Jade Plant Problems and Pests | Save a DYING Crassula Ovata

Jade Plant Problems and Pests | Save a DYING Crassula Ovata

Jade plants are very low maintenance. However, they do suffer from some problems and pests. Let’s review some Crassula Ovata Care tips. Furthermore, keeping your Jade Plant happy and healthy. Specifically, saving your dying Crassula ovata.


Water thoroughly and then wait until plant is completely dry before watering again.


Jade plants do well in full sun to bright indirect light, but will survive in reduced lighting conditions.


30-50% humidity is best


Performs best at room temperature (65° to 75°F / 18° to 24°C), but prefer slightly cooler temperatures at night and in the winter (down to 55°F / 13°C).


Prefers a well-draining soil


For the best care, use a liquid fertilizer at half strength once every six weeks. Do not fertilize your plant when the soil is dry. Doing so will damage the roots of the Jade plant.


Susceptible to mealybugs, thrips, spider mites and aphids.


KRASS-oo-luh or KRASS-you-luh oh-VAH-tuh

Common Name

Jade Plant, Money Plant, Money Tree, Friendship Tree, Crassula Jade

Scientific Name

Crassula Ovata


Slightly toxic for humans and pets. It will not cause death or serious illness, but can cause nausea. Best to keep children and pets.
A healthy Jade Plant that gets more sun will have a red outline, and lighter green leaves that are shiny. A Darker healthy Jade will have less sun, but still healthy and shiny. Let’s review some common Jade plant problems and pests.
Move your Jade Plant to a brighter location. A south or east facing window will provide the most sunlight indoors. Be sure to slowly acclimate your plant if moving it to a sunnier location to avoid sunburn. 
Avoid sudden changes that may shock your plant. For example, try not to move the plant from a low light setting indoors to full sun outdoors right away. Slowly increase the amount and intensity of sunlight the plant receives. If you are unable to provide more sunlight for your indoor succulents, a grow light is a great option to provide more light for those hard to reach areas indoors. Watch how your plant reacts when moving to a different location or when using a grow light, or when making any sort of adjustments. Adjust and make changes as needed.
If your Jade Plant is not getting enough light it may end up growing towards the light and leaning. Find a brighter spot for your plant or rotate to ensure it gets light evenly. 
The most common reason for brown or dark spots on the leaves of your succulents is sun damage or sunburn. This can happen if the plant is exposed to direct full sun or if the plant was recently moved to a sunny location without acclimating it first. Especially if you are moving your Jade Plant outdoors after being indoors all winter. Properly acclimate your Jade Plant by starting off with a few hours of morning sun then slowly increase the amount of time they are spending in the sunshine.
Even plants that are acclimated to full sun can develop brown leaves during very intense heat waves or drought.
Another cause of sunburned Jade leaves is water left on the leaves. Make sure leaves are fully dry before putting your plants in the sun. Water magnifies the sun and can cause the leaves to burn. Learn more about sunburned succulent care here.
There is nothing you can do to heal the leaves that have been sunburned on your Jade Plant. Over time they will grow out leaving your succulent looking it’s best once again.
If your Jade Plant leaves are more than 50% sunburned, definitely remove them. You do not want significant energy trying to save a sunburned leaf. New growth is where you want that energy spent.
If your only option is to keep your Jade Plant in direct afternoon sun, you can use a shade cloth. This will help diffuse the sun’s intense rays. Greenhouse windows can be whitewashed with shade paint to provide shade in the hottest months. They can be washed in cooler months. 
Brown spots or leaf burn on your Jade Plant could also be from too much salts. If you live in an area that naturally has salts or minerals in the tap water, these salts and minerals can cause your Jade Plant to develop brown spots on its leaves. The water gets taken up by the root system to the leaves and then the leaves give off the water through transpiration. The leaves can only release water, not the salts. When the salts get left behind, they can burn the leaves. The problem will show on most of the leaves on their upper surface and at the tips. 
If the brown tips are excessive you may want to try giving your Jade Plant filtered or rain water. This type of leaf burn can also happen if you give your jade plant too much fertilizer. Only feed your plant once every three months and follow all package directions so you do not give it too much.
The Crassula Ovata Jade Plant originates in rocky or sandy areas of South Africa. It thrives with little care under normal household conditions when potted in well-draining soil. Soil must dry out before watering again.  If you water your plant too often, the leaves take up the excess water and swell. The swollen leaves then develop brown or rust-colored spots, often on the underside of the leaves. This problem, referred to as edema, will affect most of the leaves on your Jade Plant at the same time. 
