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Overwatered Money Tree: 7 Signs & Ultimate Solution!

Overwatering can harm your money tree, especially its roots. This can weaken the plant and cause it to struggle. If you’re dealing with an overwatered money tree, this article will help you fix it.

If you have an overwatered money tree, stop watering the plant and allow it to recover. Prune the damaged roots and use a new pot with adequate drainage and fresh, well-draining soil mix to repot the money tree. Move the plant to a bright spot and only water when the soil gets dry. 

Overwatering can be deadly for your money tree, leading to root rot and weakening the plant. In this article, you’ll learn how to recognize and address overwatering issues to save your money tree. Discover the signs of overwatering and the ultimate solution to revive your money tree.

Money tree (Pachira Aquatica) watering

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Overwatering a money tree

Many houseplant owners think watering their plants frequently will result in better growth. However, that is not the case. Watering the plants frequently often leads to overwatering that, in turn, causes root rot.

Since the money trees are tropical plants, it is possible to think that they require a lot of water. But if you try to understand the water requirements of your money tree, you will soon realize that these plants enjoy infrequent and thorough watering.

There can be other reasons that contribute to overwatering. For example, if you are using a pot that is too large or doesn’t have a sound drainage system, it can be a reason behind an overwatered money tree. Also, if the soil is heavy and not well-draining, it can lead to an overwatered money tree.

If you think that you have been watering the money tree appropriately and the plant is still showing signs of overwatering, you need to check the pot, drainage holes, and soil to understand if any of these are the problem.

What does an overwatered money tree look like?

Money Tree (Pachira Aquatica) leaves drooping

If you are lucky, you can notice the early signs of overwatering in your money tree. For example, you will see yellow or dropping leaves on the plant that will eventually fall off.

Since it might be challenging to identify the issue with overwatering in the initial stage, you might notice signs such as stunted growth and soft brown spots on the leaves and stems. These signs occur when your money tree already has root rot.

You might get a foul smell from the soil and spot fungal or bacterial growth on the soil’s surface.

Since overwatering and root rot make your money tree completely weak, the plant becomes vulnerable to pests and fungal diseases. All these causes can ultimately kill your money tree.

Overwatered vs. Underwatered Money Tree

It can be difficult for many indoor plant lovers to understand whether their plant is overwatered or underwatered. So, let’s find out how you can identify the differences.

If you check the plant’s stem near the soil and notice it has become brown and mushy, you must understand that your plant is overwatered. However, you will see that the base of the plant is dry if you have underwatered it.

In the case of an overwatered money tree, you will notice that the leaves start wilting. In contrast, an underwatered money tree has curled or wrinkled leaves.

If your money tree is losing the lower leaves, it indicates that you have an underwatered plant that requires water. In overwatering, the plant will lose leaves from all parts.

Overwatering and underwatering both have a common sign, which is brown spots. Dry brown spots indicate underwatering, and spots with a yellow tinge indicate overwatering.

The simplest difference you will spot is that the leaves will turn moist in an overwatered plant, or the yellow and brown spots will be soft. But the underwatered plant will have dry and crisp leaves.

Also read: Overwatering Vs. Underwatering Plants

Signs of overwatering money tree

Check out the signs that tell if you have overwatered your money tree.

1) Yellow leaves

Money Tree (Pachira Aquatica) leaves turning yellow

Overwatering might not be a problem initially, but as you keep doing it repeatedly, the roots get suffocated and lose the ability to function correctly.

Since the roots cannot absorb nutrients and moisture from the soil, it results in discoloration or yellowing of the leaves.

In an overwatered money tree, the lower leaves will turn yellow and spread all over the plant.

Also Read: Why Is My Money Tree Leaves Turning Yellow? (Causes+How To Fix)

2) Droopy leaves

Drooping leaves are typical for both overwatering and underwatering. In the case of underwatering, watering the plant thoroughly will help it recover.

If droopy leaves are caused by overwatering, your money tree has remained in the water for too long. Therefore, the roots have stopped functioning, and the plant has not received its usual dose of moisture and nutrition.

Droopy leaves are also accompanied by yellowing or browning of leaves.

Also Read: Why Are My Money Tree Leaves Drooping? (Causes+How To Fix)

3) Brown spots on the leaves

Brown spots on the money tree leaves are a common sign of overwatering. Initially, you will notice small spots that eventually grow and can cover the whole leaf.

There may be yellow outlines around the brown spots. These are not only signs of overwatering but also root rot. Even some fungal diseases can cause these brown spots.

Therefore, whenever you notice brown spots or brown leaves on your money tree, you should prune them with sterilized scissors.

4) Brown tips and edges on the leaves

Money Tree (Pachira Aquatica) drying up

The money tree appreciates thorough watering, but the plant will sit on the water for a long time if you continue doing it frequently.

Due to exposure to excess water, the plant will develop brown tips and edges on the leaves.

Also Read: Why Is My Money Tree Leaves Turning Brown? (Causes+How To Fix)

5) Leaves falling off the plant

You may notice the yellowing or browning of leaves in an overwatered money tree. All these leaves will eventually fall off.

Whenever you overwater a money tree, the leaves fall from all parts of the plant, affecting both old and new leaves.

6) Mold

Mold is a white substance that you notice on the soil. You should not worry about it if it is found in the soil mix.

However, in an overwatered money tree, you will see more mold growth as the soil remains moist for too long. A damp environment is ideal for the development of mold.

