why is my money plant leggy

Why is My Money Plant Leggy

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Every plant enthusiast loves having a money plant in their homes. Also known as Pilea plants, these plants not only add to the beauty of a house but also filter the air to keep it pollutant-free. Many people love having these tiny green buddies around as they symbolize prosperity, positivity, and good luck.

But what if your beloved Pilea peperomioides plant suddenly starts looking less cute and healthy than when you bought it? If you notice how it is growing unusually taller and leaner, it might indicate that something’s wrong.

fix a leggy pilea plantSo how do you discover what’s causing this distress, and how do you make your money plant bushy again? In most cases, a healthy Pilea plant becomes stretched out and leggy because of inadequate exposure to bright, indirect light.

Fortunately, the situation is fixable, and all it needs is a relocation to someplace where it gets more light. But in other cases, your plant may require much more care than a simple relocation.

Keep reading the article to find out why your money plant is not thriving as it should be and what you can do to fix it.

How To Tell If Your Money Plant is Leggy

Before you can think of something to help out your leggy pilea, it is important to recognize the situation in time. Keep a look out for the following signs that may prompt immediate action:

Your money plant has long, thin stems due and no access to direct sunlight.

If the stems of your mature Pilea plant have grown thinner and longer than usual, chances are it is becoming leggy. The reason is that the plant is stretching in an attempt to get more sunlight.

why is my money plant leggy

The lean, thin branches turn weak and can easily break.

Your money plant has fewer leaves.

Do you feel your Pilea plant has few leaves than it usually does? This is probably because the plant is using all its energy to grow longer stems instead of producing new leaves: another sign that it’s slowly becoming leggy.

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The leaves are smaller than usual.

Another sign of a leggy plant is that it has yellow leaves or they are much smaller than usual. This difference in size is due to a lack of enough nutrients. A money plant that’s struggling to get the nutrients it needs may not survive for much longer; hence, you need to act fast.

Your Pilea plant looks generally unhealthy.

Do you feel like your beloved money plant has a weak and wobbly stem? Have its leaves turned yellow and pale? It might be because the plant is leggy and possibly struggling to survive with the bare minimum of nutrients and sunlight.

Noticing one or more of the signs mentioned above is enough to give you an idea about the health of your Pilea plant. Now that you have confirmed that your money plant is becoming leggy, what can you do to prevent it?

Why is my Money Plant Growing Tall and Leggy?

Now that you have noticed the signs of your Pilea plant getting leggy, the next step is to find out what’s causing this condition.

how to fix a leggy pilea plant

While money plants are generally easy to keep and maintain, the following are some factors that may make them leggier and longer:

Not Enough Light or too much bright indirect light

The money tree loves bright light, but only if it reaches it indirectly. For this plant to be healthy, it needs to spend six to eight hours in indirect light throughout the day. But if it is not getting enough light, it may respond by growing longer than usual.

The stems of such plants become weaker, and most of the leaves slowly shed away, leaving only a handful behind.

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Temperature Fluctuations

Money tree thrives in warm temperatures with maximum growth. The ideal temperature for these plants is between 60-85°F. A sudden change in its temperature can shock the money tree, and it may respond to this sudden stress wave by growing longer and leggier.

Lack of Pruning

Pruning is healthy for any plant out there, and the same holds true when it comes to money plants. Regular pruning not only keeps it in shape but also encourages new growth. On the other hand, ignoring the plant’s needs and letting it grow without adequate pruning can quickly make it leggy and tall.

Why? Because a lack of pruning reduces the plant’s growth hormone production. With the lack of this hormone, the money plant experiences stunted growth with fewer leaves and a weaker stem.

Improper fertilization

The money plant needs the energy to maintain its health and prompt new growth, and most of this energy comes from fertilization. A plant that is not fertilized enough will automatically have low energy and nutrient levels to grow normally.

sprouting money plant

While money plants are perfectly capable of getting all the required nutrition from the soil in their native lands, houseplants need to be fertilized after a certain time so that this flow of nutrients can be maintained.

If you do not fertilize the money plant for some reason, it is bound to become leggy and weak after some time.

Root-Bound Plant

A small pot can also be one of the reasons why your money plant might be becoming leggy and tall.

