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House Plants/Orchid Fertilizer on Money Tree?


I recently got two baby Orchids (Phalaenopsis)and a small Money Tree (sorry, I don't know the proper botanical name, it didn't have a tag). I was told to fertilize the orchids every 2 weeks, the day after watering them and to use 20-10-10 during growing season and 6-30-30 during dormant season, and the easy way to remember the season was 'growing' season was during daylight savings time and 'dormant' was standard time, but he didn't know anything about Money Trees. Do I need to feed/fertilize the money tree, if so when, and can I use the same fertilizer(s) I have for the orchids?

Hi Kensi,

Let me start by saying that fertilizer is vastly over rated and over promoted by manufacturers. Indoor plants use nutrients in very minute quantities and force feeding them more than they can use will damage them. Surprisingly, most indoor plants do just fine without any fertilizer.

Fertilize your Orchids at half strength every other week or one-quarter strength with every watering. Phalaenopsis do not have a dormant period, but they do have a period prior to blooming when they use less nitrogen and need more phosphorous.

Money Trees (Pachira aquatica) can be fertilized at half strength with the 20-10-10 fertilizer no more than once per month and only when it is healthy and growing vigorously and never after repotting, which you shouldn't do anyway.

Far more important than fertilizer are proper light and watering.

I have written articles on fertilizer and on Orchid and Money Tree care that I will email for free to you (or anyone else) who emails a request to me at I have also written an indoor plant care book in a PDF format that I can sell you if you contact me at my email address.

Please let me know if any of this is unclear or if you have any additional questions.

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Will Creed


I am the only expert in this category with professional hands-on experience and knowledge of all indoor plants. I can answer questions regarding light, water, fertilizer, repotting, pruning and humidity and temperature requirements. I can identify plant pests and provide information on safe, effective treatments. My answers are based on 35 years of professional experience and scientific research and are clear and easy to understand. I do NOT use search engines to find answers to your questions. If you read my previous posts here, you will get a good idea as to how thorough and professional my answers are.


I have over 35 years of professional indoor landscaping experience caring for plants in homes, offices, building lobbies, stores, restaurants, and other adverse environments. I have written extensively on the care of indoor plants, including a 260 page book. My specialties include Ficus trees, low light plants, repotting, pest control, and re-blooming holiday plants. Be sure to check my ratings and nominations to learn why I am the top-rated indoor plant expert. I am the only House Plant expert consistently ranked in the AllExperts Top 20.

BA, Amherst College

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