Why Are My Money Tree Leaves Turning Brown?

Last Updated on August 9, 2022 by Stephanie

The money tree (Pachira Aquatica) is difficult to maintain as a houseplant since it prefers soil that is moist.

But, keeping the soil around your plants damp is a sure method to get fungal and bacterial diseases.

The leaves of money trees often turn brown because of poor watering, natural aging and sunburn. The browning of leaves can result from temperature stress and low humidity, as well as nutritional imbalances, diseases and insect pests. Keep the light bright and indirect and water the area when the top 2 inches of soil are dry. Also, ensure adequate drainage to prevent root decay.

[1] Have You Overwatered Your Money Tree?

Money trees arent easy to drown. But, since they like their growth medium to be slightly humid, they do best when they are regularly watered.

However, you shouldnt want to drown your plant. The money tree will die when the soil is too moist or sloppy.

The excess water can make it difficult for air to enter the soil, preventing roots from receiving the oxygen they require to thrive. The roots then cease to function and could cause root decay..

Even if your growing medium is moist enough the excess watering could cause the plant to die.

Keep on the lookout for the appearance of yellow or brown foliage particularly on the lower leaves which can be a sign of an illness.

There are also the following indications of a waterlogged money tree:

  • It drains the soil slowly following the watering.
  • The growth of mildew or mold at the surface of soil.
  • Insanely shedding of leaves
  • The smell of rotting is released from soil due to root decay.
  • It is weak and swollen, or is rotting.

Its easy to believe that regular watering is the sole reason for overwatering. But, soil thats too moist or sloppy for long periods of time can trigger it.

The following causes or cause tree leaves to become brown due to receiving excessive amounts of water:

  • The frequency of irrigation should not be decreased in winter or in the winter months.
  • The plant should be planted in a soil that is not well drained.
  • After watering your plant, dont forget to empty the cachepot, saucer, and drip tray. Money trees do not like having wet feet.
  • It is important to water your plant regularly, and do not wait for topsoil to dry little.
  • Choose a container that is too big for the plant you want to grow in.
  • A container that is planted in has little or no drainage holes.

If the plant is watered excessively for a long time the plant will begin to develop root rot. The article provides a step-by-step guide for a money tree.

There will be the mushy, dark brown or black roots after removing the plant from the pot. The roots emit an unpleasant smell of decay.

Indoor plants by window - fiddle leaf fig, money tree, cactus

How to Fix an Overwatered Money Tree

When your tree is brown leaves that are wilting take the steps below to save your plant:

  • Stop watering your money tree till the top 2 inches of soil is dry.
  • Make sure that your money tree is in well-drained soil and in a pot.
  • Move it to a sunny area where it can receive more sunlight and extra moisture to allow for rapid development. The heat generated by the bright light will help in drying the soil.
  • If the soil is taking time to dry, you can repot your plant in a peat-based pot mix that drains easily. To increase drainage, add some gravel or sand. Or, perlite.
  • Be sure that your container is of the correct size for the money tree you have.
  • Check that your container is filled with drainage holes.
  • After you have watered your plant remove the drip tray, saucer or cachepot 10 minutes afterward.
  • If you suspect that overwatering is causing root rot, it is imperative to immediately take action. Take out the affected roots, rinse off the oil-laden soil and then repot your money tree using new pot mix.

[2] Dehydration Causes Brown Tips and Edges on Money Tree Leaves

Have you let the money tree in your home to become too dry? This is one of the first questions to consider if you spot the leaves turning brown.

This is often the case when leaf tips are crisp and brown. While other leaves are beginning to develop edges or tips that are brown.

Dehydration is usually a major cause of death on leaves during the first and most affluent stages.

Unfortunately, trees of money that receive too much or not enough water show identical signs. The soil of an underwater plant will feel dry and the pot will appear less hefty.

The yellowed or browned foliage can also feel rough and dry. All of the plants leaves will begin to wilt rapidly. If you do take a sip and it will begin to recover quickly.

Other signs that are common include wrinkled, shriveled, or curled-up leaves and then generalized stunting.

