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Why Is My Money Tree Dying? (Pachira Aquatica Dying)

The money tree, also called Pachira Aquatica, is a wonderful tropical houseplant with beautiful green leaves. However, it can be worrisome if the plant starts dying. But why is your money tree dying?

Inadequate watering, poor lighting, overfertilization, and exposure to direct sunlight are major causes of a dying money tree. Apart from these, pest infestation and blockage of drainage holes can also be a problem. Provide bright indirect light and water adequately to keep it healthy.

Whenever something is wrong with the plant, it gives out signs through its leaves. Therefore, you need to understand the problem with your money tree by looking at its leaves.

This article has covered all the causes and signs that can eventually lead to dying leaves on your money tree. Keep reading to find out the solutions to all the problems as well.


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Signs of dying leaves on money tree

Dying leaves indicate that something is seriously wrong with your plant. But before the leaves start dying or fall off, it shows different signs.

The signs that lead to dying leaves are:

  • Yellow leaves
  • Brown leaves
  • Droopy leaves
  • Wilting of leaves
  • White spots on leaves
  • Brown tips on leaves
  • Holes in the leaves
  • Black spots on leaves

Let’s dive deep into each of these problems and figure out how to deal with them.

Once you identify the exact problem, you will be able to revive your money tree before they die.

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

Yellow leaves on money tree

Overwatering is a common reason behind the yellowing of leaves. Money trees don’t prefer staying in wet soil as the moisture affects the roots, leading to root rot.

Yellow leaves are an early sign of root rot. When the roots remain wet for a long duration, they get suffocated and cannot absorb water or nutrition from the soil. This leads to a weak plant with yellow leaves.

Low light is another reason that can cause yellow leaves on the money tree. Money trees require a lot of light, and if they are not getting enough of that, the photosynthesis process and their growth will slow down.

Due to slow growth and lack of photosynthesis, the leaves of the plant will turn yellow.

Solution

You need to provide 6 to 8 hours of indirect sunlight to your money tree.

If the plant is placed in a low light area, you need to consider relocating it to a better place where it gets sufficient filtered light.

If you don’t get enough natural light inside your house, consider purchasing artificial lights available online. You can place these lights over your plant, and they will fulfill the lighting requirements.

Avoid overwatering your money tree out of excess care. Money trees prefer infrequent and deep watering. If you are watering it frequently, it will become overwatered.

Therefore, always check the soil to ensure that it’s at least 50-75% dry before watering your money tree. Keep checking the pot’s drainage holes to ensure that they are not blocked and let excess water pass out after you water the plant.

Brown leaves on money tree

You might notice brown leaves on your money tree if it is placed under direct sunlight. Since money trees find direct sunlight too harsh, staying under it can burn its leaves.

If the leaves get severely scorched, the leaves will turn brown and eventually die.

You might find brown leaves if you place your money tree near the furnace or fireplace. The heat can burn the leaves and make them turn brown.

Overwatering can also lead to the browning of the leaves. An overwatered money tree will develop root rot.

If the roots stay wet for a prolonged period, they start to rot. The plant doesn’t get sufficient energy due to the lack of water and nutrition from the roots.

All the parts of the plant become weak, and the leaves get discolored and turn brown.

Solution

If your money tree is placed on the patio or anywhere outside, you need to check to ensure that it is not getting direct sunlight.

You can move it under shade to protect it from the direct sun. And if the plant is placed near a window, you can move it few feet away or use curtains to filter the direct sunlight.

Instead of following any watering routine blindly, you should check the soil every time before watering the money tree.

You can start by watering the money tree once in one or two weeks and check how the plant is reacting to it. You can then adjust the watering as per your plant’s reaction and requirements.



Droopy leaves

The major reason behind drooping leaves on your money tree is the lack of water.

If you are not giving your money tree enough water, it will get dehydrated and stressed. The leaves of the money tree will also droop because of this.

Even overwatering can cause the leaves to droop. When you overwater your money tree, the leaves turn yellow and droop due to lack of nutrition.

During winter, when the duration of the light reduces, the money tree doesn’t get enough light, due to which its leaves can droop.

Solution

You can place your money tree under the direct morning sun in winter. And you can use artificial lights to provide enough light to your money tree.

If you notice droopy leaves on an underwatered money tree, first, you need to give it a good shower and then gradually increase the watering.

However, if the money tree is overwatered, you will need to cut back on watering for a few days and let the plant recover and the soil dry.

In extreme situations, you need to repot the plant after pruning the damaged roots and leaves.

