Money tree plants are believed to offer their owners luck and positive energy, but when they grow large, you can ask the question, why are the leaves on my money tree turning yellow? Once you see this, you’ll need to know how to fix your money plant yellow leaf problems.
How can yellow leaves on a money tree be fixed? By recreating the conditions of a tropical jungle, you can make the yellow leaves of a money tree green again. To do this, you must protect them from temperature changes, maintain moist soil that is neither dry nor wet, give it six hours of indirect sunshine, and keep the humidity at 50% or above.
In our guide, you can learn more about what causes your leaves to turn yellow. By the end, you’ll see all the ways from natural aging, humidity, and watering problems that can cause yellow leaves. (Learn How To Propagate Polka Dot Plant)
Money Tree Plant Overview
The money tree plant (Pachira Aquatica) is popular, easy to care for, and linked to financial success and good fortune.
- Scientific name: Pachira aquatica
- Family: Malvaceae (Mallow family)
- Common names: Malabar chestnut, money tree plant, money plant, Guiana chestnut, saba nut, monguba, pump, wild kapok or Pachira, provision tree
- Habitat: Central and South America
- Size: 59.1 feet in the wild and 5ft as a houseplant
- Light conditions: Medium to bright indirect light
- Hardiness zone: 10-12
- Temperature: Prefers 65 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit but can tolerate slightly lower or higher temperatures
- Relative humidity: High, 50% and above
- Soil: Well-drained loamy soils, cactus soil mix, or potting mix. However, it can tolerate other soil mixes.
- Leaves: Shiny green palmate leaves with up to 9 leaflets
- Propagation: Cutting
- Toxicity: Non-toxic to dogs, cats, and humans
Why does Money Tree leave Turning Yellow?
Native to Central and South America, money trees (Pachira aquatica) can reach heights up to 60 feet in the wild. Most indoor money trees are little ornamental plants with delicate stems braided together and capped with rich green palate leaves.
Even though the Money Tree is often a tolerant and undemanding plant, it is a clue that something is off if its leaves turn yellow. Let’s go over each issue one at a time to assist you in fixing your plant:
Money trees (Pachira aquatica) flourish on soil that is kept just slightly moist because they adore moisture. Unfortunately, being overly attentive when watering a Money Tree is among the most frequent causes of yellow leaves on the plant.
Keep an eye out for withering leaves, even with moist soil and yellow leaves, especially those on the bottom leaves. If excessive over-watering has caused root rot, the ground may also have a decaying odor.
Overwatering can happen from anything that keeps the soil wet for an extended period, not only from watering too regularly.
Overwatering can result in a sick money tree with yellowing leaves from any of the following factors:
- Using a pot without drainage holes for planting.
- Planting in a huge jackpot.
- Excessive watering occurs before the top 1-2 inches of soil feel dry.
- It is not cleaning out the cachepot or drip tray after watering.
- We are planting in soil with limited drainage.
- Forgetting to cut back on watering in the winter or during cooler weather
- If your money tree is overwatered for an extended time, its roots may rot and even perish.
Do the following if you ask why is my money tree leaves turning yellow, even when the soil is moist:
- When the top several inches of soil feel dry, stop watering.
- Ensure that the earth and pot your plant is housed in are suitable.
- Check for root rot. You might need to carefully remove the plant from the pool to check the roots.
- If root rot is present, cut off infected roots, remove the old soil, and plant the seeds carefully in a new pot with fresh soil.
- Observing when the soil of your money tree dries out is the easiest way to determine when it needs watering.
- Instead of watering your plant on a schedule, check the soil and plant each time to see if more water is needed.
Many indoor plants might experience identical symptoms from both overwatering and underwatering.
The soil will be dry, and money tree yellow leaves or wilted leaves are more likely to feel dry and crispy when under-watering. Because of a lack of water, the pot will feel light.
This may occur if your money tree needs more water, such as during warm weather or when it is expanding quickly. If the pot is too tiny or the plant is becoming plant-bound, it may occur if you neglect to water it. (Read Why Are My Pumpkin Leaves Turning Yellow)
Increasing the watering frequency is the only way to guarantee that your Money Tree stays hydrated and content. Try to maintain constant moisture in the soil.
If the pot in which your money tree is growing is excessively small or many roots protrude from its bottom, repot it into a larger container. For further information, see my article on repotting root-bound houseplants.
