Money Tree Leaves Turning Yellow, Brown, Falling or Drooping: Reasons & Solutions

By: Matt Slaymaker
December 18, 2023
Money Tree Leaves Turning Yellow, Brown, Falling or Drooping
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The money tree, or Pachira aquatica, is one of the most popular tropical houseplants known for its low-maintenance care needs and beautiful palm-shaped leaves. The tree has positive associations with Feng Shui as it's believed to bring good fortune and wealth. However, the leaves of this hardy indoor plant may turn yellow, brown, or white or start curling and drooping if there's a problem.

As a dedicated houseplant parent, you may wonder, "Why are my money tree leaves turning yellow?" Money tree yellow leaves happen for many reasons, including overwatering, insufficient humidity, inconsistent temperature, and pest infestations. Luckily, if you identify the problem in time, restoring your plant's health is possible.

Money Tree Leaves: Issues, Causes, & Solutions

Growing as tall as 3 to 6 feet, the money tree is an excellent addition to any room. And this tropical plant can look great and thrive in your home with proper care. However, looking after a money tree comes with possible leaf issues, and this section explores their potential causes and solutions.

Why Are My Money Tree Leaves Turning Yellow?

Your money tree leaves are turning yellow due to various reasons. However, if you know what signs to look for, then narrowing down the cause and fixing the issue is easy. Here are six common reasons for money tree leaves turning yellow:

  • Overwatering – Overwatering causes root rot, resulting in yellowing leaves.
  • Insufficient humidity Arid conditions can cause your plant's leaves to get crispy brown edges before wilting and dropping off.
  • Excessive light – Long-term exposure to extreme, direct light can cause money tree yellowing leaves due to sunburn.
  • Inconsistent temperature – Placing your money tree plant in areas with fluctuating temperatures, swinging between extremes, can trigger leaf yellowing.
  • Pest infestation – Houseplant pests such as mealybugs and spider mites feed on the sap from the plant parts, causing the yellowing leaves.
  • Normal plant growth – Occasional money tree leaf yellowing is entirely normal. As your plant grows, older leaves naturally yellow, die, and drop off.

Solution: How Do You Fix Yellow Leaves on a Money Tree?

  • Adjust your watering routine to allow the top inch of soil to dry before rewatering;
  • Increase humidity around your money tree by misting its leaves regularly, placing a humidifier nearby, or setting it on a tray with water and pebbles;
  • Move your money tree to a location with filtered or indirect sunlight to protect it from sunburn;
  • Maintain a stable temperature range of 65-850F;
  • Use natural remedies like insecticidal soap or neem oil to address pest issues;

Money Tree Leaves Turning Brown

Money Tree Leaves Turning Brown

Source: Gardenforindoor.com

Money tree leaves turning brown can be attributed to various factors, with the primary culprit often being inadequate watering practices. Underwatering causes the plant to lose moisture, resulting in dry, brown edges and eventually affecting the entire leaf.

Conversely, overwatering can drown the roots, leading to rot, which manifests as brown, mushy leaves. Inconsistent watering schedules, nutrient deficiencies, and environmental stressors can also cause money tree leaves browning issue.

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Brown Spots on Money Tree Leaves

Brown Spots on Money Tree Leaves

Source: Reddit

Brown spots on money tree leaves may signify fungal or bacterial infections. These pathogens thrive in humid conditions, resulting from water splashes on leaves or high humidity levels. Additionally, exposure to sudden temperature changes can cause leaf stress, leading to formation of brown spots. Pest infestations, such as scale insects or spider mites, can lead to localized browning.

Solution: How Do You Fix Brown Leaves on a Money Tree?

First, follow a consistent watering routine. Allow the top inches of potting soil to dry between waterings to prevent root rot. Trim affected leaves to encourage new growth.

If you suspect fungal or bacterial infections, isolate the plant to prevent the spread and apply a fungicide or bactericide as directed. Maintain a stable environment, avoiding cold drafts and sudden temperature changes.

Then, regularly inspect your plant for pests, and if they are found, treat them with appropriate measures such as insecticidal soap. Proper care and a conducive environment will aid in the recovery of your money tree's leaf health.

Why Are My Money Tree Leaves Turning White?

Why Are My Money Tree Leaves Turning White?

