Pachira Aquatica, or the money tree, is loved in the houseplant community because it does not demand much attention and is believed to bring good luck to the house. It is obvious to expect growth once you have got a money tree home.
However, if you notice slow growth in your money tree, there might be a problem. So, in this article, we will learn why is your money tree not growing and how you can encourage growth.
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 can be various other problems that can hinder the growth of the money tree. Let’s discuss the causes of slow growth in your money tree and find out how to encourage growth in the plant.
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Are money trees slow-growing?
The money trees are fast-growing plants that can grow anywhere between 18-24 inches every year. 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 sufficient light, water, and fertilizer, you will see a lot of growth in the plant.
My money tree is not growing
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.
- Pest infestation
- Inappropriate lighting
- Lack of humidity
- Wrong pot size
- Insufficient fertilization
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 at regular intervals, it might be deprived of water.
However, both underwatering and overwatering can be the reason behind slow growth in 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 getting discolored, and you don’t see any growth in the plant.
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If you can identify the signs of overwatering at an early stage, you will be able to 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 drainage holes of the container to make sure that they are not blocked. You can water the money tree after the soil dries up.
If the condition is severe, get rid of the damaged roots and repot the plant using 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 that it is responding well, recovering, and showing growth, you can readjust a watering regime accordingly.
However, you should never think of watering the money tree without checking the soil.
Also Read: What Kind Of Soil Does A Money Tree Need? (+Best Soil Mix)
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 that can help you to 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 that the infection doesn’t spread.
Also Read: Does A Money Tree Attract Bugs? (Common Bugs+How To Get Rid Of Them)
Although the money tree can tolerate low light conditions, keeping it under low light for long can slow down its growth.
When a money tree doesn’t get enough light, the photosynthesis slows down, due to which the plant cannot 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 be a hindrance to 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 new growth.
If your money tree is placed in an area without enough light, you need to 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 is getting too much light outside, you need to place it under some shade to protect it from direct sunlight.
If your money trees place on the windowpane, use sheer curtains to filter the direct light so that the money tree doesn’t get sunburnt.
Also Read: How Much Light Does A Money Tree Need? (Money Tree Light Requirements)
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 to 70%, and they can show a lot of 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 of all, 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, you can 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, and as the water evaporates, it will add moisture to your money tree.
Also Read: Should You Mist Money Tree? (Why, How Often & More)
Wrong pot size
If you use a pot that is too small for your money tree, you will notice that 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, and 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 and has 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 temperature.
Also Read: What Kind Of Pot Is Best For A Money Tree?
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 has access to 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.
If you have not been fertilizing your money tree, it’s high 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, as 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 and 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.
Before you start worrying about your money tree not growing, keep in mind 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 at all during the winter season, you should not worry as it is absolutely 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)
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Various reasons can lead to a stressed money tree. Some of the 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 is unable to grow due to that.
Whenever you are making any change for your money tree, never do it at 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 that the plant can adjust without being stressed.
You should avoid exposing your money tree to cold or hot drafts, 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?
Some quick tips that can help encourage growth in your money tree.
- If the money tree gets ample light, it will be able to 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 every day.
- 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: NYBG, WIKIPEDIA, CABI, Missouri Botanical Garden, Effect of light intensity on plant growth.
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