How to grow the money plant (Plectranthus verticillatus)

EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE MONEY PLANT (P LECTRANTHUS VERTICILLATUS )

In these economically violent times that we are suffering, we must keep an open mind. Some crazy people have taken to writing a blog like us and others simply rely on luck.

This is a somewhat rare example of how a plant can be associated with these characteristics and be known as the money plant . Do you want to know why?

THE ORIGIN OF THE MONEY PLANT AND ITS CURIOUS NAME

Plectranthus verticillatus or, as it is commonly known, the money plant or the dollar plant is native to the African continent, specifically to the south-eastern part of Africa.

Today it is widespread as an indoor plant and for balconies and terraces all over the world.

One way to have it, very common in most houses, is as a hanging plant, agronomically because its leaves, although not excessively large, do touch the ground due to its creeping appearance and visually due to the impact of having it hung on the balcony. .

The genus Plectranthus is home to more than 300 species used in food, as ornamentals or as medicinal plants.

Ah! One thing, we are not giving the specific name of the plant, but the genus, because it is given to several plants of this grouping, such as Plectranthus verticillatus, Plectranthus australis and Plectranthus ciliatus.

Not all of them are the same, although they are similar.

When we talk about the money plant , the scientific reference is made to Plectranthus verticillatus.

WHY IS IT KNOWN AS A MONEY PLANT?

For the same reason that there are many hobbies that continue to be fulfilled over the years.

An ancient tradition said that if you managed to develop it through a cutting (it is not worth buying it!) And it grew without problems, you were “fit” to be lucky in your life and earn a lot of money. Although well, with that belief being said, I suppose that you will have some luck even if you buy it.

Also say that there is a variant in which you have to leave a coin half buried in the substrate, that’s why money calls money;).

CLIMATIC CONDITIONS OF THE MONEY PLANT

As we have mentioned before, being its origins from the African continent, it acclimates to an area with a warm or even tropical climate .

However, it is a plant that can demand a humid environment .

As for the temperature, we should not leave it on the balcony when the temperatures drop below 5-10 ºC, so when this happens, all we have to do is put it inside and solve the problem.

As for lighting, it requires it in quantity but without direct sunlight. That is to say, it prefers a place with semi-shade or with light but without direct sunlight.

WHAT DOES THE SUBSTRATE HAVE TO BE LIKE TO GROW THE MONEY PLANT?

Starting from the fact that we are trying to grow the money plant in a pot to have it on our balcony, we are going to comment on the characteristics that the substrate should have for the plant.

As for this, you can choose any of the types of substrates that we noted in our last article, but based on the fact that it must have good drainage and enough organic matter.

WATER REQUIREMENTS OF PLECTRANTHUS VERTICILLATUS

As we always say, it should be watered when the substrate asks for it , and it is easily seen when the soil begins to dry out or when we insert a pencil and there is no soil stuck to it.

However, many of you will not admit a fact as subjective as this so we will talk about dates.

HOW MANY TIMES DO YOU HAVE TO WATER THE MONEY PLANT?

More or less it usually has a watering every 2 or 3 days in summer , and around once a week in winter. For us, these values ​​are even more subjective than the first, since imagine that in winter it is a very cloudy week with high humidity, it will not be necessary to water it that often.

MONEY PLANT FERTILIZER

The substrate that we add at the beginning must keep the plant in perfect condition for at least the first 2 months.

Then, little by little, we will add organic matter in any of the known ways. Both liquid fertilizers, such as compost, manure, etc. Through irrigation, it will percolate and become part of the plant’s nutrients.

Do it and the money plant will appreciate it.

If you have liquid or solid NPK fertilizer at home , in the season of greatest leaf production, apply 2 to 3 grams per pot.

In case of being solid, it will be shelled little by little through the humidity of the substrate and the irrigations.

Plectranthus verticillatus. Foto de aka CJ

CRITICAL MOMENT! THE MULTIPLICATION

Critical? Sure! 😉 We mentioned at the beginning that a basis to attract money home (I wish it were so easy) would be to get a new Plectranthus plant from a cutting , so this step is very important.

Let’s start from the base that many will like, multiplication is a simple operation. We select a cutting that contains a few leaves and a little more than 5 cm of stem.

We can put it directly in water to activate the exit of roots, but we can have problems regarding root rot .

If you want, you can leave it in the water for a day to activate the root output and then transfer it to a pot with substrate, or directly do this step without going through the water.

One last thing. The money plant, when in good conditions, grows quite fast . From time to time we will have to cut out the stems that stick out too much. With this we will activate the development of lateral branches, increasing the leafiness of the plant.

HOW TO PRUNE THE MONEY PLANT

The growth of the stems of the money plant is usually quite vertiginous.

Therefore, you have a long period, from spring to October to do the pruning. Start with the long stems (which hang excessively if you have it grown in pots).

The simplest pruning procedure consists of cutting the edges of the plants or the termination of the branches up to 10 cm. This is known as  rejuvenation pruning.

With these pieces cut, if you plant them again, they will generate new roots and you can have a new plant for each stem.

HOW TO PLANT PLECTRANTHUS VERTICILLATUS

The cuttings obtained will be perfectly worth to us to generate new money plants.

To do this, we need to generate new roots, and the easiest way is to place the stem in a container with water.

Try to remove the leaves from the part of the stem that you are going to put in the water. This way you will avoid rotting.

When you see that the money plant has already rooted, it is time to transplant.

Remember to use a good substrate and leave it quite moistened for the first few days (and without adding fertilizers) so that it continues to produce new roots.

Detail of the leaves of Plectranthus verticillatus. Photo by uacescomm

PROBLEMS IN GROWING THE MONEY PLANT

BROWN AND LIMP LEAVES 

We can often see how the old leaves of our money plant have a chlorotic appearance, with brown tones and a lacey appearance.

It is a clear sign that we have gone too far with the water supply . We have a flooded pot with a low oxygen content in the substrate.

To solve it, we will have to leave without watering for several days until the substrate dries. Eliminate any remaining water in the dish, if there is any, and expose the money plant to sunny or semi-shaded conditions, but without much intensity.

HARD, DRY TIPS ON MONEY PLANT LEAVES

Quite the opposite of the previous case, when we have the tips of the dry leaves, which even these parts come off to the touch, apparently there is a lack of water.

We can easily check it by examining the substrate (not the surface part but the interior).

The solution, of course, will be to add a good amount of water, letting it drain and removing any excess residue from the plate.

MY MONEY PLANT HAS NO FLOWERS …

Many times we see flowering problems in our money plant. You may have located your money plant in a shady area.

For this, the lighting is important, so you will have to relocate it to an area with direct sun exposure. The flowers are not spectacular but they add a touch!

Money plant flowers. Photo by Forest and Kim Starr

VERY SMALL, YELLOW LEAVES

When the new leaves are small and have a chlorotic appearance, without the usual greenness of the plant, it can be a lack of nitrogen . You can apply a nitrogen corrector (you will find in many stores, alone or together with other nutrients).

You can also change the substrate to incorporate organic matter, if you also have problems with drainage or it is a very old substrate.

Welcome to The GardenPure! My name is Ryan Heagle, and I’m the founder of The GardenPure, I spent the first part of my adult life teaching and then living in Australia in various business ventures, the first of which was a business devoted to the sale of house plants.  I am now a full time blogger. I am a self taught gardener.

Ryan Heagle

Welcome to The GardenPure! My name is Ryan Heagle, and I’m the founder of The GardenPure, I spent the first part of my adult life teaching and then living in Australia in various business ventures, the first of which was a business devoted to the sale of house plants.  I am now a full time blogger. I am a self taught gardener.

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