Why Are My Money Tree Having Yellow Leaves - Causes & Solutions

Written by Ivy

Jan 12 2023

Why Are My Money Tree Having Yellow Leaves - Causes & Solutions

The yellowing of money tree leaves could be brought on by pests, disease, insufficient or excessive fertilizer, sudden, drastic temperature changes, overwatering, underwatering, improper lighting or humidity, or pests.

However, when there are new growths or if it affects lower older foliage, yellowing money tree leaves may occasionally be a sign of natural aging.

We'll examine the various reasons why money tree plants develop yellow leaves, mention some warning signs, and offer fixes or solutions.

About Money Tree Plant

Money tree plant (Pachira aquatica) is a popular, easy to care houseplant associated with financial success or good fortune. Here is a quick overview:

  • Scientific name: Pachira aquatica
  • Family: Malvaceae (mallow family)
  • Common names: Malabar chestnut, money tree plant, money plant, Guiana chestnut, saba nut, monguba, pump, wild kapok or Pachira, provision tree
  • Native habitat: Central and South America
  • Size: grows up to 18 meters (59.1 feet) in the wild and about 1.5m (5ft) as a houseplant
  • Leaves: Shiny green palmate leaves with up to 9 leaflets
  • Light: medium to bright indirect light
  • Hardiness zone: 10-12
  • Temperature: Prefers 65 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit but can tolerate slightly lower or higher temperatures
  • Relative humidity: High, 50% and above
  • Soil: cactus soil mix, well-drained loamy soil, or any well-drained potting soil. It can tolerate other soil mixtures though.
  • Propagation: Cutting
  • Toxicity: Non-toxic to dogs, cats, and humans

Understanding Money Tree Leaves Yellowing

Money Tree leaves yellowing may occur on the entire leaf, at the tip, edges, and sometimes the color may be pale green or brown or have brown spots. Additionally, the leaf may have yellow spots on it.

This discoloration may occur alone or with other symptoms like the leaves curling, falling off, wilting, dying off, having holes, and so on. Additionally, it might impact the entire plant, the younger leaves, or the lower leaves.

While trying to get answers to why your money plant leaves are turning yellowish, you need to ask yourself some fundamental questions such as:

  • Is this a brand-new plant or one you've had for a while?
  • If so, where did you relocate your plant?
  • Has the temperature or humidity changed, including as a result of changes to the air conditioner or humidifiers?
  • How recently did you repot your money tree?
  • Did you recently alter your feeding or watering schedule?

Let's examine the various reasons why money trees develop yellow leaves and provide you with some warning signs and remedies.

Money Tree

1. Overwatering and Underwatering

Overwatering or underwatering, also known as "underwatering," is the most frequent cause of money tree leaves turning yellow., the plants have wrong moisture levels. Let's examine each to see if there are any signs that this houseplant is either overwatered or underwatered.

Overwatered Money Tree

Overwatering is the most frequent reason why money trees and many other houseplants develop yellowing leaves. Some of the other signs that may indicate you are overwatering this house plant include the following:

  • The soil is always wet to feel or soggy at times
  • Rotting smell from the growth media (root rot sign)
  • Brown edges or spots on leaves
  • The potting mix may also attract pests
  • Loss of lower, older leaves

Pachira aquatica doesn't like growing in very soggy soils as the roots will begin rotting, and your plant will eventually die.

Besides excessive watering, other causes that may result in the soil being soggy or too wet include the following:

  • A rise in humidity – reduces the evaporation rate
  • Poor air circulation
  • Poorly draining soils or wrong potting mixture
  • Wrong pots without draining holes
  • Huge pots

Underwatering Money Trees Or Dry Soil

While too much water can wreck havoc, too little water can also lead to a number of issues, including, underwatered money trees will have curly drooping yellow leaves, including yellow tips and edges.

Besides the discoloration, other possible signs of underwatered Pachira aquatica include the following:

  • Parched soil
  • Slow or stunted growth
  • Shriveled and crispy leaves
  • Leave falling off or loss
  • Lifeless appearance

A forgotten or skipped watering session, an increase in temperature, or a drop in humidity are all potential causes of underwatering.


Put your finger into the soil and feel it to determine whether it is too dry or too wet. Your plant is underwatered if it feels dry and parched. On the other hand, if it is moist and soggy, you are overwatering your Pachira aquatic.

