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Money Tree

Are you a fickle decorator like I am? Things I loved four seconds ago are boring now. Things that grossed me out last week are now must-haves. It’s exhausting.

So when I find things that I love, and I love them for a LONG time, I feel like that’s a pretty good sign that I should invest in them. Exhibit A:

I’ve also been kinda crazy about fiddle leaf fig trees for years. But I could never get my grubby little hands on one. The nursery near my house has them for $99, but that seems like a high price to pay for something I plan on promptly killing.

But they have the most amazing ginormous leaves the size of your head, so they’re graphic and glorious.

Emily Henderson

18. fiddle leaf fig tree tim clarke bathroom
Tim Clarke

fiddle leaf fig tree from Domino liz lange
Liz Lange via Domino

And if you let them grow (and have the skills to keep them alive), they will grow giant and try to eat your whole house in the most beautiful way.
fiddle leaf fig tree  House Beautiful
House Beautiful

Look at this one, trying to escape and terrorize a whole city! So glorious.
Huge fiddle leaf fig tree
Elle Decor

But this is not a post about me getting a Fiddle Leaf Fig tree. This is a post about me not getting one, and settling for something else that I’m hoping will turn out just as cool. Meet my brand new friend the money tree:
Money Tree/Malabar Chestnut house plant

Isn’t the braided trunk super cool? That’s what it’s really called, by the way: a money tree, or malabar chestnut. It jumped in my cart on a recent trip to ikea. For now, it fills out that little corner of my living room nicely:
Money tree/malabar chestnut from ikea in a living room at View Along the Way

Money tree/malabar chestnut house plant from ikea

But I have high hopes. I have grand dreams of my money tree growing tall and strong, then exploding into a giant creature that takes over my whole house, tries to grow up through the ceiling and actually consumes any small animal that wanders too close.

Here’s a shy one peeking out from the side of this cool living room. See? They get big. Mine will not be this shy though. It will be a BOSS who demands your attention and respect.
Money tree in living room via lonny

via Lonny

I think they have their own graphic coolness like the pricey and elusive fiddle leaf fig, but for a cheaper price. (This one was $25 at ikea.) Bonus: once it matures and starts growing dollar bills, I’ll be able to afford all the fiddle leaf figs I’ve ever dreamed of.


That’s going to happen, isn’t it?

This is going to be the best $25 investment EVER.

Are you a fickle decorator? How do you feel about tall trees taking over whole rooms of your house? Am I supposed to water this thing or something?

P.S.: I’m guest posting today at Saved By Love and Practically Functional.

Let's connect


  1. i decided to be frivolous once…. and purchased an orchid, despite my propensity for killing plants. it died and i was out $20, but i enjoyed it for a couple weeks. that definitely counts for something!
    good luck with the money tree!

    • I always want to do the SAME EXACT THING whenever I see orchids despite my shared propensity for plant murder.

      Your plant eating the house dreams remind me a little bit of ‘Little Shop of Horrors.’ (That didn’t end well. I hope it ends better for you. Because if a plant ate you I think Andy and a few others would miss you.)

      You and Andy are adorable. 🙂

    • I seriously almost bought an orchid at IKEA on Saturday. They are so pretty, and delicate. I know it wouldn’t last a day in my house *sigh*

  2. I just came from another blog commenting on how I want a fiddle leaf fig like hers. LOL and then I see your post about the darn tree too. I have cathedral ceilings in our bedroom and want him to grow and take over!!! But I love your money tree too and might have to keep my eyes open for one on my next Ikea trip 😉 But first I have to do some research to see if they are poisonous to cats, because otherwise that money will go right down the vet drain 🙁

  3. I know nothing about plants/ trees., but that little Ikea cutie fills the corner space nicely. And $25 for it is awesome. Next I want to know how you keep that couch so white with little kids. If its a slipcover its fits that couch like a glove….It looked so bright next to that tree!

  4. Love the bit of green a plant brings to a room. And braided trunks…oh, yes, please. I bought a ficus last year with the most gorgeous braided trunk. Of course it’s dead now but it sure looked pretty wile it lasted. Hope you fare better with your money tree!

  5. So ya….I had NO idea that the fiddle leaf fig could grow and take over a room. Clearly I am doing something wrong with mine – it’s been the same size for a year…BUT…it’s still alive and that’s a huge feat for me. I don’t think you are settling with a money tree. They are awesome little trees. A fiddle leaf needs sticks to hold it up (at least mine does) so the money tree is way ahead on that factor since it has a cool braided trunk.

  6. A money tree you say, Genius! If spring doesn’t come soon I may buy them all up at IKEA so we can have some green around here.

  7. You are funny my friend!
    I recently killed a big floor plant, it was very sad because the day I brought it home I was like “YOU COMPLETE ME”, but alas….it wasn’t meant to be.
    I love your new greenery – it adds so much to your space and there is something cheerful about a real live plant isn’t there?? Enjoy.

