Money Tree Concerns about leaf loss – House Plant Journal

Money Tree Concerns about leaf loss

Plant: Money tree (Pachira aquatica)

How long have you had the plant? About 4 years

Concerns:

My plant started losing leaves about two years ago. In cycles, the leaves will be yellow, droopy, and/or brown on the ends. I was told to put the plant in the shower and/or to mist the leaves. I’ve done that in the past with sporadic improvement. At one point last year, several new growth shoots appeared but they have all since died and fallen off.

Overall plant:

Light Situation:

From this spot, the sun never shines directly on the plant.

How do you determine WHEN to water: I follow the schedule I was told/researched for this plant – about once a week

Describe HOW you water: I pour a small amount of water into the soil.

What fertilizer do you use? I’ve never used fertilizer

When was the last time you repotted? Less than 6 months ago

Darryl

Thanks for sending in your photos and care info.

Environment:
Having two windows is great but the light situation would be even better if you keep the blinds open all day. The only time a plant would prefer blinds is if the DURATION of direct sun on the plant exceeds 3-4 hours (for this plant) – and it really just means you need to water more frequently.

Effort:
Don’t bother with spraying water on your money tree – they do not have special humidity requirements and spraying water hardly raises the humidity anyway – I’ve never misted any of my plants.

I don’t water my plants on a schedule based on the specific plant – instead, I just observe the soil dryness on a regular basis in order to determine WHEN to water. For a money tree, I watch for the soil to become almost completely dry (they are quite drought tolerant).

In terms of HOW to water, you should fully and evenly soak the soil and let the excess water drain away. Doing this at the sink is easiest. Pouring a small amount of water can leave dry pockets, which may explain why your leaves are slightly wilted. In practice, I do sometimes pour a small amount of water when the soil needs it and, perhaps every month or so, I do the more thorough drenching at the sink – that seems to be a happy medium.

Although leaf loss is completely natural, the overall lushness of the plant will be maximized if you use fertilizer: MORE INFO HERE

Expectations:
Money trees are wonderfully long-lived plants but only when you realize that older leaves will ***inevitably*** die as new ones grow – and the total number of leaves on the plant at any given time is dependent on the light and soil nutrients. This means the long-term strategy is to have good growing conditions so new leaves keep growing as older ones die off.  There will come a time (maybe that’s now) when the stems are so tall that the overall plant no longer looks as balanced – you can cut it back and new leaves will eventually grow out from below the cut if the overall plant is healthy.

My Money Tree – had it for over 7 years:

Things to notice:

Hope this helps!  For more great resources, I think you’ll enjoy my book and online course.


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