Jade plants are resilient and cannot be easily infested by pests or bugs, but the damage can be severe if bugs attack them.
If you have no idea why your jade plant is behaving weirdly, the reason could be pests infestation. But what kind of bugs attack the jade plant, and how can we eliminate the same? Let’s find out!
Aphids, scales, spider mites, and mealybugs often evade the jade plants. Avoid overwatering, keep the jade plant in a well-ventilated area, mist a diluted neem oil solution, and regularly lookout for pests to keep pests away from your jade plants.
You can use organic ways to treat and repel these pests, such as neem oil. It can be sprayed on your plant every month, and keep inspecting your plant.
Keep other plants away and bring your infested plant back with another plant only when they are completely healthy.
With that in mind, let’s learn more about different kinds of bugs that attack our jade plant and how we can eliminate them.
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What could be eating my jade plant?
Let’s find out what are the common bugs that stress your jade plant.
Common bugs that infect the jade plants are:
- Spider mites
We will briefly study these bugs and signs your jade plants are giving you to identify which bugs are infesting them. Once identified we will take necessary actions to eradicate them altogether.
How do I get rid of mites on my jade plant?
Spider mites feed the nutrients from jade plant cells and gradually damage the leaves and stems. As a result, the leaves and stems become weak, and as the condition progresses, the plant dies off.
- Minuscule red/brown spiders
- Related to spiders
- Webs on the leaves and stems
- Found undersides of leaves
- Appear tiny dots like for naked eyes
- Dusty like on leaves
- Suck on leaves and stems
- Eggs are invisible to naked eyes
- Speckled foliage
- Curling of leaves
- Dry leaves
- Weaken the plant
- Dropping leaves
- Brown spots on foliage
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How do I get rid of gnats on my jade plant?
Fungal gnats effect jade plants when the plant is living in moist conditions for an extended time.
When the potting medium is wet, these bugs get attracted to the plant. Adult gnats produce eggs on the soil and multiply rapidly.
These gnats create nuisance around the plant, and the larvae of gnats can damage the plant leading to wilting of the plant.
- Tiny black flying bugs
- Dark brown, black or yellowish
- Small bugs flying around the plant
- Eat rotting roots
- Crawl on the potting medium
- Grows in humidity and moist condition
- Larvae are diminutive white worms
- Wilting leaves
- Slow growth
- Yellow leaves
- Damage cuttings, seedlings
- Root damage
How do I get rid of mealybugs on my jade plant?
Mealybugs are tiny white pests, commonly mistaken for fungus or mildew due to the fuzzy appearance.
Mealybugs may have come from newly bought infested plants, and they thrive in warmer climates. They most commonly reside on new growth or leaf joints.
- Fluffy cotton on the plant
- Oval shaped
- Suck sap on the plant
- Brown or cream-colored
- Immature ones are waxy
- Male mealybugs have wings
- Deformed leaf growth
- Stunted growth
- Yellow leaves
- Leaf drop
- Found undersides of the leaves or cuttings
How do I get rid of aphids on my jade plant?
Aphids are also known as plant lice and very common to be found on your jade plant. They mainly attack your plant when the humidity level is high.
Another common way of introducing aphids is through a pest-infested plant. Aphids may even come through the wind from the window.
- Clusters on new growth
- Multiply quickly
- Tiny green bugs
- Fat and juicy insect
- May have wings
- Eggs look like a tiny white speck
- Adult ones can be red, brown, blue, etc
- Stunted growth
- Leaf drop
- Deformed leaves
- Yellow leaves
- Sticky residue on plant
How do I get rid of scales on my jade plant?
Scales are gross-looking bugs, suck on the sap of your plant and excrete a sticky residue that attracts ants towards the plant.
They spread from one plant to another and are hard to detect. You need to examine your plant closely to detect scales. If they are not detected early on, they will dominate the plant.
- Small brown rounded lumps
- 1/8th inch long oval-shaped
- Can range from white to brown
- Armored scales with shell covering
- Unarmoured scales without shell covering
- Deformed leaf growth
- Yellow leaves
- Brown pick marks
- Leaf drop
- Stunted growth
Why do jade plants get bugs?
If pests infest your jade plant, we need to take the necessary steps to eliminate them before they can take over and kill your jade plants.
Overwatering is the root cause of most issues in jade plants. Jade plants cannot tolerate overwatering because these plants do not like to stay wet and will respond adversely in such conditions.
It may be caused either when you water your jade plant more than required or water them without checking the moisture level in the soil.
If the drainage system of your pot is not adequate, then it will undoubtedly lead to overwatering. Even if you water the plant right, without proper drainage, they are likely to suffer.
If your jade plant is sitting in soggy soil for a longer period, the soil and roots cannot breathe. Therefore, the moist environment in soil and roots may lead to root rot conditions.
This further causes pest infestations as it is a perfect environment for pests to attack and bacteria, fungi to grow.
If the planter cannot identify the problem in the initial stages and does not treat them, there will be a high chance of losing the plant.
Here are the steps you need to take:
- Ensure proper drainage in the pot.
