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Money Tree Not Growing? 8 Problems & Easy Fix!

Noticing your money tree(Pachira Aquatica) isn’t getting bigger? Let’s figure it out.

Money trees are cool because they’re easy and thought to bring good luck. But if yours isn’t growing much, that’s a problem.

This article will help you understand why your money tree might be slow-growing and what you can do about it.

Inadequate lighting, overwatering or underwatering, and lack of humidity are common reasons that cause stunted growth in a money tree. If you want to see good growth in the plant, you need to provide proper lighting, the right amount of water, fertilize them on time, and maintain ideal humidity.

There could be other reasons your money tree isn’t growing fast. Let’s talk about them and how to get your plant growing bigger and better.

Money Tree (Pachira Aquatica) not growing

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.

Please note: Simplify Plants is reader-supported. Some links in the post are affiliate links and I get a commission from purchases made through links in the post.

Are money trees slow-growing?

Money trees are fast-growing plants that can grow anywhere between 18 to 24 inches yearly. They can grow up to 60 feet or more in their natural habitat.

However, it doesn’t grow that tall inside the house. It can grow to a height between 4 to 6 feet indoors.

If you fulfill the basic requirements of the money tree by providing it with sufficient light, water, and fertilizer, you will see a lot of growth in the plant.

Money tree not growing new leaves or branches.

Besides incorrect watering and inappropriate lighting, many other reasons can hinder the growth of your money tree.

Let’s look at all the factors that slow down the growth of your money tree in detail.

  • Watering issue
  • Pest infestation
  • Inappropriate lighting
  • Lack of humidity
  • Wrong pot size
  • Insufficient fertilization
  • Season
  • Stress

1) Watering issues

Money Tree (Pachira Aquatica) watering

One challenge that the money tree owners generally face is understanding how much water the plant requires.

If you don’t water your money tree regularly, it might be deprived of water.

However, underwatering and overwatering can be the reason behind the slow growth of your money tree.


Overwatering can seriously damage your money tree as it does not enjoy sitting in the water for a long time.

Overwatering leads to root rot, a disease where the roots start rotting after remaining wet for an extended period. The roots stop functioning, and the plant cannot get water or nutrition from the soil.

Due to root rot, the money tree becomes weak, its leaves start discoloring, and you don’t see any growth in the plant.


If you can identify the signs of overwatering early, you can fix the issue before it goes out of hand.

To begin with, you should stop watering an overwatered money tree. Keep the plant under bright indirect sunlight and let the soil get dry.

Check the container’s drainage holes to ensure they are not blocked. You can water the money tree after the soil dries up.

If the condition is severe, remove the damaged roots and repot the plant using a fresh soil mix.


Although money tree prefers infrequent watering, you should not neglect it or water it with long gaps in between. This can lead to an underwatered money tree.

Underwatering makes the plant dehydrated. The soil becomes dry, and the roots do not get any water or nutrition from the soil. Thus, it will have no energy for new growth.


Increase the water supply slowly and also increase the watering frequency. Check how your money tree responds. If you notice it is responding well, recovering, and showing growth, you can readjust a watering regime accordingly.

However, you should never water the money tree without checking the soil.

Also Read: What Kind Of Soil Does A Money Tree Need? (+Best Soil Mix)

2) Pest infestation

Money Tree (Pachira Aquatica) bugs and pests

Different kinds of bugs can attack your money tree and be the reason for the lack of growth in the plant. Some common bugs are mealybugs, scales, spider mites, etc. 

All these pests tend to suck the nutrition out of the plant, leaving it weak and vulnerable to other diseases.

Since the pests don’t leave any nutrition for the plant, the plant cannot grow after getting attacked by the pests.


Neem oil is an excellent natural solution to help eliminate pests from your money tree. You should spray neem oil solution on your money tree every day for at least two weeks.

You can even use neem oil to prevent pests from attacking your plant. However, if the infestation is severe, you will need to prune the affected parts of the plant.

Remember to keep your money away from the other plants so the infection doesn’t spread.

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

3) Inappropriate lighting

Although the money tree can tolerate low light conditions, keeping it under low light for long can slow its growth.

When a money tree doesn’t get enough light, photosynthesis slows down, causing the plant to not produce as much energy required for its growth.

When the money tree is placed in a low-light area, it will develop leggy growth and have yellow leaves, other than slow growth.

However, an excess of light can also hinder the growth of the money tree. If the money tree receives a ton of direct sunlight, its leaves will get scorched, and you will notice tiny brown spots on the leaves.

Direct sunlight can also cause stress to your money tree, so the plant will focus its energy on recovering itself rather than on new growth.

Money Tree (Pachira Aquatica) low light


If your money tree is placed in an area without enough light, you must relocate the plant to a brighter spot. However, you should make the changes gradually to avoid causing any stress to the plant.

