How to Save a Money Tree with Yellow Leaves

How to Save a Money Tree with Yellow Leaves

Money tree root rot brought on by excessive irrigation or poor lighting is frequently the cause of yellowing foliage. Money trees require bright light and prefer the top 2 inches of the soil to dry out between waterings. The leaves of the money tree turn yellow and fall off if it receives too much shade or if the soil is wet.

When the leaves turn yellow and brown, frequently with brown blotches, the soil is overly wet, usually as a result of overwatering.

Due to the shorter days and less intense light, money tree leaves turn yellow and fall off in the winter.

Without strong illumination, the money tree lacks the energy to maintain the leaves, which causes them to turn yellow and fall off.

However, with more light in the spring, the leaves should grow back.

Due to transplant shock, money tree leaves frequently turn yellow and fall off after repotting.

Continue reading to find out how to save your money tree (Pachira aquatica) and why its leaves are becoming yellow (and brown and dropping off).

Money Tree Leaves Turning Yellow and Brown (and Fall off) Due to Overwatering

Root rot brought on by excessive irrigation is the most frequent cause of yellowing money tree leaves. Between waterings, money trees prefer the soil to be slightly dry. The roots begin to decay if the soil doesn’t dry out because they can’t provide nutrients to the leaves, causing the leaves to become yellow and drop off.

Money trees are indigenous to Mexico and the South-Western United States, where they thrive in climates that occasionally flood but also have long stretches of dry weather in the summer.

As a result, money trees typically benefit from a soak and dry approach of watering, where the potting soil is properly moistened but then left to gradually dry out before being watered once more.

When the potting soil is continually moist, the extra water keeps the soil’s oxygen content below a certain threshold, which hinders root respiration.

To breathe, the money tree’s roots require access to the oxygen found in the soil’s pores.

The ability of the roots to absorb moisture and nutrients to convey to the leaves is hampered if they are unable to breathe.

The leaves of the money tree become yellow and brown and drop off if they do not have access to nutrients or moisture because the money tree lacks the resources needed to support and maintain the leaves.

The chance of root rot and fungal infections, which all cause the leaves to become yellow and often have brown blotches and fall off, increases if the money tree’s roots remain in wet soil for an extended period of time.

Your money tree’s leaves may become yellow and brown even when you haven’t overwatered, but the soil may still be too wet because:

  • In order to prevent water from pouring inside the home, the saucer or tray underneath the pot was not completely emptied. As a result, water accumulated around the pot’s base and prevented the soil from draining correctly.
  • Use of a decorative outer pot or a pot without drainage holes in the base can also make it difficult for water to adequately drain from the pot, which can lead to root rot and yellowing of the money tree’s leaves.

In order to avoid the leaves from becoming yellow, it is crucial that water can drain from the pot effectively. Money trees naturally flourish in well-draining soil.

How to Save a Money Tree with Yellow Leaves due to Overwatering

  • You should water your money tree less frequently to mimic their natural habitat. The yellowing of the money tree’s leaves might be attributed to overwatering if you water it more frequently than once per week. When the top 2 inches of soil feel a little dry, that is when you should water your money tree. Check for moisture by using your finger to feel the potting soil. Delay watering for a few days if the potting soil is still wet. It is time to water if the potting soil seems as though it is beginning to dry out.
  • The money tree should be repotted into a pot with drainage holes in the base. After watering, the pot must be able to drain any extra water. Lack of proper drainage in pots encourages root rot and wilting foliage. Verify that there are no roots, compacted soil, or obstructions in the drainage holes.
  • Regularly drain any excess water from any trays, saucers, or exterior pots. The very little amount of water that collects around the pot’s base keeps the soil from drying out, which causes root rot and yellow leaves. After watering, make sure to remove anything from underneath your pot to allow proper drainage.

The secret to saving a money tree with yellow leaves from overwatering is to set up a watering schedule that resembles the tree’s natural environment. Before watering again, let the top 2 inches of soil dry out to enable oxygen back into the soil for root respiration.

This lessens stress on the plant and enables the roots to draw up the nutrients and moisture that the leaves of the money trees need to stay green. Roots must “breathe” in order to operate effectively.

Long-term exposure to saturated soil can cause root rot, which causes too much harm to the tree’s roots and makes it tough to rescue.

