Ask a Question forum: Sick Money Tree

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helpmytree
Jan 21, 2015 4:13 PM CST
Hello!
I've had my money tree since 2007. It has usually thrived. About a month ago, the main stalk completely died. Now the rest of it looks like it's dying. A picture is attached.

We live in NYC and it has been indoors by the window, where it is now cold. Since it has been struggling, I've moved it away from the cold and placed it under a plant light.

Any ideas what is wrong and how to save it?

Thanks!
Thumb of 2015-01-21/helpmytree/a120a7

Name: Hetty
Sunny Naples, Florida (Zone 10a)
Plumerias Photo Contest Winner: 2015 Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Master Level Plant Database Moderator
Forum moderator Region: Florida Cat Lover Garden Sages Cactus and Succulents Tropicals
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Dutchlady1
Jan 21, 2015 4:25 PM CST
Welcome! helpmytree. I hope you can soon change your name!! Smiling

I would think either too much or not enough water (I am leaning towards too much). You might want to repot it using a well draining mix.
Name: Ken Ramsey
Starkville, MS (Zone 8a)
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]
Orchids Greenhouse Vegetable Grower Ferns Region: United States of America Hummingbirder
Composter Bromeliad Master Gardener: Mississippi Cat Lover Tropicals Plumerias
Image
drdawg
Jan 21, 2015 4:41 PM CST
I'm with you, Hetty. A combination of coolness and lack of strong light, and the very fact that it would be in a semi-dormant state, causes the plant to need very little water and really, no fertilizer. If it has never been re-potted, I have a feeling that the soil is long-past its usefulness and the root-ball will likely be a combination of struggling roots and rotted ones. The plant could certainly be root-bound.

Do as Hetty suggested. Re-pot immediately and with well draining potting soil. If you can do so, make your own potting soil by using 1/2 commercial potting soil (Miracle Gro for example), 1/4 coarse perlite, and 1/4 orchid potting media. Also, be sure you empty the catch-saucer of water after each watering. Water lightly after re-potting, keep in bright light and with temperature around 70 F, and don't water again until the top 2 " of soil is dry. Personally, when I get someone's sick/dying plant, I don't re-water until I see evidence of growth. If the roots are in such bad shape as I fear they are, they can't utilize water anyway. New growth or the evidence of leaf revival will indicate that the roots are functional again.

Good Luck.

drdawg (Ken Ramsey) - Tropical Plants & More
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]www.tropicalplantsandmore.com[/url]
If God wanted me to touch my toes, he would have put them on my knees.

helpmytree
Jan 21, 2015 4:42 PM CST
Thank you, Dr. Dawg!
Name: Ken Ramsey
Starkville, MS (Zone 8a)
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]
Orchids Greenhouse Vegetable Grower Ferns Region: United States of America Hummingbirder
Composter Bromeliad Master Gardener: Mississippi Cat Lover Tropicals Plumerias
Image
drdawg
Jan 21, 2015 5:23 PM CST
I tip my hat to you. and Welcome! to ATP.
drdawg (Ken Ramsey) - Tropical Plants & More
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]www.tropicalplantsandmore.com[/url]
If God wanted me to touch my toes, he would have put them on my knees.
Name: Cheryl
Kingwood, Texas (Zone 9a)
Region: Texas Greenhouse Composter Plant Identifier Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Amaryllis
Plumerias Ponds Foliage Fan Enjoys or suffers hot summers Tropicals Garden Ideas: Master Level
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ShadyGreenThumb
Jan 21, 2015 10:07 PM CST
Welcome! My Money Tree turned yellow and lost leaves all of the sudden. It perked up after I gave it some Osmocote. I water it about every 2 weeks. It is 2-1/2 feet tall in a 4" clay pot. It doesn't get direct sunlight, but rather sits on a west-facing window sill. The window is covered with wood blinds and sun screening so not much heat or light gets in. It's doing OK though. Listen to Hetty. She's rarely wrong.
Life is short, Break the rules, Forgive quickly, Kiss slowly, Love Truly, Laugh
uncontrollably, And never regret anything that made you Smile.
Name: Hetty
Sunny Naples, Florida (Zone 10a)
Plumerias Photo Contest Winner: 2015 Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Master Level Plant Database Moderator
Forum moderator Region: Florida Cat Lover Garden Sages Cactus and Succulents Tropicals
Image
Dutchlady1
Jan 22, 2015 4:20 AM CST
Thank You! Smiling

helpmytree
Jan 26, 2015 12:02 PM CST
Thanks for everyone's help! We repotted - picture is attached. We will water lightly today as instructed - should we also add Osmocote?

