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Anna, Biologist, Gardening Expert
Category: Landscaping
Satisfied Customers: 11428
Experience:  I am a biologist with experience in water gardening, and growing trees, ornamental plants, and vegetables.
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I have a money tree...not sure what kind it is. We thought

Customer Question

I have a money tree...not sure what kind it is. We thought it was just awesome and healthy as it started at 18 inches and now is at about 7 feet tall. But it never really twisted and its very weak on the top? Should I just cut it back to a couple feet and start over. Not sure what to do
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Landscaping
Expert:  Anna replied 1 year ago.

I apologize that no one has responded to your question sooner. Different experts come online at various times. I just came online and saw your question. My name is ***** ***** I’m a biologist with a special interest in trees. I would like to help you today.

Monkey trees do not twist on their own. You have to braid them continually as they grow. The braiding should be started right away when they are small. To braid successfully, the stems need to be less than 1/2 inch in diameter. You can read braiding instructions here:

Since the top of the tree is weak, you will at least want to prune it back to the healthy part. If you wanted it braided, you'll need to cut it back as you described, and start over. As soon as the new growth begins, braiding should also begin.

If you have more questions, let me know in a REPLY. I wish you success with the tree.


My goal is to provide you with excellent service – if you feel you have gotten anything less, please reply back, I am happy to address follow-up questions. Please remember to rate my service only after you have all the information you need. Thank you!
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Thank you Anna. So there are only a few branches coming off the top at about 7 feet. So how exactly do I start over. The thickness of the 3 branches at about 1 foot are probably 3/4 inch thick and then at about 18 inches, they are about 1/2 inch thick. So do I literally just cut the tree down to the 18 inches? Will it really grow again? Here is a picture. Side ways...sorry. If I cut it down to 12 or 14 inches...will it really work? What height is the tree meant to get to? the tree

Expert:  Anna replied 1 year ago.
You're welcome. Thank you for the photo. In nature, money trees grow to 60 feet. As house plants, we usually keep them around seven feet through pruning and pot size. Your tree looks like it has grown lanky, possibly due to insufficient light. Money trees like indirect, but bright, light. Direct sunshine is not good for them, but insufficient light will cause the tree to 'stretch' toward a window or other light source.
When we cut any kind of tree way back, there is always a chance it won't grow back. When dealing with living things, there are no guarantees. However, when given good care, most trees will re sprout. You'll have to make a decision. You can leave the tree as it is if you're not extremely unhappy with it. If the growth at the top is flexible enough, you could even begin braiding it now. The other option is to cut it back. It can take weeks for sprouts to appear. When they do, you will have to guide them into the growth pattern you want. If they are growing to the side, you can tie them to a stake to make them upright. Then, as soon as they are long enough, begin braiding.
Whichever way you decide to go, the tree should have good indirect light. An East window would be good. It should be watered thoroughly, then allowed to dry out in the top several inches of soil before watering again. It's best to keep it in a slightly small pot. Fertilize when it is actively growing.
Let me know if you need anything else.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Thank you. I am not happy with how thin it became, so I am going to try and start over. At what level should I cute the 3 semi twisted branches..and then moving forward. as I braid the branches, How do I make it not get lengthy again?

Expert:  Anna replied 1 year ago.
There is no set level at which to cut the branches, since this is not something that is done routinely. I would leave as much as possible, while getting the effect you want. There are a few steps to take to prevent it getting too long and weak. One is to make sure it has enough - but not too much- light. Don't put it in too big of a pot. Prune back the top by small amounts regularly once it reaches the height you want.
Expert:  Anna replied 1 year ago.
Hello again,
Do you need any additional information? If so, let me know what you need.
If you're satisfied with the information you've received, please take a moment to rate my service. I don't receive credit for my time until you do. Thank you very much.
I wish you success with your tree.

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