Source: Simplify Plants

Money tree leaves turning white occurs due to powdery mildew, a bacterial or fungal infection that thrives in humid conditions. This white, powdery substance forms on the leaves, hindering photosynthesis and affecting the plant's health. Other factors like pests, e.g., scale insects or spider mites, can also cause leaves to turn white as they feed on the plant’s vital nutrients.

White Spots on Money Tree Leaves

White Spots on Money Tree Leaves

Source: Reddit

White spots on a money tree indicate the plant is being burnt in direct sunlight. It also shows insect infestation, micronutrient deficiency, and the mosaic virus. Moreover, the appearance of white spots suggests the presence of powdery mildew colonies or spores on the leaf surface.

Solution: How Do You Treat White Spots on Leaves?

Start by isolating the affected plant to prevent the spread of infection. Remove and dispose of severely affected leaves. If the cause is identified as a fungal or bacterial infection, treat the plant with a suitable fungicide or bactericide following the product's instructions.

For pest issues, apply natural remedies like neem oil or insecticidal soap. Regularly monitor your money tree for signs of recurrence and maintain a vigilant care routine to promote its overall well-being.

Money Tree Leaves Curling: Reasons and Fixes

Money Tree Leaves Curling: Reasons and Fixes

Source: Friendly Gardener

Your money tree leaves can curl due to various factors, often signaling the plant's response to environmental stress. Underwatering or inconsistent watering routines may cause the leaves to curl inward as the plant attempts to minimize water loss.

Additionally, exposure to direct sunlight or low humidity can induce leaf curling as the plant adjusts to protect itself from adverse conditions. Pests, like scale or spider mites, can also trigger this response by inflicting damage to the leaves. Moreover, money tree leaves curling may occur due to root rot from overwatering as the tree cannot absorb nutrients like Calcium and water for the leaves.

Solution: Money Tree Curled Leaves: What to Do

Start by assessing and adjusting your watering practices. Ensure the soil remains moist but well-draining, allowing the top inch to dry between waterings. If the curling is due to exposure to excessive light or drafts, relocate your money tree to a spot with indirect sunlight and away from drafty areas.

Regularly inspect your plant for pests, and if identified, apply suitable treatments such as neem oil or insecticidal soap. Consistent care, proper environmental conditions, and targeted pest control measures will contribute to the restoration of your money tree's leaf structure.

Why Is My Money Tree Leaves Droopy?

Why Is My Money Tree Leaves Droopy?

Source: Reddit

Money tree leaves drooping is an issue that occurs due to various reasons, reflecting the plant's response to stress or unfavorable conditions. Here are potential reasons and brief explanations:

  • Overwatering: Excessive moisture causes root rot, impacting the plant's ability to support its leaves.
  • Underwatering: Insufficient water supply causes dehydration, causing the leaves to droop as the plant conserves water.
  • Incorrect lighting: Exposure to direct sunlight or inadequate light can stress the plant, leading to drooping leaves.
  • Temperature extremes: Fluctuations between high and low temperatures can stress the money tree, resulting in droopy foliage.
  • Root bound: If the plant has outgrown its pot, it may become root-bound, restricting its ability to absorb water and nutrients.

Solution: What to Do About Drooping Money Tree Leaves?

Holes in Money Tree Leaves: Possible Reasons and Solutions

Holes in Money Tree Leaves

Source: Reddit

Pests

  • Reason: Spider mites, scale insects, or caterpillars can chew through money tree leaves, creating holes.
  • Solution: Use natural remedies like insecticidal soap or neem oil to eliminate them. Isolate heavily affected plants to prevent further infestation.

Physical Damage

  • Reason: Accidental damage from brushing against sharp objects or pets can cause holes in the leaves.
  • Solution: Place your money tree in a safer location away from potential sources of physical harm. Trim damaged leaves to encourage new, healthy growth.

Fungal or Bacterial Infections

  • Reason: Diseases such as leaf spot or blight can cause the formation of holes in money tree leaves.
  • Solution: Apply a suitable fungicide or bactericide as directed to prevent the spread of the infection.

Nutrient Deficiencies

  • Reason: Lack of essential nutrients, especially Calcium, weakens the leaf structure, making them more susceptible to damage.
  • Solution: Use a fertilizer with appropriate nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium ratios to address nutrient deficiencies.

