Ask a Question forum: Jade plant root rot - Need help on how to repot.

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dougsoxman
Nov 27, 2016 10:45 AM CST
I was given a Jade plant from my grandparents who have owned if for many years. It was doing great for a while, but started degrading over the last year. The pot it was in seemed way too small so we decided to repot it. We tried to retain the original root ball and just place it in the new soil. I believe this didn't help our issue. It still seems like it is rotting and branches are falling off and breaking off easily. I have read to pull it out of the soil and let the roots dry for a day or two which is where I am at right now. My questions are:

- There doesn't seem to be any "roots". Should i still plant it as is, or would i be better off cutting the stems off above the root ball and trying to re-root them, or just clean whatever rootball is there and let it dry out?

- I have a very large pot that I put it in, but now I'm wondering if it's too large if that is such a thing. I think it only has one drainage hole in the bottom, so I assume I should add several more at least.

- What type of soil is best? I read somewhere to absolutely not use peat, yet i saw some others suggesting peat. What are your suggestions and why. Thanks.

Any other suggestions that you might have would be appreciated. Thanks again.

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Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
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DaisyI
Nov 27, 2016 4:25 PM CST
Welcome!

If the roots had rotted from over-watering, the stems just above the roots would be mush. They appear to be solid.

Jades fall apart when they get too dry. I suspect that when you re-potted without disturbing the old rootball, you caused a 'shelfing' problem. Shelfing occurs when two different potting mediums are used next to eachother (it usually happens when gravel is put under potting soil in pots). The water runs right by one of the soils (in this case, the old rootball) while soaking the other soil (your new potting mix).

I would cut one of the remaining stems just above the root ball and see how healthy the inside of the branch is. It should be solid and green, no mush, no brown. If the branches are healthy, chances are you can re-root the plant. You can root the pieces that have fallen off and also, I can see little roots on some of the smaller branches. Jades root easily from leaves on up to any size branch.

Put it back into the original pot (or one of similar size with good drainage). Use soil especially formulated for cactus and succulents. The root systems are small - the pot only needs to be big and heavy enough to keep the plant from falling over.

When the leaves are rigid and hard, the plant is happy. If the leaves feel soft, it needs water. Slowly increase the amount of light - if Jades have enough light, the leaves will turn red on the edges.
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Name: Anna Z.
Monroe, WI
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AnnaZ
Nov 27, 2016 7:34 PM CST
Daisy, I did not know that about the red on the leaf edges. Mine is quite large, i have never repotted it, just set that pot in a larger on so it does not tip over.

dougsoxman
Nov 27, 2016 8:23 PM CST
Ok thanks. I cleaned off all of the old dirt, which seemed pretty wet around the base of the plant. I'm going to pick up some dirt specific for these types of plants tomorrow while the roots are drying out. I will also try to find a smaller pot, perhaps with a larger base though because I was having issues with it tipping as well which is why we got the new pot. The info on the leaves will help also. If leaves are turning black, is that a sign of not enough light? Thank you, and wish me luck.

Name: tarev
San Joaquin County, CA (Zone 9b)
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tarev
Nov 28, 2016 3:28 PM CST
Hello dougsoxman, I also add/mix in some more perlite or pumice to my cacti/succulent mix. Although the mix you buy in bags already has it, I prefer to really make my jade media very gritty. It really likes a very fast draining media. With the present condition of your plant, all the more you need the media to be gritty, since there are no roots to drink the moisture yet.

Leaves turning black could be due to fungal issues, overwatering, too much cold exposure. Remove those blackened leaves, or branches. I usually dab cinnamon too, to serve as fungicide on exposed cut branches

Position your plant in a bright and warm area for now, so it can slowly recover from all the disturbance and encourage it to do new roots below the soil line. Stake the plant so it will not be wobbly for now.

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