Wilting of leaves

If you notice that the leaves of your money tree are wilting, it might be due to overfertilization and overwatering.

Fertilizers are necessary to boost growth, but too much fertilizer can damage the plant’s roots, resulting in wilting of leaves.

You should not fertilize your money tree too often with a heavy dose.

Like overfertilization, overwatering will also target the roots of the plant and damage them. Overwatering leads to root rot, due to which the leaves wilt.

Solution

Other than reducing the watering, you need to check the drainage system and soil that’s holding your money tree.

The pot which holds your money tree should have working drainage holes to let excess water pass out of the system. You should also use soil that supports proper drainage.

Never water your money tree without checking the soil’s moisture level by sticking your finger inside it.

The money tree is a light feeder, so it is advised that you dilute the prescribed dose to reduce its strength so that the roots do not get damaged.

You should also refrain from fertilizing the money tree during winter as that can also damage the roots and cause wilting of leaves.

White spots on money tree leaves

If your money tree is getting too much sunlight, its leaves will start getting scorched and become discolored and white.

Money trees cannot tolerate direct sunlight as they prefer indirect light, which is ideal for them. If you place the money tree under direct sunlight, it will affect the leaves and burn them.

In this case, you will notice that the upper leaves have turned white while the lower leaves, which were under the shade of the upper leaves, are unaffected.

One more reason can be pest infestation. If your money tree is attacked by pests, such as mealybugs spider mites, you can see discoloration and white spots on the plant’s leaves.

Solution

To get rid of the pests on your money tree, you can either use a commercial pesticide or natural remedies such as neem oil solution.

If you spray neem oil solution on your money tree for two weeks, it will help to eliminate all the pests. If you are using pesticides, read the instructions carefully to understand how to use them on your plant.

To protect your money tree from direct sunlight, place it in an area where it gets indirect or filtered light so that the leaves don’t get burnt and remain healthy and green.

Brown tips on leaves of money tree

Besides the leaves of your money tree turning brown, the tip of the leaves can also turn brown. This happens due to insufficient water.

If you keep your money tree thirsty for too long, the soil will become dry, and the leaves will have brown and crunchy tips.

Also, if you are giving too much fertilizer to your money tree, it can have brown tips due to the excess salt buildup on the soil.

An overdose of fertilizers draws all the moisture out of the plant’s roots and makes the plant dehydrated.

Solution

The money tree prefers infrequent watering, but that does not mean you should overlook it for a long time.

Consider watering your money tree if the soil looks and feels dry from inside. And don’t put too much gap between every watering session.

Fertilize your money tree once a month during spring and summer. If you give the money tree the prescribed amount mentioned in the bottle of the fertilizer, you might be overdoing it.

Fertilize the money tree with a well-balanced liquid fertilizer that is half of the prescribed strength.

Holes in the leaves of money tree

If your money tree develops a fungus infection called the leaf spot disease, you might notice holes in the leaves. The leaves grow small spots that eventually lead to holes in the leaves of your money tree.

When pests attack the money tree, they can eat through the leaves and make holes in them. Pests such as liriomyza melanogaster feed on the leaves and are hardly visible, so they can go unnoticed for an extended period.

Other pests like spider mites can also attack your money tree and make holes in the leaves. The pests can attack in the winter season as the plant might not get enough light, so you should keep a check on your money tree during winter.

Solution

If your money tree has developed leaf spot disease, you need to treat the plant with a fungicide. You need to prune the affected leaves and use a commercial fungicide or neem oil to treat the infection.

In case of pest infestation, you can spray neem oil solution on your money tree to eliminate the pests.

Black spots on leaves of money tree

If your money tree is affected with extreme root rot, the leaves can develop black spots on them. If your money tree is overwatered, its roots will become weak due to the lack of nutrition and staying wet for long.

If the money tree is affected by root rot, the plant might become a target for the bacteria or fungus, which will eventually lead to black spots on leaves.

Solution

Money trees don’t enjoy sitting in excess water, and such a condition can lead to different problems in the plant.

You need to:

  • Water the plant after making sure that the soil is not wet.
  • Avoid watering frequently.
  • Check the drainage holes and ensure that they are allowing excess water to pass out of the pot.
  • Use well-draining and nutritious soil.

Use a good fungicide or pesticide to get rid of pests or fungus infections.


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

All the problems that you notice on the leaves on your money tree can lead to falling or dying leaves on your money tree if you neglect them. So, you need to take steps to cure the problem whenever you see something unusual with the leaves of your money tree.

However, you need not worry if old leaves die and fall off as that is entirely natural, and it happens with all plants.


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