Pachira or Guava Chestnut: Taking Care of this Tropical Tree

The pachira or guava chestnut is a plant that you can grow both outdoors and indoors. Its leaves command attention too. Are you intrigued? Keep reading to discover lots of valuable information about this species.
Pachira or Guava Chestnut: Taking Care of this Tropical Tree

Last update: 28 March, 2022

Pachira is also known as guava chestnut and it’s native to Central America, specifically Mexico. Although it also grows throughout South America. According to Feng Shui, it’s considered to be the money tree and people use it to attract prosperity and abundance. It also has a decorative function in homes and businesses.

Do you want to know more about this beautiful species? Keep reading as we delve into its characteristics and the care it needs.

General characteristics of the pachira or guava chestnut

The pachira is a very special plant.
The pachira is a very special plant.

The pachira or guava chestnut belongs to the Bombacaceae family and is a species found in large, wooded areas. With its large stems and height, it’s used in interior decoration as a part of home decor for an attractive and natural touch.

Its beautiful, bright drop-shaped leaves attract attention to the space where it grows. So if you want to own one, make sure you place it strategically. 

Remember, this plant produces fruits that, like its leaves and flowers, are edible. So you’ll also have a food source.

What height does the pachira or guava chestnut reach?

When grown outdoors, the guava chestnut tree can reach up to 18 meters in height. However indoors, the maximum height it’ll reach is around five meters. Keep in mind that its height is influenced by your care in terms of pruning.

Can you braid its stem?

This question is common because there are photographs of the pachira often depicting a braided stem. Well, it turns out that you can do this gradually and without hurting the plant. It’s important to emphasize that braiding is something that should be done when it’s a young specimen. This is because, during its infancy, its stem isn’t robust and it’s still malleable.

If you want to braid its stem, you’ll give your plant a striking touch that it’ll keep well into its maturity.

The care you should give to the pachira or guava chestnut

We’ve already learned a little about the general characteristics of the pachira, now we have to learn what care it requires. This includes maintaining its leaves, flowers, and fruits.

The best substrate

For the pachira to grow properly, it needs soil that’s well prepared with organic matter and fertilizers. Alongside all the nutrients that’ll help it to grow and to stay healthy. Avoid using soil from just anywhere, as this can be contaminated with pests.

It’s best to buy this in nurseries or specialized gardening stores. These stores can advise you on all the specific nutrients that this particular species needs.

Growing temperatures for the pachira or guava chestnut

With regard to temperature, this plant isn’t demanding at all. It prefers moderate temperatures and enjoys temperatures between 59 to 73 degrees Fahrenheit. In very hot climates that exceed this, ensure it isn’t directly exposed to heat or sun and provide it with shade.


One of the most important things to remember is that the pachira doesn’t like direct sunlight, as this can burn its leaves and change their color. The best thing you can do is to provide it with an environment that has indirect sunlight, such as a covered garden or shaded balcony.

Fertilizer for your substrate

The root of this plant can be twisted.
The root of this plant can be braided.

Feed this plant every three or four weeks with a special fertilizer created for this species. In addition to the fertilizer, the plant should be planted in well-draining soil. By doing this, it won’t become waterlogged or rot from excessive watering.


Although the origin of the pachira is in humid and swampy areas, if it’s grown indoors it won’t need much water to be able to maintain itself. Simply water the plant moderately twice a week.

Possible problems and potential issues with the pachira

Any problems that arise with the pachira will be visible through its leaves. When they turn yellow, the plant may be suffering from low moisture in its soil or a lack of fertilizer. Brown and dry leaves may be due to insufficient irrigation. Moreover, if the leaves fall it may indicate that watering is excessive.

It’s good to be aware of the insects or pests that’ll want to attack it. If the leaves have red dots and become brittle, it may be a sign that mites are present, in which case you’ll need to use a miticide.

On the other hand, when the leaves have white spots (similar to flecks of cotton), the cause may be mealybugs. In this instance, a product containing acaricide can alleviate this problem.

What do you think of the pachira or guava chestnut?

Pachira is a beautiful plant, easy to care for, and it’s easy to grow at home. It’ll adorn both your exterior and interior spaces. Get ready to have one and take care of one in your home! It’ll be worth it!

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