Why Are There Yellow Spots on My Money Tree?

The money trees (Pachira aquaa) are renowned and cultivated for their braided trunks as well as their lush green, glossy leaves. They are believed to bring good fortune and luck, however you might not feel as fortunate when ugly yellow spots show up on the trees. What is causing the yellow spots on your cash tree?

The money tree you plant will be affected by yellow spots caused by the overwatering and submerging. It is best to water only when the top 2 to 3 inches of soil is dry. Other typical causes include scorch and fungal or bacterial leaf spots pests, fertilizer burn as well as nutrient deficiencies, which can cause edema.

It is obvious that your money tree may be affected by yellow spots due to various reasons. Sometimes, the issue is obvious and requires a simple fix. In other instances the root cause may be more complicated.

Thank goodness for me, I’ll assist you in identifying and correct the issue, to ensure that your plant will flourish once more.

What Causes Yellow Spots on Money Trees?

Downy Mildew The reason Mottling on leaves

If you notice streaks of yellow or flecks on your tree of money, it could be a sign of mildew that is downy. The growth of algae eats away at tissues, leaving spots that are discolored.

The spotting may also be black, purple brown, light green. If there are severe cases of mildew that is downy, the spotting can change into chlorosis. Other signs are:

  • The lower leaves change color to yellow, and fall
  • Stunted growth
  • Soft fuzzy growth on foliage (it may be white, brown, or gray)


There aren’t any chemicals or fungicides that could be effective against downy mildew. This is because it’s not an infectious fungal illness. The best option is to opt for organic solutions.

  • Separate the plant affected from the rest of the plant to stop any further spread
  • Prune certain leaves to increase air circulation
  • Remove moisture and humidity around your cash tree.
  • Make a spray mix consisting of 1 teaspoon of liquid soap (non-detergent) and 1tablespoon baking soda to 1 gallon of water.
  • For mild conditions, it is possible to apply mouthwash with a spray.

pachira aquatica held by person in black shirt

Scorch Cause Damages to Green Chlorophyll

Like all plant species, trees of money also produce the pigment chlorophyll. This chemical is responsible for its attractive green leaves.

If you expose your money tree to excessive sunlight, the intense heat causes damage to chloroplasts (cells which produce color green). In the end, the plant will be sprayed by yellow spots.

This can be particularly aggressive when you let water splash across the leaves. Droplets of water form tiny magnifying glasses that focus the light onto specific spots in the leaf. The result is a variety of yellow spots on hot regions.


The money tree can burn due to exposure to bright sunlight. Transfer your plant to an area with more light in slow stages, rather than.

If the spot you’re in is causing a lot of heat to the leaves, shift it to a shaded area that is partially shaded. Be sure to let it get plenty of indirect, bright sunlight.

Septoria Leaf Spot Infects the Older Leaves

The yellow spots on a tree could also indicate Septoria leaves spots. The whole leaves, particularly the older and lower ones could change color to yellow. As time passes, the leaves will change to brown or wilt and then die.

When Septoria leaves spot threatening your cash plant, the microorganisms will devour plant tissue , causing small (1/8-1/4-inch by 1/8-1/4-inch) spot-like brown patches. They typically have a central white or tan area with a an ethereal yellow halo surrounding the edges.


Based on the Extension and Outreach at Iowa State University, Septoria Leaf Spot thrives in humid, warm conditions.

  • The initial step to take is get rid of humidity and moisture around your plant.
  • Take out infected leaves and affected parts as soon as you notice them. Be sure to wash the trimmers and hands prior to applying them to healthy plants.
  • It is possible to consider chemical fungicides. However, they are generally harmful and are often not effective.
  • The best solution is to apply organic fungicides. They contain copper bicarbonate or potassium work.

Bacterial Spot

In the event that your tree’s money is infected by bacteria-infested leaf spots, you’ll likely notice spots of water that have an orange halo surrounding them. The spots that are soaked with water are usually uniform in size and frequently release an ooze that is sticky.

