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5 Causes Your Money Tree is Dying (Here’s How to Revive It)

As someone who has taken good care of their Money Tree (Pachira aquatica), I know the disappointment and frustration of watching it wither and die. But don’t give up just yet!

I’ve successfully revived my Money Tree by identifying the cause of its decline and taking appropriate action. I invite you to join me in this process by comparing the symptoms of your dead Money Tree to those of a healthy Money Tree.

Let’s breathe new life into your beloved plant and restore its vibrant energy. 

Is my Money Tree dying?

Money trees can die for various reasons, including overwatering, underwatering, exposure to cold temperatures, pest infestations, and soil-borne diseases.

A strong trunk, glossy leaves, and lush foliage are the signs of a healthy Money Tree. As a robust houseplant, it can withstand shade and cold and doesn’t wilt easily.

However, this native of Central and South America prefers sunny, warm, and dry locations. Poor sunlight, cool temperatures, and high humidity can challenge its growth.

If your Money Tree is showing signs of dieback, don’t worry. There are several possible causes, and by identifying the issue and taking appropriate action, you can bring your tree back to life.

Here’s how to revive your Money Tree based on the causes and symptoms.

1- Lack of Water

Underwatering can cause a money tree to wilt and eventually die, as the plant relies on adequate hydration to transport nutrients and maintain structural stability.
Underwatering can cause a money tree to wilt and eventually die, as the plant relies on adequate hydration to transport nutrients and maintain structural stability.

Water drought is one of the main causes of a dying Money Tree. While houseplants don’t need frequent watering, they still need hydration.

Let’s explore what happens when a Money Tree is affected by water drought and how you can revive it.

Symptoms of Dehydration:

  • Wilted leaves that hang low and feel stiff
  • The entire plant wilting, not just the leaves
  • Browning or falling off of leaves
  • Lack of overall liveness

Can it be saved? How to bring it back to life?

You can revive your Money Tree from water drought if you act quickly. As soon as you notice the signs, give the plant plenty of water until it overflows from the bottom of the pot.

Water the plant when the soil has dried out, but be mindful of overwatering, as this can lead to root rot. The plant will need less water when it is dormant in the winter.

It’s best to water it after the soil has dried out for 2 to 3 days. Remember to water moderately to avoid causing more damage.

2- Root Rot in Your Money Tree

Root rot, caused by prolonged exposure to overly moist soil, can lead to the decay and death of the roots, ultimately killing the money tree plant.
Root rot, caused by prolonged exposure to overly moist soil, can lead to the decay and death of the roots, ultimately killing the money tree plant.

Money tree root rot is a soil-borne fungal disease caused by different types of fungus. Root rot is a devastating condition where the roots of your Money Tree rot and die.

Overwatering or poor drainage can cause the roots to suffocate, leading to rot. This can spread from the roots to the trunk and leaves, causing the entire tree to rot.

However, if even a small portion of the tree survives, there’s a chance that it can be revived.

Symptoms of Root Rot

Soft or mushy roots are signs of root rot.

The fungus is active in the summer and infects plants through their root systems. Symptoms include yellowing and bronzing of leaves, wilting, and rapid death of the plant.

A healthy Money Tree has a sturdy trunk that doesn’t break or collapse under pressure. On the other hand, a Money Tree affected by root rot will have a squishy or scaly trunk that may easily fall apart when touched.

The leaves will also appear wilted, droopy, and lose their firmness. If the greenish outer surface of the leaves turns dark brown or emits a foul smell, it’s a sign of root rot.

How to Fix it

There are no effective control methods for the disease, and the best recommendation is to avoid infested soil.

Practices such as loosening soil, adding organic matter, and using fungicides to treat soil have succeeded in reducing the effects of the disease. 

Unfortunately, the dead parts of the tree cannot be revived once they have rotted, but the surviving parts may regrow.

If the symptoms are mild, empty any accumulated water from a saucer or container and place the Money Tree in a sunny, well-ventilated area to let the soil dry out.

If the dead condition doesn’t improve, consider repotting or taking cuttings. When repotting, remove the rotten, dead roots and replace them with fresh soil.

The best time to repot dead houseplants is during the warm months of May through September.

If emergency treatment is necessary during colder months, repot the tree indoors where it’s as warm as possible.

To take cuttings, cut off the surviving parts and let the cut ends dry before planting them in the soil.

Check out my article for helpful tips and tricks to save money trees from root rot!

3- Excess Sunlight Exposure

Don’t be fooled by their shade-tolerant nature, folks. Money Trees are sun-loving houseplants at heart. Deny their daily dose of sunshine, and they’ll become weak and miserable.

But, on the other hand, expose them to direct sunlight during the scorching midsummer heat, and you’ll witness a tragic withering of your plant.

So, how do you know when your Money Tree is dying from sunlight overdose, and how can you revive it? Let’s find out.

Symptoms of Sunlight Damage

Too much direct sunlight leads to leaf color fading and leaves’ eventual death, as the plant is not adapted to excessive heat and light intensity.

If a Money Tree is not exposed to sunlight for an extended period, its stems will grow thin in search of sunlight, causing the tree to lose shape and become misshapen.

The leaves green color will fade, and the thin, fully-grown stems will become more susceptible to breakage, leading to eventual death.

On the other hand, direct sunlight in midsummer can cause leaf scorch and discoloration to be white, eventually leading to withering and death.

The leaves become discolored and withered, eventually falling off, leaving the plant looking dead.

Revival Tactics

If the Money Tree has been thinned out due to lack of sunlight, there are two ways to restore it to its original stylish form.

The first method is pruning, cutting off the trunk from the middle and leaving the area where new branches will grow.

