Ask a Question forum: Jade plant root rot

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Vancouver, BC, Canada
Miro
Jan 8, 2018 10:43 AM CST
My jade plant seems to be showing all the signs of root rot - and the soil was soaking when I took it out of the pot - so following the advice on the forums here, I cut the stems back to what I hope are the healthy part, but I have a couple that look like the photo and I'm not sure about them - is this still root (or stem) rot? Thanks for your help!
Thumb of 2018-01-08/Miro/3aaefd

Name: Porkpal
Richmond, TX
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Keeper of Poultry Farmer Roses Raises cows
Garden Ideas: Level 2 Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
porkpal
Jan 8, 2018 12:04 PM CST
What signs were you seeing? What I can see of the plant looks healthy.
Porkpal
Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
Not all who wander are lost
Garden Sages Plant Identifier
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DaisyI
Jan 8, 2018 12:32 PM CST
Welcome!

The stem should be green all the way through. You still have rot.
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and proclaiming...."WOW What a Ride!!" -Mark Frost

Webmaster: osnnv.org
Vancouver, BC, Canada
Miro
Jan 8, 2018 1:28 PM CST
Thanks, that's what I was afraid of - the brown in the middle is the give-away, right?
Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
Not all who wander are lost
Garden Sages Plant Identifier
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DaisyI
Jan 8, 2018 7:46 PM CST
That would be the give away. You will have to cut until the stem is green all the way through. Use a sharp knife and clean it with alcohol between each cut lest you transfer the rot to healthy parts of the plant.

Keep us posted!
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and proclaiming...."WOW What a Ride!!" -Mark Frost

Webmaster: osnnv.org
Greece (Zone 10b)
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Faridat
Jan 9, 2018 6:39 AM CST
I agree This seems to still have rot.
In some Native languages the term for plants translates to "those who take care of us."
Robin Wall Kimmerer
Vancouver, BC, Canada
Miro
Jan 9, 2018 8:49 AM CST
Next steps? I've cut everything away to the green-all-the-way-through parts, dipped the cuts in root stimulator (with fungicide) and have set them aside to scab over.

Question: this seems counter-intuitive to to me, ordinarily I'd put the stems right into soil. So - once they/ve sat there for couple of days and are scabbed over, do I put them into dry soil or should it be damp and if damp, how damp?

Thanks again - this is driving me nuts, I've had this plant for over 20 years and am desperate to save some part of it ...
Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
Not all who wander are lost
Garden Sages Plant Identifier
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DaisyI
Jan 9, 2018 10:54 AM CST
I would have skipped the root stimulant but as you have already used it, pot them up in barely damp soil. The scabbing over for cactus and succulents, which are very prone to rot at this point, seals off the stem so none of the soil borne fungi have a chance to re-infect them. You can't get rid of the fungi - it is activated in wet soil so you have to do all that's possible to keep it at bay. Keep the soil barely damp until the cuttings start to grow. Last thing, use shallow pots and a soil mix of 1/2 cactus mix and 1/2 perlite. The smaller cuttings will root more easily than the larger cuttings.

You are right, it is counter intuitive to wait to plant a succulent or cactus cutting. I think it has to do with the amount of moisture they store in the stems and leaves.
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and proclaiming...."WOW What a Ride!!" -Mark Frost

Webmaster: osnnv.org
Name: Will Creed
NYC
Professional indoor plant consultan
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WillC
Jan 9, 2018 11:17 AM CST
Am I correct in assuming that you are just trying to salvage some healthy cuttings to propagate? Or are you also trying to save the original plant?
Will Creed
Horticultural Help, NYC
www.HorticulturalHelp.com
I now have a book available on indoor plant care
Vancouver, BC, Canada
Miro
Jan 9, 2018 12:12 PM CST
Actually, Will, I think I'm trying to do both. I have a number of small cuttings and one large (3" diameter) one. Your thoughts?
Vancouver, BC, Canada
Miro
Jan 9, 2018 12:14 PM CST
Thank you, Daisy - should I do that now, which is approx 24 hours after the initial cuts, or wait longer for actual scabs to form?
Name: Will Creed
NYC
Professional indoor plant consultan
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WillC
Jan 9, 2018 1:43 PM CST
Root rot starts with the roots and gradually works its way up through the plant. If all or most of the roots have rotted, then you may not be able to salvage the original plant. Any stems that are soft and mushy should be removed. Make sure you allow the soil to get very dry between waterings.

