Yellow Money Tree Leaves – Reasons & Treatments

The Money Tree is also known as the Malabar Chestnut, Provision Tree, or Money Plant.

Due to their resilience, they are the perfect indoor plants, and will give your home an exotic feel. It has been said that having a money tree in your home can reduce stress and anxiety, improve sleep, and even bring you good luck. If the leaves turn yellow, this can indicate a problem that needs to be addressed. 

The Money Tree

The Money Tree is native anywhere from Northern South America to Mexico. The tree itself is fairly easy to take care of, making it a good variety of houseplant. It is also very popular in Taiwan and other East Asian countries. Boasting bright green leaves and a braided trunk, the money tree is popular in homes across the world due to its tropical look. 

The Money Tree requires infrequent watering but likes to have a lot of water at once, and requires less water in winter months. It prefers bright but indirect light, and it is recommended that you turn the plant often for even growth. It has even been known to adapt well to fluorescent lighting. Your money tree will be most comfortable if your home is between 65-80 degrees Fahrenheit. Money Trees like to stay primarily in the same place in the home, and may drop their leaves slightly if moved often. Money Trees are also safe and non-toxic for housepets, making them an excellent choice for homes with pets. 

Why Money Trees Gets Yellow Leaves 

The plant can suffer from several conditions that yellow and/or curl the leaves. 

1. Natural Yellowing 

Sometimes, Money Trees leaves can yellow naturally. If your plant is producing new growth, and the yellow leaves are mostly concentrated towards the bottom of the plant where the older leaves are, then the yellowing may be completely natural.

2. Moisture 

In most houseplants, the primary cause of yellowing leaves is overwatering. Your Money Tree does not like to be excessively watered, as this can cause the soil to be too wet. However, the Money Tree does appreciate watering, and very dry soil will not be enough moisture for the plant. You should never let water pool up and sit in the bottom of the pot of your tree, as this can soak the roots and cause root rot. 

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3. Pests 

Pests such as Scale, Mealybugs, and Spidermites are common problems for indoor plants, including the Money Tree. Spidermites are sap suckling pests, and are often responsible for draining moisture from houseplants. A Money Tree that is weakened by overwatering, poor light, or conditions that are not ideal will be more susceptible to pests, as it will be more difficult for the plant to fight them off. Pests should be eradicated quickly, because if the issue is left unchecked, they may spread further into the plant, and even onto other houseplants. 

money tree top

4. Humidity 

The Money Tree does not benefit from low humidity or dry soil. If the humidity level in your home is improper, your money tree will let you know through dry yellow or brown leaves, and an overall drying-out of the plant itself. 

5. Light 

Your Money Tree will grow best in bright, yet indirect, sunlight. The tree can also adapt rather well to fluorescent or medium light, though it is not ideal. If your leaves are yellowing, it may be because your money tree is receiving too much direct sunlight, causing the leaves to burn. 


Natural Yellowing:

  • There is no need to treat! If the older leaves on your money tree are yellowing naturally, they are only making way for new growth. 


  • When you water your money tree, pour water until the water flows from the drainage holes at the bottom of the plant. This means it has had enough water. Empty the saucer when this happens. If your tree is not draining properly, it may need to be repotted. 
  • Make sure that your money tree is never standing in water (always empty the saucer at the bottom). If you allow your tree to stand in water, it may cause root rot. 
  • Your tree does not need to be watered very frequently. To tell when it is time to water again, wait until the top 2”-4” of soil are dry to the touch. Then, follow proper watering technique. 
  • Your money tree will require less water in the winter months. 
  • Your money tree will require less water when growth is slow. 
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  • If your Money Tree is infested with spider mites, try cleaning with a solution of 1 part alcohol to 1 part water. If your plant is already weakened from other issues, adjust the solution to be 1 part alcohol to 3 parts water. A dish soap and water solution may also work. In this case, combine 1 teaspoon of dish soap with 1 liter of water. Either spray this on the infected plant using a spray bottle, or wash the plant with a cloth or sponge. 
  • Prevent spider mites on your tree by inspecting often, so that you may act at the first sign of infestation. Plants that have taken too much damage from mites may not recover, and it is better to dispose of them, rather than risk them spreading spidermites to the rest of your houseplants. 


  • Money trees may need extra humidity, especially in the winter months.
  • Try misting it occasionally. 
  • Trees will often appreciate a pebble tray or humidifier. 

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  • Try moving it from its current spot into a location where the light is still bright, but the tree is not in as much direct sunlight. 

How Take Care of the Yellow Leaves 

To remove yellow leaves from your money tree, make angled cuts just below the yellow area. If the yellow leaves turn brown, cut foliage back even more, even all the way to the soil. 

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The Money Tree is usually a very resilient plant, and can learn to flourish in a variety of conditions. If the leaves of your tree are turning yellow, it may be that it is making way for new growth. However, it may also indicate a problem in the humidity, light level, moisture, or be an indication of pests such as spider mites. 

As long as your water your plant correctly, check often for insect pests, maintain a fairly high humidity level, and keep it in bright but indirect sunlight, your Money Tree should be just fine.

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