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Why Is My Money Tree Leaves Turning Yellow? (Causes+How To Fix)

The money tree is easy to maintain tropical plants. However, if you do not carry the correct care routine or neglect the care requirements of your money tree, you might see yellow leaves on the plant. Let’s find out why your money tree leaves at turning yellow.

Overwatering, low light, stress, and over-fertilization are some common causes of yellow leaves in the money tree. If you keep your money plant in a bright spot, give it adequate water and appropriate fertilizers during the growing period, you will be able to get rid of yellow leaves.

Some leaves of the money tree can become yellow due to aging. In case of other problems, you will need to take specific steps to fix them. Therefore it is necessary to identify and understand the problem. So without any further delay, let’s dive into it.


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What causes yellow leaves in money trees?

There can be different reasons that can make the green leaves of the money tree turn yellow. There is always an underlying reason, some of which may be: 

  • Inappropriate watering
  • Low humidity level
  • Improper lighting
  • Pest infestation
  • Using the wrong soil
  • Temperature fluctuations 
  • Repotting
  • Old foliage

Now let’s understand all the conditions in detail.

Inappropriate watering

The money tree has beautiful green leaves, but you know it’s not a good sign when it turns yellow. 

Inappropriate watering is a common problem that can give rise to yellowing leaves. Underwatering and overwatering both can cause this issue in your money tree.

If you notice new leaves are turning yellow, or the edges of the leaves are turning yellow, you have an underwatered money tree. Whereas, if the lower leaves of the money tree are turning yellow, there is an overwatering problem.

Underwatering

The money tree can tolerate infrequent watering, but keeping them thirsty for too long will dehydrate the plant.

The signs of underwatering are similar to overwatering, but identifying which one is the problem is to check the soil.

If the soil is dry along with yellow and crisp leaves, you have an underwatered money tree.

The leaves will lose all the moisture and become dry due to a lack of water. It will, in turn, make the leaves lose their color and become yellow.

The signs that you will notice if you have an underwatered money tree are: 

  • New leaves are turning yellow
  • Leaves have crispy yellow tips
  • Shriveled leaves
  • Droopy leaves

Overwatering

The money tree enjoys moisture and likes the soil to be lightly moist, but too much water can ruin its health.

If you water your money tree whenever you feel like or follow a watering regime, it can go wrong if it doesn’t suit the plant’s water requirement.

If you use a heavy soil mix or don’t have a sound drainage system for your money tree, the plant can get overwatered even if you are watering correctly.

Signs of an overwatered money tree are: 

  • Wet and soggy soil
  • Rotting smell from the soil
  • Yellow leaves
  • Brown leaves
  • Root rot

Low humidity level

Native to the tropical region, the money tree loves humidity.

Although money trees can tolerate low humidity, if you keep your money tree in low humidity for too long, the plant’s leaves will turn yellow or develop brown edges.

The humidity levels drop during the winter months that can affect your money tree if you don’t do anything about it.

A lack of humidity can lead to yellow leaves and droopy foliage. Not only the leaves but also the roots and the other parts of the plant will suffer due to lack of humidity.

Improper lighting

Light is an essential factor, and too much or too little of it can affect your money tree.

Due to improper lighting, your money tree can get stressed, and the leaves may turn yellow.

The money tree requires proper lighting to maintain green leaves and adequate growth.

Too much light

The money tree requires a lot of light, but direct sunlight can lead to yellow leaves.

If you have placed your money tree on a window where it is getting direct sunlight, the plant’s leaves can get scorched.

The excess light will cause a reduction in the chlorophyll, due to which the leaves will lose their color and become yellow. 

If the money tree remains under direct sunlight for too long, the plant will get dehydrated. As a result, the leaves of the money tree will turn yellow or brown.

Another reason can be that your money tree was exposed to a sudden increase in light. If you want to move your money tree from low light to bright light, you should do it gradually to avoid causing stress to your money tree.

Low light

Low light can be a problem for a light-loving plant like the money tree.

The money tree enjoys a bright environment where it gets ample indirect sunlight throughout the day. It can tolerate low light but not for very long.

If you have placed your money tree in a low light area, it will struggle to photosynthesize. The leaves will wither and become yellow as a result of this.

Low light can cause other problems such as stunted growth and a weak plant.

The money tree struggles to get enough light in winter as the intensity and duration of the light reduce during this time. The money tree might also phase cold draught that makes the leaves yellow.



Pest infestation

The money tree can attract pests such as aphids, mealybugs, spider mites, scales, etc. 

These pests suck on the plant’s sap and absorb all the nutrition out of the plant, making it weak and defenseless to other diseases. 

Due to loss of nutrition, the plant is unable to function properly and has yellow leaves on it.

If pests are not taken care of, they can severely damage your plant.

Using the wrong soil

If you are using the wrong soil for your money tree, it may lead to an overwatered or underwatered plant.

If you are using heavy soil that does not support well drainage, it will retain too much moisture, and the roots will remain wet for long. As a result, the plant will have root rot. 

If you are using soil that does not hold much water, it will not even retain the required moisture and will make the plant dry.

It is essential to choose suitable soil that will drain excess water along with retaining the required moisture.

Temperature fluctuations

You cannot neglect the temperature as it plays a vital role in determining your plant’s health. The money tree enjoys warm temperatures.