Tip cuttings of single unbranched stems and just a few leaves root more readily than larger stem cuttings.
Will Creed
Horticultural Help, NYC
www.HorticulturalHelp.com
I now have a book available on indoor plant care
Name: Porkpal
Richmond, TX
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Keeper of Poultry Farmer Roses Raises cows
Garden Ideas: Level 2 Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
porkpal
Jan 9, 2018 2:25 PM CST
I am still interested to learn what you saw originally to lead you to suspect that the roots were rotting? Externally the plant looked good to me.
Porkpal
Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
Not all who wander are lost
Garden Sages Plant Identifier
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DaisyI
Jan 9, 2018 2:55 PM CST
Porkpal, The phloem in the jade stem should be green, like the surrounding tissue. Brown indicates rot in the stem. The happy looking leaves above just haven't noticed yet that they are dead. Its why people think it all happened in one day without warning.

But it would be interesting to know what external signs led Miro to that conclusion. Usually, its something like the plant had a new lean or there was a soft spot in the stem.

I agree with WillC, saving the original plant is not going to be possible. The roots were fully involved before the rot started up the stems. The leaves are sucking the infection up to the tips of the plant.
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and proclaiming...."WOW What a Ride!!" -Mark Frost

Webmaster: osnnv.org
Vancouver, BC, Canada
Miro
Jan 9, 2018 3:43 PM CST
Hi all, where I started on this journey was with black spots on both or either sides of some of the leaves, brown scaly ones ditto and small but continuous leaf drop. I wandered around on the internet looking for pests and diseases that might be the cause and ended up at root rot. Which was unfortunately substantiated when I finally got up the courage to tip the plant out of the pot and discovered soaking wet soil and a decimated root system. Oddly enough, the soil on the top 6" or so was fluffy and just barely moist. I suspect it's time in a new shady location on the deck this summer combined with an over-zealous plant-sitter who wasn't familiar with succulents just tipped the poor thing over the edge ...

Vancouver, BC, Canada
Miro
Jan 9, 2018 4:01 PM CST
Daisy and Will, I think I didn't interpret the term "the original plant" the same way as you did. Did you mean "including the root system"? There's certainly none of that left and all of the original trunks (there were 5 strong, thick ones) are in the garbage. All I have left are pieces from the top third of the plant (I could cry - in fact I did cry) which I'll try and root following your very clear and helpful directions, Daisy. Hopefully, there'll be a pony in there somewhere ...
Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
Not all who wander are lost
Garden Sages Plant Identifier
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DaisyI
Jan 9, 2018 5:01 PM CST
Miro, did you by any chance have pebbles are a pieces of pottery in the bottom of the pot to keep the soil from falling out of the drainage hole? There is this thing that happens when you put gravel or pot shards under potting mix. The bottom of the soil, closest to the gravel or pot shards, becomes saturated with water so, what you were hoping to prevent (poor drainage), you are actually causing.
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and proclaiming...."WOW What a Ride!!" -Mark Frost

Webmaster: osnnv.org
Name: Will Creed
NYC
Professional indoor plant consultan
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WillC
Jan 9, 2018 5:33 PM CST
Miro - I can't speak for Daisy, but I did mean what you thought I did. I think your diagnosis was a good one and you did the right thing by doing your best to salvage the remaining healthy portions. Sorry, you were too late in catching the root oversaturation, but it happens to all of us who have had more than a few plants. Well, maybe not Daisy, but she is unique!
Will Creed
Horticultural Help, NYC
www.HorticulturalHelp.com
I now have a book available on indoor plant care
Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
Not all who wander are lost
Garden Sages Plant Identifier
Image
DaisyI
Jan 9, 2018 5:37 PM CST
I was right there with you Will. And Thanks for the compliment (at least I think it was a compliment)...

And I am totally impressed with you, Miro, for catching the rot before the Jade was a pile of mush. Good Job! Thumbs up
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and proclaiming...."WOW What a Ride!!" -Mark Frost

Webmaster: osnnv.org
Name: Porkpal
Richmond, TX
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Keeper of Poultry Farmer Roses Raises cows
Garden Ideas: Level 2 Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
porkpal
Jan 9, 2018 5:43 PM CST
Thanks, @Miro that is the explanation I was seeking.
Porkpal

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