Money plant: A penny whisperer… or is it?

Money Plant

Money plant—more commonly known as pothos—has always been generally associated with good fortune, especially amongst the Asians. Many believe that the mere presence of a money plant brings great physical health, mental wellness and most of all, financial gain.

Although how much truth is in it, is still remains to be seen.

The Story behind Money plant’s Catchy Name

There have been many myths behind its catchy name. Some say the origin came from an account of a poor farmer from Taiwan who stumbled upon an unusual plant during his usual field errand. On a whim, the farmer dug it out and carried it back with him.

The sapling quickly thrived into a mature tree and multiplied without much caring on the farmer’s part. Noticing its rapid growth the farmer started to sell it, and the surplus income gained from its sale brought financial stability in his home. In high spirits, he accredited the tree for the blessing it led to his home and named it “The Money Tree”.

The other version of the story goes on to say that the financial success came from the unique braided design the farmer created from the plant’s branches to catch the market. Few said the plant’s easy adaptability to a rough environment was the reason which inspired the farmer to work harder to attain financial success.

All in all, these stories have no written evidence of the event and have been passed down through verbal recounts. Thus, the numerous versions of the same lore floating around seem quite understandable.

That being said, the concept of the money plant is not limited to folklore. The accounts of the money plant have been depicted to ancestral Chinese and Hindu ancestry as well.

According to Fen Shui—a Chinese quasi-science that follows the principles of architecture or object placement based on energy focal points—if this plant is arranged in a certain place and face towards a particular direction, its presence would amplify the riches of the area and its people likewise. The similar concept is also present in the Hindu traditional system by the name of Vastu Shastra.

money plant

Apart from the classic spiritual energy concept, the money plant has other uses as well by way of an in-built air purifier and in-door decoration piece.

Money Plant And Its Uses

There are many types of plants that have been named as money plant, but the most common amongst them is Epipremnum aureum, also known as devils’ ivy. The name has been derived from the plant’s tenacious ability to thrive under rough conditions and limited resources.

According to a study conducted on the characteristic of potted plants as an Air purifier, Devil’s Ivy was found to aid in reducing indoor air pollution and although many plants possess the same quality, devil’s ivy’s adaptability to general environments makes it a favorable in-door air purifier.

The devil’s ivy is also known as Pothos in some areas and is largely used as indoor décor. It can be planted from a cutout stem or with the whole root. In a small pot, its size might not grow much but if left wild it can grow itself to cover the whole wall.


To sum up, money plant, despite its interesting history, is used for scientific benefits and decoration purposes only. With no real confirmation, the stories behind its name have been shaped into more of lore than a real account.

As for the Fen Shui and Vastu Shastra systems, they are backed by unseen energy forces that are a bit hard to wrap around the mind without scientific evidence.

All in all, money plant might not whisper a penny, but its ability to absorb air pollution should surely be enough to keep it as an indoor plant.

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