Ask a Question forum: Money Tree with Sunburnt leaves

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Utah, United States
MrAmazing
Jul 11, 2015 10:21 AM CST
Hello All,

We sat our money tree out to get some fresh sunlight for the day, but when I came home to check on it, the leaves looked like their were pretty badly scorched. I found out the weather was about 15 degrees warmer than expected that day, so unfortunately, I'm not surprised.

The leaves have began turning white, and wilting to the point where they look like they should fall off soon. There are a few leaves that keep getting worse, and are very slowly turning yellow (and maybe soon it will turn white?), and the tree has been inside for about a week now with lower intensity light.

My question is: What can I do to help this tree recover? It already has a pretty big pot for it's size, and we've been watering it about every week, except the day we left it out we watered it a little just to help re-moisturize the soil that had dried.

Here are some photos, just in case I've misdiagnosed, or something more problematic stands out.

Thank you for your help in advance!

Thumb of 2015-07-11/MrAmazing/a69383

Thumb of 2015-07-11/MrAmazing/8c9f14

Thumb of 2015-07-11/MrAmazing/c61430

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
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drdawg
Jul 11, 2015 11:40 AM CST
The plant looks like it had a combination of too much (afternoon) sun and perhaps the heat dried the soil out as well. There is not much you can do about the sunburned leaves. You'll lose the majority of them. Just hope that the plant will grow new leaves. Keep in mind, without viable leaves, the plant can't use much water, so you want to keep the potting soil slightly moist, limiting your watering, and mist those leaves you do have. If that floor vent is blowing air at all, get the plant away from it. That forced air just dries the leaves that remain and stresses the plant even more.

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.
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!
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plantladylin
Jul 11, 2015 12:45 PM CST
Hi Mr. Amazing, Welcome! to All Things Plants!

Money Tree (Pachira aquatica) is a tree that likes water. In it's natural habitat it is a wetland area tree sometimes growing along the waters edge. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pachira_aquatica and when grown as a houseplant it needs consistent moisture but good drainage. The leaf issue with your plant could very well be from lengthy, intense sun exposure but to my eyes the leaves look chlorotic rather than sunburned. Chlorosis can have a few causes as listed here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chlorosis More images of chlorotic leaves can be seen here: http://www.bing.com/images/search?q=chlorotic+leaves&qpvt=ch...

If the problems with the plants leaves happened suddenly I doubt it is due to Chlorosis so sunburn is possibly the culprit. I agree with what Dr. Dawg/Ken suggested, the plant should be moved away from any vent that blows air (hot or cold) which will can cause the plants soil to dry very quickly. Misting daily will help raise humidity levels and the tree should sprout new leaves before long.




~ Eat, Sleep .... Play in the dirt ~
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
Jul 11, 2015 1:48 PM CST
MrAmazing said this happened suddenly, while the plant was outside for a day and it got much hotter than he expected it to be. Thus my diagnosis of sunburn and heat prostration (we docs love to use that term "diagnosis" Sticking tongue out ). I don't grow this plant and really don't know what it would look like after too much sun, too much heat, but I have other tropical plants that this happens to.
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.
Utah, United States
MrAmazing
Jul 12, 2015 9:44 AM CST
Thank you both for your advice.

For the leaves that are going to fall off, would it be better to trim them off where they are starting to wilt away? Or would it be better to just let them naturally fall off?

An in the time being, do I need to limit the amount of sunlight that the plant gets to a certain level so that it doesn't provoke any more damage on the leaves that weren't burnt as bad?

Thanks!
Name: Elaine
South Sarasota, Florida (Zone 9b)
The one constant in life is change
Cat Lover Master Gardener: Florida Tropicals Multi-Region Gardener Vegetable Grower Region: Florida
Herbs Orchids Birds Garden Ideas: Level 2 Garden Sages Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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dyzzypyxxy
Jul 12, 2015 1:53 PM CST
I would definitely tend to keep it in the shade until new leaves start to show up, then gradually move it back to it's normal spot in the house.

If you are wanting to put it outdoors again, I'd definitely choose a shady spot, as the light is much more intense outdoors than even sun through a window. Then if you keep it outdoors, you can very slowly move it towards getting a little sun, preferably morning sun so it's not so hot.

Plants grown indoors develop more chlorophyll in the leaves in order to better use the available light to produce food. When you put them out into direct sunlight, they then have too much of this 'pigment' in the leaves and they get too hot and burn like that. Even if this plant can grow in sunlight where it lives naturally, you still need to gradually acclimate an indoor-grown plant to the outdoor light.
Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill
Utah, United States
MrAmazing
Jul 12, 2015 3:46 PM CST
We would love to have this as an outdoor plant, that's one of the reasons we set it outside; to see if it would be alright out there. We live in Utah where it gets pretty hot and dry during the day, so after the tree has healed, can we leave it outside in a spot that is almost completely shaded? (Like under the patio?) I've read mixed reviews about Money Trees being a plant that can thrive outdoors with a lot of sun, and other reviews saying that it needs to be an indoor plant, so is it possible to make this an outdoor plant?

