Ask a Question forum: Jade Plant Root Rot?!?

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mmgsport
Jun 30, 2014 6:16 AM CST
Hello everyone and thank you in advance for your help. I have owned my jeep plan for almost 9 years without any issue. Every year around this time I take the plant outside for some more direct sunlight and a little fresh air. About one month ago when I took my plant outside it appeared to start losing entire branches. They would just fall off out of nowhere. Upon closer inspection a lot of these branches were soggy wet moist and Mushy. Upon further investigation I have come to the conclusion that this is root rot.

I read that root rot must be cut away and repotted in new soil with better drainage. Upon removing the plant from the old pot I was also told to let the entire route base dry out after cutting off old infected areas. From my understanding this is all caused by drainage issues. So I have read to use a soilless mixture. The only thing I found at my local Home Depot was just a cactus palm and citrus potting mix which is a fast training formula. I don't know if I have to go to something more gritty like a stone or gravel.

Either way, I just wanted to show you guys what I am working with over here so I had taken a lot of photos. Just a quick point of reference I want to say that I have had this jade plant in this pot for about three years and it really has not taken over the pot at all. The route base has seem to have grown extremely slow. Last quick note I want to say that upon soil transfer I noticed a pretty large bug with large silver wings or a large silver back with multiple fee. I took a photo of this also for your review. I was told to let the plant sit out for a day or two to let the route base dry up a little bit to help solve this route rock problem. Please let me know your thoughts.
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Name: Ken Ramsey
Starkville, MS (Zone 8a)
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]
Orchids Greenhouse Vegetable Grower Ferns Region: United States of America Hummingbirder
Composter Bromeliad Master Gardener: Mississippi Cat Lover Tropicals Plumerias
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drdawg
Jun 30, 2014 6:46 AM CST
Rot is your problem and water-retention is the cause.

Use your fingers to explore the stems of your plant. Forget the roots. If the stem is soft and mushy (healthy Jade stems will be really firm) follow that stem until you come to a firm area. Cut off at that firm part. Examine the cut end. Is it black or whitish? If black, cut off a bit more. You want to have the cut stem with no trace of rot (the black coloration). Continue to do that with each and every stem. You might end up with absolutely no rooted stems at all. The good thing is that Jade will readily root from these HEALTHY cut stems.

Any well-draining mix is fine, and that cactus mix will do well. When rooting the stems, first dip them in rooting hormone (whatever you can find in your big-box store), and then let them dry for a few days to a week to callus. Then, if you want just a single, multi-stems plant, put them in a single pot with your cactus mix, burying the stems approximately 1-2" deep. You might have to loosely bind then together and put a couple of stakes adjacent to them for support. Water the mix well and keep your pot in a shaded area. You don't want the mix to get a lot of water (only lightly water when the mix looks dry), so keep the pot in a protected area away from rain or a sprinkler system. If you want multiple plants, just use a stem or two in each pot. The pot size depends on the number/size of the stems. You don't want a too-large pot. If the stems are perhaps 6" in diameter (all added together), use an 8" pot. Any pot will do so long as it has plenty of drainage holes, but unglazed clay is probably the best. Clay is heavy enough to resist tipping over as the plants grow and is breathable. Be sure your pot(s) does not sit in water, like using a saucer under the pot and not emptying it.

You will know when/if your plants are rooting by new growth on your stems.

Good luck.
drdawg (Ken Ramsey) - Tropical Plants & More
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]www.tropicalplantsandmore.com[/url]
If God wanted me to touch my toes, he would have put them on my knees.
[Last edited by drdawg - Jun 30, 2014 8:51 AM (+)]
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Name: Lin
Florida (Zone 9b)
Region: United States of America Morning Glories Region: Florida Houseplants Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
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plantladylin
Jun 30, 2014 8:05 AM CST
Hi mmgsport: Welcome to All Things Plants!

