Money Tree Root Rot Issue: Reasons, Solutions, and Treatments


Money tree root rot Reasons Solutions and Treatments

If you don’t want to deal with Money Tree root rot, you need to understand the bare condition of the roots and the proper caring routine for the plant. Money Tree may be unique and it’s believed to bring good luck, but the plant would be useless if the root is rotting. You should know that the root is the main support system of a plant, so when it’s damaged or rotting, you can’t expect the plant to grow strong or healthy. What causes the rotting issue, anyway? And how do you deal with it?

The Facts People often Overlooked

Not many people are aware of Money Tree root rot. In fact, many of them don’t really realize that Money Tree roots can be quite delicate, fragile, and fine. In most cases, people tend to focus on their houseplants’ stems, leaves, or flowers. Only a few of them are aware of the roots. If you want to have a healthy plant, it’s imperative that you don’t overlook the parts hidden under the soil.

Money tree root rot Reasons Solutions and Treatments
Money tree root rot Reasons Solutions and Treatments

Facts about Money Tree Roots

What healthy Money Tree roots look like? It should have very light brown color or even white-ish hue. What do money tree roots look like? When compared to other vine-type houseplants, the roots of the Money Tree would look and think. When you touch the roots, they should feel firm and somewhat solid. Moreover, you shouldn’t smell any funny or unpleasant odor that comes from the roots or even the soil.

root rot
root rot

Be advised that it’s possible that you will see somewhat braided Money Tree roots when you want to buy it as a houseplant from nurseries. Don’t be surprised. It’s a common practice that the Money Tree would be coming with other plants, sold within one pot. If you encounter Money Tree root rot with this kind of plant, you need to check the roots carefully. It’s even possible that you need to un-braid the roots so you know the real culprit of the issue. Yes, this can be difficult to address.

You should also know that Money Tree roots are growing quite slowly than other houseplants. The root systems are shallow, which is quite unusual for its natural size. That’s why, you may not need repotting quite often. People would generally repot their Money Tree plant once in 3 to 4 years of time.

What Is the Main Culprit?

Be prepared if you find the soil to be very moist and the roots are somewhat squishy. Be alarmed when they smell too. If you experience such things, it’s most likely that you have Money Tree root rot at hand. Root rot is mostly caused by excessive moisture within the soil. When there is too much moisture, it creates ideal environment for fungi and bacteria. That’s why it’s not advisable to water the plant too much, because it can lead to rot and disease.

This is actually problematic and confusing. Remember that Money Tree is native to swamp setting? It means that the plant loves moist surrounding, but NOT too much. You shouldn’t overwater your plant as it would cause the root rotting. One alternative way to deal with such an issue is to pay attention to your soil moisture. Use a moisture meter to help you. This tool can be handy to let you know whether it’s now time to water the plant or not.

What about having a watering schedule? Most people may stick to their watering schedule. But let’s not forget that plants are living things. They may change unpredictably. Not to mention that soil moisture can actually be unpredictable. If the temperature drops, for instance, your plant may not quickly dry. Or when it’s hot and humid, your plant may need more water because of the evaporation. Feel free to stick to your watering schedule, if you want to. However, it would be a good idea to use the moisture meter and regular observation so you really know what’s happening to your plant.

Maintaining Healthy Roots

This is basically a resilient houseplant. Beginner growers love having this plant because it’s one of the easiest types to own and care. If you want to prevent Money Tree root rot issue, you need to pay attention to proper watering regime. Don’t overwater it. And most importantly: You need to have well-draining soil to keep the plant.

money tree root rot
money tree root rot

Remember about the plant’s native soil nature, which should be damp and moist. It’s okay to mix up the soil with other elements so it will remain moist and yet it also encourages well-draining benefits. Although you can always buy the special mix soil, it doesn’t hurt if you want to use the regular soil and then add up perlite (with 3:1 ratio) so you can improve the drainage. 

Another thing you need to remember about Money Tree is that it’s just the same as other plants: It needs to ‘eat’. It still needs fertilizer to support its overall growth. The plant isn’t a heavy feeder, though, so you don’t need to apply the fertilizer too much. Focus on growing season where you can apply it once a month. During winter months, you don’t need to fertilize it because the plant would be dormant. Fertilizing it will only burn the plants, especially the roots.

What kind of fertilizer would be perfect for this plant? No need to have anything fancy; just all purpose fertilizer will do. This plant prefers the water soluble type instead of the slow release type. Moreover, it would be easier to track your activities and how you treat the plant.

