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7 Signs Your Money Tree Is Dying (+What To Do)

Is your money tree showing signs of decline? Let’s uncover the clues.

While the money tree is an easy-to-care-for houseplant symbolizing good luck, it’s not immune to issues. Promptly identifying signs of a dying money tree can help save it from further decline.

Here are some signs of a dying money tree:

  • Yellow leaves
  • Brown leaves
  • Wilting of leaves
  • White spots on leaves
  • Leggy growth
  • Droopy leaves
  • Shriveling leaves

Each sign can stem from various reasons, and your key is pinpointing the exact problem through careful observation.

Once you can identify the exact issue, you will be able to help your money tree recover.

Let’s explore the potential signs of a dying money tree and find ways to rejuvenate your plant.

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.

Signs money tree is dying

You will notice different signs before your money tree finally gives up. This article is written to help you identify the signs and the problems behind them.

Noticing the signs in the initial stages can be a blessing as you can save your plant before it’s too late. Let’s look at some common signs indicating that your money tree is dying.

Also Read: How Do You Revive A Dying Money Tree? (Possible Problems+Solution)

1) The leaves of the money tree are turning yellow.

Money Tree (Pachira Aquatica) leaves turning yellow

Yellow leaves are an early sign of a dying money tree. When you notice yellow leaves on the plant, remember that you still have time to revive your money tree and remove the yellow leaves.

Overfertilization: The money tree does not require heavy doses of fertilizers. You might be making a mistake if you purchase any general houseplant fertilizer and give your money tree the instructed amount.

Overfertilization can burn the money tree’s roots, leading to yellow leaves. Therefore, it is suggested that you dilute the instructed dose to half-strength so the plant doesn’t get overfertilized.

If your money tree is overfertilized, rinse the soil thoroughly to remove the excess fertilizer. In case of extreme conditions, consider repotting the plant.

Watering issues: Yellow leaves can be caused by both overwatering and underwatering.

The money tree requires water when the soil is 50-75% dry. If you water it when the soil is still moist, you will overwater it.

Overwatering prevents the routes from observing water and nutrition from the soil. This makes the plant weak, and the leaves turn yellow.

In underwatering, which means that you are not giving enough water to your money tree, the roots don’t get water for nutrition that it can spread to the other parts of the plant. This results in a dry plant and yellow leaves.

The solution to this problem is to avoid watering when the soil is still moist and not keep the plant thirsty for too long.

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

2) The leaves of the money tree have started turning brown

Money Tree (Pachira Aquatica) drying up

Leaves turning brown can worry you as they don’t look good on plants.

Direct sunlight: Since the money tree is a tropical plant, it requires a lot of light to thrive. However, it cannot handle direct sunlight.

If the leaves of your money tree turn brown, it might be due to the harsh sunlight burning them.

If your plant is under sunlight, you need to relocate it to a spot that does not get direct sunlight but sufficient indirect light. You can move your money tree away from the window or use curtains to filter the light.

Look after the plant by giving it adequate care and letting it recover for a few days.

Overwatering: The money tree enjoys infrequent but deep watering. Giving your money tree more water out of care will not do any good for your plant.

Overwatering can lead to root rot, which will cause the browning of leaves that eventually fall off.

To deal with overwatering, you need to stop watering the plant and keep it under good light and in an aerated area so the soil can dry.

Once the plant has recovered and the soil is dry, you can water it again. However, make sure to check the soil every time you consider watering the plant.

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

3) Wilting of leaves

Money Tree (Pachira Aquatica) disease

If you notice wilting of leaves on your money tree, you can consider some of the following problems.

Lack of light: During winter, the intensity and duration of sunlight are reduced significantly.

Your money might not be getting enough light. If this continues for long, the plant will have problems performing photosynthesis, resulting in wilting of leaves.

You must relocate your money tree to a different location for sufficient light. Or else, you can use artificial lights.

Relocation: When you relocate your money tree from indoors to outdoors and vice versa, the plant might get stressed due to the sudden changes in temperature, light, and humidity.

Sudden shock or stress can lead to wilting of leaves. If you give the plant time to adjust and gradually change, your plant will not face this problem.

Pests: Other than feeding on your plant, pests can bring other problems along with them.

Pests such as mealybugs and spider mites suck the nutrition out of the plant, that eventually leads to wilting of the leaves.

You can use natural remedies such as spraying neem oil solution on the plant to eliminate the pests. You can also get commercial insecticides to eliminate the pests.

4) White spots on the money tree

Money Tree (Pachira Aquatica) turning white

Let’s find out the reasons behind white spots on your money tree.

Quality of the water: If you are using regular tap water to water your money tree, the content of the water might be causing white spots on the plant’s leaves.

Tap water might contain minerals such as calcium and chlorine that are not ideal for plants and can make the leaves lose color and develop white spots.

Instead of tap water, you can use filtered water or rainwater. You can also keep tap water in an open area for some time and then use it to water your money tree.

Fungal disease: Powdery mildew can be the reason behind white spots on your money. Powdery mildew is a disease that can be very harmful to plants.

A damp environment that does not get sufficient light is ideal for the growth of powdery mildew. This disease can occur in winter when the light is low, and the soil remains moist for a long time.