3. Poorly Draining Soil
Fungal infection such as root rot frequently develops in the money tree plant as a turn of poorly draining soil to retain moisture for longer than necessary, leading to yellowing leaves with brown spots.
Reduced soil drainage can be caused by incorrect potting soil or a pot with insufficient drainage holes.
If you want your Money Tree to stay healthy and flourish, well-draining soil is a need to avoid diseased roots.
Consider adding additional drainage additives, such as perlite, coarse sand, or pumice, to the soil if you use a pre-made potting mix.
When you water your Money Tree plant, it likes deep but infrequent watering where water should immediately drain through the pot rather than collecting on top of the soil.
Ensure the pot has a suitable drainage hole, and let the pot drain after watering. A pebble tray is handy to catch excess water.
4. Lighting Issues
You may have positioned the money tree near a window where it will receive too much direct sun since you have read that it is a plant that enjoys warmth and bright light.
Although a money tree’s yellow leaves can come from excessively bright light when it should be “bright indirect sunlight.”
Therefore, too much direct sunlight will burn its leaves, making them yellow.
Particularly vulnerable to an abrupt rise in light levels is the money tree. Therefore, if you need to move your Money Tree to a brighter area, it is best to do it gradually over a few days to give the plant time to adjust to the new light intensity.
At the other end of the spectrum, too little light or poor lighting makes leaves floppy and pale green color.
The best location for a money tree is where it will get plenty of bright, indirect light or in a slightly shaded area.
An eastern-facing window will get early morning direct sunlight that is mild in intensity; after this, plants only receive indirect light without being in too much shade.
Northern-facing windows only receive indirect sunlight and can provide plants with consistent lighting conditions.
5. Humidity Levels
Although the Money Tree can survive low humidity, you can notice that your plant’s leaves are turning yellow or have brown edges, especially during the winter when central heating dries out the indoor air and lowers humidity levels.
The leaves may droop and turn yellow because of this humidity.
Using a humidifier is the most efficient way to increase humidity for your plant. However, you may also make your humidity-boosting tray by adding a few small pebbles to a shallow tray, pouring water to cover the stones partially, and then placing the plant on top of it.
Watering your plant also fills the tray with excess water, as the water will completely drain from the pot. (Read Peach Tree Leaves Turning Yellow – What To Do)
The idea of offering plants lots of fertilizer to make them grow faster is a mistake. Money trees don’t like feeding too much and do better with a bit of fertilizer than a lot.
Therefore, you notice early signs of yellowing or wilting leaves
despite regular fertilization. Conversely, direct toxicity of the leaves caused by excess fertilizer can produce bright green leaves and develop brown edges.
Excess fertilizer can also harm the roots, making it difficult to receive the nutrients and water the plant requires. This results in the plant drooping, leaf yellowing, and signs of water and nutritional deficiencies.
To remove excess fertilizer salts from the soil, consider replanting it in new soil or watering it thoroughly.
When the weather is warm, such as in the spring and summer, when the plant is actively growing, it is advisable to fertilize your money tree once a month. In the winter and autumn, stop fertilizing.
7. Fluctuating Temperature
A Money Tree’s yellow leaf may also result from sudden temperature swings. This will likely happen when you place the plant in front of or close to vents or drafts in a room.
This plant prefers a warm climate with temperatures ranging from 65 to 85 degrees Fahrenheit (18 to 29 degrees Celsius).
Check whether your plant is near a drafty window or a heating or cooling vent. If it is, relocate it to a spot where it won’t be subjected to temperature extremes, and think about using a thermometer to track the temperatures your plant is exposed to.
8. Transplant Shock
Suppose you’ve recently replanted your money tree and noticed its leaves suddenly turning yellow. In that case, the plant may be experiencing transplant shock and adjusting to its new surroundings.
The best solutions are finding a pleasant, well-lit place for your money tree and creating conditions well within its ideal growing conditions. Take great care when handling your plant during the process if you need to, and try not to do so too frequently.
And after relocating it, don’t forget to treat it a little by ensuring it sits away from direct light and has the proper humidity levels.
Money trees can draw pests like aphids, spider mites, mealybugs, or scale insects, just like any other indoor plant. For example, spider mites suck sap, producing yellow spots across the whole leaf.
Over time, entire leaves might turn yellow, causing significant harm to your plant.
Regularly check your indoor houseplants for any signs of pest activity. If you find pests, you need to separate the plant right away.
