Jade plant black spots

How to treat a Jade plant with yellow leaves and holes in its leaves?

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Identifying and Treating Jade Plant Diseases

Jade plants are very similar to cacti and are in the succulent family. They originate from China and have attractive and waxy green leaves that have a fleshy texture. This plant can grow to 5 feet in height and live a very long time if kept healthy. Jade plants are easy to care for and require only minimal attention. They do well as indoor plants when placed in a sunny spot. Jade plants hold moisture in their leaves and do not require a great deal of water to survive, once a month is generally sufficient. You can move your Jade plant outdoors during hot weather.

The diseases that affect the jade plant include bacterial soft rot, powdery mildew and black ring disease. These diseases are easy to identify and can be treated or dealt with when they are discovered.

TIP: Our expert gardening advisor, Susan Patterson adds, “Jade plants do best in soil that is coarse and sandy. Be very careful not to overwater. Keep dead leaves picked off of your plant, and re-pot your jade plant when it outgrows its container.”

Bacterial Soft Rot

Bacterial soft rot causes the plant to collapse, which is how you can identify the disease. When this condition starts, it can spread throughout the plant and kill it. The cause of this disease is a bacterium called Erwinia, a bacterial pathogen related to e-Coli and salmonella.
When you discover your jade plant has bacterial soft rot, treat it by removing the affected parts using clean clippers. Dispose of affected plant parts immediately. If you catch it in time, you will be able to prevent the further spread of the bacterial infection and save your plant.

Powdery Mildew

The condition known as powdery mildew appears as scabs on the waxy leaves. It is caused by a fungus known as Sphaerotheca and spreads on the leaves and stems of the plant. Treat mildew naturally by mixing 1 teaspoon of baking soda, 1 quart of water, 3 drops of dish soap and garlic together. Spray the plant and soil liberally.

Black Ring Disease

Black ring disease makes black rings on the underside of the jade plant’s leaves. It is caused by a virus. The disease does not kill the plant but there is no real effective way to treat black ring disease once you detect it.

TIP: Susan cautions you, “Do not take cuttings from jade plants that have black ring disease.”

Routine plant care and maintenance should keep these problems from occurring. When problems are discovered, take immediate action to diagnose and treat the plant.

photo (c) Pinguicula 2006, davesgarden.com/members/pinguicula

Jade Plant Disease

Is your jade plant showing signs that it’s not growing well? Then you need to know some common diseases that affect this plant, so that you can identify and treat them, thereby, keeping your plant healthy. The methods for the same are given in this article.

A plant that can retain high amounts of water in its body and are adapted to arid soil and climatic conditions, jade is indigenous to South Africa and is one of the most popular houseplants grown worldwide. Commonly called the money plant, lucky plant, and friendship tree, jades are evergreen plants and produces small white or pink flowers. The branches are thick, the leaves fleshy and rounded, and they grow in opposite pairs.

Like all other plants, the jade too, is prone to diseases and some of the most common ones affecting it are mealy bugs, black ring disease, powdery mildew, and bacterial soft rot. These diseases are easily identifiable and can be cured if they are detected at an early stage.

Identifying and Treating Jade Plant Diseases

Mealy Bugs

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Appearing like cottony forth, mealy bug disease mostly effects the leaves and stems. The disease is caused by small mealy bugs, which suck the liquid in the leaves and stems, thereby damaging them. If left untreated, these bugs can destroy the plant and the best way of treating them is by rubbing a cotton swab dipped in alcohol over the leaves and stem. Alcohol kills the insect and removes any infestation which appears on the plant.

Black Ring Disease

If you find the underside of the leaves showing black rings, it may be due to black ring disease. Caused by a virus, the plant is not killed if infected by black ring disease. Till date no effective method have been discovered to treat this disease. The only way of preventing its spread is to remove the infected leaves. Moreover, make sure that you don’t plant cuttings with infected leaves so as to prevent its spread.

Powdery Mildew

Powdery mildew is one of the most common disease that affects the jade plant and it can be detected by taking a look at the leaves. If they appear to be scabby and turn gray to dusty white in color, it can be powdery mildew, which is caused due to fungus attack. Over time, there would be distinct powdery, circular white spots and as they expand these spots would grow. Usually it’s late in the growing season that the plant would be infected as the relative humidity and temperature are high, conditions ideal for the growth of the fungus. If the plant is attacked by this disease, the leaves, buds, and fruits would show distorted growth and over time may kill the plant if left untreated. Premature leaf drop is another symptom of powdery mildew and before the leaves fall off they would become yellow in color.