If your house doesn’t get enough natural light, you should consider artificial lights that can provide sufficient light to your money tree.

If your money tree gets too much light outside, place it under shade to protect it from direct sunlight.

If your money trees are placed on the windowpane, use sheer curtains to filter the direct light so the money tree doesn’t get sunburnt.

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

4) Lack of humidity

The money trees are humidity-loving plants. In their natural habitat, the money trees are used to getting a lot of humidity, which is a primary reason that causes the growth of the money tree.

Money trees prefer humidity levels between 50 and 70%, and they can show much growth when they get the ideal humidity level. However, if the humidity levels drop, the plant will have a hard time not having much growth.


First, you can use a hygrometer to check the humidity level of your house.

If the humidity level is too low, get a humidifier that can increase the humidity levels inside a room.

If you can’t get a humidifier, place your money tree in the bathroom, kitchen, or basement with high humidity levels compared to the house’s other rooms.

You can even prepare a pebble tray by placing some pebbles inside a tray and filling it with water. Place the money tree on top of the tray; as the water evaporates, it will add moisture to your money tree.

Also Read: Should You Mist Money Tree? (Why, How Often & More)

5) Wrong pot size

Money Tree (Pachira Aquatica) pot

If you use a pot that is too small for your money tree, you will notice the plant has stopped growing.

This happens because the money tree outgrows the pot in some years and becomes rootbound. When a plant is rootbound, the roots don’t have any space left for growth, and they start displacing the soil.

If you notice that the roots are coming out of the drainage holes of the pot of your money tree, you have a rootbound plant.


The money tree is a fast-growing plant; therefore, you should check on it to find out if it has space in its pot.

If your money tree is rootbound, you need to repot it in a bigger pot so that it has enough space for growth. While repotting, select a pot two inches larger than the plant with working drainage holes.

Consider repotting the money tree during early summer and spring, as that is the plant’s growing season. Avoid repotting during winter, as the plant can get stressed due to low temperatures.

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

6) Insufficient fertilization

Most houseplants require fertilization for better growth. If your money tree is not getting periodic fertilization, it will run low on nutrition.

As houseplants, the money tree can access a limited amount of soil. If you don’t fertilize the money tree, the soil will run out of all nutrients, and the plant will not get anything from the soil.

Due to a lack of nutrition, the money tree will not have any energy for new growth.

NPK fertilizer


If you have not been fertilizing your money tree, it’s time you start doing so. You can fertilize your money tree once a month during the growing season.

It would be best to use a liquid fertilizer for your money tree. Be careful while doing this; you don’t want to add too much fertilizer to the plant.

Choose a fertilizer with an NPK ratio of 20:20:20 or 10:10:10, dilute it to half-strength, and give it to your money tree.

Avoid fertilizing the money tree during the winter season as the plant does not grow during this time; therefore, it doesn’t require any fertilizer.

7) Season

Before you start worrying about your money tree not growing, remember that it grows during the growing season and not during the dormant period.

Most houseplants experience growth during the summer and spring seasons. If you notice slow growth in your money tree during this time, you can look for problems in the plant.

However, if you notice slow growth or no growth during the winter season, you should not worry, as it is normal. Winter is the resting period for the money tree when it does not grow and instead rests.

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

8) Stress

Various reasons can lead to a stressed money tree. Some reasons for stress can be transportation, temperature fluctuations, transplantation, cold or hot drafts, etc.

If everything is fine with your money tree, you can look for signs of stress in the plant. If you find any reason for the plant to be stressed, it means that the plant cannot grow due to that.


Whenever you are making any change to your money tree, never do it in one go, as that can stress your money tree because it does not get enough time to adjust to the changes.

You should always make changes gradually so the plant can adjust without stress.

You should avoid exposing your money tree to cold or hot drafts and direct sunlight for heating machines. These can affect the growth and health of your money tree in different ways.

After bringing a new money tree home or repotting your money tree, take good care of the plant to avoid getting it stressed.

How do you encourage money trees to grow?

Money Tree (Pachira Aquatica) New leaves

Here are some quick tips that can help encourage growth in your money tree.

  • If the money tree gets ample light, it can perform all the daily activities that will eventually lead to its growth. Try to provide 6-8 hours of indirect light to your money tree daily. 
  • Once you figure out the water requirements of your money tree, create a routine and water the plant whenever you find the soil dry.
  • Fertilizers are vital if you want to boost the growth of the money tree. Therefore fertilize the plant every month during the growing season.
  • Consider repotting your money tree every 3 to 4 years so that the old soil gets replaced with the new one, which will provide more nutrition to the plant.
  • Ensure that the money tree has a sound drainage system by using well-draining soil and making drainage holes in the pot.
  • Prune your money tree from time to time as pruning boosts the growth hormones and gets rid of damaged parts so that the plant can focus on new growth.

Reference: WIKIPEDIA.

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