  8. I found a fiddle leaf fig at Ikea for around $14. (Seen here:
    Also, I’ve saw some at Home Depot last week for $20.
    Alas, my fiddle leaf fig had a short life. All the leaves fell off and it died. 🙁

  9. melissa pearce says:

    Love it! Did you ever find a new rug to replace the jute one?

  10. OOh, I’ve had a money tree for 6 years and they are so hard to kill. You can totally ignore it and then decide to water it one day and it will live. Ours is so small compared to yours and I’ve never potted it up. I think I will and see if I can get it to grow bigger. It would be such a nice statement piece.

  11. Andy… that “probably” comment on your photo should be rather troubling to you. Keep my email handy.


  12. Dude. That money tree is going to be a boss…if it takes after it’s momma!

    If I got one, the dog would eat it and the cat would pee in it! Hahaha…

  13. I love fiddle leaf figs so much I have a whole pinterest board dedicated to their awesomeness. I found one last year at Home Depot for about $20. It’s been living happily in my sunroom ever since. I need to repot it and see if it will take over my house like some of those! GORGEOUS. Loving your money tree! If only it were fo real.

  14. Nice!! Does the fiddle leaf bear fruit? Because a living room filled with enormous, fresh figs would be the stuff of legends…yum!!! And a living room full of money AND fruit? You might be a genius, Kelly. I am fickle, too, but in one of those it-takes-me-months-to-choose-one-throw-pillow kind of ways. Once I finally decide, I love it forever, but it takes me a looooong time to make up my mind!!

    • Ooh! This makes me want a giant pineapple tree in my living room. I actually have no idea if pineapples grow from trees.

  15. When I was 20 something, I bought 2-3 spider plants knowing full well that those unsuspecting little plants had just been given a death sentence. Anyway, I took those spindly sprouts home and planted them and then the plantlets. Six months later I was raising a jungle suspended in front of my patio windows. I thought that I had broken the family curse and moved onto a ficus tree in the dining room. It was my first apartment and sparsely furnished. So, when I had company, I would turn down the lighting and turn on a small floor lamp nestled behind the ficus and the tree seemed to grow up the wall and across the ceiling. To me it was magical – until it died. I forgave myself and moved onto silk plants which elevated my personal gardener status to genius. Lesson: I who bloomed where I was planted.

  16. i’m totally a fickle decorator too! and i love that pic of you and the hubs!

  17. “Things I loved four seconds ago are boring now.” Ha ha ha ha ha
    Not that I know anything about that….

  18. I had a money tree for a bit, but I killed it when I realized it was never going to give me dollar bills.

    (Or maybe I just killed it for fun. Murderer.)

  19. I’m fickle too but $99?! That’s a steal! My Home Depot wants $229 for one that they were selling for $179 a month ago …Insert eye roll here… I’d love to get one but I, too, fear that I’ll kill it haha I hope your money tree makes it! Let me know when those dollar bills start to sprout 😉

  20. I love the fiddle leaf fig — they’re just glorious. Someday I WILL spring for one, but for now, maybe I need a money tree, too… and a trip to Ikea. 🙂
    xo Heidi

  21. It looks great in your space Kelly! Now if you could shake that tree and get some money, that would be spectacular! Just think of all the projects! Just talking pure silliness! xo Kristin

  22. The braided trunk is GLORIOUS! I’m so jealous. All my plants have to be small and out of reach because my cats are destructive little jerks… one day, in like 15-20 years,when there’s no more cats, I’m going to turn my house into a jungle to make up for lost time.

  23. Every plant I bring in the house dies. I blame the cat. I can do that right?

  24. I adore Emily Henderson and therefore have also been coveting the Fiddle Leaf tree for a while, but my hubby keeps reminding me that I can not keep anything (plant-related) alive, so “no”. But I had a few things jump into my HomeGoods cart today:) Adore your Ikea purchase too!


  25. I Love your writing style, I literally laughed at this post for 5 minutes, in the absolute best way! I hope your tree grow very big and tall(:

  26. a money tree?? truly?? That’s awesome!! It looks perfect in your gloriously beautiful living room!

  27. The world of plants is so mysterious to me. I had no idea these giant leaved things existed! And braided trunks?! And Ikea sells live plants?! You’re blowing my mind. And your tree is so pretty 🙂

  28. Ooh good pick! That braided trunk is awesome! Can’t wait to see how it takes over your whole house and starts distributing cash! 😉 Btw, that wedding picture is the cutest thing ever. You both look so incredibly happy. LOVE!

    ~Abby =)

  29. Found you via Practically Functional, I too dream to have a love affair with a fiddle leaf tree some day, but won’t spend the bucks for it. However, I also LOVE your more economical option, that braided trunk is gorgeous….fingers crossed it grows green money leaves for you. ps . new follower! 🙂

  30. So now I need a tree. I have little potted plants in one stage of death or another scattered around the house, but these pictures make me realize how gorgeous a bigger plant can be and what a ‘piece’ it can be in a space! Love it.

