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What To Do If My Money Tree Has Root Rot? (+Signs, Causes+Fix)

One of the most common mistakes made by houseplant owners is overwatering. Overwatering will lead to root rot that can be very damaging for your money tree. But what are the signs of root rot and what to do if your money tree has root rot? Let’s find out!

To save your money tree from root rot, examine its roots and prune the damaged ones. Remove the old soil and let the roots dry out for a few hours. Then use a fresh pot, add a well-draining soil mix and repot the plant with the same. To prevent future problems, adjust the watering regime.

You should not neglect your money tree after repotting it and provided enough care and keep it in a balanced environment to avoid stressing the plant. If the plant gets good care, it will recover faster and focus on new growth.

We’ll dive deep into the reasons behind root rot and how to fix it in a money tree. Identifying the signs is the first step, after which you need to focus on the treatment.

Let’s understand everything you need to know about root rot in money trees.


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How can you tell if a money tree has root rot?

If your money tree is affected by root rot, you will see specific signs on your plant. The plant might not show any sign initially, but it will show symptoms if it suffers for an extended period.

It can be challenging to understand the reason behind the signs as some of them are similar to other problems. However, if you can identify them on time, it will be easier for the plant to recover quickly.

We have discussed all the possible signs that can tell you that your money tree suffers from root rot.

Slow growth

If the roots suffer from root rot, they will fail to absorb the nutrients and water from the soil. Due to a lack of nutrition, the money tree will not be able to grow.

If you notice that your money tree is not showing enough growth, you might want to check its roots to determine if they are suffering from root rot.

However, you should not worry if you don’t see much growth in winter as the plants don’t grow much during the dormant period.

Foul smell from the soil

When plants suffer from root rot, the roots start giving out a foul odor. If you suspect root rot in your money tree, you should take a smell of the soil to figure out if it smells musty.

During root rot, there is a growth of bacteria in the soil due to a lack of oxygen and the presence of excess water. The foul smell is a result of this condition.

Wilting leaves

If the leaves of your money tree don’t get water or nutrition for long, they will start wilting.

A lack of water and nutrition causes weakness in plants, due to which the leaves lose the ability to stay firm.

If your money tree is suffering from root rot for some time, its leaves will start wilting. If you notice wilting of leaves in the plant, you should examine the routes immediately.

Damaged roots

If you examine the roots of your money tree and find out that the roots have turned brown and their texture is soft or mushy, it is due to root rot.

When the roots of your plant are healthy, they will remain white and crisp. Only if the roots are suffering due to root rot, they change color and texture.

If the roots are pulled even softly, they can break easily. The roots lose their strength and become weak. Therefore, checking the plant’s roots by taking them out of the pot is the only way to determine if it is suffering from root rot.



Discolored leaves

If you notice yellow and discolored leaves on your money tree, it might be an above the soil sign of overwatering and root rot.

When you have a healthy money tree, its leaves will remain green and shiny. In case of root rot, the roots stay in an unhealthy condition that affects all parts of the plant, making the leaves dull and yellow.

What causes root rot in money tree?

We have already mentioned that overwatering is a reason behind root rot. But there can be many other reasons that can cause root rot in your money tree.

Overwatering

The money tree owners can end up overwatering their plants out of too much care. However, that doesn’t do any good and instead causes root rot in the plants.

The money trees prefer infrequent watering and will not tolerate frequent and overwatering.

If your money tree sits in the water for an extended time, its roots will suffocate due to lack of oxygen and remain wet for long.

Poor drainage

A poor drainage system can cause overwatering even if you give the right amount of water to your money tree.

If the container of your money tree does not have drainage holes, the water will not be able to pass out of the system, due to which the soil will retain too much water.

Along with the soil, the roots of the plant will also remain moist and does start rotting. Other than root rot, this condition can also cause fungus and bacterial infections.

Inappropriate soil

You cannot use the same soil for all your plants because each has a different soil requirement.

If you choose the incorrect soil, it will affect the plant’s health and cause harm to it.

The money tree requires well-draining soil that will drain the excess water out of the pot so that the plant does not have to sit in the water for long.

If the water takes a lot of time to drain, you should repot your money tree using well-draining soil.

Low temperature

The money tree can tolerate low temperature for some time, but the plant will suffer if it continues for long.