In humid conditions those spots with a yellow halo are likely to expand and then become larger streaks. In dry conditions they won’t expand. They’ll instead dry out and turn reddish-brown, which results in a freckled look.

The tips and edges of the leaf can turn yellowish-brown, dry, and then split off.


  • Eliminate any plant material that is contaminated
  • Spray your money tree with copper-based fungicides and Bacteriocides


A fungal infection, Alternaria can cause yellow spots on trees of money. When the infection becomes severe you’ll see small, dark brown spots (roughly 1/2 inch) in the diameter.

As Alternaria leaves spots grow they’ll change into dark brown/black or tan, and then yellow halos surrounding the leaves. As time passes, they’ll develop an ethereal pattern with concentric circles. The leaves eventually begin to wilt and then fall off.


  • Naturally, you’ll need to get rid of all diseased plants
  • If you’re a lover of organic control, make use of copper-, captan- sulfur-based fungicides.
  • There are also chemical fungicides such as iprodione maneb, mancozeb fludioxonil or imazalil.

Powdery Mildew

Yellow spots that appear in the branches of your tree for money are one indications of mildew that is powdery. They will soon transform into tiny circular white powdery spots.

As the mildew grows it’s fluffy white growth will cover nearly all the surface of affected leaves. If they are not kept under control the leaves can easily move between plants.

The plant with the disease may slow down and die.


  • The virus can spread quickly in humid environments and it is recommended to stop drinking during the interim.
  • Remove plant material that is severely ill.
  • Prune some leaves to allow better air circulation
  • Spray your tree of money with sulfur-based fungicides
  • To control chemical substances, you’ll come across chlorothalonil or myclobutanil, to be efficient.


Incorrect watering is among the main causes for the leaves of a money tree turning yellow. It is likely your soil dry and bone dry.

If the cause is underwatering the leaves that are yellow will appear dry, wilted, and crisp. Other indicators of underwatering your money tree could be:

  • Leaves that are wrinkled or curled
  • Lower leaves can change color, turn yellow, and then fall off
  • The absence of new leaves or other indicators of new growth
  • Edges of brown leaf and tips

The symptoms can be more severe when the pot is too small for the plant, or if there’s a low humidity or exposure to excessive direct sunlight.


As an overall rule take away any highly affected plant material

Make sure to water your money tree well. Make sure that water drains through the holes in the bottom. Don’t forget to dunk off any run-off that is leaking out of the dish.


It is crucial to make sure that the soil is moist but not sloppy. If the root ball of your money is in soil that is saturated or in standing water, it will likely cause root decay.

Brown and yellow spots in the leaf of the tree that are the first signs of root decay (and excessive watering). It is important to look for other signs of excessive watering.

  • The leaf is drooping, curling and then falling off
  • No growth or stunts
  • Soft, brown, and mushy roots with a sour, sweet smell.


The most effective solution will depend on the degree of watering. If it’s not a serious problem it is recommended to dry your soil and move it it to an area that is brighter and put off watering for a few days.

  • Think about digging up your money tree to check for root decay
  • Cut off the damaged or diseased roots as well as the affected foliage
  • Make sure roots are treated with baking soda prior to Repotting

Fertilizer Burn

It’s easy to believe that the feeding of your cash tree with lots of fertilizer would accelerate the growth. However, you’re completely wrong. Actually, your money will do better by using less fertilizer rather than excessive.

I highly suggest that you apply a water-soluble fertilizer to your houseplants. If you notice yellow spots in your cash tree, you could be suffering from fertilizer burn. A lot of fertilizer can burns the roots, but can also make it difficult for the roots to absorb nutrients and water.

Fertilizer salts can cause direct toxicity to the leaves. This causes yellow spots, vividly green foliage as well as brown edges and/or tips. Other indicators of fertilizer burn on your money tree are:

  • Very slow growth, or none at all
  • Edges and tips of brown leaf
  • A white layer of fertilizer salts on topsoil.
  • Wilting, yellowing and the falling of leaves from lower levels


  • It is recommended to plant your money tree using fresh fertile soil
  • If the temperature is mild, think about the elimination of fertilizer salts from the potter’s mix

From now on, you should fertilize your plant whenever it is active during the spring and summer seasons. Apply a water-soluble or liquid fertilizer for houseplants at half strength in accordance with the directions.

