Money Tree - shrivelling leaves

black_thumb_2010January 14, 2011

I bought a 3 feet braided money tree 2 days ago. It came in a 14" pot. The instructions said moderately moisture. So I put it in a room with indirect sunlight, felt the soil about 2 inches deep - it seemed moist. So I did NOT water it and let it adjust to its new home - before any watering. A day later, I noticed -almost all its new/baby leaves had shrivelled dry. Some of the older/bigger leaves seem crumpled. Befuddled, I moved it to a much brighter spot (no direct sunlight tho), put in 2 cups of water (until soil seemed moist). I'mreally worried. Its a beautiful plant and I dont know what else to do. Can anyone help me.

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pirate_girl(Zone7 NYC)

I don't grow these (assuming you mean Pachira).

IMO going from no water to 2 cups of water is a pretty big jump. I'd take it back to place of purchase & ask for specific instructions.


I've tried to grow Portulaca afra many times & always kill it. Last time I bought it, I asked specific instructions & was told 'water once every 10 days, no more no less'. Well that plant lasted a whole year, was a big improvement for me (even tho' a tiny plant).

A 3 ft. plant probably cost some $$, I'd go back to place of purchase, sometimes they have guarantees or exchange deals (ex: not saying you bought it there, but Home Depot guarantees plants for up to a year. When I killed a big Hoya, I took the dead plant back & got a $15 credit for future purchases.)

Let's see what others suggest -- Good luck!

    Bookmark   January 14, 2011 at 4:40PM
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manda3(8a DFW Texas)

There are a lot of different plants that go by the name "Money Tree". A picture would definitely help.

If you bought it only two days ago and it had that reaction, chances are it is sensitive to new environments. For example, a ficus can be doing well in one room, get moved to another, lose all its leaves, and then recover and do well again. In that case, you wouldn't want to keep moving it around. Find a spot and give it time to recover.

There are other possibilities. The roots or a trunk could have been mishandled during the move. It could be in shock.

Pirate girl is right. You should take it back to where you bought it and ask what's going on? Or post some pics and someone will be able to help you. :) :) :)

    Bookmark   January 14, 2011 at 5:19PM
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I agree with the above posters. One other point, you haven't mentioned what zone (where you live)you are in. If you live any place like the Northeast, it could have gotten too cold moving it to your home. It's 10 degrees outside tonight.

If not, I'd take it back to the store.


    Bookmark   January 14, 2011 at 11:07PM
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My plant is called a Pachira - this is the first time with a Pachira. I live in Toronto - and yes, the night we picked it up, it was -15C (thats about 5F). Which is why, I didnt water or anything, just put it in the spot I had and let it adjust. Since I last posted, its changing its color to a dull yellow-green.
If it stops snowing today, I'm defi taking it back to the store.
Thanks everyone for all your inputs. Appreciate it :)

    Bookmark   January 15, 2011 at 11:07AM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

Hey, there!
I've been growing these for quite some time, and I've overseen the growing of many others.
They can be a fickle tree, but are well worth the effort.

I can't add much to what's been written, as the advice is sound.

Often, Pachira are sold in near-death condition, and so it may have been declining
for a long time. Don't beat yourself up over it. It might be out of your control.

As long as the roots haven't rotten, and as long as the trunks are firm, there's a chance.
Even if all the leaves fall off, it could still recover. Several of us have lost leaves by
putting them in the sun too soon, and the plants regrew a full compliment of foliage.

I'll include some links, below, that might give you some ideas for a future approach.
With more information, and pictures, we can offer even more specifically tailored advice.

1. This is a Thread I put together on re-potting my Pachira last Spring:

Pachira (Money Tree) - Spring re-potting pics

2. This is a massive Thread that has spanned several years. Lots of varied information:

Sick looking braided Money Tree

3. And lastly, these are the search results for Pachira Threads, which you might pick through:

Pachira Search Results


    Bookmark   January 15, 2011 at 12:56PM
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Josh is right that these are tough trees, but considering you just bought it, why go through all the trouble of starting from scratch?

Return it, get a new one, cover it well with blankets, and rush it back into your house. -15degrees is asking a lot!

Good luck,

    Bookmark   January 15, 2011 at 8:11PM
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