During winter, the temperature level drops down, and the soil takes more time to dry out. If you do not reduce the amount of water you give to your money tree, it might become overwatered and result in root rot.

Low light

Low light is not an ideal condition for the money trees. The money trees enjoy bright and indirect sunlight throughout the day.

If you place your money tree in low light, all the processes will slow down, and the water will take a long time to get dry.

Due to low light, the photosynthesis process will slow down, and the roots will remain wet, causing root rot. This will also invite bacteria and fungus.

Extra-large pot

Many plant owners mistake placing their plants in oversized pots, thinking that they will not need to repot their plant. However, a larger pot can have adverse effects on the plant.

If you place your money tree in an oversized pot, the pot will contain excess water that will take more time to drain out of the pot.

As a result, you will end up watering more frequently that will keep the soil and the roots of the plant wet without giving them enough time to get dry.

Therefore, choosing the correct sized pot is essential for the well-being of your money tree.

How to save my money tree from root rot?

Repotting is the solution to root rot. If you repot your money tree, it will help the roots and soil to recover.

Root rot is a severe problem in money trees that can be deadly if you don’t treat the plant quickly. It is best to treat your money tree as soon as you identify the issue.

Let’s take a look at the steps of repotting your money tree.

  1. The first step is getting the money tree out of its current pot. Always be gentle while taking the plant out of the container, or you might notice that the plant is damaged.
  2. Gently pull the money tree out of the container by holding the base of the plant.
  3. After the plant is out, examine its roots and try to remove the soil around it.
  4. You can place the roots under running water to remove the soil. This will also help to get rid of the bacteria.
  5. Eliminate the damaged parts of the plant – roots, stems, and leaves. Use sterilized pruners to prune these.
  6. Keep the roots in an aerated area for few hours to let them dry.
  7. You can briefly soak the roots in a bleach-water solution to kill the fungi and bacteria. If you want to use the old pot, consider washing the pot with the same solution.
  8. Put some pebbles at the bottom and fill the pot with fresh soil mix. This will prevent the drainage holes from getting blocked.
  9. Place the plant in the middle of the pot and add soil from all sides to fill all the space and let the plant stand upright.
  10. Place the repotted money tree under indirect light and water the plant only if the soil is dry.
  11. Avoid fertilizing the money tree for at least a month so that it can recover the stress caused due to root rot and repotting.
  12. In case of mild root rot, you don’t have to wait for a month and fertilize when the plant seems healthy and out of stress.
  13. Remember not to overwater the money tree again and always check the moistness of the soil before watering the plant.

How to prevent root rot in money trees?

If you try to understand the basic requirements of your money tree and provide everything accordingly, you will be able to prevent root rot.

You can come across different opinions regarding the care of the money tree, but you should experiment and check the response of your plant before deciding what is suitable for the plant.

If you check your plant’s response, you will not end up overwatering or over-feeding it with fertilizer. If your plant is stressed due to something, you will know it, and you will be able to control it before anything serious occurs.

If you want to prevent root rot in your money tree, you need to follow these:

  • Avoid overfeeding the money tree with fertilizer.
  • Avoid watering the money tree without checking the moisture inside the soil
  • Use soil that supports well drainage.
  • Never keep your money tree in low light for an extended period.
  • Don’t use contaminated pruners to prune the plant or contaminated pot to repot the money tree.
  • Avoid placing the money tree in low temperature and low humidity areas.
  • Use the correct-sized pot.
  • Avoid placing the plant with new plants that you have brought to avoid chances of pest infestation.

If you check the points mentioned above, you will be able to prevent root rot in your money tree.


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!


Tips for a thriving money tree

  • Place the money tree in a sunny spot where it regularly gets six to eight hours of filtered light.
  • Whenever fertilizing the money tree, dilute the fertilizer to avoid overfeeding it.
  • Keep the money tree in an area that receives good air circulation.
  • Avoid placing the money tree near heating machines or fireplaces.
  • Keep the money tree away from the window to protect it from frost and cold drafts.
  • Maintain a balanced environment with proper temperature and humidity levels that suit the money tree.
  • Always use sterilized pruners to prune the money tree.
  • Water the money tree if the soil feels dry when you touch it.
  • When propagating the money tree, never get an unhealthy cutting.
  • Don’t relocate the plant too often as it can cause stress.

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