The first step is washing the plant’s foliage to eliminate as many pests as possible. After that, you can try another treatment to eliminate the infestation.
10. Natural Aging
Aging foliage is one typical reason a money tree has yellowing leaves, which is nothing to be concerned about.
Even a healthy plant will develop tree leaves that turn yellow. However, if the plant is otherwise healthy, this should only affect a few leaves at a time and typically involve lower, older foliage than the entire plant.
In the fall, as the plant’s growth slows due to decreasing light levels, more yellowing leaves will appear as the plant loses some no longer-needed leaves. Luckily, new development of tree leaves starts higher up the plant.
Can Yellow Foliage Turn Green Again?
Money tree leaves turn yellow because of nutrient deficiency, poor soil, inadequate sunlight, and root rot from excessive watering, low humidity, and fertilizing.
But unfortunately, yellow leaves won’t turn back into pale green ones.
How Often To Water a Money Tree?
Money trees benefit from deep but infrequent watering. Aim for every 1 to 2 weeks, or adjust if the top 2-4 inches of soil is dry.
Rotate your plant regularly for even light, fix low humidity by increasing the relative humidity levels, and keep temperatures in the high 80s to help the soil dry out. An overwatered money tree leaves will be yellow leaves and cause root rot. (Read Why Is My Aloe Plant Turning Yellow)
In conclusion, many culprits cause your money tree’s yellow leaves, but once you understand this tropical plant’s specific requirements, you can keep on top of things.
To make your money tree a lucky plant once more, replicate the money tree’s native environment, provide a comfortable 65-80°F, and provide indirect light and medium-high humidity to keep money tree leaves green and healthy.
FAQ: Money Tree Leaves Turning Yellow
Why are the leaves on my money tree turning yellow?
Yellow leaves on your money tree could signify several issues. Overwatering is a common cause which could be turning yellow in the leaves of your money tree. This usually happens when the money tree’s roots sit in water, leading to root rot. Other potential issues include a lack of light, pest infestation, or nutrient deficiency.
What does overwatering do to the money tree’s leaves?
Overwatering causes the leaves to turn yellow and brown. When the money tree’s roots sit in water-saturated soil, they can’t breathe and start to decay, spreading to the leaves and stems.
Why is my money tree turning yellow and falling off?
This may be due to overwatering, leading to root rot, which can cause leaves to turn yellow and fall. A money tree’s leaves turning yellow and falling off is often a sign of too much light.
Does a lack of light cause a yellow leaf on my money tree?
Yes, a lack of light can cause the leaves on your money tree to turn yellow. The money tree prefers bright, indirect light but can tolerate low light. However, persistent low light can cause yellowing money tree leaves.
Will a pest infestation cause a money tree’s leaves to turn yellow?
Yes, pests can cause a money tree’s leaves to turn yellow. Pests can damage the leaves and stems of the plant, impairing its ability to carry out photosynthesis, which can cause leaves to turn yellow.
How can repotting the plant help when the money tree leaves turn yellow and brown?
If you notice the leaves of your money tree turning yellow and brown, repotting the plant can help. This is often necessary if the tree is rootbound or the soil has become waterlogged. Change the soil and make sure to choose a container with proper drainage.
Why are the old leaves on my money tree turning yellow?
Old leaves of a money tree can turn yellow naturally as they mature. Yellow and brown old leaves are typically not a cause for concern if new growth continues to be healthy. But if the yellowing of old leaves is widespread, it may indicate a need for more sunlight or less watering.
Can too much light cause the leaves on my money tree to turn yellow and brown?
Yes, too much direct sunlight can cause the leaves on your money tree to turn yellow and brown. Direct, harsh sunlight can scorch the leaves, causing them to yellow and eventually turn brown. Place the money tree in a spot with indirect, bright light.
Is it normal for some yellow leaves due to the growth of new leaves on the money tree?
Yes, it’s normal for some leaves to turn yellow and fall off when new leaves grow. This is especially true for older, lower leaves. As long as the new growth is healthy, this is not usually a cause for concern.
How do I prevent the money tree’s leaves from turning yellow?
Preventing your money tree’s leaves from turning yellow often involves proper watering, adequate lighting, and timely fertilization. Make sure you’re not overwatering or underwatering your plant. Let the soil dry out between waterings. Also, money trees need bright, indirect light to grow best. Lastly, using a balanced liquid fertilizer during the growing season can also prevent the yellowing of leaves.