Like a money tree, green houseplants can brighten up a dull room and are known for their braided trunks. These glossy leaves are said even to bring good luck and prosperity. However, I don’t feel so lucky when its leaves start to turn yellow.
As with other houseplants, the money tree leaves are likely to turn yellow when the plant is stressed. They are different causes for this discoloration in leaves. Some are evident and easy to fix, while some are a bit complicated. If your leaves are beginning to turn yellow, use the below to diagnose and fix the problem.
Causes and Treatments for Money Tree Leave turning Yellow
There are several causes of money plant leaves turning yellow. Here are the different causes and their treatment below:
1. Over-watering and under-watering
The most likely cause for yellowing leaves in money trees is the problem of over-watering or under-watering. Having a moisture level higher or lower than it should, can most definitely cause green leaves to turn yellow.
A money tree plant that is overwatered will show symptoms of yellowing leaves. Some other indications are wet or soggy soil, the rotting smell from the roots, brown spots on leaves, loss of flowers, and death of the plant.
Move the money tree plant from the pot it is in into a new one, preferably with good draining holes. Cut out all rotting roots and apply fungicide to the roots to prevent the spread of the rot when transplanted.
Feeding your money tree with too little water can cause its leaves to turn yellow. You can spot an under-watered plant by, its curly drooping yellow leaves, including yellow tips and edges.
When the money tree plants go dry, they usually need thorough watering to get back in shape. You should move your plant to a place where you can give it lots of water, like outside the house with a hose.
Treatment for under-watering
For under-watered money tree plants, you should increase the watering frequency and monitor the soil’s humidity.
2. Too Little Sunlight or Too Much Direct Sunlight
Money trees only need low light to bright direct light for at least 6 hours a day, as too much or too little may cause the yellowing or browning of its leaves.
Too Little Sunlight
Money trees can get accustomed to being exposed to lower lighting conditions; however, they will grow more slowly. The money tree houseplant will struggle to photosynthesize, and chlorophyll will reduce, causing the yellowing of leaves.
Also, the leaves may wither, and the plants will become weak and have stunted growth, and this will most likely happen if your house doesn’t allow light in or during winter when light intensity and duration go down.
If your plant is receiving too little light and its leaves are beginning to turn yellow, the quickest solution is to place the plant near the south-facing windows, where it will be exposed to light for longer hours of the day.
On the other hand, if your house cannot provide sufficient light and you can’t move the houseplant, you should purchase a grow light.
Too Much Direct Sunlight
The money tree thrives on bright indirect light. However, too much direct sunlight will cause scorch marks and leaf burn. The light lowers the chlorophyll level of the plant, resulting in yellow and brown leaves.
If too much light is causing yellowing leaves in your money plant, you should move it to a neutral spot where it can be exposed to moderate light.
3. Insufficient or Excessive Fertilizer Feeding
Insufficient or excessive fertilizer feeding is another cause of yellowing and browning leaves in money tree plants.
When your money tree plant is not fed with the right and steady amount of fertilizer can lead to a deficiency in some essential nutrients. For example, insufficient amounts of potassium, phosphorous, nitrogen, magnesium, manganese, and iron.
The lack of these may lead to yellowing leaves, browning on the edges and ends of the leaves, and stunted growth.
To help an underfed money tree plant, you need to build and follow a proper and consistent feeding routine. Usually, a money tree plant requires feeding once a month during summer and spring when growing new leaves.
While feeding your money plant too little fertilizer is inadequate, excessive fertilizer feeding is also destructive and may cause the yellowing and wilting of lower leaves.
Other signs that may indicate over-fertilization is fertilizer crusts on the soil’s surface, leaf burn, loss of leaves, stunted growth, and death.
Give your plant a long shower to flush out excess nutrients from the soil’s surface.
If you are feeding too much, you may have to switch to a gentle organic fertilizer; you also need to reduce the quantity and frequency at which you apply it.
4. Low Humidity Levels
The money tree plant thrives best at temperatures of 65° to 80° Fahrenheit and at least 50% relative humidity. When the humidity is lower than this, the plant could become dry, and its leaves turn yellow.
Once they turn yellow, the leaves will likely become brittle, brown, and wither.
Misting the plant once a day, especially during the winter when you may have your heater on more often, can help maintain humidity levels.
If misting is not an option for you, you can keep your monstera plant in the bathroom to provide it with humidity from your showers or baths.
5. Aging Leaves
It is natural for older leaves in plants to turn yellow. Sometimes, the yellowing of leaves on your money tree isn’t a sign of an issue; rather, it is the plant drawing back its nutrient from the leaf to give way to new growth.
You need not worry if the discoloration of the leaves occurs due to aging as it is natural. I recommend that you remove any old leaves to give room for new ones to grow.
The damage in money tree plants by pests is caused by pests such as aphids, spider mites, fungus gnats, and mealybugs. These pests suck out the sap from plants, weakening them and causing the foliage to lose color. And when pest infestation is not taken care of, the whole plant could die.
Treatment for pest infestation
An easy way to get rid of the most pests in money tree plants is to spray the plant with bug spray or a soap-water solution twice a week. You can also use neem oil to get rid of the pests. Or, you can follow a pest eradication program.
Various diseases drain out essential nutrients from the plant and cause yellowing leaves. Common diseases that plague the money tree plant include the following:
Downy mildew begins with the upper leaves having pale green spots that turn yellow as they advance, making them a possible cause for yellowing leaves. These spots are bordered by leaf veins beginning on the lower part of the leaf.
Prune the plant using copper-based fungicides.
Septoria leaf spot
Septoria leaf spot is a fungal infection that begins small, with the leaves on the lower part of your money plant turning gray and browning edges but working itself upward.
When not treated, the spot grows larger, the leaves turn yellow, and wither and falls.
Get rid of all infected leaves, and use an organic or chemical fungicide on the plant. Ensure you wash your hands when you touch infected foliage.