How to Save a Dying Money Tree Plant (11 Causes & Solutions) (2023)

Money tree (Pachira aquatica) plants can be a beautiful addition to any home, providing an easy-care houseplant that can grow quite a bit indoors.

Native to Central and South America, these tropical trees are often believed to bring good luck and make a popular gift.

However, money tree plants are susceptible to several problems that can lead to death. Fortunately, if your money tree dies, there are steps you can take to save it!

This article covers 11 possible causes of death in money trees and what you can do to ensure a successful recovery.

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Why is my money tree plant dying?

If your money tree plant is dying slowly, it could be due to a few possible factors.

The most common causes are:

1. Overhydration

Overwatering is one of the leading causes of death in money tree plants.

Native to the tropics, these plants have trouble thriving in wet soil and cannot get the oxygen they need to survive if overwatered.

Without enough oxygen, the plant will suffer, eventually leading to its demise.

How to know if you are overwatering your money tree

Overwatering can be detrimental to your money tree plant and lead to a variety of problems.

To tell if you're overwatering, look for signs like:

  • soft and squishy roots
  • yellow or brown leaves
  • brittle stems
  • Terrain always muddy and humid.

If you notice any of these warning signs, you're probably overwatering your money tree.

How to Save an Overwatered Money Tree Plant

If you suspect that your money tree is being overwatered, it's important to take action immediately.

First, feel the soil in the pot and see if it is wet or soggy. In this case, stop watering immediately and allow the soil to dry out completely.

This process can take anywhere from a few days to a week, depending on the type of soil used and the size of the pot. Once dry, only water when the soil feels dry.

Examine the roots of your plant for signs of damage. If you find any, cut them back and plant them in fresh potting soil to improve the chances of recovery.

Also, examine the leaves for discoloration or wilting, as these are common signs of overwatering.

2. Underwater

When it comes to money tree plants, underwater irrigation is one of the top killers.

To thrive, these plants need constant moisture; If they don't get enough, their demise is inevitable.

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Water is essential to help the plant move vital nutrients and minerals from the soil to its leaves.

Without adequate hydration, theThe leaves of the money tree begin to falland turn yellow or brown, ultimately causing the plant to wilt and eventual death.

How To Tell If You Are Watering Your Money Tree Plant Underwater

Watering your money tree plant is essential to keeping it healthy and thriving.

If you're not sure about flooding your money tree, some telltale signs can help alert you to the fact.

  • withered leaves
  • Dry or brittle leaves and stems
  • hanging leaves
  • slow growth

How to Rescue a Money Tree Plant Underwater

When caring for your money tree plant, it's important to provide plenty of water.

Water the plant well with just enough water to keep the soil moist and not soggy.

Be sure to water the bottom of the pot well and around the sides until you can see the water coming out of the drainage holes in the bottom.

After this initial watering, check back on your money tree in a few hours to see if it needs more watering. It is important to keep an eye on the soil and make sure it is not drying out; if so, have another drink!

3. Too much sunlight

Money trees need plenty of bright indirect sunlight to thrive. Without them, their leaves will turn brown and die.

To keep money tree plants optimally healthy, they should be exposed to at least four hours of indirect sunlight per day.

If they are exposed to too much direct sun, they can get leaf burn and the foliage will begin to wither and fade before long. Money trees do not do well in more than six hours of direct light per day.

How to Tell if Your Money Tree Plant Is Getting Too Much Sunlight

It can be hard to tell if your money tree plant is getting too much sun.

However, there are several warning signs you can look out for that indicate your plant may be getting too much sunlight. These include:

  • Burnt or brown leaves
  • the leaves turn yellow
  • drop leaves
  • brown spots on leaves
  • slow growth

How to Save a Money Tree Plant That Gets Too Much Sunlight

Moving the money tree plant to a location with less sunlight is essential to its health and well-being.

The ideal location for this houseplant is in an east or west-facing window where it can receive four to six hours of bright, indirect light.

