Winter demands a different care routine for your houseplants, and the money tree is no different. During winter, the plants enter a dormant period, and their growth rate reduces due to the low light conditions.
A lot can go astray if you don’t make any changes to the care routine of your houseplants during winter. But how to care for a money tree in winter? Let’s find out!
As a general rule, you must reduce the watering of your money tree during winter as their growth slows down and water takes longer to evaporate. Move it to a brightly lit spot and maintain a humidity level of 50% or above. Also, keep the money tree away from cold drafts to prevent any damage.
If you don’t alter the care routine of your money tree in winter, you can end up overwatering or overfertilizing it.
The plant can develop problems due to the low temperature and low humidity levels during winter so you need to take that into consideration as well.
Now let’s discuss all the points in detail, so you know what changes you need to make during winter in the care routine of your money tree.
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Money tree care during winter
Money trees belong to the tropical regions where they enjoy high temperatures and humidity levels. Since these go dormant during winter, the plant requires some care from your end.
The money tree doesn’t require much water in the winter. They also don’t require any fertilizer at all.
We have suggested some essential factors that you need to consider while caring for your money tree in winter.
Let’s understand these factors in detail.
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During the growing season, the money tree prefers infrequent and deep watering. Depending on the soil’s condition, you can water the money tree once or twice a week.
However, in winter, when the plant is in a dormant state, it will require less water as it doesn’t grow actively during this time.
During winter, the plants absorb less water, so if you don’t reduce the watering, it can create an overwatered condition for your plant.
In no way it means that you should avoid your plant entirely and overlook its water requirements. Instead, consider watering when the soil is dry and give the soil enough time to dry between the watering sessions, as the soil might take longer to get dry due to low light during winter.
Use a moisture meter to check the soil’s moisture and ensure that at least the top 1-2 inches are dry before you water your money tree.
If you water the money tree too often, it can lead to overwatering and root rot.
How can we avoid overwatering the money tree?
If you want to avoid overwatering your money tree during winter, you need to ensure:
- A sound drainage system with drainage holes on the pot
- A well-draining soil
- Using a moisture meter
Watering without checking the soil’s moistness can cause overwatering very quickly during winter as the soil takes longer to get dry. So, watering the plant when the soil is still wet will cause overwatering.
To avoid overwatering, you need a moisture meter. Put the moisture meter inside the soil and check it after some time to see the soil’s moisture level.
If the soil is wet, you should refrain from watering and give few days for the soil to dry out.
Having working drainage holes is equally important as the excess water runs out of the pot through these. Check the holes from time to time to make sure that they are not blocked.
Even if you follow a watering routine, you should check the soil to avoid overwatering or underwatering the money tree.
If your money tree is already overwatered, you will need to repot it, depending on the severity. In case the roots are brown and mushy, you need to prune the damages, get a new pot, fresh soil mix and repot the plant.
If you notice any yellow or brown leaves on your money tree, considered pruning them as well.
Fertilizers help the plants to grow by adding nutrition to the soil. If you want to see more growth in your plants, you need to fertilize them during the growing season.
Money trees required a well-balanced liquid fertilizer(I prefer this one from amazon), and since they are light feeders, you need to dilute the dose to make it half-strength to avoid overfertilization.
As the money tree enters the dormant period in winter, it slows down its growth along with the other processes. This happens because the money tree does not get the ideal lighting conditions during this time.
If you fertilize the money tree during winter, the plant will not be able to use that fertilizer which will have a build-up in the soil, leading to the burning of the roots.
If this continues for some time, it can even lead to root rot in your money tree. This is why it is suggested that you should not fertilize your plants in winter.
How to avoid overfertilization?
If you take note of the following points, you will be able to prevent overfertilization.
- Fertilize the money tree during the growing season, that is, spring and summer.
- Feed the money tree with a diluted dose that is half the strength of what is prescribed.
- Do not fertilize during the winter months.
- Use a well-balanced fertilizer with an NPK ratio of 10:10:10 or 20:20:20.
How to treat an overfertilized money tree?
If your money tree is already overfertilized, you need to get rid of the excess fertilizer. We have jotted down few points that can help you with this.
- First, take your money tree out of the pot. Do this gently to avoid causing any damage to the plant.
- Wash the soil from the roots.
- Prune the damaged leaves and roots.
- Wash the roots thoroughly to remove the excess fertilizer. Continue doing this at least three times.
- Once you have washed the extra fertilizer, it is time to repot the plant.
- If you plan to use the old pot, wash it well with bleach and allow it to dry before you repot the plant.
- You can also get a new pot for the repotting.
- Get a well-draining soil mix and fill the pot halfway with it.
- Place the money tree in the middle and add soil from all sides so that no gaps remain.
- Water the plant appropriately and avoid fertilizing for at least a month.
In its natural habitat, the money tree enjoys high temperatures. Even as houseplants, the money tree prefers warm temperatures ranging between 65-80°F
During the dormant period, the temperatures drop significantly, and that can cause various problems if your money tree is exposed to it.
Winter comes with low temperatures, frost, cold drafts, and all that is harmful to your money tree.
If your money tree is placed outdoors during winter, it can get severely stressed or shocked due to the temperature changes.
Therefore, you need to keep your money tree indoors in winter and not expose it to the low temperatures. Try to increase the temperature by placing your plant a few feet away from the fireplace or the furnace.
The money tree is a humidity-loving tropical plant that requires humidity levels of at least 50%.
The humidity levels become extremely low during winter, and there are different ways of adding humidity to your money tree.
Using a humidifier is the easiest and most convenient way of increasing the humidity inside your house.
Other than that, you can place your money tree on a pebble tray. You can create a pebble tray by placing some pebbles on a tray and filling it with water. As the water evaporates, it adds moisture around your money tree.
Another easy way of increasing the humidity for your money tree is to relocate it to the bathroom, kitchen, or basement. These rooms usually have higher humidity levels than other rooms of your house.
Grouping your money tree with other plants or keeping it near an aquarium are some of the different ways of adding humidity to your plant.
Placement of the money tree
We know that the intensity and duration of light reduce during winter, and this is the main reason why your plants become dormant during this time.
However, keeping the money tree in a low light area for a prolonged period can invite many problems to the plant.
You should find a spot for your money tree where it gets a good amount of light. You can consider replacing the money tree under the direct sun for some time in the winter.
If you think your plant is still not getting enough light, you can purchase artificial lights that are even available online. This can help your money tree by giving it sufficient light in the winter.
You need to consider one more point while placing your money tree to protect it from cold drafts and frost. If your money tree is placed near a window that gets any of these, you must move the plant away or close the window.
Avoid placing your money tree too close to the fireplace or any heating source, as that can burn the plant’s leaves.
Although money tree is not considered toxic, you should still place it away from children and pets to avoid stressing the plant.
To sum it up, the winter care of your money tree will include the following points.
- Re-evaluate the watering schedule and reduce the watering during winter. Water only when the soil gets dry.
- You do not need to fertilize the money tree in winter as the plant does not require any fertilizers during this time.
- Use a humidifier, a pebble tray, or relocate your money tree to the basement or the bathroom to increase the humidity for your plant.
- Protect your money tree from the cold drafts, frost, and low temperatures during winter.
- Do not keep your money free in a low light condition for way too long. Use artificial lights to provide sufficient light to the plant.
- Place your money tree a few feet away from a heating source to increase the temperature for it. However, don’t place it too close as the heat can be harmful to the plant.