Thanks!
Thumb of 2015-01-26/helpmytree/7c6ea5

Name: Hetty
Sunny Naples, Florida (Zone 10a)
Plumerias Photo Contest Winner: 2015 Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Master Level Plant Database Moderator
Forum moderator Region: Florida Cat Lover Garden Sages Cactus and Succulents Tropicals
Image
Dutchlady1
Jan 26, 2015 12:25 PM CST
I wouldn't add fertilizer until the plant bounces back a bit, personally.
Name: Ken Ramsey
Starkville, MS (Zone 8a)
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]
Orchids Greenhouse Vegetable Grower Ferns Region: United States of America Hummingbirder
Composter Bromeliad Master Gardener: Mississippi Cat Lover Tropicals Plumerias
Image
drdawg
Jan 26, 2015 12:56 PM CST
I agree with Hetty. Let the plant show some growth and improvement, then start a "light" fertilizing schedule.
drdawg (Ken Ramsey) - Tropical Plants & More
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]www.tropicalplantsandmore.com[/url]
If God wanted me to touch my toes, he would have put them on my knees.

helpmytree
Jan 26, 2015 1:00 PM CST
Thanks guys
Name: Ken Ramsey
Starkville, MS (Zone 8a)
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]
Orchids Greenhouse Vegetable Grower Ferns Region: United States of America Hummingbirder
Composter Bromeliad Master Gardener: Mississippi Cat Lover Tropicals Plumerias
Image
drdawg
Jan 26, 2015 1:01 PM CST
I tip my hat to you.
drdawg (Ken Ramsey) - Tropical Plants & More
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]www.tropicalplantsandmore.com[/url]
If God wanted me to touch my toes, he would have put them on my knees.
Name: Lin
Florida (Zone 9b)
Region: United States of America Morning Glories Region: Florida Houseplants Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
Garden Procrastinator Birds Butterflies Bee Lover Hummingbirder Container Gardener
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plantladylin
Jan 26, 2015 1:02 PM CST
Money Tree (Pachira aquatica) is a great little tree. I have one that needs repotting desperately and I plan on doing that in the spring when the weather warms up. Springtime is a good time to begin fertilizing with a weak solution of plant food as well.
~ Eat, Sleep .... Play in the dirt ~
Name: Cheryl
Kingwood, Texas (Zone 9a)
Region: Texas Greenhouse Composter Plant Identifier Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Amaryllis
Plumerias Ponds Foliage Fan Enjoys or suffers hot summers Tropicals Garden Ideas: Master Level
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ShadyGreenThumb
Jan 26, 2015 8:53 PM CST
Mine is still doing well in the Bonsai 4" pot that it came in 6-7 years ago. It has a nice braided caudex. If I repot it, will it grow bigger?? I've seen the pictures of it's massive size!
Life is short, Break the rules, Forgive quickly, Kiss slowly, Love Truly, Laugh
uncontrollably, And never regret anything that made you Smile.
Name: Rick R.
near Minneapolis, MN zone 4a
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Sages The WITWIT Badge Garden Photography Region: Minnesota Plant Identifier
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Leftwood
Jan 26, 2015 9:56 PM CST
It certainly would, Cheryl. But I am amazed how large it is already! I am still trying to wrap my head around the plant being " 2-1/2 feet tall in a 4" clay pot" and you only water it "about every 2 weeks".
How do you keep it from tipping over? Confused
Thumb of 2015-01-27/Leftwood/11fafe

I'd love to see a photo!

Name: Cheryl
Kingwood, Texas (Zone 9a)
Region: Texas Greenhouse Composter Plant Identifier Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Amaryllis
Plumerias Ponds Foliage Fan Enjoys or suffers hot summers Tropicals Garden Ideas: Master Level
Image
ShadyGreenThumb
Jan 26, 2015 10:17 PM CST
It is a 4" plastic pot inside a 6" clay pot...and all measurements are subject to my scrutiny. Hilarious! I am sure some water remains in the clay pot as a reservoir as there are no drainage holes in the decorative pot. I think these pictures are from 2 years ago? I had one next to a yardstick but I can't find it. More pics to follow.