Like other succulents, the Jade Plant is susceptible to root rot if kept in waterlogged soil. The stem will literally rot, eventually killing your Jade Plant.
It is best to prevent edema by not overwatering your plant. If you have overwatered it, help the plant give off the excess water by making the air drier, warmer and better ventilated around the plant. If the soil is soggy, remove the plant from the pot and gently remove the saturated soil from the roots of your Jade Plant. Refill the pot with fresh, dry, well-draining soil. Position your jade plant to its original growing position. Jade Plants with edema should not be placed in direct sunlight or in a cold, dark room.
Make sure that your Jade plant is potted in a pot with drainage holes. Remove any debris that may block water from draining properly. Good drainage is vital to the health of Jade Plants and works to keep the soil dry. I like to use inexpensive drywall tape or coffee filters to cover the drainage holes on my potted plants. 
Be sure to empty saucers after watering if needed. Jade Plants do not like wet feet, so do not allow them to sit in water filled saucers for extended periods.
Is your Jade Plant losing leaves with the slightest touch or bump? This is a classic early warning sign of over watering. Overwatering can cause the leaves to shrivel. Instead of a wilted shriveled appearance, leaves appear limp and weak. They fall off from too much water. The stem can also appear puffy or mushy.
Pull your plant out from the soil and check to make sure it’s roots are still healthy. Examine the stem for any black or deep brown mushy spots. If the roots look healthy, repot in dry well-draining soil. Ease up on watering your Jade Plant for a while. If the stem has any black or dark brown spots it is a sign of rot. Cut your succulent stem above the rot and leave the cutting to callus over for a week. Stick it in some dry soil and it should grow roots again. You can also place your cutting in water for water propagation. Definitely my favorite way to propagate! Be sure not to place your Jade Plants in water until after the ends have callused over. Find more about succulent water propagation here.
It is normal for the lower bottom leaves to eventually die over time as pictured above. Leaves can also turn yellow from watering issues. If the plant is well watered and the leaves are turning yellow, feel mushy and swollen, the plant is being overwatered. Pull off any unhealthy leaves and go through the steps above to make sure your plant is healthy. Pay attention to other things that are going on with your plants.
If your Jade Plant branches are falling off it may be from too much moisture. Excessive rain outdoors or overwatering can lead to root rot. Follow instructions mentioned above to salvage any possible Jade Plant cuttings.
Jade Plant Problems and Pests | Save a DYING Crassula Ovata
Mushy Jade stem
If your Jade stems are mushy and you have ruled out overwatering, it may have gotten too cold and frozen. Once your plant goes mushy there is not much you can do but to save the mushy portion of the stem. Follow the same steps as mentioned above for brown or dark spots. Cut your succulent stem above the mushy rot and leave the cutting to callus over for a week. Place in water or soil after the end has callused over.
Avoid root rot and overwatering by only watering when the soil is dry or when leaves start to shrivel slightly. If you live in a climate with higher humidity, your Jade Plants will need less water. Remember indoor plants with less light will also use less water.
For watering, the rule of thumb is to poke your finger at least 1 inch deep into the soil and if it feels dry water it. Jade Plants rarely die because of lack of water, so less is better. If you need an inexpensive fool proof way of watering try a moisture meter. This really helped me when I was new to succulents.
If your Jade leaves are puckering and wrinkled this could be caused by lack of water. When leaves appear withered and shriveled, often from the top leaves of the plant first, the plant is most likely in need of water. Watering your plant sparingly, plus shriveled leaves, equals an under watering problem. This can easily be remedied by giving your Jade Plant a deep watering. Avoid spraying the leaves with water as this will not do the trick. Succulents take up water from their roots. Misting the foliage also slows transpiration and increases turgidity. Within a day or two of the deep watering, the leaves should plump back up
Jade Plant Problems and Pests | Save a DYING Crassula Ovata
Mushy yellow Jade leaf
Overwatering and underwatering can both cause the leaves to turn yellow. If the leaves are turning yellow, shriveling and wilting, and you know you have not watered your plant for a while, then the plant is most likely underwatered. It is perfectly normal for the bottom leaves on your succulent to die as they grow. You can gently pull away the dead leaves to leave your Jade Plant looking fresh.
Jade Plant Problems and Pests | Save a DYING Crassula Ovata
Wrinkly Jade Pant Leaves


