I'm trying to save an indoor potted Pachira (probably P. glabra, "Money Tree") that has become "leggy" from years decades of mistreatment. I'd like to take a cutting and start a new tree.

A few sites suggest rooting hormone (e.g., this one) but others (e.g., this one) seem to suggest that it's not absolutely necessary. I'd like to avoid the rooting hormone (most practically because I haven't got any handy...) but I'll do so if necessary. I've only got a couple candidate stalks to work with.

I had hoped it would root/propagate easily in the fashion of Schefflera, since it seems to have superficial resemblance, but seems to have no relation.

I have propagated many plants before in this way (so I have some experience), but never Pachira, so I'm most interested in suggestions particular to this plant. Must I use rooting hormone, or will it sprout on its own -- or perhaps in a jar with a rooting Schefflera? What other techniques might I use to ensure success? E.g., let it dry, where to cut relative to a node, etc.

1 Answer 1


If it has milky sap, a rooting hormone is a more reliable way to propagate from cuttings. I don't know the species, sorry, but if the host plant you are taking cuttings from is doing poorly, it might be better to take cuttings from a healthier host. Cuttings are like cloning, the new plant will have the same characteristics as the host plant (both desirable and undesired).

  • I understand what propagation is (concept, consequences, etc.) and have some experience, so I'm hoping for suggestions more specific to this species. The milky sap statement (e.g., Ficus?) is something I didn't know, and might be helpful here. I can't immediately find a link to anything like that. Can you say more about why milky sap is a determining factor for propagation technique?
    – hoc_age
    Commented Apr 19, 2016 at 11:18
  • Plants with milky sap tend to be harder to propagated from cuttings, I think the actual sap may have something to do with a reduced striking rate for new roots. I did a horticultural certificate a few years ago and when we were learning how to make cuttings, we used a rooting hormone (in powder form) on any plants with a milky sap. To my knowledge this is standard practice in nurseries.
    – Viv
    Commented Apr 21, 2016 at 0:48

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