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Money Tree Too Tall and Leggy? 5 Causes+Easy Fix!

If your money tree(Pachira Aquatica) is growing leggy, it’s a sign something’s off. In this article, we’ll explore why this happens and how you can solve it.

A lack of sufficient light is often the main reason for a leggy money tree. To fix it, relocate the plant where it gets plenty of indirect sunlight. Temperature changes, being root-bound, lack of pruning, and improper fertilization can also cause legginess.

Let’s dive into the reasons behind your money tree’s leggy growth and discover how to set it right.

Money Tree (Pachira Aquatica) leggy (2)

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Why is my money tree leggy?

If your money tree suddenly grows tall along with a weak stem, you should understand that it has become leggy.

There can be different reasons behind a leggy money tree. We will explore all the reasons in detail.

1) Insufficient light can make your money tree too tall and skinny

The money tree loves bright, indirect light. For your money tree to be healthy, it will require 6 to 8 hours of indirect light throughout the day. 

However, if the money tree does not get enough light, it will become leggy. A leggy money tree will grow longer than usual. The plant’s stem will become weak and have only a few leaves on them.

A leggy plant lacks energy for healthy growth, as a lack of light results in inadequate photosynthesis.

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

2) Money trees can become leggy due to Temperature fluctuations

The money tree enjoys warm temperatures, and the ideal temperature for these plants is between 60-85°F

A sudden change in the temperature can shock the money tree. So, your plant might be getting leggy due to that shock or stress.

Therefore, if you want to relocate your money tree, you should do it gradually to avoid stressing the plant. Giving your money tree time to adjust will save it from stress and becoming leggy.

3) Lack of pruning can make money trees tall and lanky

Money Tree (Pachira Aquatica) leggy

Pruning helps the money tree to remain in shape so that it looks good in the house. And it also encourages new growth.

However, not pruning the plant frequently can make it tall and leggy.

Lack of pruning slows down the production of growth hormone, which causes the plant to have stunted growth. Hence, you will see fewer leaves on the stem.

4) Improper fertilization can lead to leggy growth.

The money tree requires energy for new growth and its overall health. Lack of fertilization will deprive the plant of nutrition and energy.

In their native land, the money tree gets all the required nutrition from the soil. However, as a houseplant, its roots are restricted to some soil that can run out of nutrition over time.

If you do not fertilize the money tree, it will become weak and leggy. Therefore, fertilizing the money tree with the right nutrients will prevent it from becoming leggy.

Also Read: Does Money Tree Need Fertilizer? (How Much, How Often & Best Pick)

5) Root-bound money tree often gets leggy.

A root-bound money tree means the plant has outgrown its current pot. The roots start coming out from the bottom of the pot through the drainage holes. Due to lack of space, they fail to function correctly.

If you don’t repot a root-bound plant, it will become weak and leggy due to a lack of nutrition and water.

How to fix a leggy money tree?

Money Tree (Pachira Aquatica) New leaves

After understanding the reasons, it’s time to find ways to fix these issues.

You can recover a leggy money tree, but getting it back to health will be hard if you keep neglecting it.

In the first step, you need to identify the problem. We have already discussed all the possible causes of a leggy money tree, and you need to find out which one is the issue.

Once you have found the issue, you can fix it. Some basic ways of fixing a leggy money tree are:

  • Provide sufficient light
  • Fertilize adequately during the growing season
  • Avoid exposing the plant to temperature changes
  • Prune whenever required
  • Repot the plant in case its root bound

1) Provide sufficient light to ensure bushier growth

If your money tree does not get enough light, it will eventually become leggy.

When the money tree doesn’t have a light source near it, it stretches towards another light source, becoming lean and leggy in the process.

You must provide sufficient light to your money tree to fix this issue.

The money tree requires a sunny and bright spot with indirect sunlight for at least six to eight hours.

You can keep your money tree near a window with enough sunlight throughout the day, but you should not let it get direct sunlight. Direct sunlight can cause sunburn to your money tree.

If you don’t have any windows at your place or your house doesn’t have a good source of natural light, you can get an artificial light that will provide sufficient light to the plant.

Try rotating the plant very slowly after every few days so that it gets light on all sides.