Is the soil of your Jade Plant moist, but leaves are still puckering and wrinkled? It may not be getting enough sun, or not drying out enough in between watering. Jade actually needs less water than most succulents.
Generally aerial roots will form on a succulent that isn’t getting enough water. It could also be from growing in a humid environment. Succulents absorb water through their roots from the surrounding air.
Well draining soil is the key to the overall health of your succulent. If you aren’t using the proper watering technique for your Jade Plant, it may not be getting enough water. It may begin searching for more. This is when aerial roots start to form. Your Jade Plant is simply telling you it is thirsty and needs a deeper watering.
Is your succulent very stretched out and developing air roots? It could be due to lack of sunlight. Lack of sunlight can sometimes cause Jade Plants to put out air roots.
While this isn’t always the case, it is more likely for a succulent to send off aerial roots when it is starting to stretch out. 
If you are watering correctly, you likely won’t see aerial roots at all. You are more likely to encounter air roots with Jade Plants that grow quickly and are in their active growing season. While aerial roots aren’t a huge problem, they are something you should be aware of so you know how to adjust the care of your succulent. This is an early warning sign that your succulent isn’t as healthy as it could be. Read more about air roots here.
Jade Plant Problems and Pests - Save a dying Crassula Ovata
Jade Plant Problems
Are you finding sticky web-like substances on your Jade Plant? Mealybugs are one of the most common pests in succulents and cacti. Their name comes from the waxy or mealy white material they produce. An early sign your plants have mealybugs is the white cottony substance you see on your plants. Chances are you will see the white fluff before spotting the mealybugs. 
These little devils secrete honeydew or a sugary substance, which can promote the growth of mold and make the plan more susceptible to bacterial and fungal infections. You can usually spot them on the leaves or the underside of leaves, and between the joints of the plant.
Swab or Q-tip dipped in rubbing alcohol and apply directly on the bugs. Additionally, you can also use a spray bottle mixed with 1 part rubbing alcohol, 1 part water, and 2 drops of dawn dish soap. Spray directly into the mealybugs. Alternatively, you can also use and insecticidal soap. Indeed the best way to kill evil mealybugs. 
Unfortunately, mealy bugs do not disappear that easily and it may take a few treatments to get rid of the problem. Repeat the treatment about once a week as needed until the problem is resolved. Isolate the infected plant to avoid contaminating your other plants. Mealybugs can spread from plant to plant so be sure to keep infected plants away from healthy plants. Read more about mealybug eradication here.
Have you ruled out mealybugs and still see tiny white spots on your Jade Plant leaves? These white speckles are actually mineral deposits on the leaves that can be caused by either the soil, hard water (excess salts), over-watering, over-fertilizing, fungal disease (powdery mildew) or other pests. Just think how your old terracotta pots look with the white markings. It is basically the same issue that happens with Jade Plants. Minerals are expelled and reveal themselves as little white dots. Let’s delve into a few causes of these white spots on your Jade Plant. 
If the white speckles wipe off easily, they are most likely salt deposits. Hard Water that is high in calcium can be damaging to your houseplants as the gradual build up of salts can ‘burn’ the plants’ roots. Furthermore, this stops them from being able to absorb water well. Indeed, affecting the general health of your Jade Plant.
Jade plants take water through the roots and evaporation takes place through the leaves. Some salt residue remains on the leaf. If it bothers you you could try using rainwater for watering your plants or letting the water sit out for 24 hours before using it. Easily wipe off Jade leaves with a moist towel to restore the shiny green leaves.
Mineral build up in the soil can also cause white spots on your Jade Plant. This can happen to any of your potted plants due to the plants’ uptake of nutrients over time. With succulents that need infrequent repotting, the goodness in the compost can gradually get depleted; especially if your plant has been in the same pot for years! This can cause a mineral imbalance or just a potting mix that no longer has enough nutrients to sustain a healthy plant. A soil change or refresh might be an option to consider.
Edema is a condition caused by the excess of water in the plant. It happens when the roots take up more water faster causing imbalances. The plant then fails to use all the water in the plant. The excess water may cause rupture of cells in the leaves. Possibly causing blisters that form white spots on Jade Plant  leaves.
Powdery Mildew is a fungal disease that affects many plants. Fungal disease can form white spots on the plant during winter. This is due to colder temperatures and excessive humidity. During winter, sunshine is limited and light is also low. As a result; plants receive improper circulation. The watered plants go for a longer time being moist without receiving light and sunlight which results in fungal spores. These conditions breed the powdery mildew fungal disease. 
Powdery mildew can easily be treated easily if caught early. It will have less effects on your Jade Plant if you treat it in the early stages. An effective home remedy consists of baking soda (one teaspoon), non-detergent soap (one teaspoon) and water (gallon). You can mix the contents and spray the soil directly daily. Repeat the process daily, until spores disappear. The spray can control the spores that can be seen as white spots on the plant.
If your potting soil has a slow release fertilizer in it, then you want to make sure you aren’t ‘double feeding’ and over fertilizing. Excess fertilizer can also exacerbate salt build up too. 

