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Money Tree Trunk Soft? 6 Causes & Easy Fix!

Wondering why your money tree’s trunk feels soft? Let’s get to the root of the issue.

The primary cause of soft trunk in money trees is root rot and overwatering. When you overwater the money tree, the stem holds the excess water, making it weak and soft. The root also starts to rot, leading to a soft and squishy trunk in the money tree.

A soft trunk indicates your money tree’s poor health, but don’t worry—there are steps you can take to restore it back to good health.

Money Tree (Pachira Aquatica) trunk soft (2)

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.


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The money tree has a soft trunk.

The first step to figuring out what causes the money tree trunk to be soft is understanding the problem.

You need to check all the parts of the money tree, including the roots, to make out the issue. We have listed 6 possible reasons behind the soft trunk of your money tree.

  • Overwatering
  • Heavy soil mix
  • Poor drainage system
  • Low light
  • Overfertilization
  • Temperature fluctuations

Now let us understand all these in detail to figure out what you are doing wrong and what the right way is.

1) Overwatering

Overwatering can occur if you are not aware of the water requirements of the money tree or neglect it. Your money tree will not gain anything from getting some extra water, which will cause more harm than help.

It is suggested that you give the money tree thorough but infrequent watering, similar to its natural environment in the tropical regions where it receives heavy rainfall followed by a prolonged drought.

When we say deep and thorough watering, the money tree should receive a good soak until water seeps through the drainage holes. Anything more than that can cause overwatering.

Watering the money tree too frequently without even checking the soil can also lead to overwatering.

Overwatering leads to some of the most deadly problems, such as root rot and pest infestation that can weaken the plant. All these can make the trunk of the money tree soft and mushy.

You should always check the money tree’s soil and water when the soil is at least 50-75% dry. Most money trees require watering once in one or two weeks. However, it can depend on other external conditions, such as the plant’s size, humidity, temperature, etc.

However, you can start by watering the plant a little less and then move up depending on the plant’s requirements.

Also Read: What To Do If I Overwatered My Money Tree?

2) Heavy soil mix

Money Tree (Pachira Aquatica) dry soil

You might be making a mistake if you use a regular potting mix for your money tree. A standard potting mix might retain more moisture than the money tree requires.

Money trees like their soil to remain slightly moist and not go completely bone dry. However, in no way does it mean that it will not allow the excess water to flow out.

If you have been using a regular potting mix, it can cause root rot as the roots will remain moist for too long along with the soil. Therefore, you need to switch to a better option immediately to help the trunk of the money tree recover.

Using a regular soil mix, you can add sand and perlite to make it well-draining. You can also use peat-based soil along with a succulent blend.

If you start using the correct soil type, it will not retain extra moisture and will not affect your money tree’s roots or trunk.

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

3) Poor drainage system

We have already discussed how soil can affect drainage and lead to a soft trunk, but even the pot plays a vital role in determining the drainage system of the money tree.

If the pot does not contain drainage holes, the excess water won’t have a way of coming out of it and will remain in the pot and the soil.

Even if your pot has drainage holes, it can get blocked over time if you don’t clean them.

You should ensure that the drainage holes don’t get blocked by checking them occasionally. Throw some pebbles in the pot before adding soil to the pot to prevent the drainage holes from getting blocked.

It would be best to use the correct pot size, as a larger pot can hold too much water, eventually leading to a soft trunk.

4) Low light

Money Tree (Pachira Aquatica) low light

Low light is not an ideal condition for the money tree in any way, as it prefers long hours of bright and indirect sunlight.

The money tree can tolerate low light for a short period, but keeping it in low light for a long time can lead to different problems, including a soft and weak trunk.

Low light doesn’t let the soil get dry on time, keeping the roots moist for long. This encourages overwatering, root rot, fungal infections, and pest infestation.

Light is essential for a healthy money tree, and if it is not getting enough light and the trunk starts becoming soft, you need to relocate the plant to a brighter spot or use artificial light to compensate for the lack of light.

