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Money Tree Light Requirements: Which Window? Low Light? & More!

Discovering the light needs of your money tree!

Light is essential for plants like the money tree—it’s their source of growth through photosynthesis.

In this guide, we’ll uncover how much light your money tree craves and the best type of light for its growth.

Money trees thrive in bright, indirect sunlight for 6-8 hours daily. Avoid harsh sun rays during the noon as they can scorch the leaves. Also, money trees can tolerate low light, which slows down their growth significantly.

If you have bought the money tree for the first time and have many questions, worry not; we are here to answer all that for you. 

Let’s dive into the nitty-gritty of your money tree’s light needs.

Money Tree (Pachira Aquatica) bright indirect light

I have done my best to address all of your concerns in the article below. However, if you still have any questions or are confused about the article, you can receive personalized one-on-one assistance from me by leaving a comment below. I will respond to your comment within a few hours.


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Importance of good lighting for money tree

Most houseplants require a lot of light, and providing as much light to the plants as possible can be a challenge.

If the plants get enough light, they can easily perform their photosynthesis, which will help them thrive.

Good lighting helps a plant photosynthesize and keeps it healthy, allowing it to grow fast. It will also help the money tree store energy in the leaves.

If your window gets direct sunlight, you can place the money tree a few feet away so that it gets enough indirect light.

How much light does a money tree need?

Lighting requirement

The money tree can handle different light conditions. But what works best for them is bright and indirect sunlight.

The money tree is a tropical plant that can adjust in low light, but it is not ideal for these plants as the growth slows down if the plants don’t get sufficient sunlight.

The money tree can even tolerate direct sunlight, but too much of it will burn the leaves.

It would help if you place the money tree in the brightest area of the house, but here are some things you should keep in mind while trying to provide the ideal lighting to the money tree.

Types of lightLight IntensityLocation/Placement
Full Sun(Direct)32,000–100,0001) The sun shines for a few hours from the window
2) 3 to 4 Feet from the East/West/South window
Partial Sun(Indirect)10,000–25,0001) North-facing window with no direct sunlight
2) East-facing window and 5-6 feet from a window
3) Behind a sheer curtain
Medium Light500-10001) No direct sun but still brightly lit
2) 5 Feet from a window
Partially Shaded(Low)100-5001) North-facing window with no direct sunlight
2) East-facing window and 5-6 feet from a window
Completely Shaded(Little)<1001) Staircase, Bathroom, Hallways
2) Room with no windows
3) Basements
4) Window shaded by a tree

Source: University of Missouri

Does the money tree need exposure to direct sunlight?

The money tree can tolerate the soft sunlight during the morning, but as the afternoon approaches, the light becomes harsh. You would need to protect the money tree from this harsh afternoon sunlight.

Keeping the money tree in the north-facing window will not provide sufficient light throughout the day. During the winter months, the light will reduce further.

If you don’t have a choice of a south-facing window, you can place the money tree near an east or west-facing window. Check how the plant reacts; you can keep it there if it does well.

A south-facing window should be ideal for the placement of the money tree. If you place the money tree near a south-facing window, you will get the required light throughout the day. However, make sure you use a sheer curtain to filter the light.

If your house does not get enough light, you might need artificial lights so the money tree isn’t deprived of light.

The direction of the sun

Money Tree (Pachira Aquatica) bright light

If you know the direction of the sun and your house, it will help with the placement of the plant.

The money tree enjoys the soft morning sunlight, so you might want to place it near an east-facing window. However, as the day proceeds, the sun shifts from the east, so the plant will not get enough light.

A north-facing window will get insufficient light during the summer and spring months when the plant needs it most, so you cannot place your money tree near a north-facing window.

In a west-facing window, the plant will receive harsh sunlight during the afternoon that can burn the leaves and make the plant dry.

The money tree takes shade under canopy trees in its natural habitat to protect itself from the harsh sunlight. Therefore, you need to find a spot where it is not exposed to the direct sun.

Placing the money tree near a south-facing window would be ideal as it will get light evenly distributed throughout the day.