When the money plant becomes too big for its pot, it gets root-bound, meaning it has outgrown its current pot, and its roots are not coming out from the bottom through the draining holes.

root bounded peace lilyHow do you make a Leggy Plant Bushy?

To fix a leggy, tall money plant, you first need bright indirect light. Try relocating its pot closer to the window, preferably the one in the southeast direct, as it plays a good role in healing your plant.

leggy money plant

As you attempt to fix your leggy money plant and make it bushier, keep the following things in mind:

1- Never put a leggy money plant in bright direct sunlight in hopes that it will recover soon. This is not how healing works and direct sunlight is only going to discolor the plant.

Instead, put it somewhere where there’s plenty of indirect sunlight, as it’s enough for the plant’s steady growth.

2- Change the direction of the position of the money plant towards light every third day. Make sure you do it gradually, as, like many other houseplants, your money plant does not like unexpected environmental shifts.

leggy money plant in pot

3- Keep in mind that your Pilea plant will need some time to recover, even when you have relocated it. Keep checking it periodically to make sure that it’s healing.

If you have a suspicion that it’s getting leggier by the day despite the relocation, consider topping it.

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How do You Make a Bushy Money Plant? Tips for Healthy Growth

The good news is that money plants thrive well, even with little care. However, you need to keep a few things in mind for the future so that they keep growing healthily without becoming leggy ever again.

pilea plant

These tips are mentioned below:

1- Remember to shift the position of your Pilea plant by ninety degrees every fourth day.

2- Do not water too often. Do it only when it gets dry while maintaining a neutral to medium watering level.

Use a watering can to water the pilea plant and once you are done, touch the soil by pressing a finger on it. If the soil sticks, it is wet enough.

3- Money plants grow perfectly well in the spring and summer seasons and require less maintenance; however, in winter, you need to pay more attention to their health and growth.

4- During winter, your money plant may need to be moved more often to make sure that it keeps getting enough bright indirect sunlight.

5- Root your money plant in well-draining soil, and never let the soil get waterlogged.

hand holding soil

6- Keep removing dead leaves and water regularly from the pot.

7- Make sure that your money plant is growing at the right temperature. These plants are naturally acclimatized to warmer temperatures, and too much cold or heat can stress them out pretty quickly.

Their leaves tend to limp, shrivel, or get burned when the temperature is not suiting them. Try your best to maintain a temperature of 65-85 degrees Fahrenheit at your home to help them thrive.

8- A little fertilizer can never hurt, so try fertilizing your money plant every month in spring and summer, as it’s when they are blooming. You may skip this step during winter.

9- Consider repotting your money plant every year, preferably in the spring or summer seasons, to prevent it from getting leggy.

10- Keep pruning your plant from time to time to make it grow better and become bushier.

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Final Thoughts

The best way to prevent your precious money plant is by keeping it healthy. A healthy money plant is likely to produce more energy and use it to grow stronger roots and stems and more green leaves.

money plant on wall

But for some reason, if your money plant has already gotten leggier, do not worry. Fixing it is as easy as adjusting its sunlight requirements, fertilizing it in time, pruning it regularly, and repotting it at least once a year.

With a little care and attention, you will have a healthy and thriving money plant in no time.


How much time will it take to fix a leggy money plant?

Regardless of the reason why your money plant became leggy, keep in mind that the problem can never be fixed overnight. As with all things, new growth takes its due time.

Once your money plant has regained enough strength to grow again, you will begin noticing how it is regaining its full shape and getting better. It is also important to remember that money plants tend to grow and recover faster in their growing seasons.

Most money plants are in the growing season from the beginning of spring to early fall. If your plant has fallen ill or become leggier in late fall or winter, it may take considerably more time to grow back than it would during summer or spring.

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How do you make a leggy plant bushy in an easy way?

An easy way to fix your leggy money plant is through the topping. For this purpose, cut the stem of your money plant using a sharp and neat knife and separate the top and bottom parts.

The bottom part of the money plant will soon start showing new growth and turn into a fresh plant with flawless leaves and shape. As for the top part, it is also possible to retrieve it. Just put it in a plastic bottle, fill it with water, and keep it there for a few days.

The plant will start having roots soon, so keep checking on it frequently. When you feel like it has grown a good number of roots, replant it in another pot, and your money plant will rise.

Following this tip, you can have two healthy money plants from one leggy one. Make sure you put both plants in indirect light for sustained growth.

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