Thumb of 2015-01-27/ShadyGreenThumb/ef0468



Thumb of 2015-01-27/ShadyGreenThumb/ed68b0

Life is short, Break the rules, Forgive quickly, Kiss slowly, Love Truly, Laugh
uncontrollably, And never regret anything that made you Smile.
[Last edited by ShadyGreenThumb - Jan 26, 2015 10:28 PM (+)]
Give a thumbs up | Quote | Post #774086 (16)
Name: Cheryl
Kingwood, Texas (Zone 9a)
Region: Texas Greenhouse Composter Plant Identifier Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Amaryllis
Plumerias Ponds Foliage Fan Enjoys or suffers hot summers Tropicals Garden Ideas: Master Level
Image
ShadyGreenThumb
Jan 26, 2015 10:26 PM CST
@Leftwood
Here it is today. Bigger than ever!~ And a close of up of the pot. It is really squished in there. That is why I'm considering a new pot. I think the kitchen window is about 40".


Thumb of 2015-01-27/ShadyGreenThumb/519468

Thumb of 2015-01-27/ShadyGreenThumb/29dc30

Life is short, Break the rules, Forgive quickly, Kiss slowly, Love Truly, Laugh
uncontrollably, And never regret anything that made you Smile.
Name: Rick R.
near Minneapolis, MN zone 4a
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Sages The WITWIT Badge Garden Photography Region: Minnesota Plant Identifier
Image
Leftwood
Jan 27, 2015 1:43 AM CST
The Money tree is supposed to do well in low light, but you practically have no light!

It is light starved, but doing very well, all things considered!
Name: Ken Ramsey
Starkville, MS (Zone 8a)
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]
Orchids Greenhouse Vegetable Grower Ferns Region: United States of America Hummingbirder
Composter Bromeliad Master Gardener: Mississippi Cat Lover Tropicals Plumerias
Image
drdawg
Jan 27, 2015 7:08 AM CST
What exposure is the kitchen window, Cheryl? I assume you open those blinds for an extended time?

I would expect the plant to really be root-bound. Being so, water just runs through quickly. There may be NO potting soil left. Talk about the potting soil being "well-draining"! Whistling If you are going to continue to grow it "Bonsai" style, that will certainly retard its growth. If you repot it, say into a 6" pot, though you are not adding all that much potting soil and growing space, it will grow much faster. I guess it all depends on how you want to grow it, Cheryl. Shrug!
drdawg (Ken Ramsey) - Tropical Plants & More
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]www.tropicalplantsandmore.com[/url]
If God wanted me to touch my toes, he would have put them on my knees.
Name: Lin
Florida (Zone 9b)
Region: United States of America Morning Glories Region: Florida Houseplants Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
Garden Procrastinator Birds Butterflies Bee Lover Hummingbirder Container Gardener
Image
plantladylin
Jan 27, 2015 9:47 AM CST
Cheryl's that is so cool! Your Wild Chestnut (Pachira insignis) is a different species than the one I have. Mine is the Money Tree (Pachira aquatica) that I got about seven years ago and it hasn't grown much at all, mainly because of great neglect on my part. The poor thing is rootbound in it's pot and in need of more light and regular watering. It's stuck out in the yard somewhere and I've promised myself to get a larger container and get it in some fresh soil and take care of it.

I am such a bad plant caretaker at times. I have a potted Banana-leaf Ficus (Ficus maclellandii 'Alii') that I left in a corner of the backyard at our other house when we moved. We had tenants there for two years but they moved out a few months ago so we decided to put the house on the market; we have a contract so now I need to get over there and get my tree before the closing! Smiling The last time I was over there I noticed the tree had grown a lot, the roots have grown out of the drain holes of the pot and into the ground so I will have to do some root pruning and find a new, larger pot for it. I bought it as a small plant and it's such a pretty tree that I don't ever see for sale around here anymore so I do want to keep it.

My sister in Fort Lauderdale had a huge, potted braided Money Tree years ago and it was so pretty but eventually declined and died. I was so surprised that they never planted it in their yard but they didn't want it to get real big. At one time they planted a small Fiddle-leaf Fig (Ficus lyrata) in their yard and it grew to @ 12 feet tall and just as wide. They kept chopping it way back saying it just took up too much space; one year we visited and it was gone ... they'd chopped it down! I would have loved to have that tree!
~ Eat, Sleep .... Play in the dirt ~

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