Everybody loves their Jade plants. Otherwise called the “lucky plant,” these beautiful green branchy succulents are always a pleasure to look at with their thick and lustrous leaves.
But sometimes, you look at your Jade plants and see them covered with creepy crawlies. If you’re anything like me, just looking at these insects feasting on your plant would send shivers down your spine.
You must take necessary precautions to stop these tiny bugs on your Jade plants from spreading. In this article, we’ll help you identify what are these little bugs on your Jade plants.
Identifying the bugs in your plants can be challenging for you due to their minuscule size.
There are many bugs that can be on your plant. If they don’t chew on the leaves and don’t leave a sticky residue, they’re unlikely to cause your plant harm.
On the other hand, there are bugs that are harmful to your Jade plant.
They cut your Jade plant’s tissue and feed on the sap. They leave a sticky substance called honeydew that invites ants to live on the plant’s soil.
Though their size might seem insignificant, with their sheer number, they can weaken your plant. Moreover, these insects can act as a disease carrier and infect your plants.
Due to this, it’s essential to know how to deal with them. Here are four pests that are most probably in your Jade plant:
Mealybugs are the most common insects that pester Jade plant owners. They’re oval-shaped and covered with a waxy substance that appears white and fuzzy.
These mealybugs will either stick to the leaves or stay on the soil, depending on their classification. Destroying their waxy coating is the easiest way to deal with them.
Scales are another potential pest for Jade plants . They appear as either white, yellowish, or brown bumpy spots in the plant’s stem.
If you want to know the extent of the infestation, look out for ants on your plant. More ants means more pests.
Ants form symbiotic relationships with these bugs and herd them like cattle. The ants would carry these bugs to various parts of the plant and nearby plants.
Then, the ants would protect these pests from predators. In turn, they get to eat the honeydew from the pests.
The short answer is yes; Jade plants can get spider mites. However, they occur less than mealybugs.
Spider mites look like little moving dots on plant leaves. Despite being much smaller than mealybugs, they cause the same damage by puncturing and feeding on the plant.
As a result of their size, they can be pretty hard to spot with the naked eye. But there are ways to know their presence on your plant.
One way for you to know their presence is by dotted leaf discoloration. Turn these leaves upside down, and you might spot them.
Additionally, you can look for a web structure around the plant they feed on.
Thrips are another lesser pest that can get to your Jade plant. They infest Jade plants much less than that of spider mites.
They’re also among the easier pests to deal with. Sometimes, just shaking the plant outdoors can be enough to eliminate thrips.
Unlike the other insects mentioned, thrips don’t look circular. They resemble flying insects that are slender.
When caring for pest-infested Jade plants, the steps are virtually the same regardless of which pests are present. You may efficiently deal with them using household materials.
The following steps can help you stop the infestations:
If you notice a Jade plant infested with these pests, isolate that plant to prevent cross-infestation.
If the infestation is localized, try pruning the plant’s infested part. Afterward, burn the trimmed parts or soak them in soapy water to kill the creepy crawlies.
You can hose down the plant with water to wash out the insects. This method is a good alternative for localized infestation if you want to avoid pruning the Jade plant.
Bear in mind that this isn’t 100% foolproof. The scales can remain because they’re incredibly sticky.
On top of that, the dislodged insects could survive and infest your plants again. To avoid this, do the washing outdoors, far from other plants.
If the infestation is widespread, you can mix organic insecticide, like neem oil, with soapy water.
To make this, mix a tablespoon of neem oil and dishwashing soap with a liter of water. After mixing, try the potency of the liquid in a patch test before spraying the entire plant.
If the patch test turns out well, spray the mixture all over the plant to kill the insects en masse.
If the isolated part you used the mixture on wilts, dilute it more with water.
Remember to spray the entirety of the plant, including the soil. You should do this weekly until all the pests die.
If organic insecticides are unavailable, you can use rubbing alcohol instead. Using a cotton swab or a piece of cloth soaked with alcohol, wipe the insects off the plant.
Upon contact with alcohol, the bugs would instantly die. The only downside of this process is the effort required to wipe the plants.
You could also use Diatomaceous Earth (DE) Powder to kill these pests. DE powder is especially effective against insects because of its abrasiveness and porosity.
Contact with DE powder would cause their shells to be damaged, killing them in the process. It’s applied by dusting the infected plant generously.
Using DE powder should come with caution, though. It’s severely irritating even to humans. DE powder can also kill vital pollinators, so it’s best not to use it outdoors.
Jade plants are prone to insect infestation. Mealybugs, scales, spider mites, and thrips would ravage your plants if given the chance.
As such, recognizing the tiny bugs on your Jade plant is vital to keep it in its top shape. Once you notice them on your plant, acting swiftly to prevent their spread is paramount.
Take good care of your lucky plant so you can admire its beauty for the years to come.
Growing up with a mom who filled her home (inside and out) with all sorts of plants, Lisa got her start in gardening at a young age. Living now on her own with a home and yard full of plants (including an indoor greenhouse), she shares all the gardening tips she’s gained over the years.