How to Revive a Dying Money Tree Properly

Last Updated on November 21, 2022 by Stephanie

A dying tree typically caused by root rot caused by overwatering or poor drainage, which results in the leaves of the money tree to drop, become yellow, and then fall off. Dry and low humidity soil causes the leaves of the money tree to brown, giving the appearance of dying, wilting.

The money trees like to be in shade, and they can turn brown under direct sunlight.

A money tree dies when its living conditions that are not in line with the natural conditions of its environment.

To bring back a dying money tree ( Pachira aquatica) It is essential for you to create the ideal conditions such as constant humidity, high humidity moist soil , and to protect the money tree from direct sunlight so that it will be able to recover.

Money trees are tolerant of the normal temperature range of the majority of homes, but prefer temperatures between 53.6degF or 77degF (12degC as well as 25degC).

If the temperatures are too hot, the money tree is most likely to suffer from drought stress, resulting in brown leaves that turn brown and fall off. When the temperatures are cold, the leaves will also fall off.

Continue reading to learn how you can help save your money tree that is dying…

Money Tree Leaves Drooping, Turning Yellow and Dying

  • Symptoms. The leaves are yellow with an appearance of wilting or drooping which may eventually fall off.
  • Causes. The pot isnt big enough and the roots have used up all the available nutrients, there is not enough sunlight, or the soil is saturated for too long, which hinders the root from breathing and could cause root rot.

The reason why the leaves of a money tree turning yellow is typically due to the soil being too humid. The money tree can live with moist soil for long periods however if the soil becomes saturated, it blocks oxygen in the soil, which hinders the roots respiration, which results in the leaves of the money trees turns yellow and fall off.

Money trees are indigenous to the Mexico as well as South America where it is found in forests that may be seasonalally flooded, but also experiencing drought..

While money trees are not tolerant of soil that is damp because of their adaptations to the environment, they require that the soil dry out between periods in damp soil.

When the soil becomes continuously saturated, rather than just damp, then the water obstructs oxygen out of the soil, which hinders the root from respiring.

If the roots are unable to breathe, it hinders the ability of the roots to soak in moisture and nutrients. This results in the leaves turning brown with a dying look and then drop.

The soil that is saturated also creates conditions that encourage root decay.

money tree in sunlight pachira aquatica

The yellow leaves on the money tree due to soil that is saturated can be caused by:

  • Too often watering.
  • Pots with no drainage holes at the bottom.
  • Use of saucers or tray underneath the pots that stop water from draining.

Lack of sunlight could be a reason for the leaves of the money tree becoming yellow and falling off.

Money trees can be adapted for being in the shade of a forest canopy in which they receive indirect light or shaded sun, making them perfect indoor plants.

If the money trees leaves are in a deep shade, this could be the reason for their leaves becoming yellow because they are unable to generate sufficient energy due to inadequate amounts of sunlight.

It is important to note that in northern latitudes with shorter day lengths and less light in Winter and Fall the leaves of the money tree tend to turn yellow before falling off. But this isnt an indication that something is inherently wrong with the environmental conditions at home, but it is merely a natural response to shorter days.

The leaves will reappear in the spring when the daylight hours increase provided you care for the trees financial health by watering it regularly and maintaining the range of 53.6degF between 53.6 and 77 degrees (12degC as well as 25degC) degrees with some humidity.

How to Revive a Money Tree With Yellow Leaves

  • Reduce the amount of watering in order to replicate the normal water cycle of their natural habitat. The best method to water cash trees is giving the ground a really well-drained soak, to ensure that water dries from the bottom of the pot. Then let the soil feel barely moist to about the level of a finger. This will ensure that the tree is in the proper amount of moisture to satisfy the needs of watering for the plant, and also allows the soil to breathe and aid in the process of root respiration, ensuring that the leaves remain in a healthy green.
  • Make sure that the pot of your money tree is equipped with drainage holes at the base. Pots that do not drain cause excessive water to collect within the root. It is crucial that the soil of the money tree may dry out between watering sessions to avoid yellow leaves. Make sure that the drainage hole are not blocked by the soil that has been compacted or with any other obstruction.
  • Make sure you empty the containers and saucers that are under the pot frequently. Trays and saucers that are under the pot are an effective way to stop water from spilling into the home following a bout of watering. It is essential to empty the tray or saucer regularly so it is clear that the pot of money isnt placed in a pool of water since it causes root rot that transforms the leaves of your money tree to yellow and drab.
  • Set up the money tree inside a space that is brighter or place it near the window. They can tolerate shade, however if the levels of light are not sufficient, the leaves are unable to photosynthesize and will turn yellow with an appearance of drooping. Dont move your money tree to the direct sunlight following an extended period of shade because the intensity of light will likely cause damage to the leaves, giving them the appearance of a scorched brown. When exposed to bright light the leaves will begin to swell and appear more green over the next weeks.

