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5 Possible Causes of a Chinese Money Plant with Yellow Leaves

5 Possible Causes of a Chinese Money Plant with Yellow Leaves

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Native to Southwest China, the Chinese Money Plant, also known as the Pilea, is one of the most beloved houseplants in the world. 

In addition to its symbolic significance, the Chinese Money Plant is praised for its easy-to-care nature, making it a favorite among plant enthusiasts worldwide. Its minimalistic beauty, with its round, coin-line leaves on delicate, arching stems, further adds to its popularity. 

The Chinese money plant is generally resilient, but a common problem that you might encounter with the plant is when its leaves begin to turn yellow. 

Yellowing leaves is a big problem and often indicates that there’s something wrong with the plant. Understanding the root cause of this issue is key to maintaining the vibrancy of your treasured Money Plant. 

In the following sections, we’ll discuss five possible causes of a Chinese Money Plant’s yellowing leaves, and solutions to prevent it from happening. 

Chinese Money Plant On Table

Reasons Why Chinese Money Plant Leaves Turn Yellow

The color of a plant’s leaves is indicative of its health, so if you notice unusual or sudden yellowing on your Money Plant, it’s imperative that you take action right away to correct the problem. 

But to get to the root of the issue, you must first determine the exact reason why your plant is undergoing such changes. 

Here are some potential reasons why your Money Plant’s leaves turn yellow: 

1 – Excess Moisture

Chinese Money Plant With Wet Leaves

Arguably the most common reason why a money plant turns yellow is excessive moisture.

Improper amounts of soil moisture can cause serious damage to the Pilea. Because of this, you need to make sure that the Pilea is only watered when the top quarter of the soil is dry.

Most people don’t check the moisture content in the soil before they add water to the plant, which explains why lots of houseplants appear wilted and discolored despite receiving sufficient sunlight and fertilizer.

The soil should feel damp after watering but not soggy. Excessive moisture is terrible for your plant because it can lead to root rot and various other illnesses, such as scorch and leaf drop.

Proper management of soil moisture is the secret to a thriving Money Plant. The plant will suffer if the water content becomes too low, and it’s also going to suffer if it’s too high. 

If you continue to alternate between excessively dry soil and excessively wet soil, it’ll put undue stress on the plant and eventually cause it to succumb to other problems.

Before watering your plant, check the moisture content using your finger or a hygrometer. This is a great way to figure out just how wet the soil is. If you notice that the soil is wet, consider waiting a day or two before watering it.

2 – Poor Drainage 

Another culprit of yellowing leaves is improper or inadequate drainage. 

If the soil has inadequate drainage, the water is going to stagnate in the soil and the plant will get what’s known as “wet feet.”

Now, the Chinese Money Plant isn’t a fan of this scenario. If this soggy situation persists, it can lead to the dreaded root rot. This opens the door to a parade of fungal infections that can compromise the overall health of your plant. 

Thus, it’s crucial to address drainage issues promptly to keep your Chinese Money Plant in a happy and thriving environment. 

To facilitate drainage, opt for a well-draining potting mix specifically designed for houseplants. These mixes often contain a combination of materials like sand, perlite, or bark to allow water to percolate through the soil and not pool.

The next thing you can do is to ensure that your pot has sufficient drainage holes. If it doesn’t, repotting your Chinese Money Plant into a container with proper drainage holes is the best practice. 

3 – Improper Lighting

Chinese Money Plant In Natural Light

Though the Pilea is a part of the succulent family, it doesn’t do well when exposed to direct sunlight. 

The foliage may succumb to sunburn under the unforgiving rays of the sun, turning leaves yellow and brown. 

The Pilea thrives best under indirect sunlight, so consider placing a sheer curtain or moving the plant to a location where it receives dappled light. Make sure it gets at least a couple of hours of sun during the day. 

The plant adjusts fairly easily to low-light areas, but you have to be careful that you don’t keep it in excessively dim and dark places.

4 – Pests

Green Aphids On A Leaf

Another thing that can cause yellowing on the leaves is pests. Harmful pests can infest your plants and they can eat through the leaves. If they end up inside your stem, they are also going to cause yellowing of the leaves.

A weak Pilea is going to be much more susceptible to an infestation, and won’t be able to ward off these incoming pests.

Mealybugs, aphids, and other pests can cause extensive damage to your plant if they are allowed to run free.

For instance, mealybugs usually leave a white residue on the leaves, and they like to hide on the underside of the leaves, where it joins the stem. You need to make sure that you look for a pest infestation and get the problem resolved as quickly as possible.

If your Chinese money plant is already under excessive amounts of stress, warding off a pest infestation won’t be easy. The plant is going to require adequate care and you will have to use an insecticide to get rid of the infestation.

Most people don’t pay attention to the money plant until the problem turns severe, so it’s recommended that you observe the plant every now and then.

5 – Natural Changes

As your plant ages over time, certain leaves will age and fall off. However, this will be replaced with new growth over time. 

If there are only a couple of leaves that are yellowing, you should just wait it out and see how the plant is going to deal with it.

In most cases, the yellow leaves are just going to fall off and will be replaced with newer growth. 

If that doesn’t happen, you’ll have to take action and check the moisture content first before making a decision.

Tips to Keep Your Chinese Money Plant Green and Lush

A little proactive care goes a long way in ensuring the continued vibrancy and health of your Chinese Money Plant. 

Here are some tips to follow to ensure the longevity and vibrancy of your Money Plant: 

  • Water once a week in summer and once every two weeks during winter. You’ll know it’s time to water when the plant’s soil feels dry.
  • Apply fertilizer once or twice every few months in spring and summer.
  • Wipe the plant’s leaves with a dust cloth every month to remove dust and maintain its glossy leaves. 
  • Rotate the plant every few days to ensure even exposure to sunlight on all sides.

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