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Money Tree Leaves Turning Brown? 8 Causes & Easy Fix!

Are you troubled by the sight of your money tree’s leaves turning brown? If so, you’re not alone. The browning of leaves can cause concern for many plant enthusiasts.

Overwatering is a primary problem due to which leaves on money trees turn brown. Overwatering causes root rot, which causes the plant to not absorb water and nutrients, leading to brown leaves. Other reasons include under-watering, inappropriate lighting, and pest infestation.

In this guide, we have discussed the problems, signs, and solutions of brown leaves in the money tree so that you can fix the brown leaves before it’s too late. So, let’s get right into it.

Money Tree (Pachira Aquatica) turning brown

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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Why is my money tree leaves turning brown?

Various reasons can lead to money tree leaves turning brown. As a caretaker, your first job is to identify the underlying problem. We will discuss some common problems in descending order so that you can nail down your particular one.

Once you have identified the problem, you can start the treatment and fix it. Now, let’s get into the reasons.

Overwatering money tree can lead to brown leaves on money tree

Overwatering is a common reason that can lead to brown leaves in your money tree. It is a common mistake that the plant owners make that causes harm to the plant in different ways.


The money tree enjoys infrequent but thorough watering. However, it doesn’t enjoy sitting in the water.

When you overwater the money tree, the roots get affected, attracting diseases like root rot. The failure of the roots to absorb water and nutrients damages all parts of the plant, including the leaves.

The leaves start becoming soft and eventually turn brown.


You should not water the money tree until the top few inches of the soil get dry.

If you have an overwatered money tree, here is what you need to do:

  • Place the money tree in a bright area with bright indirect sunlight. Avoid watering for a few days until the soil gets dry. 
  • Check your money tree’s drainage system to ensure it is working. 
  • Prune all the brown leaves and damaged roots to help the plant recover faster and focus on new growth. 
  • Repot the money tree in a new pot with fresh soil if the condition is severe.

Underwatering money tree leads to brown and crispy leaves.

Money Tree (Pachira Aquatica) dry soil

The money tree can tolerate infrequent watering, but under-watering can also cause various problems, including brown leaves.


If you ignore the water requirements of the money tree, the plant will become weak due to water deficiency. It will lead to the leaves turning brown.

Insufficient watering will dehydrate the plant, and the plant will not be able to photosynthesize, making the leaves brown.


  • If you notice your money tree is not getting sufficient water, give it more water. 
  • Avoid giving the plant a lot of water at once, as that can shock the plant. Gradually increase the watering so that your money tree can adjust it. 
  • Trim all the damaged leaves that have turned brown. 
  • Wait for the top layers of the soil to dry before you consider watering the money tree the next time.

Also Read: How Often Should I Water My Money Tree? (Money Tree Water Requirements)

Low light can lead to poor growth and brown leaves on money trees.

Money trees are tropical plants that require a lot of light, and if they don’t get enough light, they cannot remain healthy.


All plants require light to photosynthesize. Low light will reduce the rate of photosynthesis, causing the leaves to lose their color and become brown.

A money tree requires long hours of right and indirect sunlight to thrive and remain healthy.


  • Find a spot for your money tree where it gets indirect sunlight throughout the day. 
  • You can expose the money tree to direct sunlight during the morning and late afternoon when the intensity of the light remains low. 
  • If you do not have a natural light source at your home, use artificial lights to provide enough light to your money tree.

Also Read:

Your money tree is getting too much sun, which burns the leaves brown

Money Tree (Pachira Aquatica) turning white

The money tree can tolerate direct sunlight during the morning and late afternoon, but the light becomes too harsh during the rest of the day.

If your money tree is exposed to direct sunlight for too long, the leaves will get sunburned and eventually turn brown.


Too much sunlight can harm the money tree by scorching the leaves. When the leaves get scorched, they turn brown.

Direct sunlight uses up all the water of the plant, making it dry. A lack of water in the money tree can cause sunburn to the plant.


Follow the below-mentioned steps to treat a sunburnt money tree. 

  • If your money tree is placed on the window, move it away from the window so that direct sunlight cannot hit it. 
  • Water the money tree to rehydrate it. 
  • Prune all the brown leaves that have got scorched due to intense sun. 
  • Avoid fertilizing the money tree until it recovers, as fertilizing can cause more damage. 
  • Avoid placing the money tree under direct afternoon sunlight.

Also Read: How Much Light Does A Money Tree Need?

A pest infestation can lead to brown leaves in a money tree

Pests are a common problem that is found in all plants. However, pests can be deadly for your money tree if not identified on time.


