Reasons why Money Tree Leaves are Curling (And how to fix them?)

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This article will be discussing the reasons why Money Tree Leaves are Curling. Seeing the leaves of those houseplants curling is so irritating, isn’t it? We understand how it feels. Anyhow the leaves of the money tree have started to curl, that’s why you are here. The money tree, scientifically called Pachira Aquatica, has a unique appearance, grabbing all the gaze towards itself.

Quick takeaway:

  • There are various reasons why money tree leaves are curling such as overwatering, exposure to too much sunlight, pest infestation, poor drainage system, and many more explained below.
  • The money tree is great for positivity and good luck, they are great gifts to be presented to others.
  • The plants have small tree-like-looking trunks that have shiny leaves at the end.
  • The trunk is super attractive, oh my gosh! Braided trunk! The money trees if they start to show curly leaves mean something is really going wrong. 

Let’s look at all the issues. 

Reasons why Money Tree Leaves are Curling

Reasons why Money Tree Leaves are Curling (And how to fix them?)

The money tree leaves whether curling inwards or upwards occur due to the stress that the money tree might be facing like getting too much light, pest attack, not getting enough water in a day, low humidity, etc.

Just not the reasons can be container size, fertilization issues, and drainage. So let’s dig deep into these reasons and try to correct them to revive the money tree as soon as possible. 

1. Watering schedule needs to be modified

The money tree leaves can curl if the plant has less water around the roots or too much water around the roots as it causes root rot in the plant. The overwatering can lead to the curling of money tree leaves, the leaves show downward curling in this case.

The watering schedule needs to be modified as the plant is getting too much water for its daily needs. The soil gets soggy and roots start to get affected, losing the ability to absorb the nutrients. 

If the soil is not well watered, it will get dry and the plant will not get enough water. The leaves are the indicator regarding the water issue the leaves will again curl in such a case. 

How to fix:

  • The soil should have good drainage so that the water passes through it freely.
  • Many times poor drainage can be a reason that the water is standing for long in the soil.
  • Let the soil get dry before watering.
  • See if the watering does not stay wet for long.
  • Use a spray bottle to moisten the soil. 

2. Fewer water droplets in the air(low humidity) 

The money tree leaves will also shrink or curl if there is less moisture in the atmosphere. Good humidity is important to keep the money tree healthy.

The optimum humidity for the money tree should be 50% or above this. The humidity when getting low leaves will shrink to save the water inside them by curling themselves. The tips of leaves also start to turn yellow or brown in low humidity. 

How to fix:

  • The money tree doesn’t like low humidity, you need to use humidifiers if the humidity is too low or below 40%.
  • Other than this simply move the plant to a room having good humidity like bathrooms, kitchen, etc.

3. Exposure to too much sunlight

The money tree thrives well in indirect sunlight. The plants love to grow in a sunny spot but if the spot gets direct sunlight that can be an issue.

The money tree should get some shade if there is afternoon sun near the window. The money tree if it gets too much sunlight then the curling of leaves will happen as the water will get lost. To prevent this the leaves will curl.

How to fix:

  • Place this plant in the corner that gets morning and evening sun like the east-facing window.
  • If this is not the option for you try to provide the plant with good shade.
  • The north or south-facing windows also work well for the money tree.

4. Pests have attacked your plant

The plants get highly affected by the attacks of pests. Money tree plants will show stunted growth and become weak when pest infestation occurs.

The plants start to lose the energy and sap from the body due to which they get prone to diseases and perform functions less efficiently. The leaf color also will change, many times the leaves show spots as well.

How to fix:

  • The money tree should be checked properly, especially the younger leaves as the pest likes to attack them most.
  • Check for translucent webs on the leaves or the existence of pests on the leaves.
  • Spray the plant or leaves with water through the hose.
  • Use neem oil and other organic pesticides to remove the pest.
  • You can manually remove the pests as well.

5. Poor drainage

The money tree growing in soil that has poor drainage can make them lifeless. The leaves will curl if the soil stays soggy. The poor drainage is indicated by the soil staying wet for too long. The water should pass freely through the soil and water should not be standing in the soil.

The poor drainage will also cause root rot if not corrected. The soil is too clayey can be an issue for poor drainage of the soil as well. Less air and more water in the soil will make the root unable to absorb air and nutrients which will make the leaves curl. 

How to fix:

  • Use soil that has good drainage, and create holes in it using a pencil.
  • Add some sand into the soil as sand has good drainage properties.
  • Avoid using clayey soil.
  • If using a pit make sure the container has a good amount of drainage holes in it. 

6. Container size 

The container size being too small can be the reason that the money tree leaves are curling and turning yellow. The plant gets suffocated if the pot size is not of the right size or is too small.

The roots will become root bound just like pothos and the roots get unable to absorb nutrients and water, which to stop the water loss the leaves will curl as the transpiration is more in the day than the water being absorbed. 

How to fix: 

  • Use a bigger size pot to plant the money tree.
  • If the pot is too small, Repot it as soon as possible in the big container.
  • If the pot is already big, repot the plant in the bigger-sized pot. 

7. Fertilization 

Poor soil mix and improper fertilization can be the reason that the money tree leaves get curled.

The soil is nutrient deficient which means the plant will not get the proper nutrients to carry out the basic process which keeps the leaves and other plant parts healthy. The curling of money tree leaves will happen. 

How to fix: 

  • Use a balanced fertilizer in the proportion of 20-20-20 proportion.
  • Avoid fertilizing during the winter season.
  • Keep the nitrogen concentration good in the soil. 

Final words of the context

So by now, we hope you have understood all the issues that are making the curls over the leaves of the money tree. It is important to acknowledge the cause and we have also uploaded the fixations with the causes. Do use them and let us know. We are sure they will help you out. We are happy to help. Happy planting! 


1. What kills the money tree?

Direct sunlight can really harm the money tree the leaves will become lifeless and start to drop and the plant will die. The money tree is a tropical plant and should be kept in a spot that has partial sunlight and gets good shade as well. 

Becky Decker

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