Why Are My Leaves Turning Brown On My Money Tree? (And What to Do If They Turn Yellow)

Money trees, whether you believe in their feng shui and good luck, can be fun in your home. They are pretty plants with rich green leaves that can add a burst of life to your home, and they are pretty easy to take care of despite being tropical plants.

Sometimes, they do need a little extra care. If your Money Tree starts to turn brown or yellow, that is a sign that something is wrong. When the leaves of your Money Tree turn yellow or brown, it is likely one of these reasons: temperature is too cold, humidity is too low, too much direct sunlight, or over and underwatering.

Read further to learn more about why your Money Tree may start to change colors and even the best place to put them in your home.

Why Are My Money Tree Leaves Turning Yellow and Brown?

There are four main reasons why a Money Tree may start to get changing leaves. Usually, when leaves begin to change to yellow or brown, it is due to improper sunlight, water, temperatures, or humidity. It could even be a mix of the three that is causing your Money Tree not to reach ideal conditions.

Usually, the leaves start by turning yellow, and as they die, they will turn brown. The exception to this is when a Money Tree gets too much sun. If they are burning due to too much direct sunlight, they may start to turn brown and look burnt and skip the yellowing process entirely.

Money Trees are originally from tropical rainforests, so they need a good amount of humidity, sun, and a consistent temperature.

What Do You Do When Money Plant Leaves Turn Yellow?

Pachira aquatica
When a Money Plant gets yellow leaves, the first thing to do is to determine what is causing the issue. First, check for overwatering and underwatering. This is easy to check by seeing how dry the soil is.

If everything seems fine there, you may also want to check and ensure they aren’t getting too much sunlight. While this is unlikely, as Money Tree leaves turning brown and burnt is usually more common than leaves turning yellow when getting too much sun, it is still worth checking.

It may be getting too little sun, but it would almost have to be in the dark for this to be an issue. Make sure your plant is getting enough natural light.

Finally, temperature and humidity are also worth checking. Money Trees need warmer temperatures and a fair amount of humidity. Try to keep your Money Tree in a spot where the temperature doesn’t fluctuate too much when the sun goes down.

If you are struggling with humidity, you can either buy a humidifier or place a tray of pebbles under your pot containing the Money Tree. Add a little water to this tray. Not enough that the water is touching the bottom of the pot (that’s what the rocks are for), but enough so that water can evaporate and surround your plants with humidity.

Should I Cut Yellow Leaves Off Of A Money Tree?

Cutting yellow leaves off of your Money Tree isn’t a bad idea. Usually, yellow leaves will end up dying and turning brown, even if conditions turn more favorable later. However, when it changes from yellow to brown, it is taking energy from the plant that it could use to grow more.

Therefore, cutting off yellowed leaves isn’t bad and increases the plant’s attractiveness.

How Often Should You Water a Money Tree?

Money Trees enjoy deep watering, but this doesn’t have to be done frequently. Depending on where you live, the amount you have to water changes. Usually, just two or three times a month is plenty.

As for the amount of water, this depends on your pot size. Usually, instead of watering a Money Tree, people often recommend a dunking method for watering this plant. What this means is that you take the pot the plant is in and dunk it under water. Or, if the plant is big, pour water over it until it starts running out of the bottom.

Once all the water has drained out, empty the saucer the pot is on so that the plant isn’t sitting in standing water. This can cause a few problems, the most well-known being root rot.

How Do I Know if a Money Tree Needs Water?

The best way to tell if your Money Tree needs water is by checking the dryness of the soil. Stick your finger or another tool 2 to 4 inches (5 to 10 cm) into the soil and see if it is dry. If the soil clings to you, it usually means it is still too wet to water again.

If you’ve forgotten to water for a while, you might also notice that your plant’s leaves are turning yellow, brown, or wilting; that is a sign from your plant that you need to water the plant a little.

How Do You Fix an Overwatered Money Tree?

Bucket of water
If you accidentally over-watered your plant a few times or forgot to take the tray from under your plant, this isn’t an immediate cause for concern. If you’ve chronically overwatered your plant, though, there might be problems.

Overwatering can lead to several issues, such as root rot and even death.

Usually, your plant will start to warn you that something is wrong because the leaves will turn yellow and brown and will eventually drop off the plant.

To fix overwatering in your plant, you first must ensure everything is okay. Check the roots of your plant as well as the leaves and stems to make sure that there is no root rot. If root rot has affected any part of your plant, it will start to smell bad, like rot or decay. Also, the roots will begin to turn brown and feel mushy instead of firm and rigorous.

If everything is okay, it is best just to let your plant dry thoroughly and then start to water correctly.

If your plant does have root rot, you will have to replant it, removing all the rotting roots with a sterilized cutting tool.

You can also add fungicide to your new pot and new soil to reduce any chances of the fungus moving to the new pot with your plant.

Do Money Trees Need Sunlight?

Some plants that grow in tropical rainforests don’t need a lot of sunlight, as they are used to being shaded by the canopy of trees overhead. This is pretty similar to a Money Tree too. While they don’t want to be in a dark place, a lot of direct sunlight has the potential to burn the leaves.

How Much Light Does a Money Tree Need?

Usually, Money Trees do best with 6 hours of sun, but partial sun is more than enough for these plants. They can also technically grow in low light but will experience significantly slower growth than if the plants get partial sun.

If your plant is in a place where it gets a little more sun than it may like, you can rotate it frequently throughout the day to make sure the sunlight is evenly distributed.

Where Is The Best Place to Put a Money Tree In Your House?

For the plant’s health, you would want to place them inside. They do well in US hardiness zones between 10 and 12. For those that don’t know, hardiness zones are ways of categorizing the conditions throughout the world, but specifically in the US.

If you don’t live in these zones, it is likely best to keep your plant indoors. They do best in places with high humidity and constant temperatures. Bathrooms can have higher humidity, but it will likely fluctuate. Areas with a humidifier and lots of indirect light are good places to put your Money Trees.

You may want to place a Money Tree in an area of your home that you associate with money or health. For example, an office. A bathroom where you take care of injuries or near the kitchen counter where you keep your daily vitamins and medicine is another great place you may associate with health.

Others say that a southeast corner is an ideal place when thinking of feng shui. According to feng shui, the southeast corner is perfect for financial activities and where the best energies for wealth and prosperity are located.

Ideally, it would be best if these two places overlapped. Or, perhaps you could move them throughout the day to get a mix of both.


Money Trees, while being easy to take care of, sometimes need a little help. If your Money Tree leaves turn yellow or brown, it may be due to under or over watering, a lack of warmth and humidity, or too much direct sunlight. 

A Money Tree plant needs watering two or three times per month and needs humid conditions which can be created using a humidifier or setting up a tray with water and pebbles underneath your plant.

While you may want to place your Money Tree in a feng shui spot, you may have to find a place that provides a balance between good energies in your home and a healthy place for your Money Tree.