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How Do You Fix A Sunburned Money Tree? (+Aftercare Tips)

All indoor plants need enough light to thrive, and money tree is no different. However, if you keep your money tree under the intense sun or the plant gets too much sun, it is likely to get sunburned.

Harsh sunlight often leads to a sunburned money tree. But what if you already made a mistake? How can you fix a sunburned money tree?

To save your money tree from sunburn, move your plant to a spot where it gets bright but indirect sunlight. Water the plant if the soil is dry and mist the plant, or use a humidifier to increase humidity in the environment. Get rid of any sunburned leaf and let the plant recover.

Today we will discuss the effects of direct sun on your money tree and the ways with which you can save your money tree from sunburn.


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How do you know that your money tree is sunburnt?

The leaves of the plant can indicate if the money tree is sunburnt. When you leave a plant under the direct sun, the leaves are exposed to it, and they start changing color when they get too much sun.

Too much sun makes the leaves discolored, and they turn yellow or white. If the sunburn is intense, the leaves can become dry, crisp, and brown and fall off the plant.

Leaves can change color due to several problems, but in the case of sunburn, the plant’s upper leaves that are exposed to the sun will change color first, while the leaves under the shade of the upper leaves might not face this problem at all.

Leaves at the bottom get shade from the upper leaves, so they don’t go through much change.

What causes sunburn on the money tree?

Let’s understand the causes behind the sunburn of your money tree.

Direct sunlight

The money tree is not used to direct sunlight, so it gets sunburnt easily if hit by the direct sunlight. Although the money tree does not mind the soft sunlight of morning and late evening, the sunlight becomes too much for its tolerance during the other times.

If you place your money tree outside or on the window that gets direct sun, your money tree will get scorched. So, keeping the plant away from the direct sun is the only way to protect it from getting scorched.

Sudden changes

If you suddenly decide to place your money tree outside, the plant will get shocked. All houseplants are used to living in culturally controlled environments, and they need time to adjust to changes.

Making drastic changes like putting your money tree under the sun all of a sudden will cause trouble for your plant. The plant will not be prepared, and the sudden change in the environment will cause stress or shock it.

So whenever you plan to make any change, you need to take slow steps and be gradual with it so that your plant can survive the changes.



Temperature fluctuations

When you keep the money tree in your house, it stays at room temperature and gets used to it. But if the plant receives direct sunlight from outside, the heat automatically increases the temperature for the plant.

Although money trees enjoy high temperatures, the temperature caused due to the heat of the direct sun can be too much, especially when the plant is kept outside.

Changes in the temperature can cause dehydration, and the leaves will get dry, which will amplify the sunburn effect for the plant. Other than these, the plant will also go through stress.

How to prevent sunburn in your money tree?

Since prevention is better than cure, it is better to prevent sunburn by taking proper steps to protect the money tree from direct sunlight.

Money trees don’t appreciate the direct sun and thrive when placed under the indirect sun. If your money tree gets hit by the direct sun, especially during summer and spring, it will get sunburnt.

Money trees may enjoy the soft sunlight of mornings and late evenings, but they would prefer to be under the indirect sunlight for the rest of the day.

If you have placed the money tree near the window, it might be getting direct sun, so you must put it a few inches away from the window to protect it. You can also use blinds or sheer curtains to filter the sunlight.

If you plan to move your money tree outside, you should make the changes gradually to protect it from sunburn.

You can move the money tree to a spot with shade and expose it to the morning and evening sun for 1-2 hours each day. Continue this for some days and gradually increase the amount of sunlight you give the plant.

If you don’t give the plant a chance to adjust to the changes and move it under the direct sun one fine day, the plant will get sunburnt in no time.

It is better to place the money tree in a shady spot even after giving it time to adjust to the external environment. You can set the money tree under the shade of a bigger tree or beside your house where it gets shade and protection from the direct sun.

During winter, you can place the money tree under the direct sun for few hours every day as the intensity of the rays reduces during this time.

