Beautiful and simple to maintain indoor plants, such as jade plants, can last a lifetime with proper care. However, even as you care for them, you could spot white sticky stuff on Jade plant.
Jade plants are vulnerable to insect infestations like scale, mealy bugs, and spider mites. Also, you could find your plant is attacked by Powdery Mildew and bacterial soft rot beside the jade pests. Luckily, there are measures you can take should your plant suffer an illness or you see mealy bugs on Jade plant.
In our guide, you can learn all you need about plant care and how to get rid of mealybugs on Jade plant. By the end, you’ll have a healthy plant free from disease, mealy bugs, or other common Jade plant pests once you learn how to kill Jade plant bugs. (Read Orchid White Spots On Leaves)
Do Bugs Like Jade Plants?
There are only four insects that frequently infest Jade plants (Crassula argentea) with much regularity.
- Mealy bugs (identified by a white cotton surface)
- Root Mealy Bugs
- Spider Mites, to a lesser extent
What are Mealybugs?
Mealybugs feed on jade plant sap and grow as they mature. Unfortunately, they are so small you could have a problem counting them. Mealybugs live in colonies, and an infestation causes your plant to look white and cottony. From here, your Jade plant leaves can turn yellow before they turn black.
Getting rid of mealybugs quickly is vital as they spread quickly, so you must isolate infected plants. Mealybugs leave honeydew as they feed. Honeydew is ideal for fungus disease and sooty mold spores. As a result, mealybugs and fungus diseases infest the affected plants.
Mealybugs hide in plant crevices, under leaves, or where leaves join the stem. You’ll need to check your succulents and cacti regularly to avoid the spread. No one knows why mealybugs appear, but an over-watered jade plant is where they appear most, so follow a proper watering schedule. (Learn How Do I Get Rid Of Mushrooms In My Lawn Without Killing The Grass)
How do you get rid of mealybugs?
There are several ways you can get rid of mealybugs. First, mealybugs are treated with pesticides and isopropyl (rubbing alcohol) in a spray bottle. Spray rubbing alcohol on your jade plant’s leaves after diluting it and spraying it into the hard-to-reach areas.
One treatment should be enough if you catch the infestation early. However, if mealybugs return in 2-3 days, respray your succulent. Repeat every few days until mealybugs are gone. Rubbing alcohol is safe for succulents and won’t harm other houseplants.
How to control mealybugs?
When you see white deposits on your plants, isolate them to stop the spread.
- As much white as possible, please. Next, wash the entire plant with one part alcohol to three parts water mixed with insecticidal soap (dish soap without bleach).
- Every few days, wash the plant with the mixture and watch its progress.
- During the early stages of infection, you can treat the plant with cotton balls or Q-tips soaked in rubbing alcohol to remove the insects and their cocoons.
- In severe cases, you may have to discard the entire plant to remove these insects.
- Neem oil is non-toxic and best for indoor plants; you can spray it on the leaves and soil without worry.
- To use the oil, dilute it as directed, usually with dish soap and water.
You may need to hold off using any horticultural oils or insecticidal soap, as these could damage the leaf surface of your infested plant.
What Are Spider Mites On My Jade Plant
Spider mites are minuscule, reddish-brown parasites that love to suck all the juices and nutrients, thus leaving dry leaves on your jade plant. The spider mite is social insects that live in colonies and, like mealybugs, are common jade pests and can go unnoticed on your plant’s leaves.
Because of their appearance and small size, you can easily mistake spider mites simply as dirt, dust, or even the fact that your jade plant is turning red. However, if you notice your jade plant losing leaves, you might deal with an infestation.
Spider mites will spread if ignored; eventually, you’ll have to deal with a dying jade plant. Similar to succulents, spider mites require hot, dry conditions to thrive. This explains why the jade plant bug is so widespread. (Read Will Roundup Kill Pine Trees)
How to get rid of spider mites
Neem oil is the most popular and effective spider mite treatment. Compounds in neem oil stop spider mites from feeding and prevent larvae from maturing. Apply neem oil to spider mites, although you have to be thorough because these pests hide everywhere. Repeat every 2-3 days until the infestation is gone.
