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Money Tree (Pachira Aquatica) Assistance

Question:

We purchased a 10″ braided money for my office, when I noticed bugs in the soil (gnat like) I tried to dry it out for a week. Seemed to have worked. Then I watered once per week with a 1/4 cup of water. I have an interior office, but move the plant to indirect window office over the weekends.

I get new growth, but it curls and some die, some leaves are brown and now more seem eaten. When I watered today I saw a re-emergence of gnats.

What should I do. Replant with new soil? Dry it out for two weeks? Purchase some spray? The plant was purchased at IKEA.

Answer:

I cannot see much of the pot and that is important. I am guessing that the pot may not have drain holes and that is a recipe for watering problems. Any excess water tends to collect in th bottom of the pot and eventually cause root rot and fungus gnats.

Option 1 is to return the plant to Ikea for a refund.

Otherwise, remove the stones and any loose soil from the top not in direct contact with the roots. Then, allow the top inch of soil to dry before providing just enough water to reach that level of dryness again in about a week. This should help control the gnat problem.

The leaf discoloration could be caused by improper watering or inadequate light. Your Pachira requires bright overhead fluorescent light 8 hours each work day or should get bright indirect sunlight each day.