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Why Is My Money Tree Dying?

Money trees (Pachira aquatica) are popular indoor plants believed to bring good luck and prosperity. But what happens when your money tree starts to wither and die? This could be due to overwatering, underwatering, exposure to direct sunlight, fungal infections or pest infestations.

What Does An Unhealthy Money Tree Look Like?

Signs of a dying money tree may be yellowing or browning leaves.

Yellow, brown, or black leaves may start drooping or fall off prematurely, and the plant may start leaning to one side, indicating poor root health or inadequate support. The soil may become overly wet or dry, causing root rot or dehydration.

Pests or diseases may also attack the plant, causing damage to the leaves or stem. Finally, an unhealthy money tree may stop producing new leaves or branches, indicating a lack of vitality and growth.

What Is Causing Your Money Tree To Die?

Some of the most common reasons a money tree dies include:

Overwatering And Root Rot

Too much water leads to root rot in a money tree. This fungal disease damages the roots and prevents them from absorbing nutrients properly, which will eventually cause your money tree to die.


If you suspect root rot, inspect the roots for signs of damage or discoloration (such as the plant’s leaves turning yellow or a musty smell). Remove any affected roots and repot the plant in fresh, well-draining soil. Reduce watering, so the soil dries out slightly before watering again. In severe cases, trimming the affected foliage and applying a fungicide may be necessary to prevent further damage.


To fix this, ensure that the money tree plant is in a well-draining potting mix and that excess water drains from the bottom of the pot.

Not Enough Sun

Not getting enough sunlight causes a money tree to weaken and eventually die. This is because the plant needs light to photosynthesize and produce energy for growth.


If the leaves are turning yellow, droopy, or falling off, it may be a sign that the plant is not getting enough light. Gradually move it to a brighter location to prevent shock.

If your money tree is already severely damaged due to lack of sunlight, it may not be able to recover. In this case, you may consider replacing the plant or propagating a new one from healthy cuttings.


To prevent this, ensure that the money tree is placed in a bright, indirect light location, such as near a window that receives plenty of natural light but is shielded from direct sun. Rotate the plant periodically to ensure that all sides receive equal light.


Pests can cause significant damage to the foliage and stem, leading to weakening or killing the plant. Common insects that affect money trees include spider mites, mealybugs, scale insects, and thrips.


There are several solutions if you notice pests, such as aphids and mildew. First, physically remove them using a soft cloth or cotton swab dipped in soapy water. You can also use neem oil, insecticidal soap, or oil spray to kill the pests.

If the pest infestation is severe and the plant is heavily damaged, it may be necessary to trim back the affected foliage or consider replacing the plant.


Keep the plant healthy by providing adequate light, watering, and nutrients to prevent further infestations. Remove any dead or diseased foliage to prevent the spread of pests or diseases.

Regularly inspect your plant for signs of insects such as webbing, small white or brown bumps, or sticky residue on the leaves. Isolate any affected plants to prevent the spread of pests to other plants.

Transplant Shock

Transplant shock can occur when a money tree is repotted or transferred to a new location, causing the plant to experience stress and potentially die. Symptoms of transplant shock include wilting, yellowing leaves, and slow growth.


If your money tree is experiencing transplant shock, move it to a location with bright, indirect light, and keep the soil moist but not waterlogged. Avoid fertilizing until the plant shows signs of new growth.

In severe cases, you may need to trim back the affected foliage to reduce stress on the plant.


To prevent transplant shock, take care when repotting or moving the plant. Use high-quality, well-draining soil and ensure the pot has adequate drainage holes. Be gentle when handling the plant, and avoid damaging the money tree roots.

After repotting or moving the entire plant, give it time to adjust to its new growing conditions.

Other Causes

Another factor that can kill your money tree is low humidity levels. Money tree plant is native to South America and thrives in humid environments. If the air in your home is dry, use a humidifier to increase the humidity around the plant.

If the plant has outgrown its pot, consider transplanting it to a larger pot with fresh potting soil to promote healthy roots.

Frequently Asked Questions

Should You Cut Dead Leaves From A Money Tree?

Yes, always trim dead money tree leaves to promote healthy growth and prevent the spread of disease. Dead leaves do not contribute to the plant’s health and attract pests and diseases. Use clean, sharp pruning shears to make a cut close to the base of the leaf stem.

What If Just One Money Tree Trunk Dies?

If just one money tree trunk dies, the plant may still survive if the remaining trunk(s) are healthy. Prune the dead trunk back to the base of the plant, taking care not to damage the healthy parts. This can be tricky with the braided trunks. Ensure that the plant receives adequate care, including proper watering, lighting, and fertilization, to promote healthy growth of the remaining trunks.

Can Money Trees Come Back To Life?

Money trees can come back to life if the right care is provided. Depending on the cause of the plant’s decline, it may take time for the house plant to recover. In some cases, pruning back dead or damaged foliage encourages new growth and helps the plant to thrive again.

Is My Money Tree Dying Bad Luck?

A money tree dying is not bad luck. The tree’s health depends on proper plant care, environmental conditions, and pest and disease management. Taking good care of the plant improves its health and longevity.

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