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Why Are My Money Tree Leaves Falling Off? (Causes+How To Fix)

The money tree is a beautiful tropical plant that might get unhappy if it does not get the ideal conditions to remain healthy. If the money tree doesn’t get proper care, its leaves can fall off. If something like that happens with your money tree, you must first find out what is wrong with your money tree and why is your money tree losing leaves.

The primary cause of the falling of leaves from the money tree is incorrect watering, improper lighting, and temperature fluctuations. Other causes may include poor drainage and pest infestation. Adjust the care routine and maintain a good living condition to prevent further loss of leaves.

This article has covered all the possible reasons that might lead to the loss of leaves in your money tree. We have also discussed the solutions so that you can fix the problem.

Keep reading to find out why your money tree might be losing leaves and how to deal with it.


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Incorrect watering

Incorrect watering might be the primary reason for leaves falling off your money tree. The money tree doesn’t enjoy overwatering or under-watering for a prolonged period. Not only the plant gets stressed, but it also develops various other problems.

Causes

An under-watered money tree can develop problems due to stress and lack of water. 

The money tree can tolerate infrequent watering, but the plant will get dehydrated if that continues for a long time. The soil will become dry, and the roots will not provide sufficient water and nutrients to the plant. 

Due to a lack of water and nutrition, the leaves will lose their strength and fall off.

Overwatering is a severe issue that can even kill the plant if continued for an extended period. Unfortunately, many houseplant owners make this mistake out of unawareness or expecting that the plant will grow fast.

When the money tree is overwatered, soil retains excess water that can choke the roots, restricting them from taking water or nutrients from the soil.

The plant becomes weak, making the leaves yellow or brown that eventually falls off. It can lead to stunted growth in your money tree.

Solution

If you have an overwatered money tree, you can use the following steps to help it recover. 

  • Keep the money tree under bright and indirect light to let it get dry thoroughly. 
  • Then, prune the damaged leaves or stems. 
  • Check the drainage holes to ensure that they are not blocked, and the excess water is draining out. 
  • Cut off watering till the soil is dry. 
  • In case of extreme conditions, repot the money tree. 

In the case of an under-watered money tree, you need to take care of the following: 

  • First, give your money tree a good soak for some time. 
  • Let extra water drain out of the drainage holes. 
  • Wait for the plant to dry out completely. 
  • Water it one more time and allow it to gets dry. 
  • Avoid watering until 50 to 75% of the soil gets dried out. 
  • If you want to check the moisture of the soil, get a moisture meter.

Improper lighting

The money tree enjoys bright and indirect light, so keeping it in such a spot will keep the plant healthy and happy.

Causes

Direct sunlight is harmful to the money tree as it can burn the leaves of the plant. Exposing the money tree to direct sunlight for an extended period can even kill the plant.

Although a money tree can survive in low light, keeping it in low light for a long time can slow down the growth of the plant.

Sufficient light helps to keep the leaves green and healthy. Photosynthesis slows down due to lack of light, resulting in a lack of energy in your money tree, due to which the leaves fall off.

If the money tree doesn’t get enough light, it can cause overwatering, leading to root rot and pest infestation.

All of these reasons can cause a loss of leaves in your money tree.

Solution

If your money tree was exposed to direct sunlight, you need to find a spot where it gets indirect light. It would help if you pruned the scorched leaves as they will not get back to health.

You can follow these steps to provide sufficient light to your money tree.

  • During the growing season, place the money tree in a spot where it gets 3 to 4 hours of direct sunlight and indirect light for the rest of the day. 
  • Keep your money away from harsh afternoon light. 
  • You can place your money tree outside under direct light during the winter as the intensity of the light reduces during that time. 
  • Keep your money away from the window and bring it indoors during winter to protect it from cold drafts. 
  • If you cannot provide enough light to your money tree, use artificial light sources or keep the plant and there a lamp.


Temperature fluctuations

Temperature fluctuation is a common problem that can lead to leaves falling off your money tree.

Sudden changes in the temperature in levels can stress the money tree, leading to the loss of leaves.

Causes

Money tree thrives in temperatures between 65-80°F. During winter, the temperature levels may drop, which the plant doesn’t appreciate.

Frost and cold drafts of the winter can be very harmful to your money tree. All these, along with low temperatures, can shock the money tree, causing leaves to fall off.

If you place the money tree in an area that experiences frequent temperature fluctuations, the plant’s leaves will fall off.

Solution

  • Keep the money tree in an area where the temperature levels remain between 65-80°F. 
  • Move the money tree inside during winter to protect it from cold drafts and frost. 
  • Keep the money tree away from fireplaces, furnaces, radiators, or vents. 
  • Avoid overwatering your money tree during winter and try to keep the plant dry. 
  • Avoid relocating the plant frequently as that might cause temperature fluctuations. 
  • Move the money tree to an area that gets enough airflow.