2) Adequately fertilize the money tree for a fuller growth

NPK fertilizer

If you have not been giving fertilizer to your money tree, it will become leggy due to weakness.

The money tree requires fertilizers to remain healthy and for its growth.

You should dilute a regular fertilizer to half strength and give it to the money tree during the growing period.

It is best to use fertilizers with NPK ratios 10:10:10 or 20:20:20 to fertilize the money tree(I prefer Jack’s classic fertilizer available on Amazon). Nitrogen boosts new leaf growth, potassium regulates water and nutrition throughout the plant, and phosphorus encourages root growth.

You should avoid fertilizing the money tree during winter as the plant rests.

3) Maintain the temperature level to avoid uneven growth

The money tree can start developing problems if exposed to sudden temperature changes.

In its native land, the money tree lives in a warm and humid climate. However, it lives in a controlled environment when it is inside a house.

When there is a sudden change in the temperature level, the money tree doesn’t get enough time to adjust to it. This will shock the plant. Due to the shock or stress, the money tree becomes weak and leggy.

It would be best to keep your money tree in a place with consistent temperature so the plant doesn’t get shocked.

You should not place your money tree near heating machines and keep it away from the cold air of the AC and cold drafts.

Money Tree (Pachira Aquatica) bright light

4) Frequent pruning can prevent money plants from growing too tall

All plants require frequent pruning. This allows new growth and keeps the plant in shape.

The money tree can grow big if you don’t prune them. Not pruning the money tree also leads to leggy growth.

Here is how to prune a leggy money tree:

  1. Examine the plant and identify any dead, diseased, damaged, or misshapen branches. Pruning these branches will help the money tree allocate its resources more effectively.
  2. Use clean, sharp pruning shears to make clean cuts. Dull tools can damage the plant. Also, clean tools will minimize the risk of introducing diseases to the tree.
  3. Begin by cutting back any dead or yellowing leaves. Trim them off at the base of the stem at a 45-degree angle, close to the main trunk.
  4. Nest, you must prune any branches that cross or rub against each other. This improves air circulation and overall tree health.
  5. If the money tree has grown too tall or leggy, cut the main stem back by 1/3 to encourage a fuller shape as it regrows.
  6. Thin out top branches to allow more light penetration if the plant is too heavy from the top.
  7. As you prune, step back periodically to assess the tree’s overall shape and make adjustments as needed.  Don’t remove more than 1/4 of the plant at once.
  8. Water the plant after pruning and give it partial shade for a few days as it recovers from the stress of pruning.

5) Repot the money tree to encourage new growth.

Money Tree (Pachira Aquatica) repotting

The money tree doesn’t require repotting often, but you should repot it if it becomes root-bound.

When you have a root-bound money tree, its roots will not function well due to a lack of space in the pot. They will feel to absorb water and nutrients from the soil.

The roots will also experience a lack of airflow when they become root-bound. Due to all these, the money tree will become weak and leggy.

Giving the plant fertilizer during this time will also be useless as the nutrients will not be evenly distributed to the roots.

Therefore, repotting your money tree is the only way to fix this. Repotting it can make it healthy again.

Here are the steps with which you can report your money:

Get a pot for your money tree that is larger than the previous one. If it doesn’t have drainage holes, you must make it before putting your money tree inside.

Take the money tree out of its pot. Be gentle, as any damage can shock the plant. Remove the soil from its roots by running water over it. Be careful during this process.

Put some small stones inside the pot. Then, add the new soil mix to the pot. This will prevent the blockage of the drainage holes. Next, place the money tree in the center and add soil from the sides to make the plant stand upright.

Water the money tree thoroughly after repotting it. This will reduce the stress caused due to repotting.

Final words

Money Tree (Pachira Aquatica) Care

If you keep an eye on your money tree and take care of it, the chances are that the ministry will not become leggy.

Even if your money tree becomes leggy, you can find the reason, take the necessary actions, and bring it back to health.

Ensure that your money tree gets sufficient light, proper fertilization, repotting every 3-4 years, and a consistent temperature. All these will help the money tree remain healthy.


Reference: WIKIPEDIA.


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