If your plant is effected by powdery mildew, you need to apply a good quality fungicide, that has been specially formulated to treat fungus infection. You can go through labels of the products available in the market and see which product would work best. You can gather and destroy the fallen and diseased leaves, besides trying to reduce the relative humidity around the plants. Some of the fungicides which you can opt to use include products made of potassium bicarbonate, sulfur, lime sulfur, and those which contain neem oil.

Brown Rot

Brown rot is another common disease and it’s mainly due to over watering that the plant gets this disease. Before watering, you need to make sure that the soil has dried enough. As these plants can grow well in arid soil conditions, they are more susceptible to rot, so you just need to water them once a week when they are growing actively. On the other hand, when they are dormant, especially during the winter months, they need to be watered only once a month. There is no cure as such for rot, you can only prevent its spread. Cut the infected area with a sterile knife so that the disease does not effect the healthy tissues.

Use a fungicide to dust off the cut surface and if the infection has reached the roots, you need to cut off the infected roots and re-pot the plant in fresh soil. If the rot has severely damaged the plant, the only option you have is to take a cutting of a healthy portion and plant it in another pot as jade plant propagate by stem and leaf cuttings.

Whatever the jade plant disease may be, you need to take good care of your plant so that it grows well and healthy. Keep the surroundings clean and remove any dead leaves which may have fallen around the plants. If you detect any disease, make sure you take immediate steps to prevent their spread.

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Crassula ovata, commonly known as Jade Plant, is one of the most popular succulent houseplants. There are many varieties from which to choose, each of which has similar cultivation needs. Jade Plant problems that cause black spots range from insects, viruses, fungal disease and even incorrect care. Native to South Africa, Jade Plant has low moisture needs and can become seriously damaged in poorly draining containers and planting media. Sucking insects and various diseases can also take a toll on foliar health and appearance.

It is important to investigate possible causes for black spots on Jade Plant leaves. Proper diagnosis can lead to correction of the issue and the return of your plant’s health.

1. Insects

Insect pests of Jade Plants include mealy bugs, spider mites and aphids. Mealy bugs appear as tiny balls of white cotton. Removal with cotton swabs dipped in alcohol is the recommended treatment. Spider mites are tiny black insects thriving on dusty plants and feeding on the undersides of leaves, causing the Jade Plant to look speckled. Control of spider mites involves wiping Jade Plant leaves with water or alcohol. Aphids are sucking insects that feed in colonies. Color of aphids range from green to yellow, brown or black. Honeydew excreted by aphids provides a growing medium for sooty mold, causing black discoloration on Jade Plant leaves. Wash infected leaves to remove aphids as soon as they are discovered. Insecticidal soaps should not be used on Jade Plants.

Photo via green-patches.blogspot.com

2. Viruses

Black spots on Jade Plant leaves can be caused by viruses. Black ring is a virus that appears as black spots on the undersides of leaves. Tomato-spotted wilt virus, a topsovirus, also creates dark or black spots on leaves of infected plants. Although viruses do not kill Jade Plants, viruses can be systemic, so infected plants should not be used for propagation. Spread by insects, viruses are controlled best through prevention of insect infestation.

3. Fungi

Fungal disease can cause black spots on Jade Plant leaves. Due to their succulent tissues, Jade Plants are less troubled by fungal disease than many other types of plants. However, anthracnose and other fungal diseases can disfigure Jade Plants when humid conditions prevail. Pruning plants with infected tools contributes to the spread of fungal disease. Wipe pruning equipment with alcohol or other disinfectant to prevent spread of disease.

4. Water

Jade Plants require good drainage. Planted in sandy soil in clay pots, Jade Plants need water only when dry. Too much water causes root rot or edema. Root rot results in dropping leaves and death of the plant. Edema, swollen cells resembling blisters, begins on lower, older leaves. Blisters become discolored and turn corky. Often, affected leaves fall off the plant.