The most common cause of underwatering is when you dont water your plant or it requires more water than it normally does.

In the case of example, youll likely need to water a rapidly growing money tree in the summer and spring months.

How to Fix

If the soil is dry the leaves will often turn brown. Therefore, give the money tree thorough soak if this is the case. Heres how to do it:

  1. Make sure to fill a sink or basin up to 4 inches deep with water that is lukewarm prior to beginning.
  2. Take the pots outer part (saucer) from the plant and allow it to soak in the tub for however long you would like.
  3. For 30 to 45 minutes, to ensure that the dirt has enough that it is completely soaked.
  4. Clean out the drip tray or cachepot after about 10 minutes.

It is recommended to repot your plant if its rootsbound or is in a too small pot.

[3] Sunburn

You may have heard that Money Trees are plants that prefer to be in the sunlight. This is due to the fact that they endure the suns rays outside.

However, indoor money trees have to be protected against direct sun.

In the event that they dont, the leaves could be sunburned and will turn brown, particularly near the edges.

Sunburn typically appears as large dark brown marks on leaves. However, sunburned money tree leaves may turn brown in extreme instances.

How to Fix

Theres a high chance that the leaves of your plant have turned brown due to sunburn. Its therefore essential to determine the location of your plant.

It is possible to do this using the light meter ( Amazon link) at different times of the day, and for several hours.

The sun shouldnt affect your savings tree for more than 6 hours per day.

Move your plant to an area that is exposed to light that is bright to medium in indirect light, if thats the case.

It is possible to trim leaves that are brown and have been burned by the sun. The original color of the leaves wont return.

[4] Pest Infestation

Pests such as whiteflies, spider mites, fungus gnats mealybugs, aphids and scale insects are able to be a threat to the trees of money.

Sap-sucking bugs can create brownish yellow spots on the leaves on your tree of money due to the fact that theyve stripped it of its vital juices and vitality.

In the end, all of the trees leaves will change to brown and yellow, resulting in a major loss to the tree that holds your money.

Solution for Money Tree Bugs

It is essential to check your bank account regularly for indications of insects. If you spot any insect then you must immediately trim and remove the money trees.

Then, you can employ one or one or more of the following strategies to control the situation and address the issue:

  • Manual removal Method: Using a washcloth or cotton swabs that have been dipped in isopropyl alcohol, clean the leaves, stems, as well as other parts of the plant. It is the most effective method against mealybugs.
  • Hose them off or wash them off: Clean the money trees leaves using an intense flow of water. The majority of bugs, such as mealybugs, aphids and gnats and whiteflies, can be able to be spooked off with this method.
  • Sprays for insecticides There are a variety of insecticide sprays that are ready to make use of. I strongly recommend soap made from organic oils or sprays that contain neem oil pyrethrin, rosemary oil vinegar mild dish soap and more.
  • Traps for insects: I typically employ yellow sticky traps to get rid of whiteflies. But, they can also be effective against fungus gnats as well as their adult fly larvae.
  • Nature-based predators may also be employed to eliminate money tree bugs, but this isnt the best method. I employ generalists such as Ladybug larvae as well as green lacewings whenever I have to rid myself of soft-bodied insects like mealybugs, spider mites, scale insects, and aphids.

[4] Diseases

The money tree is prone to disease. Be aware of these diseases particularly if your tree is not sufficiently moist:

  • Anthracnose Leaf Spot: This fungal disease is often seen on mature leaves in spots that range from dark brown to tan. While they typically only affect the inner or lower leaves, the fungi may quickly propagate all over the plant.
  • Root Rot: The result of overwatering fertilizer burn, overwatering, or other root-related causes could trigger this fungal infection that is opportunistic. The affected roots tend to be soft, spongy and black or brown in appearance. The rootball may be odorous and pungent.
  • Powdery Mildew Spots of white on leaves that are brown indicate mildew that is powdery. Leaf dropping, curling and wilting are additional indicators to look out for.

The fungal infections can result in rapid wilting and browning on the foliage. If not treated the money tree will end up dying.

