Why Are My Money Tree Leaves Turning Yellow?

Money Trees are beautiful “good luck” plants known to symbolize wealth and good fortune.

A popular houseplant from tropical Central and South America, also called Guiana chestnut, this low-maintenance plant is quite sensitive to a series of conditions that can result in foliage yellowing.

Pachira Aquatica Tree leaves on light Brown Background. Home design and natural decoration conceptPin
The popular Pachira Aquatica (Money Tree) | WeTimeless-DepositPhotos

While these plants are generally easy to maintain with few pest risks, money tree leaves turning yellow is a common condition.

Light, water, temperature, and more can be the cause of your yellowing money tree.

You will notice this happening most often during the winter season when the central heating dries out the room and sucks moisture from the air. 

5 Reasons On What Causes Money Tree Yellow Leaves?

If the leaves on your money tree are turning yellow or pale green, it is usually a sign of improper moisture. This can be either low humidity levels or overwatering.

Although these are the most common, here are five possible symptoms for your Money Tree leaves to turn yellow.

#1 – Over Watering

When watering your Money Tree, be sure you provide enough water so that liquid flows from the drainage hole at the bottom of the pot and into the saucer.

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Photo Credit: Instagram @simply_macro

The leading cause of Money Tree leaves turning yellow in houseplants is watering too much. Underwatering is rarely an issue. Money Trees need deep but infrequent watering. You should wait until the soil is completely dry before watering again.

More On Money Tree Care:

#2 – Humidity

Another possible cause is low humidity levels. A dry climate can cause your Money Tree leaves to droop and turn yellow or brown, then eventually fall off.

#3 – Improper Lighting

When exposed to direct sunlight for too long, the foliage will burn, so be sure to avoid placing your Money Tree in direct sun. Indoors, a south-facing window should give the right light intensity.

The piercing mouths of the insects exhaust your plant and accelerate yellowing, especially if your Money Tree is already unhealthy from poor lighting, a nutrient deficiency, or improper soil moisture.  

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Photo Credit: Instagram @irizzplants

Improper lighting could also cause leaves to turn yellow. If your plant is exposed to too much light for too long, its leaves can burn and turn brownish-yellow. 

Additionally, if the light is too low, yellow leaves may also develop. 

If your plant is in an exceedingly low-light environment and its foliage shows signs of struggle, consider moving it to a spot where it will receive steady, medium-to-bright indirect light.

#4 – Temperature Fluctuations

Frequent fluctuations in temperature are a less common but possible cause of your plant’s yellowing leaves.

If the temperature in your room fluctuates drastically throughout the day and night, it could be stressing your plant out.

When kept indoors, keep them in a warm, sunny room with plenty of indirect sunlight.

Transplant shock can also occur due to unexpected temperature fluctuations.

#5 – Natural Aging

The final possible reason that your plant’s leaves are turning is the natural aging of the plant. As it grows, leaves will turn yellow and fall off, and then new leaves will grow.

This is a natural process, and there is nothing to be concerned about if this is the case.

What Damage Does Yellowing Leave Cause To Money Tree Plants?

If you water your plant too much or do not allow it to drain completely after watering, it can lead to root rot.

Another possible cause of yellow leaves is that the plant is in a room with hot or cold drafts that are drying out the leaves.

Green leaves at night with soft light focusPin
Photo Credit: Instagram @davidblunkthesecond

Leaves on the lower part of the stem are most commonly affected, while the leaves and stems themselves also appear swollen and mushy. 

Yellowing leaves are the first sign of money tree root rot. Root rot is a condition that, if not caught early, will kill your plant.

Placing your tree in direct sunlight will cause it to burn. Placing it in very dark places will stunt its growth and then, over time, cause it to die. 

Money Trees like indirect, bright light but can adapt to live in lower light conditions as long as it is not dark.

How Do You Control Yellowing Leaves?

Let your plant dry out completely before watering it. You can check if it has dried out by sticking a dry pencil down into the dirt.

If it comes out dry, it is time for water. It is also essential to make sure that the bottom of the soil has dried out. It isn’t only the top layer.

Increase the frequency of watering. Water as soon as you notice the soil becoming dry. Try the pencil-sticking method to gauge the moisture level of your soil.

Ideal soil should have pebbles, pumice, perlite, or sand mixed with it to improve drainage. A pot without an adequate drainage hole is another factor that leads to poor drainage.  

When you water your Money Tree, soak the soil and let the water drip out from the bottom into a sink or a saucer.

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Photo Credit: Instagram @bonsaimethod

Choosing the wrong potting soil or using a pot with inadequate drainage holes will reduce soil drainage. A large new pot will also cause the fresh soil to remain wet for a long time, increasing the risk of root rot.

If you keep your plant in a saucer, empty the water out after it drains. Excess water around the roots will lead to root rot and ultimately kill the plant.

Scale, mealybugs, aphids, and spider mites occur frequently in indoor conditions. If not killed early on, these small pests proliferate and move all along frond parts into nooks and crannies. 

Inspect your money tree for signs of pest infestations, like flat brown spots and sticky sap on leaves and stems (scale), cotton-like masses (eggs laid by mealybugs), or thin webs along leaf veins and the axils where leaves meet stems (spider mites).  

A weakened or stressed Money Tree is more susceptible to insect infestations.  Sap-sucking bugs like spider mites can drain your plant of moisture. 

This problem quickly manifests itself in yellowing leaflets and fronds, but it can be combated by using insecticidal soap like Neem Oil. 

Feeding your Money Tree If you’ve been applying liquid fertilizer weekly, it’s time to slow down. 

Increase humidity by misting your tree with a spray bottle of clean water. You can also add a humidifier that mists the space automatically.

Another option to increase the humidity is to place your plant onto a saucer full of water with rocks.

A discolored leaf among green ones, possibly indicating plant health issues.Pin
Photo Credit: Instagram @flora.and.fern

Make sure the soil does not absorb any of it and cause your roots to rot.

Keep the plant at an average home room temperature that does not fluctuate much throughout the day. Don’t place your plant in direct light or near a vent or window.

Keep its light and temperature as consistent as possible.

If your plant is losing leaves due to natural aging, the best way to take care of it is to clip the leaves off and keep caring for your plant.

Cutting leaves that are turning will allow room for new leaves to grow. When you find yellow leaves on your Money tree, do not get upset. Make adjustments to care based on the reason why the yellow leaves are occurring.

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