Poor drainage

If the drainage system is poor, your money tree will suffer from overwatering, even after following the correct watering schedule.

The excess water remains in the pot, making the soil wet and soggy. It might eventually lead to root rot.

Causes

The money tree growing in a pot has no drainage holes can suffer from overwatering. As the soil retains the excess water, it eventually affects the roots.

The roots are unable to absorb water or nutrients from the soil. Since the plant lacks nutrition, all the parts of the plant start to suffer.

Leaves falling off your money tree are signs of overwatering. Therefore, you should not neglect it and take action soon.

Solution

If your money tree has a poor drainage system, you can use the following steps to fix it:

  • First, stop watering and let the plant dry out. 
  • Check the drainage system of the pot. If excess water is draining out within 2 minutes of watering, the drainage system is working fine. 
  • If not, move your money tree to a new pot that has working drainage holes. 
  • Before watering the plant, take the soil by digging a skewer or finger. 
  • Water the money tree if the soil feels dry. 
  • Make sure to use a well raining that will not retain excess water.

Pest infestation

Like all the other plants, the money tree can also attract pests. Some common pests that attack the money tree are spider mites, aphids, mealybugs, scales, gnats, whiteflies, etc.

Causes

Pests can be deadly for your plant if you don’t notice them on time. All the pests are very tiny and difficult to see through naked eyes.

Pests such as spider mites, mealybugs, and whiteflies feed on the money tree. They feed on the phloem sap that carries the nutrients from the roots to the other parts of the plant. Some pests such as fungus gnats attack the roots of the plant.

All these pests make the plant weak, and the leaves start turning yellow or brown and finally drop off.

Overwatering, lack of light, and a poor drainage system can invite pests. If you have grouped your money tree with other plants, it might get infected with pests if any other plant was already infected.

Solution

  • If you have brought a new money tree home, keep it isolated for few days to make sure that it doesn’t have any pests. 
  • If you have a pest-infested money tree, handpick all the pests that you can see. 
  • Then, give the plant a good wash to get rid of the pests. 
  • Use neem oil spray. Mix 2 tbsp neem oil with 1-gallon water. Spe it on the plant every day for two weeks to kill all the bugs and the eggs. 
  • You can use rubbing alcohol. Take a cotton ball and defeat in rubbing alcohol and gently apply it to the infected area to remove all the pests. 
  • You can use chemical pesticides if you still notice pests. 
  • Ensure to read the instructions carefully to make sure that the pesticide is safe for your plant.

Using the wrong soil

Soil is an essential element as a plant gets on its nutrients and water from the soil.

Soil becomes acidic over time and loses nutrients that you need to renew with fertilizers.

Causes

If you are using the wrong type of soil, it will retain a lot of moisture. It indicates that the soil is too heavy for your money tree.

If the soil is too light, it will not be able to hold even the required water. In both situations, your money tree will suffer. 

Over a period, if the soil has lost all the required nutrients and has not got proper fertilization, it will weaken the plant due to lack of nutrition.

All these can make the leaves yellow and the loss of leaves.

Solution

  • If you have been using a heavy soil mix, repot the money tree using well-draining soil. 
  • You can make well-draining soil by mixing succulent soil mix with one part perlite. 
  • Make sure to fertilize the money tree during the growing season. 
  • Use a fertilizer that is is nitrogen-rich and dilute the fertilizer to avoid over-fertilization. 
  • Water the money tree before fertilizing it to allow the nutrients to spread evenly in the soil.

Old leaves falling off

If you notice that the old leaves are falling off after maturing, you don’t need to worry. 

It is natural for old leaves to fall off allow new growth to take place.

Causes

While falling leaves can signify that your plant is suffering from some problem, it might be different if the old leaves are falling off. 

It is natural for the money tree to drop leaves as it grows. When you see new growth along with old leaves falling off, you should not worry.

However, if you notice abnormal dropping of leaves, you should consider checking the money tree for problems.

Solution

  • Keep a check on the rate of the dropping of leaves. 
  • If the leaves are dropping excessively, check for problems and take action immediately. 
  • Excess loss of lives might be due to stress, so you should find out what is causing stress to your money tree. 
  • If the plant is losing old leaves naturally, you should let the plant be without worrying about it.

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Final words

If you notice that leaves are falling of your money tree, you need to identify the reason and take steps to fix it.

It is important to ensure that the plant is getting all the required conditions such as sufficient light, proper watering, appropriate fertilization, etc.

Make sure to keep the plant away from anything that can cause stress to it, as stress can lead to the falling of leaves. However, it is okay for the money tree to lose old leaves as it is a natural process and allows the space for new growth.


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