Feng Shui practitioners admire a common houseplant, the money tree (Pachira Aquatica), for bringing luck or good fortune to those who welcome the tree into their home. Money trees delight any room with vibrant, green leaves and a stylish, braided trunk. But, if your money tree’s leaves are turning yellow, what can you do to revive the tree’s energetic vibe? We’ve researched all the do’s and don’ts of money tree care to find the answer for you.
Yellow leaves on your money tree could mean:
- Too much direct sunlight.
- Shock due to temperature fluctuation.
- Aging leaves.
You can revive a yellowing money tree by observing the tree’s environmental conditions and making a few adjustments as needed. Money trees thrive in a warm climate with plenty of indirect sunlight and just the right amount of water.
Money trees can harmonize any room in your home with reasonably low maintenance. Just pay attention to a few of the tree’s preferences, and you’ll have the good fortune of a healthy, happy money tree. Keep reading to learn how to care for your money tree.
Can Yellow Leaves Turn Green Again?
Yellow leaves on your money tree are a sign that something is off-balance in your tree’s environment. If you’ve just noticed the leaves’ color turning pale, you can bring back the tree’s healthy green by adjusting the tree’s location, modifying the tree’s watering routine, or trimming aging leaves to make way for new growth.
Provide Indirect Sunlight
Your money tree will thrive with ample light so, choose a location in your home that gets indirect sunlight throughout most of the day. Direct sunlight can scorch the leaves of the money tree, causing the leaves to become yellow, brown, or completely dry. If placed in direct sunlight, eventually the tree will die.
If your home is not well lit, you can substitute indirect sunlight by adding a fluorescent light to the room.
Keep the Room’s Temperature Consistent
Money trees are tropical plants, native to Central South America. These trees thrive in warm climates with consistent, year-round temperatures between 65-75°F/18-25°C. Yellowing leaves might mean that the temperature fluctuates throughout the day or night, where your tree is currently located.
To avoid temperature shock, try to place your tree away from windows or drafty areas of your home. Avoid positioning your tree near heater/air-conditioning vents, radiators, or fans as the temperature can rapidly change when the hot or cool air kicks on.
Keep the Room’s Relative Humidity High
As native, tropical plants, money trees enjoy humidity. If your money tree’s leaves appear brown, dry or are dropping from the tree, it may not have enough moisture. Watering the tree will not help drying leaves.
Use a hygrometer to check the humidity in the room where your money tree is located. Try to keep the relative humidity 50% or higher.
If you live in a dry climate or are concerned about humidity during winter months, you can increase the room’s humidity by adding a humidifier to the room. Instead of a humidifier, you can also increase the humidity near the tree by setting the tree’s pot atop a saucer or tray filled with wet pebbles.
Money trees are hearty drinkers, but they do not enjoy soggy soil. An overwatered tree can develop root rot. You’ll know it is time to water your tree when the top 1-2 inches of soil are dry. If you are using a soil moisture sensor to monitor the soil, the reading should remain between 1 and 3.
Water the tree at the base of the trunk. Be careful not to get the trunk wet as this could cause stem rot. Continue to add water until it drips out from the holes at the base of the pot. Empty any excess water from the pot’s tray.
During winter, water your money tree less frequently. Because winter’s daylight hours are short, money trees get less indirect sunlight, and their growth slows down. When you notice your tree is due to be watered during winter, wait a day or two longer before you water the tree.
Trim Aging, Yellowed Leaves
If your money tree is otherwise healthy and you notice yellowed leaves, it might only be the natural aging process of the tree. You can trim off the old, yellow leaves so the tree will focus its energy on growing new leaves. Trim the decaying leaves before they turn completely brown. Unattended brown leaves can spread decay to the tree’s healthy leaves.
Will My Money Tree Leaves Grow Back?
Money trees will drop their leaves if they are shocked by a sudden change in the environment. The fallen leaves might be a response from having moved the plant to a new location. Don’t give up on your tree! Take good care of the money tree, and the leaves will eventually return as it settles into its new location.
How to Tell if a Money Tree has Root Rot?
Yellow, droopy leaves, or dropped leaves could be your money tree trying to tell that it is suffering root rot. Before you see these warning signs, how do you protect your money tree from root rot? Here are a few, simple steps to take in your tree’s care to prevent root rot:
- Do not overwater the tree. Allow the top 1 to 2 inches of soil to dry before adding water to your tree. Otherwise, the soil will remain moist, and the roots will begin to rot.
- Do not use an oversized pot for your tree. A pot that is significantly larger than the tree’s root system will hold excess water in the soil.
- Plant your tree in permeable soil. You can use a specified, bonsai soil mix or create your own mix by using a combination of either soil and peat-moss or soil and sand.
- Plant your tree in a pot with drain holes at the bottom. Use a saucer or tray beneath the pot to catch draining water.
How Do You Revive a Dying Money Tree?
Your money tree gives warning signs before it dies, so you will have the opportunity to revive the tree. Pay close attention to the tree’s leaves because leaves that are changing color or dropping from the tree are a good indication that something is wrong.
When you notice changes in your money tree’s leaves, follow the care mentioned above tips to alter your tree’s environment so it can continue to thrive. As you observe your money tree, keep in mind that:
- Yellow leaves can mean several things; either the tree is getting too much direct sunlight, the tree is getting too much water, or there are too many temperature changes in the vicinity of the tree.
- Brown leaves mean the air is too dry, and you should increase the humidity in the vicinity of the tree.
- Dropped leaves mean the tree might have root rot, which could be happening because of overwatering or because of the tree’s planter conditions (oversized pot or non-permeable soil).
Keeping your money tree’s environment balanced is the best way to ensure that your tree will stay healthy.