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

5) Overfertilization

One of the common problems that money trees face is overfertilization. While many money tree owners feed their plants excess fertilizer to see more growth, many fertilize during the winter when the plant doesn’t need it at all.

First of all, the money tree is a light feeder, which means it doesn’t require heavy fertilizing.

Don’t fertilize your money tree with the prescribed dose. Dilute the regular amount to make it half-strength, and then give it to the money tree. It would be best if you fertilized the money tree once or twice a month during the growing season.

You should reduce fertilizing from fall and stop fertilizing in the winter as the plant becomes dormant. If you fertilize in winter, the roots can get burnt. The plant will get shocked, and the trunk will start becoming unhealthy and soft due to the shock.

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

6) Temperature fluctuations

Money Tree (Pachira Aquatica) bright light

Money trees are sensitive to sudden rise or fall in temperature levels.

The temperature drops below average during winter, and the money tree can get shocked if it is exposed to that low temperature.

The plant will get stressed and shocked if the money tree is placed outside or near a window exposed to low temperature, frost, or cold drafts.

Money trees thrive in medium to high temperatures, so low temperatures or sudden changes can be harmful. This can lead to falling leaves and soft stems.

To save your money tree from the shock, you must maintain the correct temperature levels. Bring your money tree inside during winter and keep it away from the window.

Keep your money tree in a room with a fireplace or furnace to increase the plant’s temperature. Ensure the plant is at least a few feet away from the heat source.

Don’t expose your money tree to sudden temperature fluctuations.

What to do if money tree trunk is soft?

You need to determine the severity of the condition, based on which you can decide what action to take.

If the trunk has just started becoming soft, but you don’t notice any other damage, you might be able to save the plant.

You can remove the soft stem and repot the tree in a new pot.

But if the damage is severe, you might be unable to save the plant. But you can take healthy cuttings and propagate a new money tree from the cuttings.

Also Read: How To Propagate Pachira Money Tree? (Soil+Water Propagation)

How do you remove the soft trunk from the money tree?

Money Tree (Pachira Aquatica) repotting

If you have a braided money tree, you might need to remove the trunk that has turned soft. This is because a soft trunk indicates that it is dying.

If you keep the trunk, it can affect the other trunks that have formed the braid. If you want to save the other trunks, it is best to remove the soft ones.

The first thing to do is get the money tree out of the pot. Once it is out, you must inspect the roots and trim the damaged ones, which look brown and mushy. Be careful so that you don’t hurt the healthy roots.

After eliminating the damaged roots, try to pull the soft trunk out of the braid. Do it gently so that the other trunks remain intact and unaffected.

Prune some of the leaves and branches to help the money tree save some energy that it can use for its recovery after pruning and repotting.

You can use these healthy branches to propagate a new plant later on.

Take a pot with drainage holes and add well-draining soil mix to it. If you intend to use the old pot, clean it with a diluted bleach mix to eliminate any bacteria or mold.

Place the money tree in the middle and add soil from all sides. Make sure that there are no air pockets in the soil.

The whole process might be very stressful for your money tree. You need to give it some time to recover. Don’t worry if you notice falling leaves.

Water the plant properly, but avoid overwatering. Don’t fertilize till the plant recovers. Don’t expose the money tree to cold drafts or direct sunlight. You can understand that the plant has recovered once you see healthy and new growth on it.

Also Read: Should I Remove Dead Trunks From Money Tree? (+How To)

How do you prevent trunks from becoming soft?

Money Tree (Pachira Aquatica) Care

If you want to prevent your money tree trunks from becoming soft, you need to:

  • Take care of the watering. Water the money tree after checking the soil and not by following any watering routine mindlessly.
  • Use the right-sized pot that has working drainage holes.
  • Use a peat-based or succulent blend soil mix for good drainage.
  • Fertilize with a diluted dose during the growing season, which is spring and summer.
  • Keep the money tree in a bright spot.
  • Keep your money tree away from low temperatures, cold drafts, and frost in winter.

Reference: WIKIPEDIA.


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  1. Alice says:

    Thank you for the information on money tree. Very useful and informative.