With their beauty and ease of care, jade plants are considered one of the popular indoor plants. However, one problem that jade plant owners may experience is the formation of black spots.
So, why does my jade plant have black spots? You might ask.
Commonly, improper watering, pest infestation, or poor drainage can cause lots of stress to jade plants, resulting in black spots. Additionally, viruses such as the black ring can also trigger these.
In this guide, we’ll look at all the reasons for black spots on jade plants and how to best care for them to prevent further damage.
If you’ve noticed black spots on your jade plants, you’ll want to address the problem immediately to prevent spots from spreading further.
Generally, overwatering, humidity stress, soil issues, pests, and fungi cause these black spots on your plant.
Let’s dive deeper into these:
If your soil is moist and soggy, chances are there’s an overwatering situation.
It’s hard to tell how often you need to water your plant due to the many factors to consider, like temperature and location.
As a rule of thumb, water your plant only when the soil is dry to the touch. When you hydrate your plant, drain it well until the water flows out of the drainage holes. Remove any extra water so they don’t sit in a pot of water.
It’s also ideal to use an earthen clay or terracotta pot for moisture to evaporate through the pot surface.
Since jade plants are native to South Africa, they’re used to soil that drains well and has a mix of inorganic and organic compounds.
Consider repotting your jade plants in a planter with succulent-specific soil for the best results.
When buying ready-mixed soil, look for components like perlite, limestone, and peat moss. Your jade plant will surely love this!
Alternatively, you can make your soil mixture. Mix limestone and coffee grounds, as jade plants prefer slightly acidic soil. These components can help in balancing the soil mixture’s pH levels.
Humidity can greatly affect your jade plants depending on where they’re planted.
For example, bathrooms and kitchens may become steamy and humid while showering or cooking, causing the plant to absorb the excess humidity.
To prevent this, transfer your plant to a different part of the house. Near the window, where natural light and breeze are present, would be ideal.
Additionally, an environment with a humidity level of 30–50% is recommended for proper development.
If your jade plant is suffering from excessive humidity, remove it from the planter and let the roots dry before replanting it in new soil.
Often, humidity stress can lead to pest infestations, which is another reason for black spots.
Jade plant bugs are a nuisance and can inflict several issues. In particular, watch out for mealybugs, scale, aphids, and spider mites.
Typically, white spots appear before turning black, and infestations spread fast. So, if you suspect that your plant has pests, isolate it from others to stop them from spreading.
These pests will suck the sap out of your plant’s leaves. Hence, they’ll later turn black.
To clear mealybugs and aphids, mix 70% isopropyl alcohol and water, then spray it all over your plant. Alternatively, neem oil works well against spider mites.
Often, most pests will lurk and feast on the underside of the leaves. So, make sure to disinfect and check these areas thoroughly.
Fungi and bacteria, which act in tandem with humidity, can also create black spots on your plant. Fortunately, their succulent tissues make them less vulnerable to fungal infection than other plants.
However, other fungi, such as anthracnose, can cause your plant to disfigure when humidity levels are high. Besides that, trimming plants using contaminated tools promotes the growth of fungal infections.
To reduce the spreading, disinfect all pruning tools using alcohol or any similar disinfectant. In addition, spray a fungicide on the affected part of your plant and move it away from the others.
There could be many reasons for your jade plant’s leaves to turn black. Overwatering appears to be the typical cause of this condition.
Jade plants are relatively simple to grow as they require only three things: adequate sunlight, good soil, and low humidity.
Thus, overwatering your plant may cause the root to rot, eventually turning the leaves black.
Although, this might be due to more than just your watering routine. Soggy soil and planter with no drainage may also cause the water to lodge around the roots.
On the other hand, some owners make the error of using compost for potting their plants. Since compost is dense and absorbs lots of water, utilizing it too much will put your plant at risk of root rot.
While we don’t recommend it, using compost once a year wouldn’t hurt your plant.
Optionally, in addition to perlite, use a lighter soil mix made for succulents. With this mixture plus a well-draining planter, you’ll have a better chance of avoiding your jade plants’ leaves turning black.
Start by placing your plant far from areas that catch intense sunlight. Additionally, try using curtains, drapes, or UV filters to protect them from direct sunlight.
In another case, watering your jade plant is among the most vital factors you can do. Ensure you’re not overwatering or underwatering it. Remember not to leave your plant’s soil to dry out longer than necessary either.
Finally, try trimming off the affected leaf portions to prevent the discoloration from developing further. If trimming doesn’t help, it’s best to re-pot your plant into succulent soil made for jade plants.
If you can’t salvage your jade plant, consider propagating it.
Follow these easy steps to propagate effectively.
Cut off the plant’s section that’s in good shape and free of black leaves and spots. Use a disinfected garden knife.
Dig through the soil until you see the root system. Then, discard any big rocks or other objects in the pot before uprooting.
Cut approximately 3–4 inches just below the soil’s surface. Top it with a potting mix and apply pressure to eliminate unwanted airspaces around the cutting.
Put a plastic bag on top of the pot, leaving about one inch open for proper ventilation. The sealed sides will preserve moisture while keeping the pests and dirt out.
Place your pot in a sunny location where it’ll catch at least six hours of sunlight daily. However, avoid putting it close to any windows, which may cause the leaves to turn black again.
While jade plants bring elegance and sophistication to any room, they can become spotty in color if not cared for.
When this happens, you’re probably thinking: why does my jade plant have black spots? These spots can develop due to overwatering, incorrect soil type, pest infestation, humidity stress, and fungal infections.
Fortunately, there are a few things you could do to recover your jade plant. First, ensure that the soil isn’t too soggy and, if necessary, let it dry fully. Then, check for any pests or infections. Besides that, try repotting your plants and transferring them to a sunnier spot.
Finally, if all else fails, consider propagating your jade plant.
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.