As per popular beliefs, Money Plant is a money-making machine. They say, having a money plant at home attracts wealth and prosperity.
But it is also believed that you have to steal this plant from someone else to bring financial luck. Interesting isn’t it?! Money Plant is found in many households- for “good luck.”
Besides, it is a low-maintenance house plant, which makes it a favorite in maximum households. Even though there are different reasons people keep this plant at home, they are very much adored and loved.
But, hey, Why are the leaves of my beloved money plant getting white? When the leaves change color, it is not usually considered a good sign, but it happens because of aging, too much sunlight, and several other reasons.
Here we have discussed all possible reasons for this phenomenon and how to prevent the leaves from turning white. Stay and read it for yourself.
Why Does Money Tree Leaves Turn White?
Some of the principal reasons for the leaves to turn white are lack of sunlight, pest infestation, inadequate water source, and fungal infections. Below we have discussed each of these reasons in length to give you a proper insight into the phenomena.
1. Too much sunlight
Both excessive and too little sunlight is the most common cause of white leaves in money plants. As much as the plant loves a warm environment, direct sunlight can cause sunburn and scorching leaves. Direct sunlight damages the leaves permanently, causing discoloration of leaves due to which you can see white spots on them.
2. Excessive Water
Money plants, like other plants, do require water for their survival. Though in most Asian households, money plants are kept in jars full of water, it doesn’t mean that you don’t need to change the water regularly. Changing the water in the jar once or twice a week can help the plant grow properly.
When it comes to watering money plants in gardens, overwatering may lead to some severe damage. On the other hand, under-watering can cause drying of the soil and later cracking of it. The dryness causes withering and discoloration of the plant.
Over-watering drowns your plant and leads to clogging, which cuts off the proper oxygen supply. It results in wilting of leaves- not crisp and green. The plant grows especially slow if it is overwatered.
It is a condition that occurs due to overwatering. If you haven’t watered your money plant in a long time, but then you suddenly overwater it, the condition is known as odema. Overwatering your money plant shocks it because it cannot handle too much water after being thirsty for an extended period, due to which the leaves and stems burst. It causes white spots to appear on the leaves of your money plant, which later turns brown.
4. Because of Pest Infestation
Some of the widespread pests that infest money plants include:
- Mealybugs are small-scale insects coated with a white powdery wax that resembles a meal and severe pest. They feed by sucking sap from the plants, taking away all their nutrition, weakening them, wilting their leaves, and turning them white. These insects produce honeydew, a white cotton-like sticky substance that increases mold growth and attracts ants. If this pest infestation is not eradicated, the plant will die.
- Thrips are another sap-sucking insect like the mealybugs. They look like needles and have black wings. The plants infested by thrips have damaged leaves, shoots, and a very noticeable effect on the plant’s appearance. Thrips infestation can lead to stunted plant growth, damaged leaves that further develop tiny pale spots and drop prematurely.
- Leaf miners are small fly, sawfly or moths. Although the flies and moths are harmless, their larvae are the problem here. They lay their eggs on the lower surface of the leaves. These eggs, when they grow big, turn into larvae and create a whole community of moths, which can kill your plant in a few days.
- Spider mites are plant-feeding mites that look like a minute spider and are difficult to be seen with naked eyes. Generally, spider mites appear as tiny white particles that you can find on the stems or underneath the leaves. In an infected plant, you will find the dust particles moving if observed closely. They feed on the chlorophyll in plants. Using their piercing mouthparts, they puncture the plant cells to suck out the fluid.
5. Because of Fungal Infection
The following are the fungal infections that cause white spots on the leaves of money plants:
- Powdery mildew is the floury and powdery particles on the leaves of the money plant. The infection causes weakening in plants; leaves may turn yellow or white, dry up or even curl up. Initial infection is marked by tiny grayish-white spots, which become more significant gradually over time. It creates a weak environment allowing other pests to thrive.
- The mosaic virus affects more than 150 types of plants, including money plants. The disease affects the leaves of the plants and slowly turns their color from green to white, yellow. Some plants also get colorful spots. Initially, the disease starts with the baby leaves and eventually spreads to the whole plant.
- White root rot is a disease that affects the roots. It starts due to wet soil. The plant roots start to rot, depriving the other parts of the plant, like the shoots and leaves, of nutrition and water, leading to the appearance of white spots all over the plants.
- Septoria leaf spot is one of the most common fungal infections caused due to the fungus The disease comes with white spots on both surfaces of the leaves. The fungus thrives due to wet and humid conditions.
6. Poor Water Quality
For money plants to grow properly, the quantity as well as the quality of water matters. Generally, people use tap water to water their money plants which is a problem. The tap water contains many minerals such as sodium, chlorine, calcium, etc., which accumulate in the leaves and cause white spots on them. The white chalky texture on the leaves of your money plant is due to the poor quality of water.