The Common Symptoms

Just like other problems, Money Tree root rot issue will display certain symptoms or signs. Some of the most common signs are the unusual root color, the growth rate, the leaves changes, and the unpleasant smell of the soil. If you find any of these signs, you need to remove the plant and the check the roots.

money tree symtomps
money tree symtomps
  • Wilting Leaves

Be cautious if you see the leaves wilting. When root rot Money Tree happens, the roots won’t be able to absorb the nutrients (from the soil). As a result, the leaves will be sick and malnourished. Wilting leaves are just one of the many signs. If you look closely, the leaves and the entire plant may not look healthy. It looks sick. Check the soil. If you stick your finger, it should be a little moist. But if it feels sopping wet, then it’s a sure thing that you may have root rotting problem.

  • Poor Growth

There are actually may reasons that can cause the poor growth, but if you notice that your plant doesn’t really grow during normal growing seasons (or it may not grow at all), then you may have an issue at hand. The roots are responsible for taking and absorbing the nutrients. During growing seasons, your plant should grow fast and in maximum manner. But if it doesn’t, check the roots.

Be advised, though, that this plant would be dormant during winter months. If the slow (or poor) growth happens in winter times, then you have nothing to worry about. It’s a normal thing because the plant needs to adapt to the changing temperature and weather. However, you should check your plant and its roots if the poor growth takes place in spring and summer months. This ISN’T normal. There must be something wrong with it.

  • Unpleasant Smell

Money Tree may not be the most fragrant plant, but it shouldn’t produce foul smell either. If you spot unpleasant smell or strange odor from the plant, that’s not normal. Check the soil. If it smells, then check the soil. If it’s wet, then big chances that you have Money Tree root rot issue.

  • Discolored Leaves

Yellowish leaves are possibly the sign of Money Tree root rot problem. You see, you know that the leaves are sensitive and somewhat fragile. If the nutrient supply (to the root) is somewhat disturbed, root rotting may happen. Moreover, nutrient supply disturbance also causes the leaves to suffer from lack of oxygen. When you combine excessive water, lack of oxygen, and disturbed nutrient supply, you end up with yellowish leaves.

Be advised, though, that root rot isn’t the only main culprit of the leaves changing color. There are other reasons that can cause this issue. It can be underwatering. It can be pest infestation, especially aphids and mealybugs. The best thing that you can do when you spot the discolored leaves is to check the roots.

  • Roots Discoloration

Once you remove the roots from the pot, you can tell that there is something wrong with it from the color. Healthy roots are white with firm texture and dry soil. But damaged ones would be brown, gray, or even black. The texture would be a soggy with mushy (and wet) soil.

Removing the plant should be easy. Some people may suggest using a newspaper. Wrap it gently around the plant and then pull it out. Gently remove any remaining soil with a brush. Use a thick but gentle brush to do so. You should be able to inspect the roots easily with this manner.

However, not everyone is happy with this method. Some even say that it may hurt the plant. If you don’t want to risk hurting it, then try top the pot upside down and simply let the plant slide on its own. This method may be messier, but it minimizes the contact with the plant. Plus, you won’t have to worry about hurting your plant.

Treating the Damaged Roots

Does it mean that your plant will die once the Money Tree root rot issue happens? It’s not the end of the world, mind you. Plus, there is always a possibility that you can save the plant. When you spot the root rot symptoms, you should do these following things.

Treating the Damaged Roots
Treating the Damaged Roots
  • Dry off the soil. Soggy and wet soil is responsible for the rot, so you want to dry it off. The best solution is to remove your plant from your current pot and soil. Set the root aside so it won’t be soaked with moisture.
  • Deal with the rot. Get ready with pruners. You may want to consider sterilizing the root too. If you see fungi signs, use the fungicide.
  • If you see any unhealthy part, remove it by using the pruners. Don’t forget to sterilize them first with alcohol or bleach.
  • Once you have removed the affected roots, wash other parts thoroughly and completely.
  • While at it, you should also check the leaves. Remove damaged leaves by using scissors that have been sterilized.
  • Let the soil and roots be so they can dry off completely.
  • You may want to consider pruning the leaves if the damage is too extensive. Leaves require a lot of nutrients and energy to grow healthily. If the plant has experienced root rot, it would be difficult for it to recover properly. It has been stressed enough, which means that it doesn’t need more pressure or burden. If most of the roots are rotting, then you may have to prune around two thirds of its leaves. However, you may not have to prune the leaves if the rot isn’t too extensive or bad.
  • Repot your plant. Use clean pot and fresh soil so your plant can start over. Don’t go with bigger size. Go with the similar size pot.
  • Don’t water or fertilize after the repotting. Just let your plant be. It takes time to ‘heal’ and recover.


Root rotting isn’t exactly an easy matter, but it doesn’t mean that you can’t deal with it effectively. Check your plant regularly to spot the issue earlier. The earlier you can detect the issue, the better you can deal with it. Take immediate action once you spot the Money Tree root rot symptoms. Read article about Croton Plant Proper Care To Generate Healthy Croton Flower and How Big Do Money Trees Get? What To Do To Decide On The Size in pandan creamery.

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