If that's not possible, you can try to shield it from the sun's rays by placing a sheer curtain over the window or placing the plant in a spot that gets only partial sun exposure. This will minimize the amount of direct sunlight reaching your money tree.

4. Not enough sunlight

Money tree plants need at least four hours of indirect sunlight each day to thrive.

Without this vital source of energy, the plant will rapidly deteriorate and eventually die.

Photosynthesis is an essential process for plant survival and requires sunlight for fuel. Without enough light, money tree plants cannot produce the nutrition they need to maintain their health.

Too much sunlight can also damage the money tree, leading to overexposure and potentially death of the plant.

As such, it's important to make sure your plant gets the right amount of light, not too much and not too little, in order for it to grow and thrive.

How to Tell if Your Money Tree Plant Isn't Getting Enough Sunlight

If your money tree plant isn't getting enough sun, you may start to notice certain signs that can help you determine that it needs a new spot with more sun.

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These characters may include:

  • light green leaves
  • Yellow sheets
  • small leaves
  • slow growth
  • weak stems
  • plant inclined to light

How to Save a Money Tree Plant That Doesn't Get Enough Sunlight

If you are moving your money tree plant to an area with more sun, it is important to provide it with an adequate amount of indirect sunlight.

An east or west facing window would be ideal as it can receive four to six hours of indirect sunlight per day.

If you can't move the plant, consider improving its surroundings by installing a grow light or reflective materials near the window to increase light.

Consequently, this could greatly increase the amount of natural light your money tree receives and help promote its growth and health.

5. Poor drainage

When it comes to successfully growing money trees, it's important to make sure the soil has good drainage.

Failure to properly drain the soil will soak the plant's roots in water, leading to root rot and ultimately compromising the plant's access to water and vital nutrients.

How to Tell if Your Money Tree Plant Has Poor Drainage

If you notice any of the following symptoms, it's a strong indication that your money tree plant is not getting proper drainage from its current soil:

  • Soil that is constantly wet or muddy
  • Puddles of water on the surface of the potting soil
  • The plant withers even after watering
  • hanging leaves
  • Soft or rotten roots

How to Rescue a Poorly Draining Money Tree Plant

If you find that your money tree plant is not getting enough drainage, it's important to take steps to transplant the plant into a pot with well-draining soil.

To ensure proper drainage, consider adding perlite, sand, or gravel to your potting soil.

It may also be beneficial to ensure there are holes in the bottom of the pot to allow excess moisture to escape.

Additionally, you can fill the bottom of the pot with an inch or two of gravel or other materials like broken clay pots, which will help improve drainage by preventing soil from clogging the holes.

6. Root bound

Root-bound plants can quickly become dazed and eventually die because the tightly-bound roots don't have access to the water and nutrients they need to thrive.

This happens when the roots have filled the pot, twisting inside it and even coming out of the drainage holes. In this case, immediate action is required to prevent further damage.

How to tell if your money tree plant has attached roots

If you notice that your money tree plant is showing any of the following signs, it's probably time to transplant it into a larger pot:

  • Roots grow out of drainage holes.
  • The roots surround the inside of the pot.
  • Soil that is dry even after watering.
  • plan which one
  • yellow or brown leaves
  • leaf ruffle
  • slow growth

How to save a root bound money tree plant

To make sure your money tree plant stays healthy and happy, it's important to transplant it into a larger pot once it has roots. This allows the roots to spread out and encourage further growth.

Gently loosen the roots when moving the plant to its new home, being careful not to trim roots that are too long.

Adding fresh potting soil to the new pot is also beneficial and provides a nutrient-rich environment for your money tree to thrive.

In time, you may need to repeat this process again, replacing the old soil with a new potting soil mix enriched with fertilizers or other organic houseplant additives.

7. Nutrient deficiency

Money tree plants require an adequate amount of nutrients to thrive and thrive.

If they lack the necessary nutrients, their growth will slow down and their leaves will turn yellow, which will ultimately lead to the death of the plant.

Nitrogen is the most common element that money tree plants are deficient in.