What to do if my money tree is sunburnt?

If your money tree is sunburnt and the leaves are scorched, unfortunately, they will not return to normal.

Therefore, it is best to prove those leaves so that your money tree will not waste any energy to revive them. Pruning the scorched leaves will give the plant more space for new growth.

It is best to be careful with the money tree and prevent sunburn in the first place.

How to save a sunburnt money tree?

If your money tree has been getting direct sun or too much sun, it might be sunburnt already. If you notice discolored leaves or dry leaves on the plant, you can be sure of this.

Now the question is how to save a sunburnt money tree. We are here to answer that for you.

First of all, you need to relocate the plant to a shadier spot to avoid further damage.

If your money tree has lost many leaves due to sunburn, it will not require as much water as before. So it would help to reduce the watering.

After you water your money tree, wait for the excess water to drain out of the drainage holes.

You can increase the watering once the plant recovers and starts growing new leaves.

A sunburnt plant is already dehydrated, so you should reduce fertilizing it. You can follow the same fertilizing schedule, but you need to reduce the dose. Give the money tree half of the amount of the usual feeding.

You can go back to the regular dose once you find that your money tree has recovered.

Tips for a healthy money tree

Taking care of a money tree is not that difficult once you understand its requirements. Also, you can prevent sunburn without even thinking about it.

Light

The money tree prefers ample indirect light all day long. If you keep it in a bright room with many windows that gets indirect light from all sides, your money tree will stay healthy.

If not, you can place the plant near a window that gets sufficient light throughout the day. If your house gets dark as it doesn’t get enough light, you can use artificial lights to help your plant fulfill its lighting requirements.

Water

The money trees require deep and infrequent watering, but the most crucial point to consider before watering the money tree is that the soil should be at least 50-75% dry.

Check the top layers of the soil by using a moisture meter and if it is moist, wait for some days and then water the plant after the soil dries up.

Start by watering once in one or two weeks and then come up with a schedule after understanding the plant’s requirements. 

Temperature

Money trees require temperatures between 65-80°F. You may want to place your money tree near the fireplace or furnace during winter when the temperatures drop but don’t keep it too close, or else the leaves will burn due to the heat.

Place the money tree at least a few inches away from the heating source to protect it.

Don’t expose the money tree to the cold temperatures of winter by placing it outside or on the window. Relocate it to a spot where it can stay protected from the low temperature, frost, and cold drafts.

Humidity

In its native land, money trees receive a lot of humidity, and that helps their growth. However, when kept indoors, it requires a humidity level of at least 50% to stay healthy.

The money tree might face challenges during the winter months as the humidity levels drop during this time. It can also happen if you live in a cold region that receives low humidity throughout the year.

Irrespective of the reason or location, if you want a healthy money tree, you need to provide adequate humidity to it. 

You can use any of these ways to increase the humidity:

  • Use a humidifier.
  • Create a pebble tray by placing pebbles on a tray and filling it with water. Place the money tree on top of the pebbles, and it will get moisture as the water evaporates from the tray.
  • Group the money tree with other houseplants.
  • Keep the money tree in the bathroom, kitchen or basement provided it gets sufficient light over there.
  • Keep an aquarium in the room and place the money tree near it.

If you are looking to buy a lot of houseplants to brighten up your space and that too on a budget, try out Cellardoorplants. They offer a wide variety of plants, delivered right to your doorstep, and that too for every budget. If you haven't checked them yet, Try them now!


Final words

If you want to save your money tree from sunburn, you need to keep it away from the direct sunlight, as simple as that. You should consider placing it in a shady area even if you keep it outdoors.

When the money tree is indoors, use blinds to protect it from the direct sun or keep it in a spot that gets indirect light only.

Take care of all the other factors such as water, temperature, humidity, etc., to keep it healthy.


Reference: NYBG, WIKIPEDIA, CABI, Missouri Botanical Garden, Effect of light intensity on plant growth.