These cut-off branches can then be planted as cuttings in soil, giving you a chance to expand your plant collection

If you’re not keen on wielding the pruning shears, the second option is to move the plant to a sunnier spot gradually.

However, sudden exposure to sunlight can cause the Money Tree to suffer from leaf burn, weakening, or even death.

To prevent this, gradually change the plant’s location every week from shade to bright shade, to half-shade near a window, to half-shade outside, and so on.

If direct sunlight causes leaf burn and the Money Tree begins to wither, it can be shaded with lace curtains or moved to a place without direct sunlight.

With the right care and attention, your Money Tree can thrive and live a long, healthy life.

4- Diseases and Pests Are Common Causes of Money Tree Death

Houseplants are not immune to pests and diseases, which can cause significant damage and even lead to the death of your beloved Money Tree.

Therefore, it is crucial to take prompt action when you notice any symptoms of diseases or pests. We will discuss the symptoms of spider mites, mealybugs, and sooty disease and how to remedy them.

Symptoms and Remedies for Spider Mites

Spider mites are common pests in the summer when the weather is hot and dry. When an infestation occurs, the color of the Money Tree leaves fades, and if left untreated, the leaves will turn white all over.

The mites can also look like spider webs when they occur in large numbers. To get rid of spider mites, gently wipe off the leaves of your Money Tree with a wet wipe.

These pests are sensitive to water, so misting and watering the leaves can prevent an infestation. Be sure to water not only the front but also the back of the leaves.

Mealybug Symptoms and Remedies

If you notice a white, cotton-like substance on your Money Tree’s leaves, it’s likely a sign of mealybugs. These insects are about 2-3 mm long, waxy, and covered in a white powdery substance.

They can quickly multiply and spread to other houseplants if unchecked, causing secondary damage such as sooty mold.

To get rid of them, gently scrub the leaves with a toothbrush or wipe them off with a wet paper or cloth.

Make sure to remove the carcass of any female whiteflies, as they can attract larvae. To prevent outbreaks, keep your houseplants in a sunny and well-ventilated location.

Symptoms and Remedies for Sooty Mold

Sooty mold is gross and can harm your Money Tree’s health. This fungus covers your beloved plant’s leaves, branches, and trunk with a black, soot-like substance, making it look like it’s been lost in a coal mine.

The excretions and secretions of pesky insects like spider mites and mealybugs spread the disease.

When infected, your Money Tree’s photosynthesis and leaf transpiration are disrupted, which can lead to its eventual death. Oh, the horror!

Luckily, there’s hope! Chemical sprays can be effective when dealing with sooty mold, but don’t forget to eliminate pests since they can also be the source of the disease.

Prevention is key to keeping sooty mold at bay, which means keeping your Money Tree clean and free of those pesky insects.

Just imagine a happy, healthy Money Tree, free of any coal-like substance and shining bright like a diamond in the sky.

5- Low Temperatures Can Be Fatal for Money Trees

Money Trees are natives of warm tropical rainforests, so they don’t fare well in cold weather.

When temperatures drop below 41°F, they become weaker and may even die from the cold. Oh no, not our beloved Money Tree!

Symptoms Caused by Cold

Cold damage can cause the leaves of a money tree to yellow and drop off, leading to the death of the plant
Cold damage can cause the leaves of a money tree to turn yellow and drop off, leading to the death of the plant.

When Money Trees die from the cold, the leaves turn brown and flake off, making them look like they’ve been left out for far too long.

Even if the leaves have fallen off, don’t lose hope, as the plant may be able to revive from its dead state.

Reviving Your Money Tree

Bringing them inside where it’s warmer during the cold season is best to prevent your Money Trees from becoming a cold casualty.

Even if you’re growing it indoors, the temperature near the window drops after sunset, so move it to a warm room in the evening.

Although the leaves may have dried up, if the plant is still alive, it will produce new growth in the spring as the temperature rises.

I Won’t Let It Die Again! Three Important Things for Money Trees

Three things are essential to keep your Money Tree growing vigorously: watering, sunlight, and placement.

First, give your plant plenty of water when the soil dries out during the growing season from spring to fall.

When the plant is less active in winter, keep it dry, and water it only 2 to 3 days after the soil has dried out. When watering, discard any water that has accumulated in the receptacle.

Money Trees love the sun, but be careful not to place them in direct sunlight during midsummer, as it can cause leaf burn and scorch.

Instead, expose them to soft light through lace curtains to keep their leaves alive and healthy.

It’s also essential to place your Money Tree in a well-ventilated area to prevent pest infestations and to ensure the potting soil dries out evenly.

If you have a large Money Tree against a wall, repeatedly rotate the pot to change its location between the front and wall sides.

This will help adjust the amount of water evaporation and ensure your Money Tree is happy and healthy.

Are your houseplants dying? Discover the 11 reasons and solutions to revive them in this informative article.

Take Care of Your Money Tree: Keep It Happy and Healthy

Money Trees are strong, adaptable houseplants that tolerate shade and cold weather, making them perfect for any home.

However, keeping them in a well-ventilated area with moderate watering and sunlight is essential to help them grow comfortably.

After all, they’re natives of tropical rainforests, so they try to create an environment similar to their origins.

If your Money Tree starts to wither, take action as soon as possible to restore its vigor. Review your watering methods and the plant placement to ensure it’s getting everything it needs to thrive.

And remember, when purchasing a Money Tree, choose one with a strong trunk and glossy, shiny leaves to ensure it will last for a long time.

With love and care, your Money Tree can bring joy and life to your home for years to come.

So, take care of it, watch it flourish, and grow into a beautiful plant that adds a touch of nature to your living space.

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