Ask a Question forum: Issues with jade plant...

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jrat
Jan 24, 2016 5:32 PM CST
Oh boy, where do I start. I've had this plant for years - it started as a clipping off my great grandmother's jade plant. It has been having issues for over a year now and I'm really struggling to bring it back. It used to be very full but over a year ago it started having issues.

First, branches started to get mushy and fall...then VERY large branches started to die off. Eventually, I started to notice teeny tiny white bugs on the top of the soil. I must have been overwatering and I think it resulted in some issues with the roots (possibly root rot?). I repotted the plant, got rid of as much of the original soil as possible and put it in a much smaller pot (cactus/succulent soil). The branches firmed up eventually and I stopped losing branches. I'm also watering it very infrequently now..and much smaller amounts of water...trying to dry the roots out. The base of the plant is still firm...nothing right now feels mushy.

It's not bouncing back though. I get new growth but it's slow and very small. Currently, the tree is VERY thin and now there's mold/mildew on the leaves. I'm trying to figure out if I treat the mildew with a fungicide or do something more drastic like cutting it down or taking the roots off completely and re-rooting it?

Any advice!?


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Name: Daisy
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
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DaisyI
Jan 24, 2016 9:22 PM CST
Its no longer a root problem. But for future reference, you could completely bareroot it and all would be fine. Succulents are not instant reactors - if something goes wrong, they will let you know in about 3 months. Sort of like turtles (Oops, different subject).

All that you did was perfect: new 'cactus and succulent' soil, new (smaller) pot. Crassula (the Jade plant genus) are famous for developing sooty mold. That's what you have now.

Move your Jade to a SUNNY spot (the small spindly growth is due to lack of sunshine) , wash the mold off and make sure there is good air circulation around the plant. Put it in front of a fan if you need too.

Give it a haircut. You can cut it back as much as you want. But look at it; study it.... and decide where you are taking this plant (or where it's taking you). If it were mine, I would cut every branch back to just 2 or 3 branchlets. I like the openess of your plant but if you want it to be bushy, don't be afraid to prune back further. It will re-branch. It may take a year. Patience. Remember the turtle.

Feel the leaves. When they are soft, water. Drench. Then leave it be until the leaves are soft again. Don't ever let it sit in water.

Daisy

Name: Gigi
Florida (Zone 9a)
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GigiPlumeria
Jan 24, 2016 10:38 PM CST
I have a few of these, but mine are growing in puts outside. I like the look of yours.

If I'm not mistaken @Tarev has a bonsai looking jade. Tarev, not too familiar with growing this indoor, everytime I bring in mine and the variegated one, the leaves starts falling off so I just keep mine outdoors.
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Name: tarev
San Joaquin County, CA (Zone 9b)
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tarev
Jan 25, 2016 2:36 PM CST
Hello jrat!

Daisy gave good recommendations. I would do the same if it were mine. I don't grow mine indoors though, it has always been outdoors. A nice haircut will do wonders for it, and just put a dab of cinnamon on the cut off parts to help dry out and heal.

The only different thing I do is never drench the leaves, I just remove the leaves that are ugly. It will eventually grow it back. Give it time. Growing mine outdoors, I can allow it be rained on, since there is constant air movement so the plant dries out faster too. Indoors it will just invite more rotting if you drench the plant.

I do not know where your location is, so if it is really too cold outside like below 40F and lower, position it indoors to the sunniest side of the room. Water sparingly. Plant should bounce back slowly. Oftentimes, the plant will also slowly drop the older, lower leaves, which is a normal phase and as it adjusts its needs to what it can only sustain. As long as new leaves are sprouting at the center of the rosettes, plant will endure. When your temps/weather is much better, consider slowly bringing it outdoors. It thrives much better outdoors.
[Last edited by tarev - Jan 25, 2016 4:35 PM (+)]
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Name: Daisy
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
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DaisyI
Jan 25, 2016 2:54 PM CST
Washing the leaves won't harm it. Sooty mold will. Don't drench the soil. Use a couple drops of dish soap in warm water. The only way to keep it from coming back, though, is to give it good air circulation.

Daisy
Name: tarev
San Joaquin County, CA (Zone 9b)
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tarev
Jan 25, 2016 4:27 PM CST
The harm will really depend on the prevailing conditions in jrat's location. Not knowing her humidity levels and location, orientation of the window she can use and just how much air circulation the plant can have if those leaves get wet and the duration it stays wet.


jrat
Jan 27, 2016 7:47 AM CST
Thank you all so much!! Glad to hear that you don't think my issue is dire. I placed my table fan near the plant and put it on very low during the day. I live in a studio apartment in Atlanta with windows facing the north...probably not enough light for the plant (especially in the winter) but it's all I can do. I'll give him a haircut this weekend!

Just to clarify, you all recommend drenching the soil whenever the leaves get soft? I have it in that smaller pot which has rocks in the bottom and drainage holes.

And do you not recommend using any kind of fungicide?

Also, what about plant food? I saw that Miracle Grow sells a "Succulent Food" in foam form. You squirt a couple pumps in the soil when you water.
Name: Dnd
SE Michigan (Zone 6a)
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DogsNDaylilies
Jan 27, 2016 8:00 AM CST
jrat, Welcome! !

Daisy and Tarev gave some great advice and it sounds like you are headed down the right track with what you are doing. I don't have any advice to offer as far as plant care, but I do hope it all works out. I will say, though, that I love the tree-like look to your plant. I know others say to cut it to get it to grow bushier (and I love bushier plants, too), but if you didn't cut it back, I don't think it would be a bad thing! It looks so pretty and exotic the way it is right now. Whatever you decide to do, though, I know it will be a pretty plant for you and I think its great that you've cared for your grandmother's plant so successfully.
Name: tarev
San Joaquin County, CA (Zone 9b)
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tarev
Jan 27, 2016 10:07 AM CST
Hello jrat! Oh there is a lot of hope for your plant! Not too dire at all! The trunk looks firm and it is growing leaves, even though smaller right now. Give it time, it will bounce back. It is a slow grower, so just have to be patient with it.

Jade plants will store water in its leaves and trunk, it is a very succulent plant. So it wants to be watered thoroughly once and leave it alone to dry out. You have repotted it and have seen how shallow the root mass is, so it does not like being too soaking wet at root level.

The only fungicide I ever use for this plant, if I even have to use one is cinnnamon. Nothing else. I don't even give fertilizers to mine and it thrives very well. But as I have said earlier, my growing area/conditions are different. Your plant has just been in some stress of repotting and is trying to get through with the diminished light of winter, allow it to recover, give it time. You can add auxilliary light overhead too.

The cuttings you take when you trim the plant, you can also allow to form roots. Just lay it aside, and it should form roots too. More plants! A good backup! Smiling Typically, I like to do trimmings when it is Spring. There is more vigor for the plants.




[Last edited by tarev - Jan 27, 2016 10:09 AM (+)]
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Name: Arlene
Southold, Long Island, NY (Zone 7a)
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pirl
Jan 27, 2016 10:54 AM CST
Even in low light I've had flowers on mine. Here it was in a northwest exposure.
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A big/huge thank you to Tarev. You've helped me so much with my jade plants!

Name: tarev
San Joaquin County, CA (Zone 9b)
Always count your blessings in life
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tarev
Jan 27, 2016 11:12 AM CST
That is pretty Arlene! Glad to be of help!

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