A soil moisture meter is an alternative method. XLUX by IAGTEK is a great brand that we adore. It is reliable, simple to read, and doesn't need batteries. If the reading is 3 or less, just stick its probe into the water and soil.

In case you are underwatering, you need to increase the frequency of watering and check if the humidity went down (causes quicker drying)

On the other hand, if your plants are getting too much water, think about cutting back on the amount and make sure your potting mix allows the soil to drain properly. Check to see if the humidity level has increased as this will decrease evaporation.

How to Water Money Tree

Be sure to know when and how to properly water money trees. In most cases, these houseplants only require shallow watering, and depending on humidity levels, you can water them once or twice a week. On the other hand, water your money trees when 50% to 75% of the topsoil is dry.

When watering, make sure to water the surrounding area rather than the trunk itself (which could encourage root rot). Continue watering until any extra water drains out of the pot's bottom drain holes.

Additionally, remove any extra water from the saucer, drip tray, or cachepot because it might soak the soil in the pot once more.

Money Tree

2. Too Little Light Or Too Much Direct Sunlight

Money trees require moderate to bright direct light for at least 6 hours a day, and too much or too little may contribute to the yellowing or browning of its foliage.

Too Little Light

Although they will grow more slowly, money trees can adjust to lower lighting levels. The leaves of these houseplants will turn yellow if there is insufficient light, which will make it difficult for them to photosynthesize.

Additionally, if your house does not let light in or if it is winter, when light intensity and duration decrease, your plants may wither and become weak and have stunted growth.

Excessive Direct Sunlight

Pachira aquatica can easily withstand direct, strong light. However, excessive direct sunlight can cause leaf burn and scorch marks, especially at the edges and in the middle of the summer.

The leaves will also be dehydrated, and the hot sun will reduce the levels of chlorophyll, making the leaves appear paler, yellower, or brownish, beginning at the edges.


Placing your plant close to south-facing windows will allow it to have light for a longer period of time if the problem is too little light for one reason or another.

You could also spend a few dollars on a grow light if your house doesn't allow for enough light or if you can relocate your houseplant. GE Grow Light LED by Savant Systems Inc. are a good pick. It has a 25000-hour lifespan, is cost-effective, and energy-efficient.

You can combine it with Dr. meter LX1330B Digital Illuminance Light Meter to check the light's brightness, making sure it's between 10,000 and 25,000 lux. For bright, indirect light, use this range.

To avoid direct, scalding sunlight, you can move the plant to indirect light, a neutral location, or a glass terrarium for plants.

3. Low Humidity

The best conditions for money tree growth are relative humidity of at least 50% and temperatures between 65 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit., i.e., they love higher humidity than the typical home humidity which is usually 30% to 50%.

Because of this, if they are subjected to low humidity for an extended period of time, the leaves may turn brown or yellow, especially at the edges, and if the humidity is not fixed, they may fall off.

Since humidity and temperature are related, your Pachira aquatica may turn yellowish during winter since a drop in temperature reduces the amount of water air can hold, lowering humidity.

Some of the ways to deal with humidity changes include the following:

  • Mist your plant a few times a week to help raise humidity
  • Place the planter's pot on a pebble tray, taking care to prevent water from seeping in.
  • Remove plants near air conditioning or heating systems
  • Don't place your plants in cold areas with drafts
  • Invest in a humidifier during the dry months. It doesn't matter which cool mist brand you use; a top-selling model on Amazon is AquaOasis Cool Mist Humidifier. It runs for 24 hours without needing a refill, is quiet, and is inexpensive and simple to clean. LEVOIT and Pure Enrichment® MistAire™ are also good brands.
  • Bathe them

4. Excessive Or Inadequate Fertilizer

The over- or under-application of fertilizer may also be the cause of the yellowing and browning of money tree leaves.

Inadequate Fertilizer

A lack of certain crucial nutrients could occur if your money tree plant is not given the proper amount of fertilizer. For instance, the yellowing of leaves will be caused by insufficient levels of magnesium, potassium, phosphorus, nitrogen, manganese, and iron.

Also, other nutrients, including copper, sulfur, zinc, and molybdenum, may make your Pachira aquatica leaves yellow or brownish. Other telltale signs of nutrient deficiency include the following:

  • Stunted growth
  • Spindly foliage with leaves curling downwards may turn brownish, especially on ledges and tips, a phenomenon known as tip burn
  • Abnormally green foliage

Excessive Fertilizer

While too little fertilizer is insufficient, too much fertilizer can be harmful and result in lower leaf yellowing and wilting. In addition, their color may fade.