Take the money tree out of its pot and look at the roots if your money tree is still declining despite cutting back on watering, has the proper amount of light (bright, indirect light is best for money trees while indoors), and the leaves aren’t dropping off because the days are shorter in the winter.

With a sharp set of pruners, cut the roots back to healthy growth if they smell awful, are slimy and rotten-looking, and appear yellow.

Between each cut, wipe the pruner blades with a cloth dipped in disinfectant to avoid possibly transferring infections from sick growth to growth that is otherwise healthy.

Repot the money tree with fresh potting soil and begin your regular watering regimen after removing and discarding the old dirt.

Cutting back the sick roots may be able to save the plant by preventing the rot from spreading, but the money tree is likely to drop its leaves as a result of shock and may not survive. The likelihood of survival is based on how much harm root rot has already done.

Money Tree Turning Yellow and Falling off due to a Lack of Light

If a money tree does not receive enough light, its leaves will turn yellow and droop. In their natural habitat, money trees are adapted to growing in bright, indirect light or filtered light. The leaves will turn yellow and drop off if the money tree receives too much shadow since it lacks the vitality to do so.

In their natural habitat, young money trees, which are the size of houseplants, normally develop under the forest canopy.

When a plant is young, too much direct sunlight can scorch the leaves to a dark brown color, while insufficient light can cause the leaves to turn yellow and drop off.

The ideal environment for money tree is a room with indirect light that is bright.

In cooler locations where the light is weaker, money trees do well with some early sun followed by afternoon shade.

In an effort to conserve energy, the money tree will slow down its growth if it receives little light. Eventually, the leaves will turn yellow and eventually fall off (especially the lower leaves).

How to Revive a Money Tree with Yellow Leaves due to Lack of Light

How to Revive a Money Tree with Yellow Leaves due to Lack of Light

The yellow leaves of the money tree should begin to heal if the natural lighting conditions of its native environment are replicated with bright, indirect light, regular misting, and appropriate watering.

When the leaves have turned yellow, they may occasionally fall off. However, if the money tree is treated normally and is given the correct lighting, humidity, and watering conditions, it should develop new leaves in the spring and summer.

(Read my piece on how to save a money tree.)

Money Tree Leaves Turning Yellow and Falling Off in Winter

The reduced day lengths are what cause money tree leaves to turn yellow in the winter. Although money trees are evergreen in their natural habitat, they frequently lose their leaves in the winter as a result of the lower temperatures and light, especially when they are housed.

In their natural habitat, where circumstances are reasonably stable, money trees keep their leaves all year long.

As a houseplant, the money tree’s leaves occasionally turn yellow and fall off over the winter. This is typically due to the lower light levels, but temperature can also play a role.

Do not panic if this happens to your money tree; the leaves should regrow in the spring as a result of the bright sunshine and extended daytime hours.

In the winter, it’s crucial to often mist your money tree because interior heating often causes the humidity to fall.

The money tree’s leaves lose moisture due to the dry air, which can result in the leaves turning yellow and dropping.

It’s also crucial to manage your watering throughout the winter, when money trees normally require less watering, especially if their leaves have fallen off.

Before watering your money tree in Winter, wait until the top 2 inches of the soil have dried up. This normally takes longer in Winter than in Summer. Every three to four weeks in the winter, you should water your money tree.

Additionally, you should be careful not to position the money tree close to any indoor heating sources that might dramatically alter the temperature as this can also cause the leaves to turn yellow and fall off.

Money Tree Turning Yellow After Repotting

Money trees frequently experience transplant shock or become yellow after repotting because the soil drains too slowly for the tree to endure. The money tree’s leaves may turn yellow and fall off as a result of repotting, moist soil, or any disturbance with its root structure.

If you have replanted the money tree into a pot that is substantially larger than its previous container, the additional dirt may be drying out too slowly for the money tree to endure, which results in yellow leaves. Larger pots contain more soil and dry out at a much slower rate.

Money trees naturally grow in soil that drains well, is porous and aerated, and allows water to drain efficiently.

After repotting, potting soil should not have been packed tightly around the roots of the money tree because this restricts oxygen flow and slows water drainage.

The roots can’t respire and operate correctly if the soil is compacted, which inhibits them from transferring water and nutrients to the leaves, causing them to turn yellow and drop off.