With better drainage and a schedule of watering that mimics the have in their natural environment, the roots of the money tree can regenerate and the plant will begin to re-grow.

Sometimes, the leaves disappear after a period of stress from water, however the are able to recover even when completely defoliated, as long as the conditions for growth are favorable.

Money Tree Leaves Wilting and Turning Brown and Dying

  • Symptoms. The leaves turn brown and may appear scorchedand have the appearance of wilting or drooping.
  • Causes. Dry soil, low humidity excessive heat or sunlight.

The leaves of money trees become brown due to excessive direct sunlight hitting the leaves or a lack of humidity. The money tree is adapted to grow in shade of a canopy that has high humidity. If the money tree is exposed to direct sunshine or the moisture is too low inside, the leaves turn brown and have the appearance of dying.

The leaves of money trees are sensitive to sun because they are shielded by their natural environment from direct sunlight. They can thrive in shade, but they prefer direct light, bright and scorching brown under full sun So the key is to determine the ideal balance of light within your home.

When the money tree is growing in the tropical regions in central as well as South America, it is used to greater amounts of humidity. The indoor humidity is typically about 10% in the majority of houses, which is lower than the average humidity of the money trees natural habitat.

The lower humidity in the indoor removes moisture from the money trees leaves more quickly than the roots draw in water, which strains the plant, causing the leaves to brown and dry out.

The money trees can also be adapted to drought and flood pattern of irrigation in their natural habitat where the roots could be submerged for an extended period of time due to torrential rainfalls or seasonal flooding of rivers but it is also able to cope with drought.

The ability of the money tree to withstand a variety of situations from flooding to drought is what makes it an ideal home plant, as it will be able to recover even if you dont regularly water it.

But the money tree is still vulnerable to drought in the event of:

  1. The money tree isnt regularly watered and the soil gets dry completely between watering sessions.
  2. The soil is not adequately watered to the point that the top of the soil remains moist, and the water doesnt penetrate the soil enough so that it can reach roots.
  3. The pot isnt big enough and it dries out too fast. A smaller pot will have less soil , and consequently less capacity to hold the moisture in the area around the root of the tree.

How to Resurrect a Money Tree by turning the leaves Brown

  • Transfer the money tree to an area with direct, bright light. If the leaves of the money tree were exposed to direct sunlight, that could be the reason for those brown-colored leaves. The ideal amount of sunlight for money trees is indirect light that is bright and assures that there plenty of light available to ensure the plant is healthy but not so much sunlight that leaves become brown. Shade also helps lessen the loss of water from the leaves since the plant will likely be to be dehydrated due to excessive sunlight.
  • Cut off any scorched, brown or dried-out leaves when theyve been burned by the sunlight. The leaves that have been scorched individually will not recover, so its essential to trim back the scorched leaves with sharp pruning tools because this will help stimulate the growth of green leaves.
  • Make sure to water your money tree with an extensive soak instead of just a gentle watering. Make sure your tree gets a really large soak to ensure that the water is able to penetrate the soil and reached the roots. Dry stress and brown leaves may occur if you watering is too light as it only dampens the top one inch of the soil, and doesnt reach the depths the area where it is needed.
  • The water should be soaked thoroughly and then let it sit until your soil is barely moist to about a finger depth. The water cycle mimics the normal fluctuations in soil moisture, to which the tree of money is used to in its natural environment and creates the ideal amount of moisture needed to rejuvenate the money tree.
  • Examine the roots are bound by pots If so, move your money tree in that is the same size. If your roots are bound, then there isnt enough soil in the pot to hold enough moisture for your money tree, which results in the leaves turning brown, which is a indication of stress. A bigger pot has more soil capacity and, consequently, a higher capacity to hold moisture around the root of your tree. A bigger pot reduces the risk of stress due to drought to revive dying brown leaves.
  • Find the money tree far from heat sources that can cause temperature fluctuations and to be influenced by air currents. Air currents and draughts from forced or air conditioning decrease the humidity and sap water from the leaves, causing the leaves of the money tree to change color. Make sure the money tree you have is located in an area that is not as draughty your home.
  • You can increase the humidity of the money tree you have by spraying its leaves frequently. Misting the leaves every day helps create a moist micro-climate around the tree that recreates the naturally humid conditions of its native environment. It also decreases the amount of loss of water from the leaves, preventing them from becoming dry and becoming brown.
  • If you reside in a climate that has low humidity, you should consider installing an indoor humidifier to replicate the conditions that are humid in the environment where the money tree is rooted. Humidifiers are the most effective method to create the ideal micro-climate for your money tree, helping the leaves resurgence from their dying brown appearance.

