I need help figuring out what's wrong with my money tree/Pachira

cassidiAugust 18, 2010

I've searched the internet for what may be wrong with my tree but im not finding anything that seems to be the issue.

All the leaves are droopy (even the new ones.)

Some leaves are turning yellow/brown and dropping off. - This has seemed to slowed down.

Other leaves have yellowish spots that are starting to shrivel

Other leaves look like they've had something take a few bites out of it, but I've searched up and down, dirt and all over but I see no signs of bugs minus the few leaves that look like something had a snack.

Then just today I've become really stumped as 2 fairly new leaves have tiny black spots on it.

There isn't any mold in the soil.

Not seeing any signs of bugs "infesting the plant" the "biten leaves" may be because we open up the house a lot and bugs occasionally get in the house. (so this may not be related to my problem, just giving as much info as I can)

I changed the location so it has more sunlight now and cut back on watering it so much, and the only thing thats improved is losing leaves... but there is obviously something still wrong.

So I am looking for advice!

Please help!

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I took some photos, hoping it will help.

    Bookmark   August 18, 2010 at 11:01PM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

Nice plant, Cassidy!

Something definitely took a bite.

First pic looks like foliage is drooping from lack of moisture....
However, yellowing leaves, brown tips, dropping leaves are *usually* associated with over-watering.

Perhaps the plant is suffering, rather, from inconsistent moisture/watering?

I would wipe down the affected leaves with a mix of water and rubbing alcohol.
After a few minutes, rinse (spray/mist) the leaves with fresh water.
Don't expose the leaves to direct sun while treating with alcohol.

Now comes the real interrogation!
What kind of soil are you using? Improper soil is the number one killer of Pachiras.
You want a fast-draining, gritty, porous soil that will allow you to flood the root-zone
and then allow it to dry before the next watering.


    Bookmark   August 19, 2010 at 12:19PM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

Although there are many Threads on the topic of browning/yellowing Pachira,
I think this one might be of some use - for the pics alone, at least.


Here is a link that might be useful: Pachira (Money Tree) - Spring re-potting pics

    Bookmark   August 19, 2010 at 12:31PM
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Thanks for the compliment!!
I cant remember the soil I last potted it with, but it acts fast draining.
Maybe because I live in Colorado its going through both overwatering and lack of moisture. So I think I will try cutting back the water in the soil and start misting it more often, see if I start seeing improvement. If I don't I will try repotting it.
Thanks for your advice and suggestions.

Any idea about the black dots?

    Bookmark   August 20, 2010 at 10:56PM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

I wouldn't mist the plant.

I'm not sure what the black dots are.
Could they be insect excretions?
I've noticed the same sticky substance on my Pachira before.
Just clean the leaves, and rinse them.


    Bookmark   August 21, 2010 at 2:33AM
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Its not sticky at all, and why wouldn't you mist it?

    Bookmark   August 21, 2010 at 8:11PM
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Hi Cassidi,

Your money tree is quite impressive, especially with you living in a dry climate like Colorado. Drooping leaves can sometimes be attributed to a root bound plant, meaning that the roots are choking each other and making it hard for the plant to get the air and water it needs. When was the last time you repotted your money tree?
Misting will help with the browning on the tips. The average home is dryer than the sahara desert, mostly because of AC and frequent cool air movement. In the garden shop I work at we had a money tree doing the same browning and dropping of leaves as you described. Misting helped quite a bit.
The black spots could be a bacterial problem. Did they show up after the plant started looking sad or before? If after, then they came because the plant was in a weakened state. If before, then the bacteria might be the source of the problems. Do the black spots turn into the little holes in your plant? If its bacteria then the only way you can control it is to pull all the leaves infected and throw them away. Also the cleaning mentioned above might help.
I recommend letting the soil dry out between waterings. This allows the roots to breathe and would be a good recovery tactic if your plant is root bound. Also be sure to fertilize your plant with a slow release (preferably organic) fertilizer. This will allow the plant to take the nutrition it needs and not burn the plant like some liquid fertilizers can.
Well, I hope I helped. Good luck on your Pachira's recovery.
Roselyn Small

    Bookmark   August 22, 2010 at 1:13AM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

I don't mist for two reasons:
First, it doesn't help; and, second, it can cause harm.
Misting won't actually provide moisture; but it can potentially lead to bacterial and fungal problems.

To increase overall humidity, a pebble-tray is the safer, more commonly recommended route.

Browned leaf-tips usually indicate that the root-tips are dead or dying.
"As above, so below." I make it a point to examine the roots of these plants.
I've never seen an ailing Pachira that didn't have a soil problem.


    Bookmark   August 22, 2010 at 1:36AM
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The soil is moist have not watered in 2 weeks, winter time now so not sure what to do .

    Bookmark   February 4, 2013 at 11:59PM
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