When gardeners encounter Money Tree leaves curling up, this can be a worrying condition, especially for novice growers. The usual symptom of Money Tree leaves problems is the tips of leaves curling up, ending with several Money Tree wrinkled leaves on the plant.

Money tree leaves close up

In this article, our expert tips and tricks will help you finally identify the problem and guide you through preventing this from happening again.

What Is a Money Tree?

The Money Tree, scientifically known as Pachira aquatica, is a tropical wetland tree that thrives in swampy locations. The tree is also known by its common names, which are the Malabar Chestnut, the French Peanut, the Guiana Chestnut, the Provision Tree, and the Saba Nut.

The Money Tree is often sold commercially with a braided trunk and grown as a houseplant. The popularity of the Money Tree as a houseplant is due to the belief that the plant brings good fortune wherever it is grown and to whoever grows the plant.

Why Are Your Money Tree Leaves Curling?

There are actually several factors that can cause the leaves of the Money Tree to curl, such as incorrect water, temperature and humidity levels provided, among others. The Money Tree is a great plant to have, especially when grown indoors.

Easy to care for and extremely versatile, the plant is a favorite among many city dwellers, as well as those with larger spaces to cultivate them.

As you may be aware, there are occasions when the plant may be prone to health issues, with the main concern being that its usually flat leaves tend to curl up. Sometimes, the cause is not always one but can be a combination of factors. Let’s look over the causes and what we can do to keep this plant healthy.

– Water

Watering is a very crucial factor in ensuring that the Money Tree is healthy and hydrated. In some cases, overwatering can create issues for the overall health of the plant, as does underwatering.

It is quite important to distinguish the difference between the two by observing the leaf curling symptoms of the Money Tree.

– Overwatering

Overwatering can cause the leaves of the Money Tree to curl. They usually curl down, although some people have reported that the leaves of their plant curled up from overwatering. This condition can be remedied by reducing excess watering, and only water when the top inch of the soil around the plant is dry.

– Underwatering

Underwatering can also cause the leaves of the Money Tree to curl, but this time usually up. This is due to the lower water content of the plant that causes the edges of the leaves to shrivel up.

Some gardeners have reported a downward leaf curl for underwatered trees, although not as frequently. This condition can be corrected by increasing watering to keep the tree properly hydrated.

Fix Leaves That Curl

– Inconsistent Watering

Inconsistent watering is also an issue for many novice gardeners. Alternating overwatering and underwatering cycles can cause the leaves of the Money Tree to curl up and down, respectively.

Prolonged inconsistency in the plant’s watering can cause the leaves to appear deformed and sickly. The key to correcting this situation is to keep a consistent watering schedule and amount that leaves the plant perfectly quenched.

– Soil, Container and Drainage

Another condition to check is the proper water drainage of the soil and the container of the plant. While the Money Tree can tolerate swampy conditions, consistent exposure to overly wet soil with high amounts of moisture-retaining clay can encourage root rot.

It is advisable to make sure that the soil provides enough water retention while providing adequate aeration for the roots.

The container of the plant should ideally be proportional to the plant with great drainage holes. When planted in overly large containers, the soil may retain excess moisture that the Money Tree cannot absorb, and the excess water can cause the leaves to curl and the roots to rot.

– Humidity

The tips of leaves curling up for the Money Tree can sometimes be attributed to the humidity of the plant’s location. Air conditioning units can lower the air moisture level, and this can cause the tips of the leaves to curl up.

Low room humidity can be corrected by placing a humidifier near the plant or by placing a tray filled with gravel and water under the container of the plant.

– Temperature

Too much heat can also cause the Money Tree to end up with the tips of its leaves curling up. Extreme temperature conditions can cause the plant to exhibit leaf problems such as wilting or curling. The plant prefers a mild 55 to 65 F room temperature in order to stay healthy.

Growers are advised to keep the room temperature at a constant ideal level to ensure that the Money Tree does not experience temperature fluctuations.

– Light

The Money Tree can have issues with curling leaves if the light conditions are not ideal for the plant. While this plant appreciates bright light, direct sunlight can cause its leaves to burn. When the lighting conditions are too low, the leaves of the Money Tree can curl outward.