7. Improper Fertilization
Every money plant requires fertilization for its proper growth. Fertilizers are food for plants. A money plant devoid of fertilization will lack essential minerals and nutrients needed for strong and healthy growth.
Some of the essential micronutrients essential for the money tree are:
- Iron: It is necessary for making chlorophyll, which is essential for photosynthesis. Lack of iron will lead to slowed metabolism of the plant, and you will notice the development of white patches on the leaves.
- Manganese: The deficiency of manganese leads to white spots on the upper surface of the leaves. Manganese is essential for the food-making process and germination. It also improves the plant’s immunity against any kind of pathogens.
- Copper: It is a critical component in the respiration of the money plant. It also helps in metabolism and photosynthesis.
- Calcium: Calcium accumulates in the leaves due to overwatering or tap water, causing white patches to appear.
What Does It Mean When The Leaves Turn White?
According to the myths which have prevailed for decades, the leaves of the money plant turning white is bad luck.
Some articles say that the economic condition of the members of the family is likely to deteriorate if your money plant is dying, leaves are discolored, or if it is growing downwards. But these are just myths, never proven to date.
So the most obvious reason your money plant’s leaves are turning white is a sign that it requires a little bit more of your attention and care.
The most common reason this happens is due to too much sunlight.
It may also happen due to bacterial infections, fungus, and pests. You don’t need to worry; give your money tree-medicated water and some neem oil to keep the pests away and don’t place it in direct sunlight.
How To Prevent White Spots On Your Money Tree Leaves?
A minimal care guide is necessary for a prosperous and healthy money tree. Certain factors influence the health of the money tree; they are:
1. Give Required Water
Water your money plant once a week during summers. But, during winters, water it once every 14 days. Do not overwater your money plant. Prolonged water retention in the pot will attract pests and insects, leading to fungal infection and pest infestation, which can cause white spots on the leaves.
Check if the excess water is removed from the pot or not—the drainage holes help remove extra water. Besides, you can place a saucer at the bottom for storing extra water. But, do not forget to remove the saucer after a day of watering; otherwise, the roots would remain exposed to water, leading to serious issues. If not, you need to improve the drainage layer in the pot or add some more holes at the bottom of the pot.
Do not use tap water to avoid minerals such as sodium, calcium, chlorine, etc., as they can build up in the leaves. Using rainwater is a good alternative.
2. Give Proper Light
Avoid placing your money plant in direct sunlight to prevent sunburn. As money plants are indoor plants, you need to provide enough sunlight for their proper growth. It requires indirect sunlight for at least 7 to 8 hours every day. A very low amount of light will also cause problems.
Do not keep your money plant in sunlight for a long time as the scorching leaves will burn the leaves. So, selecting an appropriate place to keep your plant is essential. A shady place yet sunny position in the garden, terrace, or indoors would be great.
3. Proper Soil
Money plants require well-drained soil for proper growth. Extremely wet soil damages the plant. So, you can use a mixture of river sand and normal plotting sand for your money plant. Sand enables excellent aeration and drainage systems, and thus your money plant will be happy.
4. Proper Fertilization
Fertilizers are a vital source of food and nutrition for money plants that the soil alone cannot provide. You need to use fertilizers for your money plant if you want to see it grow well.
It would help if you were careful enough not to over-fertilize your plant as it may lead to its death and other problems. Too much fertilizer makes the soil acidic, which burns the roots making the plants vulnerable to fungal infections, bacterial attacks, or pest infestations.
You can apply some fertilizers once a month with regular watering of the plant. Make sure you apply it in the evening to avoid burning roots in the daylight. Avoid fertilizing in winters.
5. On-time Pruning
Pruning is a method of trimming your plants by cutting away dead leaves or branches to enhance healthy regrowth. Pruning your money plant once in a while will allow the plant to be in good shape and grow healthily.
Avoiding pruning may lead to discolored leaves and slow growth, which again attracts pests and infection. The best way to do pruning is to use a pair of sterilized scissors and cut off dead leaves, stems from time to time. Ensure that the cuts made are clean, or it may cause stress to your pet plant.
It is a great idea to repot your money plant once in a span of 2 to 3 years. Try to use big or heavy pots where the money plant can grow freely rather than the smaller ones.
Repotting enables the plant to have more nutrition as the soil will be new because the old soil becomes acidic due to regular fertilization, making them prone to insects and pests. Make sure to punch in drainage holes before repotting.
Money plant is kept in almost every household as it brings good fortune and wealth, and it is a lovely pet plant. However, everything has its pros and cons, so does the money tree, but now you know what causes the leaves of your money plant to turn white and how you can fix it. Thus, a little bit of attention, care, and time will help your money plant live a healthy and long life.