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Why Is My Money Tree Turning Yellow?

Your money tree might turn yellow for several reasons, such as overwatering, underwatering, pests, or disease. Fortunately, you can take steps to remedy the issue and get your money tree back to its vibrant green self.

What Are Some Signs Your Money Tree Is Sick?

If your money tree (Pachira aquatica) is sick, it may exhibit several visible signs. Yellow or brown leaves, a lack of new growth, or stunted growth are all common indicators of an unhealthy plant. Additionally, if you notice the leaves are drooping, or the stems are soft and mushy, it may be a sign of overwatering and root rot.

Pests can also infest your money tree and cause it to become sick, and you may notice small webs, sticky residue or tiny insects on the stems and leaves.

If you suspect your money tree is sick, it’s important to take action quickly to address the issue.

Why Are Your Money Tree Leaves Turning Yellow?

Several factors cause money tree leaves to turn yellow:


Too much water is a very common reason your money plant leaves are yellow, as it can lead to root rot and nutrient deficiencies.


  • Before watering your money tree, always check the soil moisture level. Insert a finger or a moisture meter into the soil to check if it is dry or damp. If the top 1-2 inches of soil are still moist, wait a few more days before watering.

  • Money trees do not require frequent watering and prefer slightly dry conditions. Adjust your watering routine to once a week or every two weeks, depending on your home’s humidity and temperature.

  • If your money tree is in a pot without proper drainage, it can cause water to accumulate at the bottom and lead to root rot. Repot the plant into a container with drainage holes that allow excess water to escape.

  • If the soil in the pot is too dense and doesn’t allow water to drain properly, consider mixing in some perlite or sand to improve drainage.

  • Take the plant from its pot and trim any rotted roots if root rot has already set in. Repot the plant with fresh, well-draining soil and allow it to dry before watering again.

Conversely, underwatering can also cause wilting, leaf yellowing and crispy brown leaves. These tropical plants prefer humidity levels around 40-70% and will absorb some water through the air. If your home has low humidity, consider using a humidifier or misting your plant between waterings.

Not Enough Sun

Another factor causing yellowing leaves is improper lighting. While money trees can tolerate low light, they still require some indirect sunlight to thrive. If you choose a spot with insufficient light, the leaves may turn yellow and eventually fall off.


  • If your plant doesn’t receive enough light, move it to a brighter location protected from direct sunlight, such as near a window with a sheer curtain.

  • To ensure that all sides of the plant receive equal sunlight, rotate it once a week. This will prevent one side of the plant from receiving more light than the other, which can cause uneven growth and yellowing of the leaves.

  • If your home or office does not receive enough natural light, you can supplement your money tree’s lighting needs with artificial light. LED grow lights are a great option as they are energy-efficient and provide a full spectrum of light similar to natural sunlight.

  • If your money tree has become leggy or overgrown, consider pruning back the old leaves. This will allow more light to reach the lower leaves and promote healthy new leaves.

  • Keep a watchful eye on your money tree and observe its response to the new lighting conditions. If the leaves start to turn yellow or brown, it may indicate that the plant is receiving too much light or not enough water.

Too much or not enough sun can cause yellow leaves.

Pests And Diseases

Pests and diseases also cause yellowing leaves. Spider mites, mealybugs, and scale insects can infest the plant and cause damage, including yellowing leaves. Fungal and bacterial infections can also cause brown spots and discoloration of the leaves.


  • Before treating your money tree, it’s important to identify the pest causing the problem. Common pests that can infest a money tree include aphids, spider mites, mealybugs, and scale insects.

  • If you have other houseplants, isolate the infected plant to prevent the pests from spreading. Move it to a separate room or area until the infestation has been resolved.

  • There are several ways to treat a money tree for pests, including spraying the leaves with water and dish soap or neem oil, wiping the leaves with a damp cloth, or using an insecticidal soap or spray specifically designed for indoor plants.

  • Pests can be persistent: repeat treatments every few days or as needed to eradicate all insects.

  • Monitor the plant for signs of pests. Early detection and treatment prevent a small infestation from becoming severe.

  • Clean your money tree’s leaves regularly with a damp cloth to remove dust and debris, which can attract pests. Also, avoid over-fertilizing your plant, as this can attract pests and make the plant more susceptible to infestations.

Root Bound Money Trees

Finally, the leaves may turn yellow if the plant is root-bound or if the soil is depleted of nutrients. In these cases, repotting the plant with fresh soil and nutrients can help revitalize the money tree.


  • Choose a pot one size larger than the current one. Ensure the new container has drainage holes at the bottom to allow excess water to escape.

  • Mix a high-quality potting soil with perlite or sand to improve drainage. Avoid using heavy soils, such as garden soil or topsoil, as they can retain too much moisture and cause root rot.

  • Loosen the soil around the roots and gently remove the plant from the old pot. If the plant is severely root-bound, you may need scissors or a knife to cut away the bottom of the root ball.

  • Inspect the roots and trim away any that are dead, brown, or mushy. This will encourage new healthy root growth.

  • Place the plant in the new pot and fill the gaps with the prepared potting mix. Carefully press the soil down around the plant to ensure it is secure.

  • Water the plant thoroughly, ensuring the soil is evenly moist but not waterlogged.

  • After repotting, place the money tree in a bright, indirect light location. Avoid exposing it to direct sunlight, which scorches the leaves.

Keep in mind that money trees are sensitive to transplant shock when repotted and moved, especially if they experience a sudden change in temperature fluctuations or lighting conditions. Give your plant a chance to acclimate, and wait to fertilize until you start to see new growth.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can Yellow Money Tree Leaves Turn Green Again?

If the yellowing is due to overwatering or lack of sunlight, the leaves may turn green again with proper care. However, if the yellowing is due to a pest infestation or disease, the leaves may not recover. It’s important to identify the cause of the yellowing and take appropriate action to address the issue.

Baby money tree leaves are a pale, greenish-yellow color and not a cause for concern.

Should You Prune Yellow Money Tree Leaves?

You should prune yellow money tree leaves to promote new growth and improve the plant’s overall appearance. Use clean, sharp pruning shears to cut the yellow leaves close to the stem. Avoid removing more than 20% of the leaves at one time to prevent shock to the plant.

How Can You Bring Your Money Tree Back to Health?

To bring your money tree back to health, identify the cause of the problem and take appropriate action. This may involve adjusting watering and lighting, repotting a root-bound plant, treating pest infestations or diseases, and providing proper nutrients. Consistent care and monitoring can help your money tree thrive.

Is The Money Tree A Succulent?

The money plant (Pachira aquatica) is not a true succulent, but it does have some similarities in terms of its care requirements. Like succulents, money plants prefer well-draining soil but tolerate periods of dry soil. However, they also require more consistent moisture than most succulents, and their leaves are not as adapted to storing water.

Additionally, money plants prefer bright indirect light, while succulents can tolerate more direct sun. So while you can use some succulent care practices with your money plant, consider its specific needs and adjust your care routine accordingly.

Do Money Trees Have Braided Trunks?

Some varieties of the money tree plant have a braided trunk, while others have a more traditional single trunk. The braided trunk results from a specific method of training the young stems to grow together and wrap around each other, creating a unique visual effect.

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