jade plants looking poor - Knowledgebase Question

Chicago, Il
Question by artifact_guy
August 27, 2010
i own two jade plants; one is a 'trumpet' one is a regular. I have owned them 17 years and they are slow growth. I put them outside (live in Chicago) during late spring and summer. This year for the 1st time, both plants are alive, but leaves shriveled and limbs jelly like, not firm. They get plenty of sun, water infrequently, fertilized regularly, no rot or insect infestation noticeable. thanks


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Answer from NGA
August 27, 2010

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I can't tell from your description whether your jade plants have developed oedema or a bacterial soft rot. Oedema occurs when humidity is high and the soil is saturated. Plants take up more water than they can use and it is forced out through natural openings in the stems and leaves. 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. If your jade plant has bacterial soft rot you can treat it by removing the affected plants. If you catch it in time, you will be able to prevent the further spread of the bacterial infection and save your jade plant.

Since I can't examine the plants to make a positive diagnosis you might want to take one of them to your local cooperative extension office for help. There are two offices in Chicago: Cooperative Extension Service, 10244 South Vincennes Avenue, Chicago - (773) 233-2900 and 3807 West 111th Street, Chicago - (773) 233-0476. Helpful folks can diagnose the problem and suggest remedies. Good luck with your jade plants.

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