White Spots on Money Tree (Causes and Solutions)

If you notice white spots on money tree leaves or your money tree leaves turning white, then something is not right.

While this is not a common thing that happens, it can occur in certain situations.

That said, there are many different reasons for these white spots to appear. And they vary quite a bit.

Therefore, it is very important to identify what is happening.

White spots on money tree leaves are usually caused by pest infestation, sunburn, certain fungal diseases, nutrient deficiencies, incorrect lighting and moisture issues.

To treat the plant, remove the affected leaves.

If the cause is fungal, treat with a fungicide. Otherwise, fix the underlying cause be it moisture, lighting or get rid of the pests.

Causes of White Spots on Money Tree

Edema

Edema is basically swelling or bloating. And it is caused by excess moisture.

In many cases this occurs when you overwater the plant.

That’s because your money tree’s roots will keep absorbing moisture. And as a result, the excess moisture will end up stored in the leaves.

This results in the cells and membranes being overwatering.

When they hold more water than their ability to “stretch” can, they’ll eventually burst.

This creates blisters or small white spots on money tree leaves. The spots will change color over time and they will spread if the overwatered state continues.

Once these burst tissues dry, you’ll eventually see holes in your leaves.

As such, overwatering is never a good thing for money tree.

It is also worth noting that edema often occurs when the plant has been left dry for prolonged periods of time. Then you try to compensate for this by overwatering it.

As such, consistency if very important as well.

 

How to Fix it

Here there are two problems.

One is how to fix edema. And the second is how to prevent it from happening.

In case your money tree has white spots on its leaves due to edema and burst tissues, then cut back on water and let the plant drain and dry.

Monitoring and regulating how much and how often you water will help relieve this problem and prevent further plant cells and tissues on the leaves from bursting.

On the other hand, to avoid edema from happening, making sure not to overwater your plant is essential.

How often you water, the kind of soil you use, and the pot’s drainage are all very important.

If you keep a saucer or catch tray under the pot, make sure to throw away any moisture that has accumulated there as well.

Try to space out your plants in your home garden so there is sufficient air circulation.

Similarly, place the plant where it gets plenty of indirect sunlight to help excess moisture dry faster.

 

Poor Air Circulation

To stay healthy, money trees need sufficient light, moderate to warm temperature and enough ventilation.

Ideally, keep temperature at 50 to 90 degrees Fahrenheit.

One thing that people usually overlook is good air circulation.

Ventilation is very important as it helps dry out any wetness in the leaves in case you water overhead. It also helps balance moisture in the soil and the air.

In doing so, it helps with keeping the plant from staying too wet or humidity getting too low or high.

And this helps prevent your money tree from developing white spots.

Imbalance in moisture along with temperatures problems affect the leaves. They can turn them brown or yellow. And it can cause white spots on money tree leaves as well.

 

How to Fix it

Choose a location where there is good air circulation.

Note that when I use the terms air circulation or airflow, I do not mind lots of wind or blowing air.

Instead, I’m taking about air that moves.

Thus, don’t leave the plant in a completely closed room with no windows or doors.

Instead, have some kind of air coming in as well as coming out.

That said, avoid vents, strong winds or windows where cold drafts can come in. These will eventually harm the plant can cause more problems.

Using an electric fan to move air in the room likewise helps. But make sure that it is not directly in front of your plants that it blows wind straight at them.

The goal of the fan is to keep air moving in and out of the windows to help regulate heat and moisture.

Doing so helps control too much humidity or water spots from developing in the leaves.

It also helps with evaporation so the soil does not stay too wet for very long periods of time.

 

Excess Sunlight

Another reason that you may see white spots on money tree leaves is too much light.

Money trees thrive on plenty of light.

However, they prefer medium to bright indirect light.

The key here is indirect, filtered, dappled or diffused light. This applies indoors.

Outdoors, partial shade or semi-shade is best.

On the other hand, the plant cannot tolerate very strong or intense light. Therefore, avoid direct sunlight or full sun.

Exposure to this on a daily basis where your money tree receives more than 2 or 3 hours of this direct light will eventually scorch its leaves or cause sunburn.

But before the full-blown burn marks develop, you’ll see your money tree’s leaves get white spots.

 

How to Fix it

Fortunately, avoiding excess light is easy.

All you need to do is move the plant to another spot with less bright light.

The key is understanding what the different terms mean.

Direct sunlight means placing the plant in the direct path of the sun. More specifically, if you see the sun’s yellow rays hit the plant, then it is receiving direct sunlight.

Some people will look at the shadows instead.

When the plant is getting hit by direct sunlight, you’ll see a very solid shadow where the edges of the shadow are very clear.

At some points, you’ll see a more hazy shadow. This is when it does not get very direct light from the sun.

For me, the simplest solution is just to check.

I make sure that may money tree is never hit by the sun’s yellow rays at any point of the day. If it does, I adjust its position by a bit to keep it away.

As long as the room is well-lit or bright and the sun’s rays never directly touch the plant, you’re good to go.

It is also worth noting that burn marks and white spots on leaves of money tree plants can develop with too much artificial light intensity.

Why?

Grow lights use bulbs.

And these builds emit heat.

Since you need to leave the under at least 12 hours a day under artificial lighting to compensate for the sun’s light, it can burn the leaves as well.