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However, other elements such as potassium, phosphorus, iron, and magnesium can cause similar problems if there are not enough of them in the growing environment.

How to Tell if Your Money Tree Plant Is Nutrient Deficient

When growing a money tree plant, it's important to watch for signs of nutrient deficiencies. Common signs that the plant is not receiving enough nutrients are:

  • Yellow sheets
  • slow growth
  • small leaves
  • bad leaf color

How to Save a Nutrient Deficient Money Tree Plant

Fertilizing your money tree plant is an effective way to remedy any nutrient deficiencies.

To do this, you must use a fertilizer rich in nitrogen and carefully follow the instructions on the package. You can also give the plant a nutrient boost by mixing compost into your potting soil.

Repotting your money tree every one to two years is essential to ensure it gets all the nutrients it needs for healthy growth.

This not only ensures optimal nutrition, but can also help prevent root crowding in the pot and keep your plant looking vibrant and healthy.

8. Temperatures

Native to tropical climates, money tree plants thrive when temperatures stay warm.

If the temperatures are too low, the plant will have trouble growing and will eventually die; When temperatures get too hot, the plant can't replenish lost water fast enough, causing its glossy leaves to wilt.

For optimal growth, it is important to keep money tree plants in an environment where the temperature stays between 65 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit.

How to Tell if Your Money Tree Plant Is Temperature Stressed

It's important to watch for several signs to determine if the money tree plant's temperature is causing stress.

If you notice any of the following things, your plant is probably not happy with the temperature:

  • the leaves wither
  • Yellow sheets
  • brown leaf margins
  • slow growth
  • The lower leaves fall off

How to Save a Temperature Stressed Money Tree Plant

To create a comfortable environment for your money tree, you should set the temperature between 65°F and 85°F (18°C and 29°C).

If the temperature is too cold, you can use a heater to increase it. Place the heater close but not too close to the plant so it gets hot air but is protected from burns. Also, try placing the pot near a radiator or other heat source.

If it's too hot, move the plant to a shady location or use a fan to circulate cooler air around the foliage. This can help reduce stress on your money tree and ensure its continued growth.

9. Over-fertilizing

Fertilizing the money tree plant is absolutely necessary for its growth and development, but too much fertilizer can harm the plant.

Excessive use of fertilizers can cause root burns and deteriorate plant health.

With too much fertilizer, the money tree is unable to absorb the vital nutrients it needs for its well-being, causing the leaves to turn yellow and brown.

How to tell if your money tree plant has been over fertilized

If you notice that your money tree plant is showing any of the following signs, the plant has likely been over-fertilized:

  • Yellow and withered lower leaves
  • the leaves fall
  • brown leaf tips
  • bad growth
  • Stunted growth

How to rescue an overfertilized money tree plant

Watering the money tree plant well and allowing the water to drain completely several times can help remove excess water.

This gives the plant time to recover, so it's best to avoid fertilizing for at least a few months.

When you start fertilizing again, use only half the recommended amount of fertilizer and spread it out by applying it only every other month during the growing season.

This will ensure that your money tree is not overwhelmed with too much fertilizer, allowing it to thrive and thrive without being exposed to excess nutrients.

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10. Pests

Money trees can suffer from common pests such as aphids, mealybugs, and mealybugs.

Aphids are small green insects that feed on the sap of the plant and damage its leaves and stems. Their presence can sap the vitality of the tree and stunt its growth over time.

Mealybugs are white and hairy, resembling small cotton balls. These pests also consume the sap of the money tree, depriving it of vital nutrients and threatening its health.

Scale bugs are small brown insects that attach themselves to the leaves or trunk of a money tree and suck their sap to feed.

They leave behind a sticky film known as honeydew, which can attract other harmful pests such as ants or wasps.

All of these invaders can cause irreversible damage to a money tree if left unchecked for too long, potentially leading to its death.

