Caring for lucky chestnuts — interesting facts about the green plant Pachira

The green plant Pachira is also known as the lucky chestnut. This special feature is particularly popular because of the shiny leaves on a straight or plaited trunk. The species, which is related to the baobab tree, reaches up to 20 meters in its homeland. As a houseplant, the Pachira aquatica is often available with a braided stem. Depending on the culture, the trunk is 100 to 150 cm high and the densely growing treetop develops on it.

Useful information Site care Watering Fertilizing RepottingPests & diseases FAQ

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Worth knowing about the lucky chestnut

Botanical name: Pachira aquatica (sometimes also commercially available as Pachira macrocarpa)
Other names: lucky chestnut, wild cacao tree, braided lucky chestnut
Use: houseplant, interior greening, room climate plant
Origin: Mexico, Peru, Brazil
Flower colours: cream-colored with decorative yellow-red stamens. Rare in the house, but develops into edible fruits (nuts) in the home.
Specialties: Appealing due to hand-shaped leaves and natural shine. Picturesque growth. Often braided or twisted stems available. In Asia, the lucky chestnut is valued as a symbol of prosperity and luck.

In which location does the Pachira feel most comfortable?

According to its origin, the houseplant feels good in a bright place without full sun. A location that has 18 to 25 degrees Celsius all year round, offers sufficient light and has high humidity is ideal. However, the leafy plant should not be exposed to the blazing sun, as direct sunlight can quickly burn the leavescan come. From the end of May to September, the popular plant can also be in the semi-shade in the garden or on the balcony. At temperatures that are permanently below 12 degrees Celsius, the rarity has to go back into the house. When staying in the garden or on the balcony, it is important to gradually get used to the outdoor conditions, otherwise unsightly burns will result. Avoid too sunny a location outdoors and make sure that the pot is protected from rain.

How do I properly care for my Pachira aquatica?

Pachira are decorative and long lasting with proper care. In addition to the optimal site conditions, need-based watering and occasional fertilizing are necessary. Small plants can be sprayed with lukewarm water once or twice a year in the shower or outdoors. If the plants are too large and unwieldy for this, wiping the leaves with a damp cloth will help. This removes the dust and supports a good development of the money chestnut. Yellow leaves need not be a cause for concern as the plant sheds old onesLeaves and the trunk develops. Excessive specimens can be brought into shape by pruning. New shoots will grow within a few weeks. It is important that you do not cut anything away from the trunk. The pretty plant is also a nice gift for Easter, Christmas and many other occasions.

If you cannot or do not want to take care of the care, there is the possibility to grow artificial green plants. Take a look around in our range!

How do I water my lucky chestnut correctly?

Pachira need even soil moisture. Stagnant wetness or complete dryness of the ball will not be tolerated. The thickened trunk foot of the money chestnut can store some water. Therefore, excess moisture is more difficult than dryness. The frequency of watering essentially depends on the size of the plant and the room temperature. You can also dive small specimens weekly. To do this, place the houseplant in a bucket filled with water and leave the pot in it until no more air bubbles rise. The advantage of the immersion method is that the root ball is completely soaked. Larger plants are watered weekly.

Our gardening tip: make sure to shake off excess water 15 minutes after watering. Waterlogging is harmful to the roots

How do I fertilize my Pachira aquatica correctly?

Pachira need regular fertilizer for good development and growth. A special green plant fertilizer that contains important growth and vital substances and thus helps the plant to look healthy and fresh is best suited for fertilization. Fertilize weekly from March to October. Dose the liquid special fertilizer according to the instructions on the package and pour the lucky chestnut with the water enriched with houseplant fertilizer. Fertilizing once a month is sufficient in autumn and winter. Lack of fertilizer is noticeable by light-colored foliage.

Our care tip: Fertilizing with fertilizer sticks is easy to handle. With this convenient long-term fertilization, your Pachira is supplied with all the necessary nutrients, minerals and trace elements for 3 months. Here, too, it is important that the soil and roots never dry out completely. The green plants only grow and keep their shiny green foliage with sufficient fertilizer.

How do I repot my Pachira aquatica correctly?

In the first year, the green plant can remain in the culture vessel. Usually after 2 to 3 years the substrate is rooted and transplanting is necessary. As with many other indoor plants, repotting in spring is recommended. Green plant and palm soil or normal potting soil is suitable for this. With a repot in a larger pot and good potting soil, the effort for care is reduced.

Which pests and diseases can the lucky chestnut get?

The wild cacao tree is a robust green plant and can be described as easy to care for. In a light location without intense sun, the leaves are green and shiny. However, exposure to direct sunlight can cause burns and result in brown leaves. The following pest infestation is also possible:

spider mites

The affected leaves have silvery dots on the upper side and webs are visible on the underside of the leaves. It is usually sufficient to spray the plants with water and treat them with plant strengtheners. These bio-active agents contain natural plant extracts that contribute to the vitalization of the plant. The infestation occurs particularly in dry heating air in winter. Improve conditions, keep the substrate evenly moist and spray the foliage with lime-free water every 2 to 3 days. Avoid low humidity.

scale insects

There are brown, slightly curved knobs, especially in the leaf axils. The scale insects are safely hidden under these protective shields and are therefore difficult to combat. As soon as you discover the infestation, you should wipe off the scale insects or cut back the plant. The pests can be controlled biologically with oil-based agents. It is important that the application is carried out several times.


Especially in phases with less light, dry air and weakened specimens, the probability of an infestation by aphids is high. The pests pierce the leaf tissue with their mouthparts. At first, the infestation can be seen on young leaves. The fight is analogous to the spider mite infestation.

FAQ — Frequently asked questions about Pachira

How does propagation take place?

The popular houseplant can easily be propagated by cuttings. Spring and summer are ideal for obtaining head cuttings. The freshly cut shoots are either placed in a glass with water or placed in cultivation substrate. If the soil is evenly moist and warm, new leaves will form within a few weeks. The same applies here: a bright and warm location without direct sun is ideal. After root formation, planting in larger containers is beneficial.

Why does the lucky chestnut shed a lot of leaves?

Leaf fall on lucky chestnuts can have various causes. The most common causes of leaf fall are pest infestation, too much water, too low temperatures, too little light or drafts.

Are there Pachira seeds?

Seeds of the lucky chestnut are available as a rarity. These should be soaked in lukewarm water for several hours before sowing. Sowing requires patience and an optimal ambient temperature of 18 to 24 °C. Germination can take a few weeks. When the seedling is 5 cm high, it is transplanted into potting soil. A semi-shady location is also important here.

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