The money tree can tolerate low temperature for a while, but a sudden change in the temperature can cause stress to the plant.

The cold draught and frost during winter can cause stress to your money tree. It can also get stressed if you keep it very close to the fireplace, radiators, or other heating systems.

If your money tree remains in low temperature for long, the chlorophyll will reduce, resulting in yellow leaves.

Repotting

Repotting is necessary for all plants. However, if done incorrectly, it can cause stress or damage to the plant.

If your money tree faces any damage during repotting, it will affect the roots, due to which the leaves may become yellow.

The money tree requires repotting every few years when it outgrows its current pot. But if you repot it too often, that can also stress the plant.

Another reason that can stress your money tree is repotting during the wrong time of the year. You should not repot the money tree during winter when it is the dormant period for it.

Avoid repotting under the scorching heat of the sun, as that can also stress your money tree.

Old foliage

Some yellow leaves are caused due to old foliage. Therefore, it is okay for the money tree to have few yellow leaves.

When you notice that the lower leaves have become yellow and there are only a few of them, it is because those leaves are old.

Old leaves usually turn yellow or brown and eventually fall off the plant. You should remove these leaves once they have fallen off. 

You might notice more yellow leaves during the autumn season as the plant’s growth slows down due to falling leaves.

How do you take care of a money tree with yellow leaves?

You can fix yellow leaves on a money tree by providing proper care and the ideal conditions. We have already discussed the problems; now let’s understand the solutions.

Watering

You can give your money tree infrequent watering but make sure it’s thorough. Check the drainage holes after watering the money tree to ensure that excess water is getting drained away.

You should not follow any watering regime blindly, as that can lead to overwatering. You should instead check the soil first and then decide if your plant requires water.

The money tree likes the soil to be slightly moist, so you should not let the soil get bone dry. Water the money plant when the top two layers of the soil are dry.

If you want to check ok if the soil is still wet, dig a finger or a skewer into the soil. You will know that the soil is wet if it sticks to your finger or the skewer.

If you have prepared a watering routine, you can follow it, but not without checking the soil first.

Fix the humidity

Being a tropical plant, the money tree enjoys medium to high humidity levels.

You can find a spot for your money tree where it gets more humidity. Rooms such as the basement, kitchen, or bathroom have more humidity than the other areas of your house. You can place your money tree in any of these rooms if there is adequate light.

You can purchase a humidifier to increase the room’s humidity level where your money tree is placed.

You can make a pebble tray by taking a tray and placing some small stones on it. Fill the tray with water and put your money tree on the tray. When the water evaporates from the tray, it will add moisture and increase the humidity around the plant.

You can group your money tree with other tropical plants that can help to increase the humidity.

Fix the lighting

The money tree thrives in a bright environment. However, it requires indirect light as direct light can be harmful to it.

You can provide few hours of direct sunlight to your money tree during the morning and late afternoon. But it would help if you let it be under indirect sunlight during the other times as excess direct sunlight can burn its leaves.

Therefore, find the spot for your money tree where it gets sufficient indirect light throughout the day along with some soft direct sunlight.

If your money tree is not getting enough light, its growth will slow down.

If you want to shift your money tree from low light to a bright area, you should make the changes gradually to let the plant adjust to the changes.

Get rid of pests

If you have a pest-infested money tree, you should isolate the tree so that other plants do not get infected.

First of all, you can handpick all the pests that you can see with naked eyes. Then, you can place your plant under running water to get rid of the pests.

Next, you can use neem oil solution and spray it all over the plant. Continue this for two weeks to get rid of all the pests and the eggs.

You can prune the areas that are damaged due to the pest infestation.

You can use chemical pesticides if you still notice bugs on your money tree. However, you can use the neem oil spray to prevent pests without causing any harm to the plant.

Use well-draining soil

The money tree doesn’t enjoy sitting in the water for an extended period as it can damage the plant’s roots.

You should use well-draining soil that retains enough water that the plant requires and lets the excess water pass out.

You can use a cactus or succulent mix along with some peat moss, to create the perfect soil mix.

Fixing the temperature

The money tree enjoys temperature levels between 65-80°F. It can tolerate low temperatures but for a short period.

It would be best if you placed the money tree away from radiators, furnaces, or any heating systems. The plant should neither be exposed to cold nor hot drafts.

It would be best to place the money tree away from the window to protect it from Frost during the winter. If you have placed your money tree outside, consider bringing it inside in the winter season.

You can place your money tree a few feet away from the heating systems to maintain the appropriate temperature for it.

Repotting

A money tree will require repotting once it becomes rootbound or outgrows its current pot.

Repotting also becomes necessary if the money tree suffers from root rot, pest infestations, or fungal infections.

You should always prune the damaged parts before repotting the plant to avoid any further spread of infection and allow the plant to recover fast.

Make sure to provide sufficient light after repotting and water the plant to avoid any stress.

You should not repot your money tree during the winter season as the plant remains dormant during this time, and reporting can cause shock and severe damage.


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

Taking proper care of the plant will help you get rid of the yellow leaves on your money tree. Make sure to give it enough water, adequate light, and the right external conditions.

Keep an eye on your money tree and whenever you notice any unusual yellowing of leaves on the plant, try to figure out the problem so that you can treat it before it’s too late. However, some yellowing is common as old leaves tend to become yellow before falling off.


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