11 Common Issue with Chinese Money Plants

6 Min Read

Money tree plant issues that are most frequently encountered include lanky growth, weakening stems, and yellowing or browning foliage.

But there are frequently extremely simple fixes to restore the health of your cherished plant, as well as quite clear reasons for these problems! For detailed instructions on resolving typical Money Tree issues, read this article.

1. Yellowing Leaves

Yellowing leaves are also often linked to moisture-related issues. If several of your plant’s leaves suddenly turn yellow and become limp, it’s likely been overwatered. If the majority of the leaves on the plant have turned yellow from severe root rot, you should usually repot it immediately if you want to keep it alive.

The severity and pattern of your plant’s yellowing leaves may also be a sign of a nutrient deficit. For example, plants that are low in nitrogen frequently lose all of their oldest leaves, but those that are poor in iron lose some of their yellow hue. Without a refresh, degraded soil is unable to retain water or fertilizer nutrients, rendering any attempts to address the issue pointless.

2. Brown Patches

Yellowing is not the only discoloration you may experience. Brown leaves are also common; they can occur for a number of reasons and in a variety of patterns. One type of brown spot you may often come across is patchy, which is typically the result of an illumination issue.

They receive dappled light, which is the same as intense indirect light indoors, for most of the day. They do not do well in direct sunlight, and continuous exposure to intense light may harm them.

Brown patches on your Chinese money plant’s leaves could perhaps be caused by pests. Mealybugs and other sap-sucking pests harm foliage. When they die off, the dots they leave on the leaves turn brown instead of yellow.

Compared to the spots produced by exposure to direct sunlight, these spots will be much smaller. Get rid of as many as you can from the plant. Next, to stop any more spots from appearing, use horticultural oil or a natural insecticidal soap.

3. White Spots

The white dots on the leaves continue the broad range of colour changes you could encounter. Since the symptoms of this plant differ slightly from those of other houseplants you may have at home, this is a frequently asked subject. Fortunately, there’s usually no need to worry about this issue.

The tiny white patches that show up on the undersides of the leaves of Chinese money plants are actually mineral deposits. They emerge while the plant goes through its normal growth stages. It’s critical to respond quickly when white patches start to seem puffy.

This indicates the presence of mealybugs, which are tiny pests that secrete this powdery white material to defend them while feasting on leaves or laying eggs.

If any bugs are visible, spray them off, and remove the remaining ones with rubbing alcohol. Put your plant in quarantine while you deal with the infection to prevent it from spreading to the rest of your houseplant collection.

4. Lack of New Growth

All of us want our Chinese money plants to reach their full potential—that is, to constantly develop and produce new leaves. Maybe your dream is to have one of those enormous piles that take years to develop and maintain. If you want your pilea to develop strongly and continuously, make sure it is in the best possible position with bright indirect light.

When they have occupied all of the space in their containers, they may also cease to grow. The plant will not grow above the soil if the roots run out of room to spread out. Growth should resume normally once you repot the plant into a slightly larger container using fresh potting soil.

The plant may be suffering from a nutrient deficit if it has remained in the same container without new soil or fertilizer for an extended period of time. Without the nutrients it needs to maintain the health of its cells and promote growth, your pilea will eventually stop growing completely.

5. Leaf Drop

Leaf drop is one of the most worrying problems in Pileas and is a typical occurrence. It is possible to correct and remove discoloration on individual leaves, but it is impossible to regrow a leaf that has fallen off the plant entirely.

This issue is overwatering, as are most of the issues on this list. Pileas enjoy moisture, but if they are kept in soggy or wet soil, they can develop root rot. Lack of drainage in the soil or pot can also prevent oxygen from reaching the roots, leading to the same issue even if you don’t water too frequently.

These houseplants require proper drainage, which cannot be avoided. For your soil mix to prevent water logging, it must also be loose and well-draining.

As part of the plant’s natural lifespan, older leaves will eventually wilt and fall off. Usually, they are the leaves that are lower on the stalk. If only one or two leaves have fallen at a time, attribute it to ageing.