Other symptoms that may indicate over-fertilization include the following:

  • Visible fertilizer crusts on the soil surface
  • Leaf burn
  • Leaf tips and margin browning
  • Slow or no growth
  • Foliage loss
  • Death


You must adhere to a proper feeding schedule in order to resolve the problem. A money tree typically needs to be fed once a month in the spring and summer when new leaves are growing.

For indoor or potted plants, we advise using any balanced, water-soluble, or liquid plant food. Observe the directions when using it. We make use of Perfect Plants Liquid Money Tree Fertilizer. NPK ratios that are ideal for Pachira plants were used in its formulation. Once a month, I give the plant a drink from a gallon of water that has a teaspoon of this concentrated liquid fertilizer in it.

Reduce your feeding if it is excessive, and if it is too little, up your intake. Additionally, make sure the soil is always damp before applying fertilizer.

However, please don't feed your Pachira aquatica during winter as the plant isn't growing, i.e., it is dormant.

Money Tree

5. Older Leaves May Turn Yellow

Occasionally, if it happens to older leaves, the yellowing of money tree leaves is normal. Such a situation will cause some older leaves to gradually turn yellow and then brown, allowing you to see new growth. They could also degrade, which is a bigger problem in the autumn.

If the discoloration results from aging, you shouldn't be concerned because it is common. To allow space for new leaves to grow, we advise you to remove any old leaves.

6. Pot Or Root Bound

Yellow leaves could be an indication that your money plant is root-bound if you haven't replanted it in the last two to three years.

You can slide the plant out to see if the roots have curled, or you can look for additional symptoms like roots growing through drainage holes., they don't have space for growth.

Plants that are confined to pots have close-knit roots. They don't receive sufficient nutrition. The lower money tree leaves on your money plant consequently turn yellow or brown.

Repotting will solve the problem of your plant being pot-bound. However, rather than doing it in the winter, we advise repotting in the spring or summer when the plant is actively growing.

7. Sudden Huge Temperature Fluctuation

Money tree plants prefer temperatures between 65 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit. However, it can withstand temperatures as low as 50 °F (10 °C) and as high as 100 °F (37.8 °C).

As a result, these indoor plants are not frost-resistant, and your money tree will suffer or even die in extremely cold temperatures. That is not the topic at hand at this time. We're alerting you to the possibility that foliage yellowing could result from a sharp, significant temperature change, even if it falls within the acceptable range.

Stopping sudden, enormous temperature changes and placing the materials close to cold surfaces, radiators, fireplaces, or other heating systems will stop the yellowing caused by significant temperature fluctuations.

8. Pest Infestation

Although unlikely, pests like aphids, mealybugs, spider mites, or even scale may make money tree leaves turn yellow because they weaken plants by sucking their sap or juices. You might see brown or yellow spots, curly leaves, or both.

Here are signs of the various pests that may attack your Pachira aquatica.


  • Aphid colonies on young stems, leaves, or buds
  • Wilting and distortion of young shoots and leaves
  • Yellowing followed by the premature death of young plants
  • Honeydew
  • Distorted or wilted leaves


  • Stunted growth
  • Leaf yellowing
  • Brownish pockmarks
  • Leaf drop


  • Leaf yellowing
  • Stunted growth
  • Honeydew that will promote black sooty mold growth

Spider Mites

  • Tiny brown or yellow spots
  • Slow or no growth in case of severe infection

Yellowing leaves, whether spots or the entire leaf, are a defining characteristic of all the aforementioned pests. So, although unlikely, they could be a cause.


Depending on the bug that caused the problem, there may be a treatment or solution. Here is how to manage the various pests:

  • Spider mites – In both severe and mild cases, use insecticidal soap. You can also use neem oil, a natural insecticide.
  • Aphids – Over the course of about two weeks, apply a mild dish soap and water solution two to three times per week. Use neem oil and other essential oils to spray something on them to chase them away.
  • Mealybugs – Spray the plant with a mixture of water, Dawn dish soap, and rubbing alcohol.
  • Spider mites – Use a horticultural oil spray

We've had success using Bonide Ready to Use Neem Oil for neem oil. Insect larvae, eggs, and adults will all perish from it. A fungicide, insecticide, and miticide all in one.

