Money tree plants (Pachira aquatica) are stunning houseplants known for their lovely glossy green leaves, in addition to offering a host of uses and benefits. So, it can be upsetting if these leaves suddenly start turning yellow. In this article, I’ll examine ten common reasons for yellowing leaves on money tree plants and how to fix the issue at home.
- 10 Common Reasons for Yellowing Leaves on Money Tree Plants:
- Money Tree Plant Yellowing Leaves FAQs
- Yellowing Leaves on Money Tree Plants – Wrapping Up
10 Common Reasons for Yellowing Leaves on Money Tree Plants:
In my experience, overwatering is the most common reason why money tree plant leaves turn yellow. This typically occurs when the soil is waterlogged and doesn’t drain quickly enough. Fungal problems like root rot thrive in waterlogged soils.
If your money tree plant has drooping or yellowing leaves and brown, mushy roots, overwatering is the culprit. Remove yellow leaves and rotten roots before repotting the plant into fresh soil that offers good drainage. Water money tree plants whenever the top 2 inches of soil feels completely dry to the touch.
2) Yellowing Money Tree Leaves Due to Underwatering
Although money tree plants like to dry out a bit between waterings, letting them dry out too much causes problems. Underwatering is more common during hot, dry summers when plants naturally use more water.
Money tree plants suffering from underwatering will have curling or drooping yellow leaves with brown tips. The soil will also become dry and cracked and may start pulling away from the edges of the pot. Water your money tree plant more frequently during hot, dry summers to prevent underwatering and prune any dead or decaying leaves.
3) Too Much Direct Sunlight
Money tree leaves may also turn yellow if exposed to too much direct sunlight. This is a common problem during the summer when sunlight is more intense, especially during the afternoon. Money tree leaves can burn in direct sunlight and may also lose their color.
Pachira aquatica plants grow best when they get four to six hours of bright, indirect light in the morning. To provide the right amount of light, position money tree plants approximately 3 feet away from east or south-facing windows.
4) Yellowing Money Tree Leaves Due to Not Enough Sunlight
Money tree plants are adaptable indoor trees that can tolerate low-light conditions. However, this puts them more at risk of not getting enough sunlight. Money tree plants that aren’t getting enough sunlight will produce leggy or stunted growth as they can’t photosynthesize properly.
Plus, leaves can also become yellow or discolored if they aren’t getting enough light. Avoid placing money tree plants in north-facing rooms to provide plenty of bright, indirect light. These areas won’t be bright enough to keep money tree plants in all the time.
5) Wrong Temperature or Humidity
As tropical houseplants, Pachira aquatica plants require warm temperatures and moderate humidity levels. Temperatures between 65 and 80ºF and humidity levels of approximately 50% are ideal. Money tree plants cannot tolerate cold temperatures below 50ºF.
Money tree plants can develop drooping or curling leaves if the ambient temperature or humidity is too low. The leaves will also turn yellow and may drop off entirely. Use humidifiers to raise the moisture and keep your money tree plant away from drafts that can lower ambient humidity.
6) Incorrect Soil Conditions
Like most plants, money tree plants can only thrive in the correct soil type. Money tree plants need loamy, well-draining soils that can also retain a bit of moisture. If the soil doesn’t provide enough drainage, it will quickly become waterlogged, leading to problems like root rot.
The soil may not provide enough drainage if your money tree plant has drooping or yellowing leaves. Replace the soil with a looser mix that combines potting soil or coco coir with perlite or coarse sand.
7) Too Much or Too Little Fertilizer
Money tree plants may also develop yellow leaves if they don’t get enough nutrients. Money tree plants that aren’t getting enough nutrients will also have weak, stunted, or leggy growth. To replenish essential nutrients, fertilize Pachira aquatica plants monthly during spring and summer.
Although fertilizer is beneficial for money tree plants, too much fertilizer can also cause problems. Liquid fertilizers contain several intense chemicals and salts, so always dilute them. Too much fertilizer can burn your money tree plant’s leaves and turn them yellow, causing severe damage.
8) Transplant Shock
Money tree plants grow at a moderate pace, so repot them every two years or so. However, repotting is an intense process for potted plants. As such, your money tree plant may develop yellow leaves for a few weeks after being repotted.
This is perfectly normal and shouldn’t be cause for concern. Just remove the yellow leaves after a few weeks. If leaves turn yellow after a few weeks, examine your plant closely. Identify the problem as described on the rest of this list and take the appropriate action.
9) Yellowing Money Tree Leaves Due to Natural Aging
Money tree leaves may also naturally turn yellow as they age. Older leaves may turn completely yellow before dropping off of their own accord. This natural process should only affect one or two leaves at a time.
Examine the rest of the foliage if a yellow leaf drops off your plant. If you see any symptoms of the other problems detailed on this list, that may be why the leaf turned yellow. But as long as the plant produces healthy new leaves, don’t get too concerned.
10) Pests and Diseases
Diseases and pests can also cause money tree plant leaves to turn yellow. Pests like mealybugs, spider mites, or scale insects consume sap, which causes weaker growth and yellow leaves. Yellow, drooping leaves are the main symptom of fungal infections like root rot.
Treat diseases using fungicides and get rid of pests using insecticidal soap or horticultural oils like neem oil. Once you’ve dealt with the problem, remove any yellow leaves to prevent the issue from coming back.
Money Tree Plant Yellowing Leaves FAQs
Yellowing Leaves on Money Tree Plants – Wrapping Up
Pachira aquatica leaves may turn yellow due to overwatering, underwatering, or exposure to too much direct sunlight. Other common causes of yellow leaves include transplant shock, incorrect temperatures or humidity levels, and natural aging. Yellow leaves won’t turn green again, so remove them after you’ve dealt with the initial problem.
Edd is a budding content writer and gardener living in the United Kingdom. He has a bachelor's degree in Creative and Professional Writing and has written for several gardening publications online. He is passionate about nature and sustainability with a focus on gardening and wildlife.