But this only happens if you keep the plant very near the bulbs.

As long as you keep grow lights 12 inches from your money tree, it won’t get burned.

 

Powdery Mildew

If you see your money tree leaves turning white, it could very well be inflicted by powdery mildew.

Powdery mildew is very easy to identify.

That’s because of its very unique appearance.

Here, you’ll initially white patches of what looks like powder or snow sprinkled on the surface of the leaves.

And if you do not treat it, you’ll soon notice that the white powdery stuff will start covering entire leaves.

The longer you leave it be, the more likely that all the leaves will end up like they’ve been left outside in the snow.

The problem with powdery mildew is that it spreads. And it also harms your plant.

Additionally, as the powdery white layer covers the leaves, it prevents them from getting light from the sun. This affects the growth of the plant as it interferes with photosynthesis.

So, after a while, you’ll see leaves turn yellow or brown as a result.

 

How to Fix it

Powdery mildew is a fungal infection. And it can spread rapidly.

That’s because it spread when its spores are blown or carried by the air from one place to another.

If they happen to land on any of your other houseplants, you’ll soon see that plant get infected as well.

Therefore, isolating your affected money tree is very important once you notice powdery mildew.

For minor issues, you can create a simple mixture of 1 teaspoon of baking mixed with a liter of water. You can scale this up or down depending on how much you need.

Mix thoroughly and place in spray bottle.

Then start spraying the affected leaves.

Another option is to wipe down the leaves. Use a clean cloth that’s been soaked in fungicidal solution. You can also go with fungicidal soap mixed with warm water.

Unfortunately, the more severe the powdery mildew is, the longer and more difficult it is to get rid of.

So, you can keep applying the treatment while keeping the plant isolated.

I do know quite a few gardeners who will just leave the severely infected money tree in the trash can and get another plant too.

 

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Pest Infestations

If you notice your money tree leaves turning white or white spots developing on its leaves, then check for possible pests.

Money trees are beautiful.

They are big plants that will catch the eye of any visitor that comes into your home.

But they also seem to attract their fair share of pests.

Mealybugs, spider mites, leaf miners, thrips are some of the most common pests that will attack the plant.

There come around to take some of the plant’s juicy sap.

As they feed on the plant and suck its internal juices, they leave behind white spots that are signs of the damage.

But that’s not the worst part.

The problem with these insects is that they have short lifespans.

And during that lifespan, the females will lay eggs. While they’ll usually lay eggs once before they die, they tend to lay several eggs at once.

It takes just a few days to a couple of weeks for the eggs to hatch and develop into larvae.

By then, the young pests do damage as well.

This is why these pests can harm your plant. They’ll grow very quickly in number.

So, once you see a few, immediately take care of the problem.

Otherwise, you’ll see white spots on the leaves of your money tree plant. These will eventually turn yellow and spread into patches before they cover entire foliage.

 

How to Fix it

There are many ways to get rid of pests from plants. And if you ask different gardeners, you’ll get different answers on what’s their go to solution.

For me, I like to get rid of them as quickly as possible.

To do so, I just spray them off with a hose.

The stream of water will dislodge the bugs.

While this method is easy and quick, it does have its downsides.

For one, you need to repeat this every few days because it takes 3 or 4 times before you get rid of them all.

However, if you catch the pest problem early, one spraying will be enough if you’re thorough.

The other thing is you need to make sure that the plant does not stay wet after.

Wiping the leaves and letting the soil drain are important. This prevents any fungal development as well as possible waterlogging or overwatering.

If spraying does not get rid of the bugs, it will usually get rid of most of them.

From there I will usually use neem oil or insecticidal soap spray for more stubborn pests.

Often spraying water is enough to remove all the pests though.

 

Leaf Spot Disease

Whenever you see spots on leaves of money tree plants, always consider leaf spot disease.

In fact, this is a good basic guideline to consider when it comes to any plant.

As long as you’re seeing abnormal spots on leaves that are not supposed to be there, always check if there is leaf spot infection.

Note that there are many varieties of leaf spot disease.

And in the case of white spots on money tree leaves, it is the Septoria leaf spot disease that’s most likely.

These white spots may appear as white yellow or light yellow.

And over time, they will turn brown.

Septoria leaf spot is a fungal disease. But there are bacterial leaf spot infections as well. So, do watch out for those in your other plants as well.

The problem here is that while the white spots can start as single specks, they’ll eventually spread.

So, if it is not treated, you may see the spots start covering a small section of the leaf then half of it until it completely covers it.

By then the color will turn to a dully orange or light brown.

 

How to Fix it

If you notice your money tree with white spots that’s caused by Septoria leaf spot, then remove the infected leaves.

This is the quickest way to stop the diseased foliage from spreading the infection.

You’ll also want to apply a copper-based fungicide to stop the pathogens from germinating. Doing this will keep it from spreading.

In most cases, this problem is caused by excess humidity.

As such, too much moisture in the air which will affect the leaves and keep them in a damp environment is the main culprit.

Therefore, check humidity in the room to make sure that it is not too high.

In general, money tree like humidity of 50% and above. But this assumes that there is air circulating.

Remember, the plants grow in the jungle where there is open air.

In contrast, if you keep it in a closed room, there is no ventilation. This causes the excess moisture in the air due to the high humidity to stay stagnant.

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