Source: sfgate.com


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Black Spots on Jade

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Black spots are generally caused by over-watering, sunburn, or sometimes bugs. The spots won’t go away. Once a succulent leaf is damaged or scarred, the only way to hide the spot is to remove the leaves with spots. If the black spots are dry, it’s most likely caused by sunburn. You can remove the individual leaves, but it’s great that you’ve brought the plants inside. They’ll still need sunlight, but make sure that they’re not getting too exposed.

If the spots are mushy, it’s probably from over-watering. You can remove the leaves with spots on them and then repot the plant in dry soil. Wait until the soil is completely dry before watering again. You should be able to adopt a watering schedule that should help keep it healthy. Watering is something I cover extensively in my course which you can learn more about here.

Further Reading:

  • Help! My Succulent is Dying
  • How to Water Succulent Plants
  • Succulent Sunburn and Too Much Heat

When to water succulents … rules of thumb are made to be broken

It seems simple enough. Put plant in ground. Water plant when it’s thirsty. Watch plant, and your smiles, grow wider and taller. Hooray for plant!

When it comes to when and how much to water, however, what would seem like an elementary exercise inevitably turns out to be more involved. But don’t fret. You got this; we know it! A good place to start is to water thoroughly when the soil is completely dry to the touch, and not just at the surface but down by the roots. This is especially true for a plant during its active growing season (more on that below). When in doubt, procure a water meter.

As a rule of thumb, figure on watering your succulents at least once every two weeks. While that rule is rather pliable, subject to factors we’ll run down in a bit, we can’t stress enough that it’s better to underwater succulents than to overwater them. They will more easily rebound from lack of nourishment than from too much. You will learn a lot about your succulents and what they want simply by observing them and their responses to weather and watering.

  • Firm, plump leaves indicate a happy plant.
  • Squishy, mushy leaves likely mean it has received too much water. Discoloration might even be noticeable, such as black spots on the leaves or stem. In those cases, something may definitely be rotten in the garden.
  • Shriveled, wrinkled leaves tell you it’s time to fill up the watering can. However, if it’s only the very bottom (oldest) leaves that are thin and shriveled, and the rest look good, then that is completely, totally normal. In the case of a dehydrated aloe, the leaves will fold, or curve, up. The rosettes of drought-stressed echeverias may be appear closed up.
  • A caveat related to dormancy: Succulents, some more than others, anticipate a resting period of little to no growth, thus little water and zero plant food required from you. For example, aeoniums and dudleyas are especially known for snoozing during summer. Hence, they may appear rather tired, but that doesn’t mean you should water them like crazy to wake them up. Let them chill during dormancy, with very occasional waterings. Other winter growers/summer resters include aloes, crassulas, cotyledons, gasterias, graptopetalums, kalanchoes, haworthias, portulacarias, and sedums. Summer growers/winter resters include agaves, echeverias, euphorbias, lithops, and sempervivums.
  • Whereas succulents rotting from too much H2O may not be salvageable, parched plants should perk back up after one or two good drinks.

Sometimes, though, your succulent could be thirsty not because it hasn’t received any water in ages but because it’s poorly rooted or has lost its roots to rot, preventing water from getting to the leaves. If that happens to you, you’re going to need to cut the rotted section off and go about trying to re-establish new roots.

Now back to that rule of thumb, because a friend or neighbor or online acquaintance will inevitably swear by a different schedule. The frequency of watering (or infrequency, as it were) is awash in considerations other than active growth/rest periods, such as:

  • in the ground or container
  • pot size
  • soil mix
  • exposure
  • temperature
  • humidity
  • recent rain
  • airflow
  • slope or flat grade, or something in between
  • organic mulch or inorganic mulch, or no mulch at all
  • proximity to hardscape or inorganic elements such as boulders or water fountains.

Not to mention the plant varieties themselves. Like us humans, they don’t share a uniform metabolism rate. Their native habitats don’t all receive the same amount of precipitation or experience an equivalent temperature range.

Indoor plants, insulated from the withering effects of excessive direct sun, can go longer between waterings than their outdoor counterparts. All other things being equal, the same holds for plants in the ground versus those in containers. The former, their roots being underground and better insulated from heat, require less frequent waterings than plants in pots. Indoor plants, especially those that are established, will be fine with dry soil for several days. You might even say many days. Again, get a good look at the leaves. If they are taut to the touch, you can wait another day.

