Fertilizers help in the growth of plants. If you notice slow growth in your money tree, the reason might be a lack of nutrition and fertilizers at that nutrition to the plants.
Lack of nutrition will not only affect the growth of your money tree but also make it weak. Let’s find out what kind of fertilizers do money trees need and how often?
As a general rule, you should fertilize your money tree once a month during the growing season. You can use any balanced fertilizer after diluting it to half the recommended strength. However, don’t fertilize the money tree during the winter as the plant remains dormant at that time.
Even though the money tree can survive and grow without fertilizers, adding some fertilizer will benefit both its growth and health.
In this article, we will find the answers to all the questions regarding fertilizing a money tree so that you can choose the right fertilizer and use it in the right way to see growth in the plant.
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Why fertilizing your money tree is important?
Money tree requires fertilizers for their growth. Fertilizers contain vital nutrients that encourage growth in plants. Without fertilizers, you will notice that the plant has lost its vigor, the leaves are dull, and the stems are weak.
In their natural habitat, the money tree gets all the required nutrition from the soil. The environment adds all the essential elements that the plants need to the soil. As a houseplant, the money tree is restricted to the soil that the pot can hold and such soil loses its nutrition within a year or two.
Once the soil runs out of all the essential nutrients, it only helps the plant to survive but doesn’t support its growth.
All the above reasons make it very important for you to fertilize your money. If your money tree is not getting enough nutrition, the following problems may arise.
- Stunted growth
- Weak stems
- Droopy leaves
- Leggy growth
- Yellow leaves
If you notice these problems in your money tree, you should understand that it is not getting enough nutrition and fertilize the plant as soon as possible.
What is the best fertilizer for a money tree?
There are various fertilizers available in the market for you to choose from. It can be daunting to understand what would be the best fertilizer for your money tree. So first, you need to understand the nutritional requirements of the plant.
Before getting the right fertilizer for your money tree, you need to understand what NPK ratio will be best for it. NPK denotes nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. These elements are essential for the plants, but the requirement will vary from plant to plant.
For a money tree, you can opt for a well-balanced fertilizer that has an NPK ratio of 10:10:10 or 20:20:20.
Let’s understand how these elements can help your money tree.
Nitrogen: Nitrogen is essential for the photosynthesis of plants. It also encourages the growth of stems and leaves.
Phosphorus: Encourages healthy root growth and helps in the cellular growth of the plants.
Potassium: Potassium helps to build up the immunity system in plants. It also helps to regulate water throughout the plant.
The fertilizers contain other nutrients that assist the NPK and help to build protein and compounds.
When you choose a fertilizer with an NPK ratio of 10:10:10, it means that the fertilizer contains 10% nitrogen, 10% phosphorus, and 10% potassium, and the rest 70% is made up of other nutrients.
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Types of fertilizers
There are two types of fertilizers available – organic and synthetic. Before you decide which one you want to opt for that’s understand the difference between the two.
Organic fertilizers are made up of organic components that are not harmful to plants or the earth. However, organic fertilizers cannot start working immediately after application. Organic fertilizers need time to break down and will take time to show results.
Synthetic fertilizers are made of both organic and chemical components. Fertilizers are chemically processed, but the plants can absorb this much faster.
Once you have decided whether you want organic or synthetic fertilizer, you need to you decide which texture of fertilizer you want. Based on this, the fertilizers can be either liquid or granular.
Liquid fertilizers are easy to dilute. These come in a powder form or solution form. You can put it into the soil or spray it on the plant. It will give a boost of nutrition to your plant.
Granular fertilizers come in pellets that you need to place in the soil. The nutrients get released slowly over time. These are ideal for fertilizing large areas.
There is another type of fertilizer which is called the slow-release fertilizer. It comes in the pellet form just like the granular fertilizer, but this release is the nutrients much slower than the granular fertilizers. Therefore, it will save the plant from getting shocked.
The most suitable fertilizer for your money tree is liquid fertilizer.
The two best fertilizers option for your money trees are:
- Organic liquid fertilizer: Espoma Company Organic Indoor Plant Food
- Synthetic fertilizer: Jacks Classic 20-20-20 All Purpose Fertilizer.
Both of them are best in their category and work exceptionally well for a money tree and other houseplants.
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Compost as fertilizers for money tree
Compost is made up of natural and organic components rich in nutrition and can work as fertilizer for your money tree.
Make sure that you add a small amount of compost to the soil and water the soil so that the nutrients can get evenly distributed.