How to Treat Money Tree Diseases

  • Anthracnose leaf spot is preventable by following good hygiene methods. Get rid of affected parts like leaves, twigs, and so on. Pruning dead or decaying plants frequently can aid.
  • Fungal root rot can be an even more serious issue. It is necessary to eliminate the affected roots and plant your money tree in fresh soil. A fungicide treatment could help.
  • Make use of a fungicide containing propiconazole for treating your money tree for mildew that is powdery ( Amazon link). Also, improve circulation and light within the space.

[6] Old Leaves

The majority of the time, the leaves of the money tree become brown due to the fact that they are old. However, younger stronger leaves will eventually replace them. This is an natural and inevitable consequence of ageing.

Naturally, even the most healthy money tree will eventually develop the odd brown leaf. The oldest leaves are usually in the lower part in the trees.

If the leaves at the the top part of your tree begin to brown it could be that you are experiencing something different than the natural aging process.

What To Do?

Nothing. Its nothing to worry about unless you notice lots of brown leaves. It is possible to trim off browning old leaves that are unattractive.

As the plant exhausts its resources, the older leaves tend to turn yellow first. Then, theyll turn brown, and then fall out of the plants.

[7] Fertilizer Burn

While money trees need some care, they are generally not big feeders. Therefore, it is easy to over fertilize your plant.

Unfortunately, excessive fertilizer can cause the money tree to burn its fragile roots. In the end, the leaves will dry out and turn brown. The edges and tips of the leaf will be the first to change brown.


The most effective solution to excessive fertilizer is to wash the soil thoroughly. This can aid in dissolving and washing away of fertilizer salts that are too high in concentration.

[8] Nutrient Deficiency

Money trees arent a scavenger hunter. But, the absence of essential nutrients could accidentally cause leaves to turn brown. The foliage that is malnourished appears thin and yellow, before turning brown.


If you want to fertilize the money trees, a tiny amount of money can go a long way.

For the subject of money trees, I suggest applying a water-soluble, standard liquid fertilizer.

But, make sure that the fertilizer is dilute to a half of the recommended concentration.

[9] Temperature Stress and Frost Damage

Money trees are native to humid, hot areas in South as well as Central America. The temperatures in these regions are generally constant throughout the year.

The money trees are hardy within USDAs Hardiness Zones 9b-11, however, they are not tolerant of frost or temperatures that are below 30 degrees (-1degC).

Any stress on the temperature like an abrupt temperature change or a draft can result in the leaves of the money tree in your home to change brown.

This can be an issue if you regularly take your plants outside in the summer months.


  • Move the money tree in a place that has temperatures between 65-75 degree Fahrenheit (18 and 24 degrees Celsius).
  • Make sure you keep your money safe from drafts, hot and cold.
  • Do not expose your money trees to temperature fluctuations.
  • Take your money out of heaters, fireplaces, air ducts and other draft sources.

[10] Transplant Shock

The leaves of your money tree may be brown after transplanting or the repotting. But, this isnt something to worry about.

The process of removing your money tree is certainly difficult. This is particularly true when you need to trim leaves, alter your root structure, or carry out other destructive procedures in the process.

What to Do?

If youve put it back in a suitable pot and utilized the right potting medium, its likely to be regenerated.

Then, you must take proper care of the plant by making sure that it is able to breathe and humidity, as well as light and so on.

How to Resurrect a Money Tree by turning the leaves Brown

  • First, take away any brown leaves that are severely damaged. Make use of a clean, sharp pair of pruning cutting snip.
  • Get rid of dead or fallen plants off the surface of your soil.
  • Maintain a moderate level of moisture in the soil throughout the day. Examine the soils moisture every 2 to 5 days and then water it again after the top 1-2 inches of soil has dried.
  • Be sure the money tree you have planted is growing in an aeration-free potting mix.
  • Use the best gardening practices and hygiene methods, like not touching plants that are wet with dirty hands or using sterilized gardening tools.
  • Beware of direct sun, drafts, as well as frost that may fall on your cash tree.
  • Make sure that there is sufficient air circulation and the right humidity levels.


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 :)