A moist environment will also bring other fungal diseases and pests, which can be very dangerous for your plant.

7) Soft and mushy leaves

Money Tree (Pachira Aquatica) disease

An overwatered money tree will start shriveling because of too much water. In such conditions, the plant can have severe tissue damage that will affect the leaves.

Therefore, you will notice that the leaves and sometimes the stems feel mushy. You will also find that the plant has become weak.

Root rot In Overwatered Money Tree

Root rot is when the leaves are damaged due to staying in the water for too long. As a result, they absorb too much water and become suffocating.

Root rot is the primary cause of the wilting of money trees whenever you overwater them. So, we will discuss root rot in detail.

If you overwater your money tree for a long period, the plant will sit in the water for a long time, and the money tree will not enjoy that. Due to this, the roots will not function well as they will become unhealthy due to exposure to excess water.

When the roots stop functioning, absorbing water or nutrients and sending them to all the plant parts will be difficult. As a result, the plant becomes weak. In addition, the roots change their texture and become brown and mushy, called root rot.

Signs of root rot

Root rot can have some visible as well as invisible signs. Let’s find out what they are. 

  • Soft stems
  • Discolored leaves
  • Yellow or brown leaves
  • Wrinkled leaves
  • Mold on the soil
  • A foul smell coming from the soil
  • Mushy and stinky roots
  • The color of the roots turns brown, grey, or black. 

How do you save the money tree from root rot or overwatering damage?

Money Tree (Pachira Aquatica) repotting

Let’s look at the steps to help you save your money tree from root rot.

First, you need to stop watering your plant. Since you have already overwatered the plant, giving it more water will only worsen the condition. Therefore, you should stop watering till the plant and the soil dries out. Don’t forget to place the plant in a bright area to speed up the process.

Next, you will notice discolored and damaged leaves on the money tree since it has suffered from root rot and overwatering. Since the damaged leaves will not become healthy again, it would be best to eliminate them by pruning them with a pair of sterilized pruners.

You need to remove the money tree from its pot to eliminate the damaged roots. If the plant doesn’t come out of the pot easily, you can run a knife along the edges inside the pot to loosen the grip. You can trim the damaged roots once the plant is out of the pot.

Other than the damaged roots and leaves, it is best to eliminate the soft stems. However, you cannot do this if the main trunk has become soft or all the trunks are soft. In that case, you will need to propagate the plant using the remaining healthy part.

If there is severe root rot in your money tree, you might need to remove most of its leaves. And you will need to repot the money tree.

To repot the money tree, you will need a new pot or wash the old pot with bleach to ensure it does not contain any bacteria or fungus. Ensure that the new pot has proper drainage holes, and if you use the old container, ensure the drainage holes are not blocked.

It is best to get a fresh soil mix for your money tree, as the old soil might be infected with the fungus caused by root rot. You must get well-draining soil for your money tree supporting ground drainage.

Take the pot and add some small stones to the bottom of it. It will prevent the blockage of the drainage holes. After that, put the soil in the pot. Place your money tree in the middle and add more soil to help it settle down.

Once you have successfully reported the money tree, consider placing it in a bright area and avoid fertilizing until your plant recovers fully. 

Propagation: Last Resort To Save Overwatered Money Tree

Sometimes, the overwatering can be extremely severe, and there might be no way of reviving your money tree. In that case, you should propagate the money tree.

If your money tree has healthy stems, take a cutting around 6 inches long with many leaf nodes. Place one-third of the cutting inside the soil in a container.

Water the cutting and cover it with a plastic bag. Once you notice routes coming out, allow the roots to grow more and then transplant them in a large pot with fresh soil.

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

How to avoid overwatering your money tree

Money Tree (Pachira Aquatica) watering

If you want to avoid overwatering your money tree, remember the following points.

  • Avoid watering until the top layers of the soil have dried out.
  • Check if the drainage holes are working correctly and lift the excess water drain out from the pot.
  • Use a well-draining soil mix.
  • Use a moisture meter to determine the moisture level of the soil.
  • Give the money tree more water during the growing season and cut back on the watering during the fall and winter seasons.
  • Consider other external factors. For example, if your money tree is placed in a bright environment, give it more water. In a low-light area, the money tree will require less water.

Conclusion: What to do if I overwatered my money tree?

We have already discussed the steps to recover the money tree from root rot, and most of the steps of recovering an overwatered money tree remain the same. But Here is a quick recap on how to save your overwatered money tree:

  • Stop watering your money tree immediately. Allow the soil to dry out completely. Money trees are very susceptible to root rot from overwatering.
  • Check the roots for any mushy, dark spots that indicate root rot. Use clean, sterilized scissors or pruners to trim away any rotten portions.
  • Repot the plant in fresh, well-draining potting soil. Use a terra cotta or plastic pot with drainage holes.
  • Place the plant in a sunny spot with good airflow to help the soil dry out faster. Avoid low, humid areas.
  • Monitor the plant closely for signs of stress, like wilting or yellowing leaves. This indicates the roots may still be damaged.
  • Don’t water again until the soil is completely dry. Stick your finger in the soil to check moisture levels.
  • Water sparingly going forward, only when the top inch or two of soil is dry. Err on the side of under-watering rather than over-watering.
  • Fertilize only during the growing season to promote new root growth.
  • Be patient, as the plant may take a few weeks to fully recover. Trim off any leaves or branches that don’t perk back up.

Reference: WIKIPEDIA.


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