The most ideal location for the Money Tree when grown indoors is a window facing east, south or north. When the plant has a chance of being exposed to direct sunlight, it is advisable to draw a sheer curtain over the window where the plant is located.

– Fertilizer

The Money Tree can sometimes suffer from a lack of nutrients, as well as an excess amount of it. The key here is feeding the plant with a balanced, appropriate amount of suitable fertilizers. The Money Tree’s curling leaves may also be due to nitrogen deficiency, so feeding the plant with some fertilizers may alleviate the condition.

Many gardeners recommend using a balanced 20-20-20 fertilizer to start, with a lower dosage than usual. During colder periods, it is advisable to refrain from applying fertilizers to the plant as it may undergo a rest period during these seasons.

– Pests

Pests can be quite bothersome for the Money Tree and could be one reason why its leaves are curling up. Common pests known to the Money Tree are aphids and mealybugs. These insects suck the moisture right out from the leaves, causing them to curl and deform.

Household insects such as gnats also present a problem for the Money Tree, as do scales, spider mites, and whiteflies. These pests can wreak havoc not just on the leaves, but on the plant’s root system as well. When the plant appears unhealthy, it is advisable to immediately check the undersides of the leaves for these pests.


– Treatment and Prevention

Fortunately, these insects can be eliminated with the use of commercial insecticidal products that have been developed specifically for them. Some solutions come in the form of powder, while some come in pellet forms as well as in liquid forms.

Popular insect repellants include neem oil, which is organic and non-toxic, making it the most ideal among horticulturists.

The best method to avoid pests is to ensure that the plant remains healthy, although some gardeners highly recommend using preventative methods. These methods include regular spray applications of neem oil solutions, as well as ensuring proper fertilization.

Neem oil solutions provide protection to a healthy plant by coating the plant with a non-toxic substance that discourages pests. Aside from this, neem oil solutions prevent mildew and root rot when absorbed into the soil.

Fix Leaves That Curl

– Combination of Factors

While one factor can be easily corrected, the leaf-curling symptom can sometimes be indicative of more than one cause. Investigating and identifying the main and auxiliary causes can be extremely helpful for many gardeners, especially those who are still at the start of their horticultural journey.

Once the cause has been determined, it is easier for the gardener to ensure that the proper remedies are acted upon. When the plant has grown better and has regained its health, it is advisable that the plant be subjected to frequent, organic, and non-toxic maintenance to keep it healthy and free from pests.

The Money Tree is thought to provide its caretakers with good fortune, and it certainly does with its ease of care, beauty and being a good source of indoor oxygen. The plant has grown in popularity over time, with many horticulturists recommending the plant to novice growers who want to tend to low-maintenance plants.

Money tree leaves


Should I spray water on my money tree to prevent leaf curling?

Watering your money tree regularly and maintaining proper humidity levels can help prevent leaf curling.

Can my money tree recover from leaf curling?

With proper care and conditions, your money tree has a good chance of recovering from leaf curling.

Will repotting help revive my curled money tree leaves?

Repotting can provide a fresh start for your money tree, but addressing underlying issues like watering and humidity is crucial for reviving curled leaves.


The Money Tree is quite easy to care for, although sometimes the plant can encounter issues and conditions that require more tending than usual.

While unbelievably low-maintenance, growers are advised to be watchful of symptoms that may cause harm to the plant.

Let’s run a recap on the factors that can prevent the leaves of the Money Tree from curling.

  • The right amount of watering is vital to prevent the Money Tree leaves from curling up.
  • The proper soil, container, and drainage holes contribute to a healthy Money Tree.
  • The Money Tree appreciates mid-level humidity conditions.
  • Prevent the leaves of the Money Tree from curling up by providing the ideal temperature ranges.
  • Provide adequate bright light conditions that encourage the Money Tree to avoid curled leaves.
  • Ensure the plant’s health by providing sufficient essential nutrients to the Money Tree.
  • Preventive organic spray maintenance can deter the presence of pests and promote the plant’s overall health.

Grown indoors or outdoors, the remarkable Money Tree shows that wealth comes in many forms!

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