How Do You Care for a Malabar Chestnut Tree?


Malabar chestnut trees prefer well-drained soil and filtered sunlight. Water regularly, and place the plant in a south- or western-facing window. Do not allow the plant to be exposed to temperatures less than 50 F or higher than 90 F. The plant does well both indoors and outdoors and should be fertilized monthly with a 10-10-10 fertilizer until it goes dormant.

Hardy in U.S. Department of Agriculture growing zones 10 and 11, indoor container planting should be used in other zones. Prepare the container with a soil-less potting medium or one that contains large amounts of perlite. If grown outdoors, amend water-retaining soil with peat moss and coarse sand.

The Malabar chestnut is native to Central and South America. It is a shrub-like tree that can reach heights of over 60 feet in the wild, though as a houseplant it generally reaches a maximum height of 7 feet.

It is also called a "money tree" because of its use in Feng Shui decorating. It has five leaves on each branch, symbolizing the Feng Shui elements of metal, wood, water, fire and earth. The tree is often grown in clumps of five braided trees. It is believed to bring good luck into a household, according to Wisconsin Tropical Gardens.