If the south-facing window gets direct sunlight, move the plant a few feet away.

The intensity of light

Light intensity remains highest during the growing period: the summer and spring months. But the intensity of the light reduces during the winter months.

The money tree goes dormant during winter, and its growth slows down due to light’s intensity and low temperatures. Therefore, the money tree may not show any growth during this time, but it stores energy that it uses in the growing season.

So, don’t worry if you don’t see much growth in your money tree during winter. It is not due to lack of light but is a natural phenomenon.

Money tree not enough light?

Money Tree (Pachira Aquatica) low light

The money tree can survive low-light conditions, but you wouldn’t want to keep it in a low-light area if you want a healthy, thriving plant.

You will notice stunted growth if the money tree doesn’t get sufficient light. Lack of light will not let the plant produce enough energy for growth.

Legginess is another issue that indicates that the money tree is not getting enough light. Your money tree is leggy if you notice the stems growing tall and weak with small leaves. 

If you change the lighting conditions to a brighter one, you will start noticing healthy growth in the plant.

What should we do if the money tree is not getting enough light?

If your money tree is not getting enough light, you can use some methods that will help to add some light to the plant.

These are some ideas that might help.

Use artificial light

Many houses don’t get sufficient light or lack a natural light source. They use artificial lights to keep their houseplants healthy and happy. You can use any artificial light source for your money tree.

Artificial lights run on electricity, so you can turn them on and place them over the money tree.

These can be a great help during winter when the intensity and duration of light go down.

Adjust Watering

 To avoid overwatering, water the money tree less than usual if placed in low light.

Reduce watering in winter as the light’s intensity decreases, as do the plant’s water requirements.

Adjust Fertilizer regime

Adding the right amount of fertilizer is one way of boosting the plant’s growth.

If you want your money tree to remain healthy even in low-light conditions, you need to give it a proper dose of fertilizer.

Use a well-balanced fertilizer that will provide all the nutrition to the money tree.

How do I know if my money tree is getting too much light?

Money Tree (Pachira Aquatica) drying up

The money tree is sensitive to direct sunlight like most houseplants, and if it gets too much direct sunlight, you will notice problems in the plant.

Common signs that your money tree is getting too much light:

Check the soil. Your money tree gets too much light or less water if it feels too dry.

What should you do if the money tree is getting too much light?

If your money tree is exposed to too much light, the first step that you should take is to move the plant to an area where it gets indirect sunlight.

After relocating the plant, prune the damaged leaves, as those will not recover. It will allow the plant to focus on new growth.

You can use curtains or blinds to filter the direct sunlight if the money tree is placed near the window. You can put the money tree a few feet away from the window to keep it away.

Also read: Can Indoor Plants Get Too Much Light?

Can a money tree live in low light?

The money tree can survive in a low-light area, but you can’t expect it to grow like it would if given sufficient light.

Placing the money tree in low light for a prolonged period can cause legginess or stunted growth in the plant.

Therefore, choose a bright spot for your money tree instead of a low-light spot.

Can Money Tree get sunburned?

Money Tree (Pachira Aquatica) turning white

Direct afternoon sunlight can easily cause sunburn to your money tree.

If you have placed the money tree in a spot where direct sunlight hits it, the leaves will get sunburned. As a result, the leaves might become yellow or brown.

You might also notice white spots and discoloration on the leaves if sunburned.

If you want to get rid of sunburned leaves, you will need to prune the leaves with a pair of sharp and sterilized pruners.

After removing the sunburned leaves, you must find a spot to protect your money tree from the harsh sunlight. You can use curtains or sheer blinds to filter the harsh sunlight.

Final Words

The money tree can be picky about light, and it might not be easy to understand the ideal lighting.

Money Tree neither likes low light nor prefers direct sunlight. It needs a balance of bright and indirect light.

A south-facing window is an ideal spot for the money tree. However, don’t place it on the window but a few feet away so that it gets indirect light.

You can use artificial light if your money tree is not getting enough light or during the winter when the light’s intensity reduces.


Reference: WIKIPEDIA.


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