In contrast, we suggest Garden Safe Brand Insecticidal Soap if you need an insecticide. Bonide also makes a good horticultural oil spray.

You ought to be able to control pests with these items. Additionally, they will aid in the management of various diseases like anthracnose, black spots, rust, powdery mildew, and botrytis.

Money Tree

9. Disease and Conditions

Your money tree's yellowing leaves could be caused by a number of illnesses and conditions. The specific disease and conditions will determine what to anticipate. Common ones include the following:

Downy Mildew

The upper leaf initially has fuzzy spots that are pale green or grayish in color and will eventually turn yellow. Leaf veins that start on the lower part of the leaf surround these angular spots.

Expect the leaf to become necrotic and turn brown as the condition worsens; alternatively, it could stay yellow, making them a potential source of yellowing.

Treatment options include pruning the plant, applying copper-based fungicides like Bonide Copper Fungicide, encouraging circulation, maintaining dry foliage, and more. Moisture is essential for their growth.

Septoria Leaf Spot

The houseplant will initially have a few tiny grayish spots with brown edges on the lower leaves as a result of this fungal infection, but it will gradually progress upward. The spots cause the leaves to prematurely wilt and fall off as they get bigger, turn brown or yellow, and grow larger.

Remove any affected leaves, apply chemical or organic fungicides, and wash your hands after touching infected foliage if you want to manage Septoria leaf spots.

Bacterial Spot Infection

If the young leaves of your money tree have circular, greenish-yellow spots with brown centers, this could be the result of bacterial spot infection. Following that, spot areas will collapse, leaving holes or disfiguring the leaves by twisting and wilting them.

This condition isn't common on Pachira aquatica like in tomato and pepper plants, including their fruits and leaves. But it might happen.

Finally, you can manage this condition by burning, composting it in a hot environment, or burying the affected pants to stop the spread of this deadly bacterial infection.

How to Revive a Dying Money Plant

You need to understand the root cause if you want to successfully revive your dying money plant with yellow leaves. We discussed a number of causes and provided you with remedies or solutions. Severe root rot or certain infections, for example, may make some cases difficult to save.

How Do You Control Yellowing Leaves?

Prior to watering, let your plant completely dry out. By inserting a dry pencil into the soil, you can determine whether it has dried out.

If it comes out dry, water should be added. Additionally, it is critical to confirm that the soil's bottom has dried out. It extends beyond the top layer.

When you water your money tree, soak the soil and let the water drip out the bottom into a sink or a saucer.

If your plant is kept in a saucer, drain the water after it has finished draining. Root rot and plant death will result from too much water around the plant's roots.

By misting your tree with a spray bottle of fresh water, you can increase humidity. Additionally, you could include an automatic misting humidifier in the area.

Placing your plant atop a saucer filled with water and rocks is another way to increase the humidity.

Make sure none of it gets absorbed by the soil, or your roots will rot.

Keep the plant at a steady, average indoor temperature throughout the day. Keep your plant away from windows, vents, and areas with strong light.

Money Tree


Your Money tree plant's yellowing could be caused by a variety of factors. Fortunately, most of them are reversible and are manageable.

  • Leaves of the money tree plant can turn yellow because of both under and overwatering.
  • In contrast to underwatering, which causes yellow leaves to appear dry and wilted, excess water causes yellow leaves to appear mushy and wilted.
  • Check if the humidity levels around your plant are falling below 50 percent. Use a humidifier or a pebble tray with water if this is the case.
  • Using soil with poor drainage might also lead to the yellowing of leaves. Add pumice, perlite, or sand to improve drainage.
  • A drainage hole large enough for your pot should be present.
  • If the yellowing leaves have brown edges, this is a sign of fertilizer burn. Only fertilize once a month while the plant is growing.
  • The Money tree plant can only tolerate indirect light. Its leaves will turn yellow and appear scorched if you place it in a bright, direct area of light. It should be relocated to an area with only filtered light.

The Money tree plant is a lush-looking plant that looks great in indoor spaces. Never again will your plant's leaves turn yellow.

I hope this article has given you some food for thought regarding the reason your money tree's leaves are yellow. It's crucial to take into account every scenario so that you can address the appropriate issue.