Why There Are White Spots On Your Jade Plant - Backyard Boss
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Why There Are White Spots On Your Jade Plant

Have you started noticing white spots on your jade plant? Are these spots normal? If you see these mysterious specks pop up on your jade plant it could be due to disease or something your doing. Knowing the proper care requirements for this greenery is a big part of their success. Although, since they can tolerate some neglect, they make the perfect gift for family and friends.

If your jade plant looks plump and healthy, it can be surprising to see this issue out of no where. There are several variables to consider — Is it natural for your jade plant to have white spots, or is it fungus? Learn more about what causes this issue and how you can help.

Getting To Know Your Jade Plant 101

jade plant
Image credits: TSViPhoto via Shutterstock

Also known as the friendship plant, money plant, and silver dollar plant, jade is one of nearly 300 varieties of the Crassulaceae family. Native to South Africa, jade plants are tender succulents that infuse a tropical vibe and are easy to grow.

Jade plants are succulents with thick and waxy oval leaves. If you prune them right, you can end up with a plant that looks like a mature miniature tree you can use in your overall home décor. Your jade plant can live for a very long time (over  70 years) and be passed down as heritage if you learn how to care for it properly.

Depending on the variety, your jade plant can grow up to 6 feet tall at maturity, and you can propagate it in three different ways. Although they’re native to South Africa, they don’t need hot temperatures year-round to thrive but can’t tolerate cold temperatures.

This dark green succulent makes excellent landscape plants. But, be wary if you live in an area that experiences freezing cold temperatures — you should bring them indoors in the winter.

Although jade plants can tolerate some neglect, they won’t take kindly to overwatering. Always ensure the soil is completely dry before watering your plant because overwatering can cause root rot.

Also, when you water your jade plant, try not to splash water on the leaves because that could also cause rot. Investing in a good soil moisture tester will help you know when your plant needs water to avoid overwatering.

Understanding the Causes of White Spots

There are plenty of reasons why your jade plant can have white spots on its leaves. Here are the most common ones and how to deal with them.

1. Overfertilizing

Jade plant
Image credits: Jan Haerer via Pixabay

Jade plants are hardy and don’t require much watering and feeding. To help your plant thrive, you need to fertilize it, but don’t overfertilize it, as that could cause white spots on the leaves.

Choose between diluted standard fertilizer, specialized cacti and succulents fertilizer, or compost. But before you opt for compost, find out if your compost contains slow-release fertilizers. If it contains slow-release fertilizers, you’ll be double-feeding your plant if you use it.

Compost, on its own, is rich in nutrients, so you can use it as is without adding extra fertilizers to the mix.

Excess fertilizer can cause salt buildup, which can cause white spots on your jade plant leaves. This is why it’s better to top water you plant as to drain excess salt and fertilizer. If your plant is on a dish or saucer, remember to remove standing water.

2. Watering with Hard Water

Watering Jade Plant
Image credits: Krichevtsevavia Shutterstock

Hard water contains extremely high amounts of calcium and magnesium. Not only is hard water harmful to you, but it’s equally toxic to your plants. The salts from the water buildup can burn your plant’s roots and prevent them from absorbing water and nutrients from the soil.

If left unattended, this could ultimately kill your plant. To prevent this, use dechlorinated water or rainwater to douse your jade plants.

If this isn’t an option, use tap water to flush your soil if your pot has drainage holes. Flushing works only if your pot has drainage holes.

To flush your soil, water your plant until it seeps through the drainage holes. This will help lower the salt buildup. If your tap water’s chlorine quantity is too high, boil it for 20-30 minutes and let it cool to room temperature before flushing or watering your plant.

3. Overwatering

Jade plant being watered by a hand holding a beige watering jug
Image credits: Kevin Malik via Pexels

If your plant’s leaves have white spots and become squishy, it indicates that you’re overwatering it. The sudden appearance of white spots means you’re overwatering your plant with hard water because those white spots are nothing but salt deposit residues.

Investing in a good soil moisture tester is essential to prevent under and overwatering. The soil should be completely dry before watering your plant again.

4. Lack of Minerals and Nutrients

Tiny Jade Plant in Clay Pot
Image credits: Ekaterina Bolovtsova via Pexels

Jade plants don’t mind cramped spaces. You can repot young jade plants once every two to three years and mature plants every four to five years. Since they’re not repotted very frequently, and if you’re using compost as food for your plants, your plants can run out of minerals and nutrients.

This is the opposite of over-fertilization. If the soil doesn’t have enough nutrients to sustain plant life, your plant will suffer. While succulents don’t need frequent fertilizing, remaining in the same pot for months on end means there’s very little for your plant to absorb.

You can refresh the soil if you see white spots on your plant and repot it if necessary. White spots could also mean fungus and mildew, especially if you’re overwatering your plant. Refreshing the soil will help you eliminate mold.

If you don’t want to refresh old soil, you can make homemade succulent soil for your precious jade plant.

5. Powdery Mildew

small potted jade plant
Image credits: osiristhe via Creative Commons

When your plant doesn’t receive enough sunlight and fresh air and stays in a humid and cold environment, fungal spores will form that cause powdery mildew. The best way to deal with this is to ensure your plant’s leaves don’t wet.

Place the plant in a room with plenty of direct and indirect sunlight and good air circulation. Use a baking soda and vinegar solution to remove the white spots, but do a patch test first. Spray a leaf and wait 24 hours to notice any reaction. If the leaf you sprayed looks fine, go ahead and spray your plant.

What’s Up, Succa!

Succulents are perhaps the most popular houseplant choice. They’re hardy and low-maintenance, making them good gift options for loved ones. Although they can tolerate some neglect, frequent situations can cause white spots on your plant.

Placing your jade plant in a room with plenty of air and direct and indirect sunlight is essential. Refresh your plant’s potting soil and invest in a good moisture tester to avoid mold, root rot, and other fungi that come with overwatering.

Leave your experiences, thoughts, and questions in the comment section! And share with friends and family who might find this helpful.

Happy gardening!