Various pests, such as mealybugs, aphids, scales, spider mites, etc., can infest your money tree.

One of the common signs of pest infestation is noticing brown spots on the leaves.

Pests are tiny creatures that can be very hard to notice, but if you see brown leaves or brown spots on the leaves of your money tree, you should inspect the plant thoroughly to check if it has any pests.

Money Tree (Pachira Aquatica) bugs and pests


  • Use a neem oil solution to spray the money tree to eliminate pests. 
  • Isolate the money tree from the other plants. 
  • You can wipe the money tree leaves with rubbing alcohol to kill the pests. 
  • Consider pruning the damaged leaves and stems to avoid further infestation. 
  • You can also use a pesticide or natural insecticide if you still notice pests on your money tree. Be careful, as many pesticides contain harmful chemicals.

Also Read: Does A Money Tree Attract Bugs? (Common Bugs+How To Get Rid Of Them)

Poor water quality can also lead to browning of leaves

If the water you are using contains certain minerals like chlorine or fluorine in high quantity, the money tree leaves will react to it and turn brown.


If you are using tap water to water your money tree, the water might contain salt and minerals such as chlorine and fluorine.

Using tap water over a period will cause salt build-up on the soil. It will result in brown spots and brown leaves on your money tree.


  • Instead of using tap water, consider using rainwater or filtered water. 
  • If you don’t have a choice, keep tap water outside for a day or two to let it get aerated. It will reduce the amount of harmful minerals in the water.

Your money tree leaves are turning brown because the plant is stressed.

Money Tree (Pachira Aquatica) drying up

There can be various reasons that can stress your money tree. Stress leads to the leaves turning brown or falling off.


The money tree will require repotting if it becomes root-bound or suffers from root rot. However, the watering can cause stress to your money plant.

Some other reasons that can stress your plant are exposure to cold drafts or frost during winter, temperature fluctuations, and direct sunlight.


To avoid stressing your money tree, you must take care of the following.

  • Before repotting, trim the damaged parts of the plant carefully so that the plant doesn’t get damaged or stressed. 
  • Take the money tree out of the previous pot carefully.
  • Make sure that the money tree is hydrated the night before repotting it. 
  • Allow the excess water to get drained out of the pot. 
  • Keep the plant under indirect sunlight to avoid any stress due to direct sunlight.

Inappropriate pot size can lead to brown leaves in money tree

It might seem trivial, but using an unsuitable pot can bring different problems to the money tree. The correct-sized pot is essential for better growth and to avoid issues like brown leaves.


When choosing a pot for your money tree, you must ensure it is the correct size.

If you use a bigger pot, it will absorb a lot of water and fertilizers that can be either overwatering or over-fertilization, both of which will lead to browning of the leaves.

In the case of a smaller pot, the plant will become root-bound, which will obstruct its growth. As a result, the money tree will become weak, and the leaves will turn brown.

The money tree requires repotting every 2 to 3 years when it outgrows its current pot. Therefore, whenever you opt for a bigger pot, use a pot that is 2″ bigger than the size of the plant.

Ensure that the pot has covered drainage holes.

Money Tree (Pachira Aquatica) not growing


  • Selecting the correct pot size is vital, so always use a pot that is 2″ bigger than the size of the plant. 
  • Using materials such as Terracotta ceramic or clay is ideal, as these will allow air to pass between the pot and the soil. 
  • It is best to avoid plastic pots for planting a money tree. 
  • What you are using should have proper drainage holes in it.

Also Read: What Kind Of Pot Is Best For A Money Tree?

Final words

Figuring out the problem behind brown leaves on your money tree is the first way to fix and prevent it. 

There are so many possible reasons that it can be daunting to understand the reason behind the problem in your money tree. 

If you want a healthy and thriving money tree, you can: 

  • Place your money tree in a bright spot with long hours of indirect sunlight. 
  • The money tree enjoys infrequent but thorough watering, so you should always check and ensure that the excess water drains away after you water the plant. 
  • Fertilize the money tree during the growing season to provide all the required nutrition for better growth. 
  • Keep the money away from cold drafts during winter. 
  • Spray neem oil solution on the money tree every month to keep the pests away. 
  • Avoid using an oversized or undersized pot for the plant. 
  • Whenever repotting the money tree, handle it carefully so that it doesn’t get stressed.

If you take care of the steps mentioned above and keep a check on your money free from time to time, you will be able to prevent the plant’s leaves from turning brown.

Reference: WIKIPEDIA.

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