How to know if your money tree has pests

If your money tree plant shows any of the following signs, it may be an indication that pests are present:

  • yellow or withered leaves
  • Leaves covered in a sticky substance.
  • the leaves fall
  • brown leaf tips
  • sheets with holes
  • Stunted growth

How to save a money tree plant that has pests

Isolating the money tree plant from other plants is the first step in controlling a pest infestation.

To get rid of the current pests, one should treat the plant with insecticidal soap or neem oil, which will effectively kill common garden pests.

Horticultural oil can also be used as an alternative method to control pests. This will protect the money tree plant from further infestation.

11. Diseases

Money tree plants can be susceptible to various diseases, including root rot, leaf spot, and powdery mildew.

Root rot is the most dangerous of these diseases, as it can quickly spread to the roots of the plant, causing significant damage or even death.

Leaf spot disease manifests itself as brown or yellow spots on the plant's leaves, while powdery mildew causes white, powdery growth on the leaves.

These three diseases can cause lasting damage to money trees if not treated immediately.

How to Tell if Your Money Tree Plant Has a Disease

Look for any of the following signs to tell if your money tree has a disease:

  • yellow or withered leaves
  • Brown or black spots on the leaves.
  • White powdery growth on leaves
  • the leaves fall
  • Stunted growth
  • Soft or mushy roots

How to save a money tree plant that has a disease

Isolating the money tree plant from other plants is essential to prevent the spread of disease.

Carefully remove any leaves, stems, or roots that appear to be infested and treat the plant with a fungicide or horticultural oil solution. This will help eliminate the disease and prevent it from affecting other plants.

Also, you may want to put a layer of mulch around the money tree plant. This will help increase soil moisture and block weeds that could bring disease to your garden area.

It is also important to prune your money tree plant regularly to keep it healthy and free of fungal diseases.

final thoughts

You can keep your money tree plant healthy and beautiful for many years if you follow the right steps.

Start by identifying the problem: overwatering, underwatering, poor drainage, poor lighting, too much fertilizer, pests or diseases?

After determining the cause of the problem, take steps to correct it.

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This can include how often and how much you water or fertilize the plant, move it to a brighter spot with better air circulation, and even treat it with safe pesticides or fungicides.

By doing these things, you ensure that your money tree plant receives enough light and water to stay alive and healthy.

Related content

  • Why are the leaves of my money tree turning white? (7 solutions)
  • Money tree hanging leaves? (7 Causes and Solutions)


How do you save a dying money tree plant? ›

To rid your money tree plant of root rot, you'll need to repot with fresh soil. Remove it from the diseased pot and wash off the diseased soil. Then, repot in a new pot with a good draining, peat-moss based soil. Next, make sure you adjust your watering routine to ensure root rot doesn't happen again.

Can a money tree be brought back to life? ›

With proper care, including the right amounts of water, fertilizer, and sunlight, your Money Tree leaves will most likely grow back. The lush foliage of a Money Tree (Pachira Aquatica) is a sign of its health.

How can I help my money tree live? ›

How to Grow a Money Tree
  1. Plant in a well-draining potting mix.
  2. Place in bright, indirect light away from vents and drafty areas.
  3. Water thoroughly, but allow the soil to dry down between waterings.
  4. Feed regularly during the spring and summer months.
  5. Prune as needed or keep it shaped like a bonsai plant.

How can I get my money tree to grow back? ›

How to Propagate. With clean pruning shears, cut off the tip of a stem with at least two leaf nodes. Dip the cut end in hormone rooting powder, and place in a standard potting mix. Keep the soil moist with regular misting until the cutting roots, in approximately 4 weeks.

Should I cut the brown tips off my money tree? ›

Prune browning leaves throughout the year to encourage new growth. Repot your money tree plant every year or two in a pot that's just slightly larger. This will encourage it to keep growing.

Why is my money tree slowly dying? ›

Assuming you are watering yours regularly and not overwatering or watering too little, your leaf loss could be caused by poor drainage. Keep your money tree in a pot with a built-in elevated bottom to prevent standing water, which can cause root rot or soggy or dead trunks.

