping in mind to add it late evening because in strong sunlight the fertiliser can cause root burn. (Don’t add fertiliser to newly cut or trimmed plants as fertiliser can damage the plant. Roots and leaves have different types of fertilisers.)

Pesticide – The money plant does not attract a lot of pests however it sees its fair share of ants and mosquitoes. A water based household insect spray like Sheltox would get rid of the ants and mosquitoes. ( I tend to use narrow necked and clear bottles so I can keep an eye on water quality. )

Do you have a money plant at home? Do you have any advise for me? What can I do to make my plant flourish and hence get rich? 😛

Related Articles
How to Grow Money Plant at Home – Ace Gardener

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