The leaves of your money tree that are scorched brown must be cut back to ensure the individual leaves dont regenerate, but this can stimulate new growth . Your money tree will appear a healthy green in the coming weeks.

Cash trees that have brown foliage could recover quite quickly from drought stress so long as you recreate ideal conditions of their natural habitat by misting it regularly to increase humidity and making sure that you water thoroughly to ensure that the soil is uniformly wet.

The trees money will be able to show signs of recovery within two or three weeks, with the leaves drooping getting back to their normal size.

Certain leaves might fall off or fail to get rid of their brownish appearance. In this case, you may have to remove them using pruners once you begin to see green sprouts appearing.

Money Tree Dying After Repotting

  • Symptoms. Leaves are turning brown, wilting and possibly falling off.
  • Causes. Roots require time to establish in new soils in order to draw in moisture and nutrients that can make the money tree appear to be dying.

The reason the money plant to die after repotting is due to the fact that the roots arent planted in their new home, and thus are unable to absorb enough the moisture and nutrients needed to sustain the plant. When the soil becomes dry after repotting, the leaves will begin to wilt, and then fall off with the appearance of dying.

Moving a money tree (or any other plant) between pots another could create stress since the roots must quickly adjust to a new type of soil.

The most common cause is drought stress because roots arent capable of absorbing water as effectively straight after repotting, which is greatly aggravated by other environmental factors like decreased humidity and higher temperatures.

Repotted money trees typically show the usual symptoms of stress that are associated with drought , with leaves that may fall off, and the plant may have an appearance of dying.

If a tree that is a moneymaker is shedding leaves, its an indication the leaf is losing water and the roots are able to absorb more the water, and to survive, the tree sheds its leaves until its roots are established and draw the water more effectively.

When the roots are established enough to hold the water the plant needs and the immediate survival is secured, the plant will re-grow its leaves when it is in a favorable environment.

How to Revive a Dying Money Tree After Repotting

  • The proper watering schedule is essential when repotting the money tree since it is essential to stop that the soil gets dried out excessively so that the roots can have ample water to adjust. It is essential to water regularly to ensure that the soil is consistently and evenly damp (but not overly saturated) to ease drought stress that may occur as the roots begin to establish.
  • You can increase the humidity by using the aid of a humidifier, or by misting the cash every day for two hours. The humidifier can be the best method to maintain the proper amount of humidity around the money tree (around 30 percent humidity is ideal.) In creating a moist micro-climate surrounding your money tree the amount transpiration (water loss) from the leaves will be reduced significantly, which can help reduce stress from drought. Even if your leaves have fallen the humidity surrounding your money tree can create the ideal conditions for the growth of new leaves.
  • Keep the temperature at a moderately cool level and keep the money tree away from draughts and air currents. Since it is drought-related stress that poses the most significant danger to your money tree following repotting, a lower temperature indoors and away from direct sunlight could help to decrease evaporation and keep the plant alive.

If you take proper care of the money tree, by re-creating certain natural conditions , the leaves will be able to grow and new leaves will appear in the coming weeks as the roots adapt.

(Read my article on the best way to keep money from a trees with leaves that are yellow).

Money Tree is Dropping Leaves and Dying

  • Symptoms. Leaves of the money tree are falling and possibly turning yellow, or curling, changing to brown.
  • Causes. Cold temperatures or a reaction with shorter daylight hours in the Fall and Winter dry soil, saturated soil , or because of shock from transplants.

The leaves of the money tree fall in winter and fall due to the changes in seasons like cooler temperatures, lower humidity, and shorter days. The trees also lose their leaves as a result of an abrupt change in weather conditions like exposure to cold temperatures or frost.

The evergreen trees of the money tree are found in their natural environment and keep their leaves the year long, as long as the weather conditions are favorable.

However , they may lose their leaves as a result of stress in the home because of unfavorable weather conditions, or if you reside in a northern latitude, where the length of days in Winter and Fall become significantly shorter.

In winter, there are fewer hours of daylight , and there is more variation in temperature because of indoor sources of heat and dyer air caused by the forced circulation of air conditioners or forced heat.

All of these do not fit with the preferred environment of the money tree with more humidity and stable temperatures of 53.6degF between 77 and 53.6degF (12degC as well as 25degC) and more sunlight (its natural equatorial climate it is able to provide 12 hours of daylight).

The leaves of money tree can be dry, curled and fall if theyre not regularly watered or if they are watered too light. The soil shouldnt dry completely between sessions of watering.

When the ground is too dry, the leaves of the money tree are curled to decrease their surface area . They then fall off in order to avoid loss of too much moisture.

The leaves of the money tree change color and fall off when the soil is damp, rather than evenly.