This whole watering thing may now seem to resemble something complicated rather than simple. Like springing open a can of worms, and we’d rather those worms stay under the soil. As noted earlier, becoming a skilled plant steward starts with becoming a good observer. With experience, you’ll be able to confidently incorporate all those various factors into a successful plant care plan, with nary a bead of sweat. Or buy a water meter. If after doing so, your plants appear overwatered, adjust the period between soakings.

Below, watch our CAN DO! Plant Parenting video on watering.

Jade Plant w/ Loosing and Lightening Leaves

WOW!! Georgeous photos!
Both of my jades are definitely minileafs (they appear to be from your photos anyway). I love the red tint on that first photo specimen, but didn’t see that tint in the photo of your plant from last year. I assume that is just due to angle, light from flash, etc.?? My plant at work seems to be a very healthy green with a very dark, very think red outline around the leaves.
Now that I think of it . . . my plant at work gets almost NO sunlight! At least not REAL light! My cubicle is under a sky light (hole in roof with clear plastic / glass cover sort of thing), but it is so high up (over 2 stories) and so incredibly filthy that you really can’t even sense any additional light to the artificial lights in the rest of the building. You can’t even tell that you are under a skylight when you look straight up into the window . . . too much tinting and too much dirt! Besides, the plant is way under my overhead cabinets, so it can’t possibly be benefitting from the skylight. So . . . those little plain jane flourescent lighting strips under my overhead cabinets (supplied to every cubicle by company) must be enough light to keep it going because I have had it for a few days short of a year now and it is still going very strong!
It seems that yours is doing well by the windows. I am in a walk-out basement so I only have windows facing one way, but they are pretty much the whole side of the apartment, ceiling to about 3 ft. off the ground with just pillars between them. Even the door is ceiling to just off the floor glass. (This is a real selling point as the view is magnificent–looking into wooded ravine with Lake Michigan just to left of straight on view — I walk the beach a lot since I moved here!). There is a large overhang above the windows, so I get plenty of light, but not too much direct light to burn plants. It seems to work out great for most of my plants so far.
With all the light in this apartment, plus all off-white walls throughout, plus all floodlights in dropped ceiling), I can not believe that we are talking about a light problem here! Unless, perhaps, we are talking about too much light. However, there is no ‘heat’ coming from the lighting (too far away), so I really do not think that is the problem! Yeah! Eliminated one concern. Unless . . . it is too much lighting? I am not sure I believe that there is any such thing!
Hmmm. That still leaves me stumped about the real problem here. I will definitely try much less water!! I bought the plant from a very small, one-man store and went back to him and he swears he sets the plants in troughs of water about 1 inch thick for about 10 minutes 1 – 2x per week (depending on dryness). However, this plant is NOT HAPPY! So . . . I will definitely try a lot less water! I am concerned that the leaves are so mushy and not firm. They do not seem to be holding much water, so I don’t know whether that indicated too much water or not enough. Probably too much . . . if it sensed a need for water it would probably store more in the leaves.
Hey, the more I type the more I seem to be figuring out!
I did leave the plant in the original planter that it was sold to me in . . . trying to minimize the shock of bringing it to a new place. As it is a bonsai and as the owner of this shop keeps very few plants and fusses over them all the time, I do not think a new planter is needed. The current planter is beautiful! The shop keeper said this tree is about 12 years old, relatively young for a bonsai.
I may try turning the fountain off at night and see if that helps. I have the grow lights (not fancy — just those bulbs from Lowe’s in a regular lamp, not even sure how much good they really do!) for my hydroponics system (located elsewhere in the apartment) on a little timer from Lowe’s. Works great to regulate the light since I am so bad with such a sporatic schedule. I think I will set the fountain up with the same system and see what happens (timers are only about $9.00 at Lowe’s by the way . . . I love them for my plant lights, etc.)
Well, if anyone has any additional thoughts about the leaves turning such a light color, or any of the other symptoms or thoughts I have mentioned, please let me know! In the meantime, I will set the fountain up on a timer for about 16 hours per day . . . same as my hydroponics. Wish I could get a tiny grow light to replace the tiny bulb in that fixture!
Thanks for everything!

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