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What Causes Black Spots in Jade Plants?

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Jade plants are one of the more popular succulents in homes and offices all around the world but can have regular issues like black spots occurring. Their heartiness and low-maintenance features make them relatively simple plants to keep alive, although problems like black spots can happen from time to time. You must be aware of the reasons for these instances so you can avoid them and keep your jade plant healthy.

If you see black spots on your jade plant, it could be due to one of four reasons, or a combination of many. These problems include overwatering, bug infestation, viruses, or fungi growth. Facing these may seem overwhelming, but there are simple solutions to get your jade plant thriving once again.

How you resolve black spots on your jade plant will be established by what is producing them. The first step is to try determining the original cause, and then enforcing some corrective measures. If you are unsure, begin with some simple solutions and work towards a healthier environment to aid in your jade plant’s regrowth.  

Overwatering

One of the most popular reasons that your jade plant is showing black spots is due to overwatering. Jade plants are succulents that do not need to sit in damp soil for long periods. Succulents can hold moisture in their leaves, so they do not require a large amount of watering at one time.

If the black spots are soft and the leaves appear to be mushy, this indicates an overwatering situation. For this reason, jade plants require a different setup than regular house plants to keep them viable and healthy.

Jade plants thrive best when planted in soil that is specifically for succulents. The best choice is porous soil with coarse sand to allow proper drainage. You do not want the jade plant sitting in damp soil for too long. The jade will start falling over. Adding perlite, which is an organic soil additive that resembles small pieces of Styrofoam, can aid in drainage. You can often buy specialized potting soil for succulents or make your own with the inclusion of coarse sand and perlite.

Jade plants, as well as other succulents, do not need watering like regular house plants. Ideally, they should have water sparsely where the top one or two inches of soil has dried out completely before the next watering. If you water your jade plant too frequently, you risk the appearance of black spots.

Bug Infestation

Another reason for the appearance of black spots in your jade plant is insects. Many common insects can be detrimental to your jade plant. Although we list some of the popular insects, you could find others that are causing black spots as well:

  • Aphids: These bugs range in color from green to yellow, or brown to black. The excretion caused by aphids is a breeding ground for mold, causing the black spots.
  • Spider mites: You will notice their webbing throughout the plant stems and leaves and tiny black spiders. Spider mites will feed on the underside of your jade plant, creating the speckled appearance.
  • Mealybugs: These bugs look like tiny white cotton balls and feed on the sap of the jade plant. Similar to aphids, the excretion causes mold to form on the leaves.

Ridding your jade plant of insects is easier than you think. If you notice any insects on your jade plant, try removing them yourself by hand. There will be times where you can see black spots on your jade plant and evidence of bugs but aren’t able to grasp any. Insect solutions are best to try and control any infestations of this type.

Using a specialized horticultural soap for succulents, or a homemade solution of rubbing alcohol and water can help eliminate bugs from your jade plant. Use a cotton ball soaked in the solution, to gently wipe the leaves of your jade plant off, removing any insects or mold build-up. Succulents do not respond to many insecticides, so ensure you are using a solution specific for jade plants.

Viruses 

Black spots can appear on jade plants because of viruses spread by insects. You can keep your plant healthy and thriving by knowing what to look for and treating your jade plant at the first sign of a virus.

Black ring virus

One common sickness that plagues jade plants is known as the black ring virus. You will know your plant has the black ring by the presence of black spots on the underside of the leaves. When infected with this virus, a jade plant will look sickly, although it isn’t deadly.

Eliminating the black ring virus isn’t hard, but you will want to ensure that it does not spread to other house plants in the process. Taking cuttings from an infected jade plant is not recommended, as it will continue with the new plant. Remove any diseased parts of the jade plant to control the spread. Transplanting your jade plant into completely new soil once you have detached any affected parts can aid in getting your plant healthy again.

Fungi Growth

Having fungi growth on your jade plant is not an ideal situation. Fungi growth will result in black spots on the plant or the leaves falling off if it is not taken care of quickly. A fungi growth, known as anthracnose, can affect jade plants as well as other types of plants and vegetables in many climates.

Anthracnose

Anthracnose is a fungus characterized by dark lesions on the stems or leaves and will destroy your jade plant quickly. It can spread by insects, wind, and even using infected gardening tools. Because of this, these tools must be cleaned with an alcohol solution each time you trim your jade plant when taking off infected areas with signs of anthracnose.

If not treated early, your jade plant could be in trouble. Fungus on your plants should take precedence. Use an alcohol solution and carefully wipe away any spots and trim off the infected area completely. Keep your jade plant health by regular maintenance to ensure you keep damaging issues at bay.

How To Help Your Jade Plant With Black Spots

No one wants to lose a precious jade plant to pets or bacteria overgrowth. If you wish to enjoy your plant for years to come, you should research succulent care and give your plant the nutrients and environment it needs to thrive.

Once you recognize black spots on your jade plant, you will have to ask yourself these questions:

Am I watering my plant too often?

Check the soil for dampness or inability to drain correctly. You could try replanting your jade plant into a different pot with specialized Miracle-Grow Potting Mix that is not saturated.

Can I see any bugs or evidence of bugs on the leaves or stems?

 If you notice insects, use a damp cloth or cotton ball soaked with an alcohol solution to remove them. 

Are the leaves soft to the touch or the plant feeling droopy or collapsed?

When a jade plant starts becoming softer or collapsed, you need to act quickly. Begin trimming any damaged leaves or stem pieces from the plant and dispose of them. Wipe the blades of your tools between cuttings to ensure you aren’t spreading any bacteria to other areas of your jade plant.

Taking a proactive approach to plant health will keep your green companions healthy and happy now and in the future.

Final Thoughts

Good plant health is essential to ensure they sustain for years to come in your home or office environment.  Dark spots on a jade plant are an indication of an underlying problem. Often your plant will show symptoms early if there is an issue.

You should regularly examine your jade plant for any symptoms of these issues resulting in black spots:

  • Overwatering
  • Viruses
  • Fungi growth
  • Bug infestations

Any of these situations will require immediate treatment to help your jade plant recover successfully.

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