    • haha! Mine are always in some stage of death. The new ones which are fresh and new are really just in an early stage of imminent death.

  31. Money tree ha! 🙂 I want one of those now! ha!ha! Kelly, I’m like you; I change my mind every day, you should see my rugs they keep moving in every room! 😉 btw, I’m sure your money tree will grow beautiful!

  32. Love the post. Bummed that I missed the twitter meet up. Saw the post too late. Hope it went well.

  33. Susan @ says:

    I too am a fickle decorator, but more like one of your other posters who takes months to make up her mind……I stand and covet say a cushion, won’t spent the $20 or so, then kick myself months later when I brave up and it’s gone, never to be seen in the shops again. I say if you got out of IKEA with only spending $25 you are brilliant – think of what you saved! And your tree looks gorgeous. My house is so tiny and has very small windows so there is not enough light inside for plants. All of my pot plants are outside under the verandah. That doesn’t mean they don’t die just as easily……

  34. It might be the musical theatre fanatic in me, but I couldn’t help but think of the carnivorous plant in Little Shop of Horrors, as you described your plant taking over rooms and devouring small animals in its path. “Feed me, Seymour!” Maybe you know the reference?

    Either way, I think man-eating plants are pretty cool, especially when they can sing, so if the money tree grows up to become such a plant, then I’m all for it! (And you can’t beat IKEA’s plant prices. We bought a palm from IKEA, but sadly, it didn’t survive the winter. It might have been the fact that it was a palm and we were living in freezing cold Ohio at the time…but that’s just a guess.)

    Excited for you and your new plant!

    Oh, and before I forget, you know how the other day you wrote a comment on my blog about how you SO need a Silhouette? Well, I’m sure you’ve seen it, but there are a bunch of Silhouette giveaways going on right now that you need to enter, including the one at the blog belonging to yours truly. (Blink, blink.) Stop by if you have a minute before Saturday midnight. I think that getting a Silhouette into your hands would be oh so good for blogland and beyond.

  35. Your new money tree will grow tall and strong and dominate. It’s gonna be bossing all the other plants around. I can see it now. 🙂

  36. I also really want a fiddle leaf fig tree. $99 is really steep though… maybe I’ll copy you and make a trip to Ikea! 😉

  37. I love it! Like you, I fell in love with the look of a fiddle leaf fig, so I bought one from a local nursery for $20… then it had some type of scale bug, and a few months later found a family of roaches living in the roots. Eeeek! Still gives me the creeps, it has since been outside and we have since invested in pest control, so maybe I will bring it back inside at some point. I love the look of that braided branch… so cute!

  38. Bahaha. I kill plants too 😉 Maybe a money tree is the best option!

  39. I am the most fickle decorator ! What’s good today, needs to be moved, painted or changed tomorrow! It is totally exhausting. But fun. 😉
    Love your little money tree…I have two largish plants in my home, have no clue what they are now. They are pretty and I love them but they are NEEDY. I don’t do well with needy plants. 😉 They suffer.
    Hopefully yours does better than mine! 😉

  40. Oh that poor Money Tree! I think I heard it screaming for its mommy as you put it in your cart ….

    🙂 Linda

  41. Love you style/voice. Did you get married at Vecoma? (I did – beautiful venue). Thanks for sharing your journey.

  42. I can see why you would not invest in a fig leaf tree..$99 is steep!!! I don’t have much of a green thumb and can’t even keep my orchids alive:). I love your choice and hope that it does grow big and tall!!!! Crossing my fingers for you!

  43. So so want a fiddle leaf! I’ve been dreaming of one for my living room ever since I moved into my house nearly two years ago. But alas, I am scared – no – certain – that I would kill it. Or that my cat would decide that it makes for a great litter box. I am going to still dream about it and maybe just maybe in a fit of questionable consumption I might just go for it – maybe :-/

  44. I bought a fiddle leaf fig at IKEA for 12.99! It’s only about 24″ high yet has those glorious leaves. If I kill it then it wouldn’t have been a big one and it wouldn’t have been expensive. GO for it!

  45. Haha this is exactly like last week when I just HAD to have a big barrel of beautiful flowers on our patio. Now, it’s becoming a pain to water them. But, they sure are pretty!

  46. Home Depot will order you a fiddle leaf fig for less moola… They had some in the $19 range.. I got a GINORMOUS one (maybe 7 feet?) for $69 there

    • They WILL?!! Why didn’t they tell me this when I was wandering listlessly through their garden department, looking so lost and forlorn? They should’ve perceived it, right? 🙂

  47. I am in love with you stranger says:

    I agree with the former commenter you are adorabler : )
    must have a fiddle leaf fig tree that tries to take over the whole city gloriously !!!

  48. I am in love with you stranger says:

    yu are lovely, thanks


  1. […] look! They’re the same ones I have in my breakfast nook, and I’m a big fan. Look how my money tree is thriving not dead yet! EXTREME FIST […]

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