The Q&A Archives: White Fuzz On Jade Plant

Question: I think my Jade plant has mealy bugs. It has a white fuzz on the leaves. The leaves have been falling off and the branches seem weak. I have been spraying with a bug spray but don't see any difference. What is the best way of saving my Jade Plant.

Answer: Your plant may be infested with mealy bugs (these will hop if you try to catch them; tag them with a cotton swab dipped in rubbing alcohol to eliminate the problem) or it may be suffering from a fungus or poor cultural conditions. These plants are also sensitive to some sprays, so always be sure anything you use on it is labeled specifically for use on jade plants. First off, these plants will tolerate low light but really do best in very bright light. Low light can cause it to grow weak and spindly as you described. Next, it should be grown in a well drained potting mix, keeping it on the dry side -- overwatering can cause root rot and a multitude of problems including leaf drop. Do not overfertilize as this can cause weak growth as well. Finally, this plant does well in cool to average household temperatures, so make sure it is not overheated or in a warm draft from, say, a heat vent. I would gently wipe away the white fuzz with a clean cloth and remove any fallen leaves. Place the plant in a bright light in a location with good air circulation. Allow it to dry out between waterings, and do not fertilize until it comes into active growth in the spring. I hope this helps!

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