What is the best fertilizer for money plant? ›

Sansar Agro Garden King™ Money Plant Food Liquid Fertilizer, Essential Fertilizer For The Best Growth Of Money Plants With Growth Nutrients And Charged Micro-Organism (250 Ml)

How often should I water money tree? ›

Water your money plant once every one to two weeks, or when the soil volume is 50 to 75% dry. The plant will likely need water more frequently during spring and summer months. Be sure that your planter has drainage holes, so the roots aren't sitting in any excess water.

What's killing my money tree? ›

Underwatering Money Trees

Although overwatering is a bit worse for your plant than underwatering, both take a toll on the health and beautiful foliage of your Money Tree. Since Money Trees are tropical plants, they require water and humidity to thrive.

How do you water a money tree with ice cubes? ›

For a 5-inch money tree, water with 2 ice cubes or 3 tablespoons of water once a week. That amount should be enough. It should not dry out between watering. In general, money tree plants only need about 6-8 ounces of water every three weeks.

Should I spray my money tree? ›

Adding to our list on how to care for your Money Tree plant is to place it in an extra humid environment, especially during the winter months. It's best to mist it regularly all year round and to put in a pebble tray.

Can I root money tree in water? ›

Money plants grow best in soil, but if you don't have access to soil, you can still grow them in clean water in a glass jar. Keep the water level full. Money plants thrive in warm temperatures, so if you live somewhere cold, you may have to move them indoors during the winter months.

What are common money tree problems? ›

Common Issues with Money Trees
  • Leaf Drop. Overwatering is the most likely culprit if your money tree begins to drop its leaves. ...
  • Root Rot. Root rot is a major fungal infection common among plants that require moist soil. ...
  • Pests.
Aug 29, 2022

How do you nurse a money tree back to health? ›

Remove it from the diseased pot and wash off the diseased soil. Then, repot in a new pot with a good draining, peat-moss based soil. Next, make sure you adjust your watering routine to ensure root rot doesn't happen again. Aim to provide your tree with only two ice cubes or three tablespoons of water per week.

Why is my money tree leaves turning brown and falling off? ›

Your Humidity Level

Low humidity and dry soil can cause leaves to droop and brown on their edges, which can later be followed by entire leaves turning yellow, brown, or shed completely. Your Money Tree will appreciate a boost in humidity from regular misting using a mister, a humidifier, or the use of a pebble tray.

Should I soak my money tree? ›

They like to be soaked well, then dry out, much like their native environment. Its leaves will droop and indicate when it needs water too. One of the main ways this plant dies is through overwatering, which can lead to root rot.

Is Epsom salt good for money plant? ›

Epsom salt can be added to it for healthy growth. Don't water the money plant every day; else, its development won't be healthy. Never overfertilize it because doing so risks burning the leaves and damaging the roots. Regularly trim the plant and remove any dried-out or dead leaves.

What can I add in water for money plant? ›

Fill the jar/bottle with fresh water. If you are using tap water that contains chlorine you can remove it by letting it sit for 12 hours. You can use this water to fill the jar which will contain the money plant. Add fertilizer to the money plant from time to time so that it can grow faster.

Is milk good for money plant? ›

Milk can add benefits to a Money plant as it would to any other. Money trees prefer more basic soil, and the beverage can tip the scale towards the more alkaline (or basic) side.

Where should a money tree be placed? ›

Best Growing Conditions for Money Trees

Place your money tree in a spot with lots of bright, indirect light, like a south- or west-facing window, but take care to keep it out of direct sunlight, which can burn the leaves.

What does a sick money tree look like? ›

You can tell if the money tree is suffering from root rot if the leaves begin to wilt, discolor, or drop, if you notice a rotting smell from the soil, or if the base of the stem is soft and mushy. If one of your money tree stems is dead, don't worry! You can still save the other stems before they decline, too.

How do I know if my money tree is rotting? ›

If the plant sits in too much moisture for too long, it can lead to partial trunk rot. An easy way to tell if one of the stems in the braid is rotten is to simply give the stem a pinch. If mushy to the touch, rot has become an issue. There may also be a slight smell developing from the rotten plant tissue.