Using compost as fertilizer can have the following benefits:
- Improved soil structure
- Increased soil fertility
- Retains moisture
However, using compost also have some downsides, such as:
- Some compost might give foul odor
- Nutrients are not balanced
- It might retain too much moisture
Therefore, you should only add a small amount of compost not to cause any harm to the money tree. If you are using compost, also add elements like sand or polite to make the soil well-draining.
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Are coffee grounds good for money trees?
Many people prefer using coffee grounds as an organic fertilizer, but applying them directly to the money tree will form a mulch and retain more moisture than required.
It would be best to use coffee grounds in moderation on money trees. If used in the right way, coffee grounds can have these benefits:
- Promotes stem growth
- Prevents dropping of leaves
- Adds nitrogen to the plant
Some ways of using coffee grounds on your money tree are composting with the coffee grounds, making compost tea out of them, and watering the plants with diluted leftover coffee.
Using coffee grounds directly can have adverse effects as it will make the soil extremely acidic and burn the plant’s leaves.
How much fertilizer does a money tree need?
You should not fertilize your money tree with the full strength but rather dilute the fertilizer.
Using full-strength fertilizers might be too intense for the money tree and burn the roots, preventing the roots from functioning correctly.
After getting a fertilizer, read the instructions on the label and use half of the dose that is instructed. For example, if it suggests using 1 tsp of fertilizer, you should use 1/2 tsp instead.
If you are using compost on your money tree, you only need to add a handful to the top layer of the soil.
How often should I fertilize my money tree?
It will help if you fertilize your money tree once a month during the growing period. However, refrain from adding too much fertilizer as that can damage the plant’s roots and leaves.
Fertilizing every month during the summer and spring seasons is ideal for the money tree. During this time, the money tree grows and uses a lot of energy; adding some fertilizer will bring outstanding results, and you will see fast growth in your money tree.
During the dormant period, the winter season, the money tree likes to rest and doesn’t grow actively. Therefore, it does not require any fertilizers in winter. If you add fertilizer during this period, it will have adverse effects on the plant.
How do you fertilize a money tree?
The right way of fertilizing your money tree will depend on the kind of fertilizer you are giving. Let’s look at some of the methods mentioned below.
- First of all, choose the fertilizer you want to give to your money tree.
- If you want to use compost, take a handful of it and apply it to the top layer of the soil every two weeks.
- If you are using a liquid fertilizer, dilute it to half strength and water your money tree with it.
- For coffee grounds, prepare compost tea or compost mix and give it to your money tree. You should not add this too often to your plant.
What happens if you over-fertilize your money tree?
Over-fertilizing occurs when you add a strong dose of fertilizer to the money tree or fertilizer it frequently. Over-fertilizing does not help in the growth of the plant but causes several issues that harm the plant.
If you have an over-fertilized money tree, you may notice some of these:
- Yellow or brown tips on the leaves
- Stunted growth
- Salt buildup on the soil
- Crisp brown spots on leaves
- Slow growth
If you notice any of these, you should consider taking the dosage of the fertilizer on the number of times you give it to your money tree.
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How to fix an over-fertilized money tree?
If you see any signs of over-fertilization in your money tree, you need to act immediately to get rid of the fertilizer burn.
Let’s take a look at the ways with which you can fix your over-fertilized money tree.
- First of all, you need to get rid of the damaged parts as they cannot be saved. Prune the damaged leaves for roots with a pair of sterilized pruners or scissors.
- In case of minor damage, you can flush the excess salt build-up by placing the plant under running water. Let excess water drain out of the drainage holes.
- Another way of getting rid of salt build-up is to scrape the top layer of the soil and replace it with fresh soil mix.
- If the damages are severe, you will need to repot your money tree using a fresh soil mix.
- Avoid fertilizing for at least a month and let the plant recover.
Money trees do not require high doses of fertilizers, so you can use a fertilizer with an NPK ratio of 10:10:10 or 20:20:20 and dilute the dose to half strength.
You can fertilize your money tree once a month during the growing season and stop fertilizing in the dormant period.
Fertilizing is essential for the growth of the money tree. Using fertilizers correctly on your money tree can enhance its growth.
You can use coffee grounds as a liquid fertilizer or use compost to fertilize your money tree. You only need to make sure that you are not overfeeding the plant.
Reference: NYBG, WIKIPEDIA, CABI, Missouri Botanical Garden, Effect of light intensity on plant growth.
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