House Plants/Care of money plant
I purchased a money plant 1.5 yrs ago, and keep it indoors. It was doing fine until last couple of months, when it began getting YELLOW LEAVES quite often. I have studied all the instructions available online and don't believe that I overwater it - doing it once a week, letting water drain out the bottom so it doesn't ever sit in water. I have used Schultz 10-15-10 Plant Food Plus a few times lately; also tried Epsom salts.
The plant is now 22 inches tall and is still in the original pot, 4.5 inches in diameter. I've kept it on a kitchen bar, under a sky light up high.
Please advise what I may be doing wrong. 1) How do I keep yellow leaves from forming? 2) Should I place it in a larger pot at this time?
Thank you kindly. Sylvia Bottomley, Oklahoma City, OK.
When you search for plant information online, you find lots of contradictory information in part because most of that information is posted by non-professionals. Weekly watering may or may not be appropriate depending on many different factors. Plant food will not solve the problem and you should be using a 3-1-2 ratio, not 10-15-10 if you use any fertilizer. Using epsom salts is a folk remedy that has been discredited.
The problem is that the skylight is not providing enough light to keep older leaves from yellowing as new ones are added on top. Skylights provide light only from above and almost no direct sunlight at all. When plants do not receive enough light, they sacrifice older leaves so they can continue to add new leaves on top. That is why plants in inadequate light become tall and leggy.
So your Pachira aquatica is healthy, but it is responding normally to less than ideal light. I recommend that you move your plant to a sunnier location close to a window where it can get more light throughout the day. If your plant has multiple stems, you may want to prune back one of them to a lower height. New growth will then emerge on that stem just below where you make the pruning cut. After that happens, you can consider pruning back another leggy stem and so on.
There is no need to repot your Pachira. Water it thoroughly as soon as the surface of the soil is dry. That is probably more than once per week, but let the soil dryness be your guide, not some predetermined schedule.
I have written an article on Money Plant care that I will email for free to you (or anyone else) who emails a request to me at wcreed@HorticulturalHelp.com.
Please let me know if any of this is unclear or if you have any additional questions.
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Will Creed, Interior Landscaper
Horticultural Help, NYC
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