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5 Causes of Money Tree Leaves Curling (w/Solutions)

The leaves of the money tree (Pachira aquatica) can curl primarily due to water or environmental stress, if not you need to look for potential pest attack.

To fix the problem, keep the temperature between 65-80 °F, ensure there is a little more humidity, and let the light shine through. Treat the roots and soil with a fungicide and use neem oil to eliminate the sucking pests like aphids, mealybugs that cause leaves to curl.

Whether your leaves curl inwards or outwards, this indicates that your plant is experiencing a specific set of problems. Here are some situations that might be the cause for your money tree leaves to curl.

Indoor potted Money Tree Leaves showing Curling symptoms

1- Underwatering Cause the Leaves to Curl Inward

When the leaves are thirsty, they curl inward, resembling the shape of a cup. In the absence of sufficient water in the leaf cells, the leaf curls inward to reduce the rate at which water evaporates from the plant.

To put it another way, it’s a defense mechanism for your money tree to keep going without water for longer.

Sticking your finger or a toothpick into the potting soil and checking the moisture level is an easy way to find out.

If the top two inches of soil are completely dry, your money tree is definitely thirsty.  If this pattern continues, the leaves will turn yellowish, then brown, and finally, fall off.

Signs of Underwatered Money Tree

The soil dries faster in the summer because it is hotter. As a result, the leaves are more prone to curling, yellowing, or drooping. It’s critical to keep an eye out for underwatering during those times.

Two factors influence how frequently you water your Money Tree in the winter.

For one thing, if the plant (and thus the soil) doesn’t get a lot of sunlight, the soil will stay moist longer, necessitating a reduction in watering frequency.

Second, the plant reduces its functions so that it does not consume as much water.

The solution is simple: water your plant as soon as possible. You may not be able to save the leaves that have begun to suffocate, but you can do wonders for the rest of the foliage.

2- Root Rot from Overwatering

Money Tree Root Rot Due to Overwatering

Money trees are tropical, which means they enjoy the water, but everything is terrible if it isn’t balanced out.

For example, soggy and wet conditions on your Money Tree will encourage the growth of root rot-causing fungi.

Leaf curling is a sign that the roots fail to absorb water and nutrients for the leaves.

The potting soil will slowly soak up the water that has been drained from the bottom tray, causing it to remain wet longer than it should.

Having yellow, brown, and limp leaves is a far more reliable indicator of overwatering than curling leaves. 

To avoid further damage to your Money Tree, it’s critical that you address any root rot issues right away. This is how you can save it:

Repotting Money Tree
  1. The first step is to remove the plant from the soil and thoroughly clean it.
  2. Remove as much water as possible from the roots by allowing them to air dry as much as possible.
  3. Cutaway any rotten or mushy roots with a clean pair of scissors or other cutting equipment you may have.
  4. Ensure that the plant is kept in an area that is well-ventilated and shaded. As much as possible, let the roots dry out.
  5. Prepare a soil mixture that allows water to drain easily. Vermiculite, peat, and coarse sand make up the ideal soil mix for a Money Tree (perlite). Using a mix like this ensures that the soil can drain properly.
  6. Repot your plant and learn from your blunders.

If your money tree is getting enough light and natural air and you have the right potting mix then it is hard to overwater.

Of course drainage holes are crucial for the pot. In addition using quality water is important because city water contains different types of salts that can cause harm to the root system over the long period.

3- Fertilizer Imbalance

If the plant lacks nutrition, it will slow down its growth and the leaves will start losing color, curling, yellowing, and falling off.

The best time to fertilize is through spring and summer, and at the start of autumn. If you haven’t fertilized your Money Tree at all, you can do it in winter too, but make the solution more dilute.

If you fertilize with a powder, you can just disperse a small amount of it at the top and let the soil fertilize a little bit with every watering.

But be careful not to apply too much fertilizer as the root may shrivel and become unable to absorb water.

If you think that you might have over-fertilized the soil of your Money Tree, then, the best thing to do is change the soil as soon as possible.

4- Pests Infestation

Pests like mealybugs and aphids love to feed off the juices of the leaves leading to curly appearance.

You should inspect your plant once in a while and in case you see some kind of pests, applying organic neem oil can sort the problem out.

Aphids can usually be pushed down with water, but you have to make sure that all of them go down the drainage. If not, they will gradually reappear.

If the pest problem has been going on for longer, you might need to use insecticides to eliminate the infestation.

5- Improper Temperature and Humidity

Money Trees do like warm environments, so somewhere between 65°-75 °F (18 – 23° C) is perfect.

Everything that is 10 degrees higher or lower works too. But, make sure that the temperature doesn’t drop too much at night.

Compared to daylight temperature (especially on summer days) the fluctuation might be too much for the Money Tree.

Sunburned Money Tree

If your Money Tree is exposed to direct sunlight, it might be losing too much water due to transpiration. If that happens, its leaves will start curling or wilting.

The best thing to do about this is to change the position of your plant. Indirect sunlight and enough moisture can bring back healthy-looking leaves.

The cold, dry winter air is also bad for plants like the Money Tree since they like humidity and warmth.

So, by no means you should keep your plant in cold rooms or outside. It will definitely wilt and slowly die out.

Money Tree Leaves Curling after Repotting

If you notice the curling of the leaves after you’ve repotted, it’s best to give it time. While repotting, you might’ve touched or damaged the roots and the leaves are reacting to that.

Their reaction can be anywhere from yellowing or curling to completely falling off.

The other possibility is that your Money Tree is still adjusting to its new environment. If you by chance also changed your position, it’s normal for the leaves to react to that.

New light conditions, change in sun or temperatures, different humidity levels – it all counts. 

If the curling persists weeks or months after you’ve re-potted it, make sure that you have the right mix of soil for it. 

But, please note that the yellowing and curling of the leaves are somewhat natural, especially for big, old leaves. If that is the case, you can just cut those leaves off and beautify your Money Tree.

If your new baby leaves are curling, you might give them a little bit of time too. Sometimes, they will start curling up but will straighten up as they grow.

Final Words

Finally, you took the time to look through the causes of Money Tree leaves curling.

If your Money Tree has curled leaves, go through these sections and dismiss them one by one. You will surely find the cause and be able to fix it fairly easily.

I hope that I’ve been helpful with the tips and tricks. House plants don’t want a lot of effort around them; they just like the right type of effort.

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