Jade Plant Aphids
Aphids are sap-sucking like mealybugs and spider mites. They’ll feed your jade plant’s juices and nutrients, although they are easier to spot than other pests. Aphids feed on indoor plant roots and will kill your jade plant if left untreated.
Aphids are visible to the naked eye and live in colonies. Wilted leaves and honeydew are other symptoms. Ants are attracted to the honeydew sticky residue excreted by aphids, so if you see ants on your plant, you probably have them.
How to get rid of aphids
Treating jade plant aphids is easy as you only need 70% Isopropyl Alcohol as if you were treating mealy bugs. Dilute the rubbing alcohol in water and put it in a spray bottle. Then, spray your jade plant with the diluted mix, getting into hard-to-reach areas.
If you have a bad infestation, add dish soap to the rubbing alcohol and water to help it stick to your jade plant. Aphids are attracted to moisture, so use well-draining soil for your jade plant to reduce infestation.
Warm-climate jade plants are also susceptible to root mealybugs. These white insects resemble meal bugs but live at the root level of your Jade plant. Root mealybugs feed by sucking the plant’s sap from the stem and roots rather than the plant’s leaves.
As insects feed on the jade plant’s roots, they leave behind white honeydew. Mold grows on the plant’s roots because of honeydew. Control the spread as if you were treating aphids when you see signs of infestation. Insect populations grow quickly because eggs hatch into nymphs in two weeks.
Other Jade Plant Bugs
You may need to deal with other Jade plant bugs. Fungus gnats on succulents are a common problem. These pests are like fruit flies and are attracted to a soggy soil surface.
Adult gnats produce eggs and multiply quickly. These gnats are a nuisance, and the larvae damage plants leading to wilting. Other jade plant pests are scale insects and soft scale, although they are primarily uncommon.
Scales are other common pests on jade plants. These insects pierce the plant’s surface and drink its sap to leave brown spots and chlorotic patches in the affected parts of the foliage. Infected plants deteriorate and stop growing; over-infestation kills them.
These insects have hard shells that make them difficult to kill with insecticides. Watch your plants for signs of infestation and act quickly. In severe cases, remove and discard affected leaves. Use your fingers or a brush to scrape insect colonies off plant leaves.
Alcohol kills insects and eggs. Scales have hard shells; to kill the insects, press a cotton swab on the plant surface for 30 seconds.
The alcohol destroys the insect’s oily shell. Alcohol suffocates plants. To get rid of these insects, spray the plant with baking soda and vinegar. (Learn Do Deer Eat Zucchini Plants)
Jade Plant Diseases
Bacterial soft rot and powdery Mildew affect jade plants.
Bacterial Soft Rot
Bacterial soft rot affects jade plant roots, softening inner tissues like root rot. The plant’s stem and branches collapse once infected, but it can be treated or revived. This disease is caused by over-watering or poor soil or container drainage in jade plants.
Follow the recommended watering schedule for jade plants and only plant when the soil is dry to prevent the disease. Before watering the plants, you must also check the soil for moisture and avoid watering jade plants in winter.
Jade plants get Powdery Mildew, and this fungus causes scabby or corky patches on plant leaves. This fungus is adapted not to kill its host plant because it can only live on living plants, so it alters the plant’s appearance without killing it.
High humidity and low temperatures cause powdery mildew fungal infection on jade plants’ foliage.
Control powdery Mildew
Infected plant leaves die prematurely, but fungicides like horticultural oil can help.
- Spraying the plant daily with baking soda, non-detergent soap, and a gallon of water will control the infection.
- Mouthwash kills fungus spores and is safe for jade plant leaves.
- Vinegar and baking soda can be sprayed on the plant leaves.