The soil that is saturated stops the roots respiration and hinders the roots capacity to absorb water and nutrients, causing the leaves to turn yellow and fall off.

The soil surrounding the roots of the money tree is saturated, and there is no good drainage, for too long, the roots begin to rot. at which point it could be extremely difficult to save the tree.

The act of moving the money tree of yours from place to another could result in the trees leaves falling especially if they encounter an extreme change in the weather.

Money trees adjust to the the humidity, sun air flow, temperature and humidity of their locale If there is an abrupt change in the conditions the leaves fall in a sign of stress.

How to Revive a Money Tree That is Dropping Leaves

The most effective way to revive the dying money tree, which is shedding leaves is to recreate some of the conditions that existed in the environment that the money tree was in that has higher humidity, stable temperatures as well as a moist soil that is consistently irrigation.

More closely can mimic the natural surroundings and create favorable conditions for growth, the better the chance for the money tree to growing its leaves.

  • If the tree that makes money has lost its leaves during Winter, they usually grow back in the spring due to the increased sunlight. But it is crucial to make sure that the conditions are favorable for the growth of the leaves.
  • Make sure to increase the humidity and that the tree isnt directly in air currents for forced or air conditioning air. Money trees require greater levels of humidity (at at least 30 percent humidity) than the average homes humidity (which is about 10 percent humidity).
  • For a higher level of humidity, the best choice is to utilize humidifiers since you can precisely regulate the amount of humidity that is appropriate for your cash tree. Bathrooms are among the most suitable areas in your home for cash trees because of the greater humidity, which is more like the conditions in their tropical surroundings. If your money tree isnt large enough, put it on a tray or saucer of water that has pebbles in the water, making sure that your pots bottom is higher than the water line, which is supported with pebbles (to stop root rot). The process of vaporization from the water in the saucer produces a micro-climate which resembles the money trees natural humid environment.
  • The best money trees are those with temperatures that range Between 53.6degF between 53.6degF and the 77°F range (12degC as well as 25degC). Temperatures in the indoors can vary dramatically because of heating, so make sure you choose a place to keep your money tree from sources of heat or extreme cold. so long as the temperature stays relatively steady, the tree will adjust and the leaves will grow back.
  • The trees should be watered as often as needed to ensure that the soil is damp but not overly saturated. The water should be soaked thoroughly to ensure that water drips out of the bottom in the container. This method of watering makes sure that the water gets to the roots exactly where it is needed. this creates the ideal soil moisture balance and recreates the environment of the money trees natural habitat.
  • Make sure the pot for your money tree is equipped with drainage holes at the base that allow water to drain after watering. Pots that do not drain result in water accumulating around the roots, and money trees are not able to withstand prolonged periods of saturated soil. Trays and saucers are helpful to stop water from spilling around the house, but it is essential to empty the saucers or tray frequently to avoid the pot of your money tree from being placed in stagnant water that can cause root decay. The placement of your tree with pebbles that are above the waterline is an effective way to avoid this issue and creates a humid micro-climate around the money tree.

After you have determined the likely cause of the leaves of your money tree to drop and created more favorable conditions, the leaves will be growing again within the next few weeks or in the Spring following when the sun is shining more.

Key Takeaways:

  • The most common causes for dying trees is overwatering, drowning or having a low humidity, extreme cold or hot temperatures, or too much sun. The leaves of money trees become yellow and fall off because of root rot caused by excessive watering. The leaves turn brown and wilt because of dry soil and low humidity.
  • The leaves of money trees turn yellow and drop because of the excess water surrounding the roots, which can cause root decay. Pots that are not drained, or with drainage holes in their base are the main causes of a money tree to develop root rot, causing the leaves to become yellow and have an appearance of dying.
  • The brown leaves on a tree suggest that the soil is dry or that the moisture is low. The money tree is native to the tropical regions and require at minimum 30% humidity and a consistently humid soil. If the soil is dry, the leaves of the money tree begin to wilt, then turn brown and fall off, leaving a drab appearance.
  • The leaves of money trees fall when the soil is too dry or wet or the humidity is too low, or the temperature is less than 53.6degF or because of a lack of sunlight. In Winter and Fall, trees may shed their leaves due to fewer hours of sunlight, however they grow back in spring when the conditions are ideal.
  • In order to revive the dying money tree, you must recreate the conditions of the trees natural habitat with a humidity of 30 and temperatures ranging from 53.6degF and 77degF , and water the tree as frequently as needed to ensure that the soil remains damp. When the conditions are favorable the leaves will reseed and grow stronger over the next few weeks.


Went from an inexperienced gardener to a half-decent one over 10+ years. I cover anything from general indoor plant guides and lawn care, to succulents and flowers. Super happy to share my tips and tricks with you :)