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Why Is My Money Tree Leggy? (Causes+How To Fix)

The money tree(Pachira Aquatica) is a beautiful tropical plant famous in the houseplant community because it brings good luck to the household. However, seeing your money tree growing leggy can be troubling as it signifies something is wrong with the plant. So in today’s article, we shall learn all about why is your money tree leggy and how can you fix the same?

The most common reason for a leggy money tree is insufficient light for an extended period. Move the plant to a spot where it gets lots of indirect light. Other causes of legginess in your money tree include temperature fluctuations, root bound, lack of pruning, and improper fertilization.

Besides keeping your money tree at the brightest spot in the house, you need to ensure that it is getting consistent temperature levels, proper fertilization, and regular pruning.

Let’s discuss all the reasons that turn a money tree leggy. And the steps with which you can fix the problems.

Money Tree 9

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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.

Insufficient light

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 is not getting enough light, it will start becoming leggy. A leggy money tree will grow longer than usual. The stem of the plant will become weak and have only a few leaves on them.

A leggy plant doesn’t have enough 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)

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Temperature fluctuations

Money tree high temperature

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 due to it.

Lack of pruning

Money tree pruning old leaves

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, due to which the plant will have stunted growth. Hence you will see fewer leaves on the stem.

Improper fertilization

Money tree fertilizer

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 amount of nutrients will prevent it from becoming leggy.

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

Root-bound plant

Having a root-bound money tree means that the plant has outgrown its current pot. The roots start coming out from the bottom of the pot through the drainage holes. And 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 do you fix a leggy money tree?

After understanding the reasons, it’s time to find out the ways of fixing these issues.

You can recover a leggy money tree, but it will be hard to get it back to health 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 out the issue, you will be able to 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

Fix the lighting

Money tree bright light

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.

If you want to fix this issue, you need to provide sufficient light to your money tree.

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

You can keep your money tree near a window that gets 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 window 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.

Fertilize the money tree

Fertilizing indoor plant

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 during this time.

Maintain the temperature level

Temperature of the room

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

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

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 that gets consistent temperature so that 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 pruning

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 you can prune the money tree:

First, decide the spots you need to prune to get the desired shape in your money tree.

If you notice any damaged leaves that have turned yellow or brown, you need to get rid of them along with the damaged foliage. You should also cut off the leggy branches that have very few leaves on them.

If you notice any crowded growth, you can prune those to allow airflow around the plant.

You should always use short and sterilized pruners to prune the money tree and ensure to make clean cuts while pruning.

You can fertilize the plant after pruning it to help it recover the loss and have new growth.

Repot the money tree

Money Tree 11

The money tree doesn’t require repotting very 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 of no use as the nutrients will not get distributed to the roots evenly.

Therefore, the only way to fix this is to repot your money tree. 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 need to make it before putting your money tree inside it.

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. And 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 is getting sufficient light, proper fertilization, repotting at least every 3-4 years, and a consistent temperature level. All these will help the money tree remain healthy.

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

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