The Q&A Archives: Money Tree

Question: I've had a money tree for at least 3-4 years that was growing beautifully. All of a sudden it started losing leaves, some turning yellow. It looked like it wanted to grow and was getting rid of the crowded stems/leaves. I repotted the plant since I hadn't since first getting it. I used the wrong type of stayed too moist and the plant just stopped doing anything. I then read you could trim the stems to reshape and make it regrow. I did that and nothing happened but the stems turning brown and looking dead. I then cut the whole thing back, I've repotted it in normal soil in a pot that will drain the water. Can I save this plant? !!!! Any help is much appreciated. Thank you, Kellyn

Answer: I think your plant has lived out its normal lifecycle. Your money plant, Lunaria biennis to be horticulturally correct, is technically a biennial ? meaning it grows leaves the first year and flowers the second. After flowering, it dies. Luckily (or unluckily depending on your point of view) it can reseed itself through the garden quite aggressively. Since yours is in a container, this may not happen in your garden.

The mauve-purple or white flowers are quite striking in the spring and the plant can be appreciated strictly for the flowers alone. The flowers appear in May ? June and the seeds come into their own in the end of July, beginning of August. Many people harvest the seed for floral decorations but do leave some scattered around the garden for the next season?s crop of money.

I'd recommend replacing your plant and when the new one produces seed pods, snatch a few off and save them for replanting. This way you'll never run out of money plants.

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