Money Tree Leaves Turning Yellow

Money Tree Leaves Turning Yellow- 10+ Most Common Reasons

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If you have an issue with Money tree leaves turning yellow, there can be a few reasons for this. This plant has become popular due to the feng shui movement, as it is purported to bring good fortune.

The botanical name is Pachira aquatica and the plant itself comes from Central and South America. It is often sold as a bonsai or with a braided trunk featuring bright green leaflets that seemingly form one leaf. Money Tree is a beginner-friendly non-toxic plant that embellishes every corner. As such, it has found its place in many homes, and since you are here, in yours, too. While this is an easy-care low-light plant, it may encounter some difficulties once in a while. One most common one would be the yellowing leaves of money trees.

Let’s see what are the causes of yellow leaves and how to help the plant grow healthy leaves.

Money tree with yellow leaves

What Causes Yellow Leaves?

There are a lot of factors that cause yellow leaves on your money trees. They are presented below, including insufficient light, too much light, root rot, and fertilizer burn among others.

Nutrient Deficiency

First of all, nutrient deficiency is one of the main factors that results in a yellowing money tree. Nitrogen, magnesium, zinc, and iron deficiency in particular lead the Money Tree plant to develop yellow leaves.

Solution: To avoid that, fertilize your money tree plants with a water-soluble formula as instructed on the label. Don’t fertilize too close to the roots as it can cause root rot of your money tree plant. Another option is to repot the money tree in fresh soil that contains the necessary nutrients and provides indirect light.

healthy money tree
Healthy Money tree

Irregular Watering Routine


This refers primarily to overwatering, the most common cause of money tree death. Some symptoms of overwatering are yellow leaves, soggy soil that emits an unusual rotting smell, stunted growth, browning leaves and blackening of stems.

Solution: Money Tree can survive a dose of neglect and that’s better than overwatering. Remember to reduce watering in the winter months. Don’t let the plant sit in standing water as this can even cause the eventual death of the plant.


Now, if the leaves are yellowing, curling, drooping, look shriveled, develop brown edges and feel crispy to the touch, the reason for this is underwatering. You want to adopt a healthy watering routine so your plant can derive maximum benefit from it.

Solution: To be sure whether it is time to water, always water thoroughly and allow the soil to dry at least halfway through the pot. Weigh the pot in your hand and if it feels lightweight, it is time to water it.

Related: Plant Watering- Guide for Gardening Beginners

Poor Drainage

Poor drainage refers both to the pot and the plant’s soil. The first prerequisite for successful cultivation is using a pot that is suitable for the plant’s size and that has enough drainage holes. If it doesn’t, excess water has nowhere to go and stays in the pot, waterlogging the plant. When you water the plant, always empty the saucer.

Secondly, use well-draining soil that contains perlite, coarse sand, and vermiculite. This kind of soil drains quite well while it retains moisture at the same time.

Solution: In a nutshell, opt for a pot that has drainage holes and empty the saucer after watering. Use quality, nutrient-rich, well-draining soil.

Wrong Light Levels

Pachira aquatica requires medium to bright indirect light to grow well. If the leaves are turning yellow, your plant is not getting enough sunlight. Plant’s growth slows down as a result of low light, too.

Solution: To solve this issue, simply move your plant from a partially shaded area to a place that offers medium to bright light.

However, if the leaves are scorched, it means that your plant has received too much sunlight, most likely direct light. The key is to ensure the right levels of light for your plant.

Money tree loves medium to bright indirect light

Wrong Humidity Levels

Another common reason for yellowing leaves is low humidity. Dry air affects money trees negatively, especially in the winter when the air is heated.

Solution: To solve it, sit your money tree on a pebble tray, making sure that the pot isn’t in contact with water. You can also mist the leaves occasionally or put some peat moss on the surface of the potting mix.

Too Much Fertilizer

Now, the money tree is not a heavy feeder. Applying too much fertilizer, fertilizing frequently, and fertilizing close to the roots can cause yellowing leaves. What happens is that salts contained in the fertilizer damage the plant and leave the soil dry, which affects leaves in turn, too.

Solution: To avoid this, follow the manufacturer’s guidelines and cut the strength. Fertilize only during the growing season, as instructed in the botanical guides. To solve the problem, flush the potting soil with freshwater or transplant.

Temperature Fluctuations

Fluctuating temperatures are another cause of yellowing leaves. This means that the temperature in your home varies between warm, cold, or windy. The plant may be exposed to cold currents of air or be exposed to draft or extremely cold weather.

Solution: To prevent this, maintain constant room temperatures of between 17 and 26 degrees C. Provide good air circulation and protect from strong and cold currents of air.

Pest Infestation

It is no news that money trees may attract pests. Spider mites and mealybugs are money tree’s occasional visitors and pests infestation can also cause money tree leaves to turn yellow.

Solution: Try increasing humidity levels and treat the affected plant immediately. Give the plant a good rinse and use an insecticidal soap or neem oil. Inspect your money tree plants regularly, at least once every few days, especially if the plants spend days hanging out in your outdoor garden.

Repotting Shock

Money tree leaves might also turn yellow due to the transplant shock, or repotting. This is a natural occurrence and the plant simply needs some time to acclimatize and get used to the new environment.

Solution: After repotting the plant, remember to always increase sunlight and humidity gradually, instead of exposing it to high humidity and overly bright light immediately. However, do find the plant a warm, slightly shady spot.

Normal Occurrence?

The fact is, money tree leaves get old too and eventually fall off. They wither and die and that’s a natural process. You may find yellow leaves even on a healthy plant. It is advisable to remove yellowing leaves as they can invite fungi.

However, differentiate between yellowing leaves as a result of leaf aging and yellowing leaves as a result of a problem, hence be knowledgeable about how to treat the problem.

Frequently Asked Questions

Should I Cut Yellow Leaves off Money Tree?

Yes, removing yellowing leaves on this good fortune plant is highly recommended. This allows a place for new, healthy leaves to grow and prevents fungus of bacteria infestation.

Can Yellow Money Plant Leaves Turn Green Again?

Once the leaves of these tropical plants start turning yellow, they can’t become green again. So it is best to remove them and make space for new growth.

Why Are My Money Tree Leaves Turning Yellow?

As we have seen, the possible causes for money trees leaves turning yellow are irregular watering routine, overfertilizing, nutrient deficiency, low humidity, low light, temperature fluctuations and usually extremes, pest infestations, repotting shock and poorly draining soil. However, yellow leaves are also a cause of the natural process of leaf ageing.

How to Avoid Yellowing Leaves on Money Trees?

In order to minimize the risk of your money tree plant developing yellow leaves or brown edges, avoid exposing your plant to direct sunlight, stick to deep but infrequent watering, allowing the excess water to drain out. Besides, excess fertilizer salts can damage the plant’s foliage, so avoid overfertilizing. Watch out for early signs such as yellow spots on initially green leaves so that the yellowing wouldn’t spread further.

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