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How To Tell If Money Tree Is Dying? (7 Possible Signs)

The money tree is a popular houseplant that is easy to care for and is considered a sign of good luck. However, it might not be in its best shape always. It can even die if you don’t provide the ideal living conditions.

Note that if you can identify the signs on time and act on them, you might be able to save your money tree. So what are the signs of a dying money tree? Let’s find out!

Signs of a dying money tree are: 

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

Different reasons can cause each of these issues in your money tree. Your task is to identify the exact problem by scrutinizing the plant.

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

We will discuss the possible reasons and signs that tell you that your money tree is dying. An understanding of all the problems will help you to save your money tree from dying.


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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 take a look at some common signs that indicate that your money tree is dying.

The leaves of the money tree are 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. If you purchase fertilizer and give your money tree the instructed amount, you might be making a mistake.

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

If your money tree is overfertilized, you should 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 due to both overwatering and underwatering.

The money tree requires water when the soil is 50-75% dry. If you are watering it when the soil is still moist, you will end up overwatering 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 on 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.



The leaves of the money tree have started turning brown

Leaves turning brown can make you worried as they don’t look good on plants at all.

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 placed 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 let it recover for few days.

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

Overwatering can lead to root rot that will cause the browning of leaves that will 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 that the soil can get 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 considered watering the plant.

Wilting of leaves

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

Lack of light: During the winter season, the sunlight’s intensity and duration reduce 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 need to relocate your money tree to a different location to get sufficient light. Or else, you can use artificial lights.

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

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

Pests: Other than feeding on your plant, pests can bring others 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 get rid of the pests. You can also get commercial insecticides to eliminate the pests.

White spots on the money tree

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 leaves of the plant.

Tap water might contain minerals such as calcium and chlorine that are not ideal for the plants and can make the leaves lose their 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 baking soda
  • Half tablespoon 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 use it to get rid of the powdery mildew.

Leggy growth in the money tree

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 towards it. In this process, the stem will grow too long and will not have enough energy to grow as many leaves on it and become leggy.

To fix this issue, you need to place your money tree in an area that gets enough light.

Overfertilization: When you overfertilize your money tree, the roots get burnt and cannot provide nutrition to 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.

The leaves of my money tree are 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, due to which the leaves start drooping.

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

Do not neglect your plant and 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 need to 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.

The money tree leaves are shriveling

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

Overwatering: If you overwater your money tree, the roots get suffocated 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 shriveling.

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 leaves to figure out if there is any pest.

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.


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!


Final Words

What's WRONG with this PACHIRA AQUATICA (Money Tree) — Ep. 229

 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 that your money tree is giving out signs such as yellow leaves or leggy growth, take a good look at the plant and find the underlying cause.

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


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