6. Curling Leaves

Chinese money plants are also known as pancake plants, so named because of their flat, round leaves. However, the leaves on your plant may not always be flat and spherical. There are several reasons why leaves curl, and the direction and shape of the leaves may indicate the source.

Don’t water the soil if the top layer is still damp. Only reapply water until the upper several inches have completely dried out. Make sure there is enough airflow in the soil and pot to prevent root rot.

Finally, curling can be impacted by age. As they mature, new leaves might frequently appear somewhat coiled. You don’t need to worry if the curling is limited to recently emerged leaves.

7. Black Patches

Crispy, light brown specks usually indicate a problem with the lighting. However, because of their extremely dark brown tone, patches may still appear that are almost black. Here again, the trouble lies in overwatering.

Before the roots become mushy and lose their capacity to absorb moisture, an abundance of moisture in the soil can cause leaf rot and browning. Droplets that become stuck in the foliage and don’t release their energy may cause a similar problem.

Water the soil only, and try to stay as far away from the leaves as you can when you do so. This is particularly crucial in places with low light levels since water evaporates more slowly there. Should any drips fall onto the leaves, just shake them off or pat them dry before putting them back where they belonged.

8. Stretching

When you initially buy a Pilea peperomioides, it will probably be compact, spherical, and short, with big leaves on top that give it a velvety yet sturdy appearance. It might not last long this way, though. When the right circumstances aren’t met, pileass tends to expand out of their core trunk and appear smaller.

Insufficient sunlight can cause plants to have lanky stems. In an attempt to improve conditions, your Pilea will start reaching towards the closest light source when it doesn’t get enough sunlight for survival.

The plant won’t have its usual structure, which will cause it to wilt and develop slowly in an attempt to survive. All you have to do is put the stem back into a fresh pot with clean soil, keep the soil moist, and watch for new roots to grow.

9. Mushy Stem

Even soft Chinese money should never have a mushy core. This green growth, which also gives all the leaves that need nourishment and water, is what gives the plant its upright shape. It eventually dies from a lack of ability to perform any of these functions when it becomes mushy.

The fact that too much water is the cause of the problem is not surprising, considering how often this problem has occurred.

A section of the stem that is not exposed to water will begin to rot if the soil retains moisture for an extended period of time. The fungi that cause root rot are also responsible for the mushy sensation and can go up the plant to the stem.

10. Drooping Leaves

Your Chinese money plant may appear a little gloomy compared to pictures of erect, flourishing plants that you’ve seen all over social media. However, certain plants naturally droop due to the weight of their larger leaves, particularly those lower down. In these cases, a drooping pilea may not always indicate a problem.

If the petioles receive excessive amounts of water, they will become mushy and unable to support the leaves. The cells become too dry and unable to maintain their structure when there is insufficient water in them. To find out which is more likely, test the soil with your finger. Then, make the necessary adjustments.

Low light levels might exacerbate moisture problems and cause more drooping. Even if you water your plants appropriately, root rot might result from the reduced light levels in these places since there is insufficient evaporation. To make things better, move the plant to a brighter location and water it more slowly.

11. No Offsets

The last issue is not the most serious, but it does become a problem if you wish to multiply your plant. The absence of offsets is the issue at hand. Pileas produces offsets when the correct circumstances are met. They cannot be under any kind of stress or struggle in order for offsets to happen. Therefore, their absence suggests that something is off with the environment around your plant.

Even though it’s not a major problem, you might want to deal with the cause now, before it gets worse. A healthy pilea should yield offsets all summer long, during the growing season. You will be able to grow more of them for free as a result.


Now that you know the most common issues your Chinese money plant may encounter, it’s imperative that you act swiftly to resolve them.

These low-maintenance houseplants nevertheless need regular care to be robust and trouble-free, even though they aren’t regularly attacked by pests or diseases. With timely diagnosis and care, your Pilea’s health will soon be restored!

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