Plant Care

Common Pachira Aquatica Problems

Pachira Aquatica Bloom

Pachira aquatica, better known as the Money Tree plant, is generally hardy and not susceptible to diseases. It doesn’t have many common pests or diseases. However, there are some that are known to cause trouble. If you wish to grow this plant in your home or garden, you need to know about common Pachira aquatica problems.

While this plant is pretty hardy against most bugs and diseases, there are a few that could become problems. Here’s what to do about each issue!

Growing Problems

Diseases

While Money Tree plant is generally hardy, here are some common diseases and problems to be aware of:

Anthracnose

Perhaps the most common disease for Pachira aquatica is anthracnose. It can weaken your plant quickly, and it manifests itself through blights, leaf spotting and other issues.

The best way to prevent this issue is to always keep your plant’s leaves dry. Make sure that the water is not splashed on the leaves when watering. Monitor your plant carefully to identify any diseased or weak leaves. Look for brown, patchy spots on leaves.

In case anthracnose develops, make sure to act quickly. Use a copper fungicide to heal your plant. Do not wait: this disease can weaken your plant quickly.

Root Rot

Another common problem with Money Tree plant is a root rot. Typically, it develops as a consequence of soggy soil. If you overwater your plant and let the soil remain soggy, fungal infection can develop.

Root rot will make your plant to wilt, yellow and lose leaves. This fungal infection can spread to kill the plant, so make sure to prevent root rot from developing.

The most effective way to achieve this is easy: make sure that your soil has effective drainage. Any excess water should quickly be drained off. The potting medium can remain moist, but never muddy or soggy.

White Powdery Mildew

White powdery mildew is another relatively common problem for Pachira aquatica. This is another fungal disease, but this one is easy to treat.

To get rid of white powdery mildew, spray neem oil on the leaves. Make sure to cover both top and bottom of the leaves in an even coat. This will kill the existing white powdery mildew and prevent new mildew from developing.

Pachira Aquatica Bloom

Pests

Aphids and Mealybugs

Aphids and mealybugs are the most common pests for Pachira aquatica. These insects can reproduce at a fast rate and cause a lot of trouble. They are of a small size, but their damage is significant.

The main symptom of aphids and mealybugs is weak leaves. When attacked by these pests, the leaves will become limp and eventually drop off.

The best way to go is to monitor your Money Tree plant regularly and act quickly if you notice a problem developing. Mealybugs particularly like to gather under the leaves or on stems, so make sure to look there, too.

Neem oil is the best way to repel aphids, mealybugs and some other pests, such as scale. In case you notice there are many aphids attacking your plant, you may be able to wash them off with pressurized water spray.

Fungus Gnats

Fungus gnats are another pest that you may encounter with Money Tree plants. Their larvae are particularly dangerous because they cause a lot of chewing damage to your plant’s roots.

To repel fungus gnats, make sure that the plant’s soil dries out between waterings. Fungus gnat larvae prefer wet or moist soil and can’t thrive in the soil that has started to dry out.

Adult fungus gnats are not as dangerous, but they will fly around your house and around the Money Tree plant. To repel them, spray neem oil on the soil’s surface.

Other Common Problems

There are certain issues you might encounter while growing Pachira aquatica that are not exactly diseases, but can cause a lot of trouble to your plat. These growing issues are easy to solve with proper care and adequate conditions provided to your plant.

Money Tree plant is hardy, but common problems involve its leaves. Yellowing leaves are a typical issue, as well as brown and crisp leaves. These are due to specific problems with growing conditions.

Yellowing leaves can be a symptom of two different problems. The first is humidity: if it is not high enough, the dry air can cause your plant’s leaves to yellow. Another problem can be fertilizer deficiency, although this is a rarer case.

Brown, crispy leaves are a common problem. These are a clear sign of under-watering. While you should never overwater your Money Tree plant, you need to ensure that it gets enough water. Make sure to keep the soil evenly moist.

The opposite problem happens with too much watering. When this is the case, you will encounter dropping green leaves. The best way to repair this issue is to reduce the watering, be it the amount, frequency, or both. If this doesn’t help, it might be a problem with drainage. Ensure that the soil can drain off all excess water. In case this is not happening, make sure to amend soil to ensure proper drainage.
Another sign of over-watering is mold on soil surface. It doesn’t always develop with this problem, but if you notice mold forming, cut down on the watering. Keep in mind that too much watering can also cause root rot.

Finally, you may encounter leaf spotting. This may be a sign of potassium deficiency. Make sure to provide your plant with enough nutrients. Check the labels on your fertilizer to ensure there is enough potassium.

Photo credit: mauro halpern Castanheiro-do-Maranhão. Guiana-chesnut, Munguba, “Pachira aquatica” via photopin (license)