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Why Does My Jade Plant Have White Spots? (4 Causes)

Why Does My Jade Plant Have White Spots? (4 Causes)

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Jade plants don’t look exactly like jade, but they’re as valuable to plant owners. So, seeing white spots on your plant is enough to raise concerns, but don’t worry, you’ve come to the right place to get the answers.

A jade plant that has white spots may be due to powdery mildew, mealybugs, mineral deposits, or sunburn.

It’s best to identify the underlying cause so you can take appropriate steps to address the problem and restore your plant to its full health and beauty.

In this article, we’ll discuss all these problems and offer you solutions that’ll truly work! So sit back and keep on reading.

What Causes Jade Plants to Have White Spots

You’ll agree that those white spots you notice don’t look good on your jade plant. Here are the following known culprits:

1 – Powdery Mildew

This is a fungal disease that can cause white spots on your jade plant. It grows in a thin layer on plant tissues and overwinter in buds.

The spores of this fungal disease are often spread by the wind to new, uninfected plants or from plant to plant in greenhouses.

Therefore, the white spots develop during the winter season due to cooler temperatures and excessive humidity.

2 – Mealybugs

Mealybugs are tiny insects that infest jade plants and can cause unwanted white or sometimes yellowish spots on the leaves. These beetles feed on the plant’s sap, which can cause stunted growth.

They also produce a sticky substance called “honeydew,” which can attract pests like ants and mold.

Surprisingly, the white spots on your jade plant might be the mealybug’s waxy protective covering.

They have a powdery white wax on their bodies that helps protect them from prowling predators and other environmental stressors.

When they feed, they excrete this wax, which collects on the leaves and forms visible white spots.

3 – Salt Deposits

If the water you use to water your jade plant is high in salt, it can build up not only on the leaves but also on the stems over time.

This can create a white, powdery appearance on the plant’s surface. Luckily, unlike mealybugs, mineral buildup is a cosmetic problem that doesn’t harm the plant.

However, if left untreated, this buildup can impact the plant’s ability to absorb sunlight and water, which can be a risk factor for its growth and overall health.

4 – Sunburn

If your jade plant receives an unhealthy amount of direct sunlight, it can lead to a condition referred to as sunburn. Surprisingly, this can cause white spots to appear on the leaves, especially those that are directly receiving the sunlight.

Sunburn occurs when the plant’s tissues become damaged due to excessive exposure to ultraviolet (UV) rays. The damaged cells will often die off and create white or brown spots on the plant’s surface.

The severity of the sunburn can vary depending on the intensity and duration of the sun exposure. In some cases, the plant may be able to recover on its own, while in others, the damage may be irreversible.

How to Treat White Spots on Your Jade Plant

If you notice your jade plant having these unwanted white spots, it’s only necessary to take action quickly to prevent further damage.

Here are the basic steps you can take to treat the white spots on your jade plant:

1 – If the Problem Is Due to Powdery Mildew

The initial step to treat this is to promptly remove any infected leaves to avoid the disease from spreading to other parts of the plant. You can either use a sharp pair of scissors to carefully cut off the affected leaves or gently pluck them off by hand.

Afterward, you should apply fungicide to the remaining parts of the plant. Commercial fungicides are available on the market and are specially designed to treat powdery mildew on plants.

Aside from using fungicides, you should provide a favorable environment that promotes healthy growth.

It’s equally crucial to eradicate powdery mildew by ensuring adequate lighting, providing appropriate humidity levels, and regular watering.

2 – If the Problem Is Due to Mealybugs

If you detect mealybugs on your jade plant, it’s important to isolate them from other plants to prevent the infestation from spreading.

You can gently remove the bugs by wiping them off the plant using a cotton swab or cloth soaked in rubbing alcohol. This method works well for minor infestations.

For more severe infestations, you may need to use insecticide specifically formulated for mealybugs. These insecticides are usually available in botanical shops.

3 – If the Problem Is Due to Mineral Deposits

To prevent salt deposits from forming on your jade plant, opt for distilled or rainwater instead of tap water which often contains minerals and trace chemicals.

You may also water the plant from the bottom by placing a saucer of water allowing it to soak up the water through the drainage holes at the bottom. This method prevents mineral buildup on the leaves of the plant.

4 – If the Problem Is Due to Sunburn

Consider moving your jade plant to a location with less direct sunlight, but make sure it is placed near the window so that it receives enough light. Alternatively, you can use a sheer curtain or shade cloth to create some shade for your plant.

To minimize the damage caused by sunburn, carefully cut off any leaves with white spots using a pair of scissors. Make sure to cut as close to the base of the leaf as possible.

Final Thoughts

The presence of white spots on your jade plant may potentially compromise its health and therefore should be handled with great care and attention.

It’s important to identify what’s causing the white spots on your jade plant so that you can treat it accordingly and take steps to prevent further issues.

Provide your plant with an ideal environment, including the right amount of light, humidity, and watering, to ensure its health and maintain its precious beauty.

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