And what can I do about the damaged leaves? Trim them off, or let them fall off naturally?

Thanks again!
Name: Elaine
South Sarasota, Florida (Zone 9b)
The one constant in life is change
Cat Lover Master Gardener: Florida Tropicals Multi-Region Gardener Vegetable Grower Region: Florida
Herbs Orchids Birds Garden Ideas: Level 2 Garden Sages Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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dyzzypyxxy
Jul 12, 2015 6:31 PM CST
Oh man, we lived in Utah for 21 years. The dry air there is going to make it really tough for that plant unless you can grow it in a greenhouse, or other spot that is moist and shady. It's a tropical plant that likes humidity.

It might survive outdoors for the summer, but once the nights get below about 50 you'd definitely have to bring it in. Grow it in your bathroom if you can, that being the most humid room in the house.
Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill
Utah, United States
MrAmazing
Jul 12, 2015 6:58 PM CST
Alright, then we'll plan on making it an indoor plant. Our bathroom doesn't have any natural light coming in because we don't have a window in there, so we'll try to put a saucer with some water and river rocks in it to see if we can keep the humidity where it needs to be.

Still curious about the leaves. Can I trim them to get the nutrients to other parts of the tree (so it's not waiting effort on trying to revive dead leaves), or does that cause more stress on the tree?
Name: Elaine
South Sarasota, Florida (Zone 9b)
The one constant in life is change
Cat Lover Master Gardener: Florida Tropicals Multi-Region Gardener Vegetable Grower Region: Florida
Herbs Orchids Birds Garden Ideas: Level 2 Garden Sages Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Image
dyzzypyxxy
Jul 12, 2015 7:02 PM CST
I'd remove any dried up leaves, but leave any that have green on them. The plant needs all the chlorophyll it can keep, until it can grow new ones.
Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill
Utah, United States
MrAmazing
Jul 14, 2015 4:00 PM CST
Follow-up for a few days later...

The leaves don't stand the sun for more than about an hour (if not less!), and they are turning yellow even from very little exposure to it. What can be done?

Thanks
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
Jul 14, 2015 4:18 PM CST
Go back and read the first reply to your question. If your plant was terribly desiccated, the plant itself was damaged and those leaves, though perhaps appearing unaffected were damaged as well. That's basically called "stress", and all those leaves that were stressed will show signs of that. They could have still had too much sun, but perhaps not as much as those first affected. By the way, when is your plant getting this (now) limited sun exposure?
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: Elaine
South Sarasota, Florida (Zone 9b)
The one constant in life is change
Cat Lover Master Gardener: Florida Tropicals Multi-Region Gardener Vegetable Grower Region: Florida
Herbs Orchids Birds Garden Ideas: Level 2 Garden Sages Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Image
dyzzypyxxy
Jul 14, 2015 4:28 PM CST
It should be in full shade, or indoors in very gentle light until it starts recovering. If it's outdoors, I'd be spraying the foliage with the hose as often as you can. Keep the humidity up around that baby!

Forgot to say, it doesn't have much chlorophyll left so it really can't use the sunlight right now anyway. Until you have some new green leaves showing up, keep that plant out of the sun.
Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill
[Last edited by dyzzypyxxy - Jul 14, 2015 4:29 PM (+)]
Give a thumbs up | Quote | Post #903162 (13)
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
Jul 14, 2015 4:48 PM CST
Thumbs up

I had hoped that "brief" sun was between 6:00 and 7:00 "AM. Whistling
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.
Utah, United States
MrAmazing
Jul 14, 2015 5:45 PM CST
So the time of day is closer to about 8:00 am to 9:00 or 9:30, and it's getting light from a west facing window. Is there a better place that I can put it, or should I do it a little earlier? And it doesn't nearly have as many leaves as before, and I've read other places that say to just leave it in a room with a curtain covering the window, and not to give it much more sun that than, but what are your thoughts?

Also, on the topic on spraying it down with a hoes: It's indoors right now, but I have been misting the leaves once a day. Should I increase how much I mist it during the day? How important is keeping it humid, and what's the best way to do that?

Sorry for the barrage of questions, but you guys have been super helpful! Thumbs up

Thanks again!
Utah, United States
MrAmazing
Jul 17, 2015 12:29 PM CST
Bump ^
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
Jul 17, 2015 2:07 PM CST
What does that mean, MrAmazing?
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.
Utah, United States
MrAmazing
Jul 17, 2015 2:17 PM CST
It's just a way to show activity on a forum that is still waiting for an answer, so that people are notified of it, and can respond to the post.

Where the post didn't have activity for a few days, I wanted to bump it so that I can properly care for my money tree. Check back to the post above the bump for the questions.

Thanks Hurray!
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
Jul 17, 2015 3:01 PM CST
OK, don't understand "slang" or whatever its called.

I will chime in again. You say it gets sun between around 8:00 to 9:30'ish and that it is in a west facing window. Getting morning sun is impossible if that window faces west. So I/we need to understand that better. You definitely don't want it to get afternoon sun through that window. That's the worse possible light intensity. Misting those leaves twice a day is sufficient. Just don't water it until it really looks like it needs it.
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.

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