Jade are popular, low-maintenance houseplants. They produce blooms and are easy to take care of. However, many people make the mistake of assuming that because jade plants and other succulents appear to thrive with little attention, they are indestructible. Sadly, your jade plant can die from an infection or disease just like any other plant. Knowing the signs and symptoms of diseases in jade plants can help you keep your jade plant healthy and happy.
Oedema is a disorder in jade plants that causes the roots to take up water faster than the plant can make use of it. This excess water builds up in the leaves and stems of the plant, creating small blisters that will swell and create corky, warty spots on the plant. If the plant has a severe case, these spots may develop on the flowers as well. If you increase your jade plant's light exposure and move it to a place where the air circulates better so that the environment is not so humid, it will probably get over the oedema on its own. Try watering less frequently also. You can wait until the lower leaves get soft and even a little wrinkled before giving your jade plant a drink.
If your jade plant develops a powdery mildew infection, then it is likely a symptom of over-watering or high humidity. Powdery mildew can be gray, black or white and looks like a dusting of chalk on the leaves of the plant. Since jade is a succulent plant, you can probably get away with scraping the powdery mildew off the affected leaves and then restricting watering until the soil has dried completely and the lower leaves of the plant are soft and wrinkled. Also, move the plant to a spot with good air circulation where it will get some sunlight. If you make these changes, your jade plant should be able to overcome its powdery mildew infection on its own. If not, this infection can be treated with a fungicide.
Mealy Bugs and Spider Mites
These small bugs will infest your jade plant and start "chowing down" and laying eggs. You may spot small brown spots on your plant or notice that the leaves are looking a little brown around the edges. Mealy bugs leave fluffy white balls on roots and stems, and you may be able to see the mites crawling around on the leaves like tiny red dots. Placing your jade plant outside in a light rain should wash this infestation right off as well as freshen up your jade plant. If the infection persists, use a succulent-specific pesticide to get rid of the creepy creatures.