Spider Mites on Jade Plants

Spider mites can also cause the white spots on your Jade Plant. Red in color and hiding in your plant’s soil. They can make a web on the leaves and if not treated which can kill the plant. 
The white speckles do not necessarily harm the plant, but it is good to find out the cause of the white spots so they can properly be treated. They typically only occur on the top of the leaves and the edges, and do not usually cover the whole plant. It is a cosmetic decision as to whether you want to remove these ‘speckles’. 

Misshapen Jade Plant Leaves

Leaves can become misshapen from watering issues mentioned above. Either the plant is receiving too little or too much water. Too little and the leaves start to shrivel. Too much water and the leaves become soggy and soft and may also wrinkle.
Lack of nutrients in your potting soil can also cause misshapen leaves.  If your plant has been in the same pot for more than a few years, the potting mix might be depleted of its nutrients. If this is the case, the leaves will sometimes turn yellow or discolor and also start appearing misshapen. Most commercial succulent potting soil comes with added compost or fertilizer in the mix. The plants can feed on those nutrients for quite some time. Eventually these nutrients are flushed out of the soil from constant watering 
Repot your Jade Plant with fresh well-draining potting soil or by adding fertilizer. Use a well balanced fertilizer at half strength or a fertilizer specifically formulated for cacti and succulents. Cacti and succulents are not heavy feeders and do not require a lot of fertilizers. Feed about every two weeks during the growing season. 
Mealybugs can also cause misshapen leaves. They suck the fluids from leaves and stems, robbing plants of essential nutrients in the process. Be sure to follow the mealybug instructions mentioned above to eradicate them.


There are over a thousand species of scale, which vary in shapes, sizes and color. Two specific groups of scales commonly attack succulent. Armored scale and the soft scale insects. If you see small, brown bumps on your succulent, then you may have a scale problem. These insects like to eat the sap of succulents. Specifically, damaging the plants and making them susceptible to diseases.
First, remove any visible insects you see from your plant either by hand or by hosing them off. Then, scrape off or spray off any visible bugs from your plants. If the scale problem is not that bad, you can physically remove them from your plant. Finally, you can treat scales the same as you would with mealybugs.
Some have success with neem oil in treating scales. If the infestation is severe, neem oil may not be enough. First, dilute 1 tablespoon or 15 ml of neem oil in 8 cups of water and mix well. Next, spray the solution onto infested areas. And the undersides of the leaves. Additionally, when using neem oil, do so at night. This prevents burning your plant from sun damage.
In closing, I really hope this was helpful for you! Feel free to comment down below if you have further questions or problems. Furthermore, I’d love for you to share any Jade plant care tips as well.
crassula ovata jade plant
Crassula ovata Jade plant

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