Since this is a deadly disease, you should treat it as soon as possible to save the money tree.

You can create a mixture by adding: 

  • 1 Gallon of water
  • One tablespoon of baking soda
  • Half a tablespoon of non-detergent soap

Wash the leaves of your money tree with this solution for a week. You can also consider purchasing a fungicide from the market and using it to eliminate the powdery mildew.

5) Leggy growth in the money tree

Money Tree (Pachira Aquatica) leggy (2)

Leggy growth occurs due to weakness in the plants.

Low light: One of the main reasons behind leggy growth is low light.

If your money tree does not get sufficient light, I will try to find a light source and start leaning toward it. In this process, the stem will grow too long, lack the energy to grow as many leaves on it, and become leggy.

To fix this issue, you must place your money tree in an area with enough light.

Overfertilization: When you overfertilize your money tree, the roots get burnt and cannot nourish the plant. Due to this, the plant becomes weak and does not have the energy for proper growth. The plant becomes leggy due to this lack of energy.

Wash the soil thoroughly to remove the excess fertilizer and prune all the leggy growth.

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

6) The leaves of my money tree are drooping

Money Tree (Pachira Aquatica) leaves drooping

You might see drooping leaves on your money tree, but you can fix them.

Underwatering: The most common reason leading to droopy leaves in plants is underwatering.

When your money tree doesn’t get adequate water, it becomes dehydrated, which causes the leaves to start drooping.

However, you can restore the droopy leaves by watering the money tree thoroughly.

Do not neglect your plant; water it whenever the soil feels dry.

Overwatering: Overwatering makes your money tree weak. If your money tree is overwatered, the first part that will get affected is the roots.

The roots will start rotting due to excess moisture and will not function properly due to suffocation. This will lead to a weak plant that cannot hold its leaves, resulting in droopy leaves.

You must stop watering the money tree immediately and repot the plant if required. Prune the damaged roots and leaves so that the plant can recover fast.

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

7) The money tree leaves are shriveling

Money Tree (Pachira Aquatica) losing leaves

Overwatering and pest infestation can cause the leaves of your money tree to wither.

Overwatering: If you overwater your money tree, the roots suffocate due to excess water and fail to absorb water and nutrition from the soil. The plants don’t get enough nutrition due to this and start wilting.

Place your overwatered money tree in a bright area where the soil can dry up faster. When the soil dries completely, consider watering the money tree.

However, reevaluate your watering habits and never water if the soil is still moist.

Pests: Pests such as spider mites, thrips, mealybugs, etc., can attack your money tree and cause severe damage. These pests can multiply very fast if you don’t take any action.

If you notice shriveling leaves on your money tree, you should check the plant and the undersides of the leaves to figure out if there are any pests.

You can spray neem oil solution on your money tree for two weeks or use pesticides to eliminate pests from the plant. You can spray the neem oil solution as a preventive measure to keep the bugs away.

Also Read: Why Is My Money Tree Dying? (Pachira Aquatica Dying)

Final Words

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 All the signs discussed in the article can lead to a dying money tree, but a little attention can save your plant.

When you notice your money tree giving out signs such as yellow leaves or leggy growth, look at the plant and find the underlying cause.

Once you have figured out the issue, you can take the necessary actions mentioned in this article, and you will be able to easily save your dying money tree.

Reference: WIKIPEDIA.

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  1. Carol says:

    My money tree has the following: white spots on leaves,turn brown and drop off, some of my leaves are “frilly” on the edges and seem to bend or tuck under. I am getting a lot of new growth but.. She doesn’t look healthy. I re-potted last year because my tree is over three feet tall…root rot isn’t the.problen,I dont see any evidence.of.pests… I water and.seems like the next day I can go down two three inches and still dry. Should I just over water till I see the water and go from there? Should I fertilize? I hate to see her go, she is a gift from my son. I live in Michigan so not a.lot of sun in winter ,I have a plant light I leave on for 6/8 hours and.when.sun light is available I place her in a doorway so she receives filter sun light. Please help!! I am usually so “green thumbed” but this stumped! Thank you!

    • Richa says:

      Hi Carol,

      It sounds like your money tree might be dealing with a few issues. White spots that turn brown could be a sign of a fungal issue or mineral deposits from hard water. Frilly leaves could indicate a lack of humidity or uneven watering. Here’s what to do:

      Ensure you’re watering only when the top 2-3 inches of soil are dry. Instead of overwatering in one go, water thoroughly until you see water draining out, then let it dry out before the next watering.
      Increase humidity around the plant, perhaps with a humidifier or a pebble tray with water under the pot.
      Use filtered or rainwater if your tap water is hard.
      Hold off on fertilizing until your plant is showing signs of recovery, as stressed plants can be sensitive to fertilizer.
      Continue to provide good light with your plant lamp, especially through the Michigan winter.
      Hang in there, and with a bit of adjustment, you and your green thumb will have your money tree back to its lush self in no time!

      Rooting for you and your money tree! 🌳💚


    i had about 10 plants that have died,tried to keep watering down to once a week think i overwatered

    • Richa says:

      I would suggest checking the soil before watering and making sure the pot has drainage holes, and they aren’t clogged. This is something that never fails!