Why can't I keep my money tree alive? ›

Money Tree

Too much direct light will scorch the leaves, but too little light will cause slow growth and yellow leaves. Rotate your plant monthly to keep growth even. If you are worried you don't have a spot with enough light, try a grow light. Water your Money Tree when the soil volume is 50-75% dry.

Is ice good for money plant? ›

Water once a week with 2 ice cubes and keep in bright, indirect light. With proper care, your money plant will continue to grow new leaves and canopies over the years.

How do you fix a broken money tree? ›

What Do You Do with a Broken Stem from a Money Tree? The best thing you can do with a broken stem is propagate it just like a cutting. If it's a firm, healthy stem with leaves and nodes, just do a bit of cutting and replant the stem in another pot.

Where should a money plant be placed in a living room? ›

The Vastu of Money Plant in the Living Room

It is best to keep them in the southeast corner of the room, given this direction is governed by the Lord Ganesha and the planet Venus, and therefore, attract luck and prosperity.

How do you know if your money tree is dying? ›

You can tell if the money tree is suffering from root rot if the leaves begin to wilt, discolor, or drop, if you notice a rotting smell from the soil, or if the base of the stem is soft and mushy. If one of your money tree stems is dead, don't worry! You can still save the other stems before they decline, too.

What does an overwatered money tree look like? ›

Yellow and brown leaves are a sign of overwatering. While dry, crispy brown spots may indicate dehydration, brown spots with yellow halos are a clear sign of too much hydration. You many also notice brown leaf tips and edges. Discoloration may be due to overwatering.

Why are the leaves on my money tree turning brown and falling off? ›

Your Humidity Level

Low humidity and dry soil can cause leaves to droop and brown on their edges, which can later be followed by entire leaves turning yellow, brown, or shed completely. Your Money Tree will appreciate a boost in humidity from regular misting using a mister, a humidifier, or the use of a pebble tray.

How do I get rid of brown leaves on my money tree? ›

Improving drainage and reducing the amount of water given to your plant can help prevent this. Repotting the affected plant in fresh soil and removing any rotten roots can help your tree recover faster. Anthracnose leaf spot may be the cause of brown spots on your leaves.

What is the best fertilizer for money tree? ›

A balanced NPK fertilizer is often recommended, diluted to lower strength, but any equal NPK fertilizer will be suitable for these plants.

How long can a money tree go without watering? ›

Water: Even though money trees grow in wetlands, they don't like to remain soaking wet. Water until it runs out of the bottom of the pot every one to two weeks, allowing the soil to mostly dry out between waterings. You may find you'll need to water more or less often, depending on the conditions inside your home.

Should I spray water on money tree? ›

Misting the plant is a great way to keep its environment humid and its leaves clean; keeping the plant in a room with a humidifier can accomplish this for you. Relatively dry roots: Money trees require moist leaves, but their roots must not sit in water.

Can you spray water on money tree? ›

It loves to be spritzed with water to give it a little extra humidity, something that should be done daily. You also can put the plant in a bathroom where it stays humid, as long as there is enough light. A humidifier can also help give this plant the environment it needs.

Why is my money tree leaves turning yellow and dropping off? ›

Your Braided Money Tree will shed old foliage over time as it directs its energy toward pushing out new growth, and this may result in leaves becoming dry and yellow and falling off. This is totally normal for your plant, so don't be concerned!

What kind of soil do money trees like? ›

Since a well-draining soil is necessary when potting a tree, the best soil for money trees typically contains ingredients like sand, pebbles, perlite, or horticultural charcoal, all of which help facilitate drainage. Look for soils containing either peat moss or sphagnum moss because moss makes soil slightly acidic.

Where should money plant be kept in the house? ›

As per money plant Vastu guidelines, you should always keep these plants in the southeast direction. This is the direction of Lord Ganesha, who is representative of prosperity and happiness.


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