Water Quality

  • Reason: Poor water quality, such as high levels of chlorine or fluoride, can contribute to leaf damage and the formation of holes.
  • Solution: Use filtered or distilled water for your money tree to prevent exposure to harmful substances. Allow tap water to sit for about a day before using it to let chlorine dissipate.

Money Tree Leaves Falling Off: Why and How to Fix

Money Tree Leaves Falling Off

Source: Reddit

Sudden money tree leaves falling off can cause concern, and several factors may contribute to this issue. Overwatering leads to root rot, dehydration, exposure to extreme temperatures, or a pest infestation can all trigger leaf drop. Also, stress due to changes in lighting conditions, pot-bound roots, or nutrient deficiencies may prompt your money tree to shed its leaves. Identifying the specific cause is crucial for implementing targeted solutions.

Will the Leaves Grow Back on My Money Tree?

Will the Leaves Grow Back on My Money Tree?

Source: Livelyroot

In most cases, if the underlying issue causing leaf drop is addressed promptly, and the overall health of the money tree is restored, new growth will likely emerge. Regular care, proper watering, and attention to environmental conditions will encourage the development of fresh, vibrant leaves.

Solution: How Do You Save a Money Tree Without Leaves?

Avoid overwatering or underwatering, provide filtered or indirect sunlight and maintain stable lighting to reduce plant stress. If the plant is root-bound or the soil is unhealthy, consider repotting in fresh, well-draining soil. Use a balanced fertilizer to address nutrient deficiencies and promote overall plant health.

Money Tree Leaves: Prevention and Care Tips

A proactive and attentive care regimen is essential to maintain the lush vibrancy of your money tree leaves and prevent common issues like sunburn, yellowing, brown spots, white discoloration, drooping, and leaf curling. Here are a few care tips to help you foster a thriving environment for your money tree and ensure its overall well-being:

  • Well-draining soil: Use a well-draining potting mix to prevent waterlogging and root rot. Money trees prefer slightly moist, not soggy, conditions.
  • Balanced fertilization: Apply a balanced liquid fertilizer every 4-6 weeks during the growing season (spring and summer). This ensures the plant receives essential nutrients for healthy leaf development.
  • Appropriate pot size: Choose a pot with drainage holes that accommodate the plant's size, promoting healthy root growth and preventing water stagnation.
  • Watering routine: Water the money tree when the top inch of soil is dry. Avoid overwatering, which can lead to root rot, and underwatering, causing dehydration and leaf issues.
  • Indirect sunlight: Place the money tree in bright, indirect sunlight. Shield it from prolonged exposure to harsh direct sunlight to prevent issues like sunburn.
  • Pest and disease prevention: Regularly inspect the plant for pests, wipe leaves to remove dust, and isolate infected plants promptly. Implement natural remedies like neem oil for pest control.

Money Tree Leaves Issues: FAQs

Q: Why does my money tree lose its leaves?

A: Money trees may shed leaves due to overwatering, underwatering, exposure to extreme temperatures, pests, or environmental stress. Identifying and addressing the root cause is crucial for preventing further leaf loss.

Q: Should I cut dying leaves off my money tree?

A: Yes. Removing dying or yellow leaves helps redirect the plant's energy to healthy growth. Use clean, sharp scissors to trim leaves at the base and prune them regularly to promote overall plant vitality.

Q: Can you save a dehydrated money tree?

A: You can save a dehydrated money tree by thoroughly watering the soil and providing a humid environment. Gradually reintroduce it to regular care routines, ensuring proper hydration and recovery.

Q: How often should I water my money tree?

A: Water your money tree when the top inch of soil feels dry, typically every 1-2 weeks. The frequency depends on environmental conditions, pot size, and plant size. Adjust watering to prevent both overwatering and underwatering.

Conclusion

Nurturing a healthy and vibrant money tree requires a keen understanding of its unique needs. Yellowing leaves signal overwatering or insufficient humidity, while browning may result from pests or environmental stress. Fungal infections can lead to white discoloration, and drooping 

may be a response to watering or environmental factors. Curling leaves often indicate pest presence or inadequate care.

Timely identification and targeted solutions for these issues are vital in restoring your money tree's vitality. Remember, a well-balanced care routine, from proper watering to providing the right lighting, is your recipe for a thriving indoor oasis. Consider companion plants like snake plants or ZZ plants to complement your money tree and enhance the greenery in your space.