I agree with Ken, it looks like too much moisture is the issue. Jade Plant (Crassula ovata) like most cactus/succulents prefer a very well draining potting medium. The container (to my eyes) looks too large for the plant and the soil looks saturated; does that pot have drainage holes in the bottom? As Ken stated, you will need to remove all soft, mushy stems or the rot will continue upward until the entire plant is lost. I think the Cactus, Palm potting mixture is okay but I'd still add more grit to help with drainage. Perlite or Orchid Bark Mix (which contains perlite, bark and charcoal) can be purchased at Wal-Mart, Home Depot etc. and mixed with the potting soil which will make for a faster draining potting medium.

I can't really tell what the insect is that you found in the soil, but it looks like a moth to me and I doubt it has anything to do with the plants issues.

~ Eat, Sleep .... Play in the dirt ~

mmgsport
Jun 30, 2014 6:55 PM CST
Hey Guys/Girls.....

So Thanks for the input. I left the entire plant on its side all day to dry out a bit (just like in the photo above). I bought the cactus, palm soil as well as a bag of perlite and a much smaller clay pot. I have to say that I was astonished with the small amount of space the root cluster was taking up, I thought for sure that a larger bot would give the roots more place to go thus making the plant grow larger.

After I came home I used a large portion of perlite mixed with the soil, I'd say 70% cactus/palm soil and 30% perlite mixed in with a pretty good layer down at the bottom. I then cut a few branches here and there and covered the cuts in cinnamon because they were totally weighing down the plant and with all dry soil it was tipping over. I have dipped them in the root hormone and waiting for them to be ready.

My goal here is to have very hearty stalks, not stringy branches. I suppose I just don;t want to lose my plant at this point!!!
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[Last edited by mmgsport - Jun 30, 2014 7:14 PM (+)]
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Name: Ken Ramsey
Starkville, MS (Zone 8a)
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]
Orchids Greenhouse Vegetable Grower Ferns Region: United States of America Hummingbirder
Composter Bromeliad Master Gardener: Mississippi Cat Lover Tropicals Plumerias
Image
drdawg
Jul 1, 2014 7:03 AM CST
It sounds like you are on the right track. You have done everything right as far as I can tell and your stems (at least most of them) should root.
drdawg (Ken Ramsey) - Tropical Plants & More
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]www.tropicalplantsandmore.com[/url]
If God wanted me to touch my toes, he would have put them on my knees.

mmgsport
Jul 1, 2014 8:54 AM CST
Drdawg - just an FYI everything in the photo is original and still rooted - clippings are hanging inside in powder.

I so badly want to prune those large "hangers" but don't wanna put the plant though any more stress
Name: Ken Ramsey
Starkville, MS (Zone 8a)
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]
Orchids Greenhouse Vegetable Grower Ferns Region: United States of America Hummingbirder
Composter Bromeliad Master Gardener: Mississippi Cat Lover Tropicals Plumerias
Image
drdawg
Jul 1, 2014 10:05 AM CST
Are all/most/some/none of these stems shown in the clay pot rooted?
drdawg (Ken Ramsey) - Tropical Plants & More
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]www.tropicalplantsandmore.com[/url]
If God wanted me to touch my toes, he would have put them on my knees.

mmgsport
Jul 1, 2014 10:06 AM CST
drdawg said:Are all/most/some/none of these stems shown in the clay pot rooted?


All of the stands in the clay pot are rooted and from the original plant and original root system. None of them are new cuttings.
Name: Ken Ramsey
Starkville, MS (Zone 8a)
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]
Orchids Greenhouse Vegetable Grower Ferns Region: United States of America Hummingbirder
Composter Bromeliad Master Gardener: Mississippi Cat Lover Tropicals Plumerias
Image
drdawg
Jul 1, 2014 10:14 AM CST
OK, then it is no problem to trim the stems. Just make a clean cut adjacent to the main stem (trunk) to eliminate those "hangers". Dust the cut area with cinnamon. You can root those cuttings, but stake them to keep them upright. If you stake your plant, and it may take several stakes, your plants will growing straighter. Because the leaves are so plump and heavy, Jade needs staking. Don't overwater (infrequently is much better than regularly) and only fertilize in the spring and then again in mid-summer (1/2 strength 20-20-20 orchid fertilizer is what I use).
drdawg (Ken Ramsey) - Tropical Plants & More
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]www.tropicalplantsandmore.com[/url]
If God wanted me to touch my toes, he would have put them on my knees.

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