Additionally, it’s crucial to repot your money tree into a container with drainage holes in the bottom to let excess water drain, and to routinely remove any saucers or trays of extra water to guarantee proper drainage.

The shock of being moved can also cause the leaves to turn yellow if the money tree is being replanted simultaneously with being moved.

How to Save a Money Tree with Yellow Leaves After Repotting

  • Repot your money tree in potting soil that drains nicely (add perlite). Normal, unaltered potting soil frequently retains more moisture than a money tree can bear, as well as more moisture than the potting soil the money tree was originally put in. If you want to recreate the well-draining soil conditions of the money tree’s original environment, add up to 1/3 perlite or pine bark to the potting soil (by volume of the container).
  • To prevent yellow foliage, only repotter money trees in pots that are one size larger than the previous one. The dirt is more abundant and dries out more slowly in larger pots. In order to ensure that the potting soil dries out at a similar rate and prevent root rot and yellow leaves, plant your money tree in a pot that is 2 inches or so larger in diameter.
  • When repotting your money tree, avoid compacting the potting soil. Money trees naturally develop in aerated, porous soil that drains well so that water can effectively drain away from the roots and so that there is space for oxygen so that the roots may breathe and remain healthy.
  • Repot money trees in pots that have drainage holes in the base at all times. To prevent extra water from collecting around the roots of your money tree, good drainage is crucial. Make sure the drainage holes remain clear, and routinely dump any saucers or trays that may be under the plant.
  • After repotting, give the money tree plenty of water and spray the leaves to lessen transplant shock. Repotting disrupts the root structure and can make it harder for the roots to absorb moisture and nutrients right away, which can also cause the leaves to turn yellow. Every other day, mist the leaves of the money tree and give it a good soak (letting the top 2 inches of soil dry out between applications).

After repotting, the leaves may briefly turn yellow and droop since it takes some time for the root system to grow in the new potting soil. The money tree should thrive as long as it has received regular misting of the leaves and enough of water after being replanted.

The leaves may occasionally fall off after becoming yellow, but in the spring and summer, they should grow back.

It is crucial to remember that the spring is the ideal season for repotting money trees because this is when the plant is strongest.

Key Takeaways:

  • Overwatering is the cause of money tree leaves turning yellow, brown, and dropping off. Before watering again, money trees need the top 2 inches of soil to dry off. The money tree experiences root rot if the soil is constantly wet, which causes the leaves to turn yellow with brown blotches and fall off.
  • In excess shadow, the leaves of the money tree turn yellow. The leaves of money trees require strong, indirect light to remain healthy. If the money tree does not receive enough light, it will not have the energy to maintain the leaves, which will lead them to become yellow and drop off.
  • Winter’s shorter days and decreased light levels cause money tree leaves to turn yellow and fall off. The money tree sheds its leaves to save energy if there is not enough light. In the spring, the leaves should grow once more.
  • After repotting, transplant shock causes the money tree’s leaves to turn yellow and fall off. The roots of the money tree are disrupted by repotting, which momentarily inhibits them from absorbing moisture and nutrients, resulting in the yellowing and dropping off of the leaves. As the roots take root in fresh potting soil, the leaves should grow back.


Why are my money tree leaves going yellow?

The most frequent causes of yellowing money tree leaves are excessive sunlight, significant daily temperature variations, and/or overwatering. The plant should ideally be kept out of direct sunlight and in a temperature-neutral environment. Place it away from vents and windows.

Can you fix a yellow leaf?

Too little water prevents plants from absorbing crucial nutrients. the leaves become yellow. Starting with porous, well-draining soil will help you solve or prevent water problems. If you grow plants in containers, pick containers with good drainage holes and keep saucers dry.

Will Overwatered yellow leaves recover?

The yellow leaves may turn green again if the overwatering issue is discovered early, but if the damage is severe, the leaves will continue to deteriorate. Restoring proper hydration will result in the growth of fresh, healthy foliage.

Can yellow money plant leaves turn green again?

A leaf’s green tint is caused by chlorophyll. The plant abandons the leaf after it stops producing chlorophyll and starts utilizing any remaining nutrients in the leaf. Because of this, you usually can’t convert a leaf back to green once it turns yellow.

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