Nutrient Deficiency

A deficiency in nutrients is among the main causes of the development of chlorosis among houseplants. In money trees, nitrogen, iron, as well as magnesium, are among the more frequent deficiencies. Mineral deficiencies in all of them result in yellow spots on your money tree.

The presence of deficiencies in nutrients usually goes along with imbalances in water levels in the soil. This is because soil moisture affects the capacity of your plant to soak up nutrients.

If the leaves that are close to the central stems or at the bottom of the plants are turning yellow, it could be due to magnesium or zinc deficiency on your hands.

If the leaves that are close to the central stems or at the bottom of the plants are forming yellow spots, it could mean you suffer from magnesium or zinc deficiency in your hands.


  • The best choice is feeding your plants with an organic fertilizer for houseplants that lists the minerals and nutrients listed in the product’s label.
  • The plant you choose to use can overcome nitrogen deficiencies when you put it in an area with plenty of indirect, bright light.
  • Another option is to plant your money tree using a new potting mix. This will make sure that the soil around the money tree is nourished with water and nutrients.
  • Treat magnesium deficiency using Epsom salts.


Edema is another reason for yellow spots on trees of money. There are yellow halos that surround brown patches of water.

In the final stages of edema, you’ll notice raised, water-soaked patches of the leaf’s undersides. They are usually a magnet for the fungus or bacteria that cause leaf spots.

What is the cause of edema in money trees? Most often the cause is of excessive water absorption because of excessive watering or humidity. Insufficient airflow and cold drafts can cause the problem.


Edema’s effects on leaf tissue tend to be irreparable. The second step should be to cut away the most affected areas. For quicker recovery:

  • Increase the airflow or ventilation around your tree of money
  • Stop watering when the top 2 inches of soil have dried.
  • Do not remove the affected money tree from its container.

Frost Damage

If you plant it as an indoor plant the money tree will flourish within a temperature range of 60-90oF (15-32degC). But, it’s extremely picky about temperatures that are lower than 45oF (7degC).

Frost can damage leaves’ tissues and exacerbates the negative effects of excessive watering and nutrient deficiencies Edema, low light. These conditions can create the perfect storm for damage that results in yellow spots, growing slow, and wilting.

The money tree can shed a large number of leaves.


  • Do not water your cold-shocked cash tree
  • Instead, place an unheated steam vaporizer next to the plant
  • Keep your money tree safe from cold drafts

Low Humidity

The soil’s low humidity causes it to dry quickly and there’s not much soil moisture to be taken up. Additionally, it results in that the money trees’ leaves to drop and to develop brown edge and tip. Then, yellow spots appear, followed by leaf dropping and browning.


  • Your money tree is sure to appreciate a boost in humidity. Consider misting your plant daily.
  • To provide a permanent solution, put a humidity tray or humidifier next to the money tree.
  • Place your houseplants in groups to create a moist microclimate

Insect Infestation

When your tree’s financial health is unhealthy, stressed, or weak, it could be more susceptible to insect infestations. Spider mites, for example, can take over your money tree’s water and nutrients. The signs will be in the appearance of yellow spots as well as the browning of leaves.

Other bugs, such as whiteflies scales, aphids and mealybugs could also be attacking your cash tree inside.

If they aren’t eliminated earlier instead of later, they’ll grow quickly and make many holes into the leaves of the money tree..

Some have wounds that release sap and invite fungal infections. They also deplete the water and nutrients which can cause spots and yellowing.

This is especially agressive If your plant is suffering due to poor irrigation or nutritional deficiencies.


  • The first step is to clean the most pests you can.
  • After they have been completely eliminated After that, spray them with insecticidal soap or any other quality garden oil

(Source: Iowa State University)



Went from a bad gardener to a half-decent one over 10+ years. Super happy to share my tips and tricks with you :)