- Use a well-drained potting mix
- Make sure you water the plant only when the soil gets dry
- Keep the plant in a well-lit spot where it gets at least 6 hours of bright indirect sunlight.
Also read: How often should I water my jade plant?
Jade plants do not appreciate high humidity, and when they are kept in high humidity areas, there are higher chances of root rot and pest infestation.
High humidity may occur naturally due to climate conditions. If you live in an area closer to water bodies, your home may have a high humidity level. Misting jade plants may also lead to high humidity levels.
If you water your jade plant more than they need, the humidity may rise. This is because the water will evaporate from the soil surface, increasing the humidity level around your plant.
Pests have a sixth sense for sensing high humidity areas; they need a moist area to survive; otherwise, their tiny bodies may dry out and die.
This is why your jade plant may attract pests if they live in such conditions.
Lack of air circulation
Jade plants love living in an area with good airflow. It helps keep the humidity from rising. Also, they like aerated soil mix so that the air and water flow easily within.
The water will dry out quickly and decrease the chances of fungal growth and pests attack. However, they will thrive and multiply quickly if such conditions persist.
Keeping jade plants too close to other plants may lead to high humidity and less airflow. This makes the perfect environment for pests to thrive.
How do you kill jade plant bugs?
Getting rid of bugs is crucial and should be done as soon as you identify them.
If your plants remain infected for long, they will start wilting. In addition, the pests make your plant weaker by sucking saps, and the plant may not be able to revive back if left untreated.
The first thing you need to do is relax and take a step back and recollect what you need to do to get rid of those nasty bugs. Please do not panic, as it may worsen the case.
Start by mixing two tablespoons of hot pepper sauce and add a few drops of ivory soap with 4 cups of water. Let the mixture sit overnight. Once done, empty the mixture into a spray bottle and apply it regularly for a few weeks.
Inspect and isolate the plant
Start by isolating your pest-infested jade plant immediately to prevent other plants from getting infected. Also, monitor the plants round for signs of pests.
Prune the damaged parts
After isolating, it is advised to get rid of the damaged parts of the plant.
Prune the dead and damaged leaves, and make sure to dispose of them off.
Make sure you are using gloves while pruning and sanitize your hands and area after disposing of the affected parts.
Use Plant-based miticide
Miticides can be used to control pests. However, we prefer using plant-based miticides to save our plant from any side effects.
Before using any type of miticides, spray on a leaf to ensure it suits your plant. Then only apply to the whole plant.
Use any of the following options to treat your jade plant:
Neem oil: Neem oil is pressed out of the seed from the neem tree, which can be used as an organic insecticide spray.
It acts as a pests repellant, makes it harder for pests to grow and lay eggs. Mix 2 tsp with a gallon of water and spray it regularly to see faster results.
Rosemary oil: Rosemary oil is a natural pesticide to repel and kill bugs.
They have a strong smell which helps to repel bugs and have no side effects on the plant. Dilute rosemary oil and spray on the plant covering all parts.
Cinnamate: Cinnamate is an organic insecticide, nontoxic and kills pests at all stages. Dilute it and spray it all over the plant every 3-4 days until you completely eliminate the infestation.
Household chemicals are equally effective.
If you do not have any of the above miticides available at your home or nearby, you can opt for the following homemade insecticides.
They are also practical and save your plant when no other option is available.
Rubbing alcohol: Take rubbing alcohol and add water. The preferred ratio is 1:1. Spray or pour this solution all over the plant and then wash the plant with normal water. Use this regularly to see results.
Dish soap: Dish soap is the easiest way to get rid of pests. Mix 1 tsp mild dish soap to 1-liter water and pour it in a spray bottle.
Use this spray on your plant, and then wash the plant with plain water. Do this regularly to treat pests and kill them completely.
Herbal tea miticide is a fantastic homemade remedy.
Herbal tea is also a natural way to treat pests. It can be prepared using:
- 1 tbsp cinnamon
- 1 tbsp cloves
- 1 cups water
- Boil this mixture and let it cool down.
- Add garlic.
- Add dish soap
Now pour it in a spray bottle and spray it all over the plant. Use this regularly till the problem persists.
You can also use commercial pesticides.
Several commercial pesticides are available in the market, which can eliminate pests from the plant.
You can buy any from the given options in the market but read the instructions before buying one.
Avoid using any pesticide that can harm your plant.
Shower the plant
Showering your infested jade plant is also a good idea. It may help to get rid of a lot of pests without any harmful use of chemicals.
Wash the plant thoroughly, making sure all parts are getting the shower.
Wash in the morning, give the plant plenty of light during the day. It will allow the soil and other parts to dry quicker.
Starting over is advised after trying all possible ways to treat the plant to eliminate the pests and if the problem persists.
This indicates that your plant is severely infected and the problem has gone too far.
You need to let off the plant and start over. Ensure to disinfect the area where your plant was kept and treated after getting rid of the plant.
Tips to keep bugs away from jade plant
- You can save your jade plant from overwatering if you understand their watering needs. It would be best if you kept checking the soil before you decide to water them.
- Use well-aerated soil mix and porous pots to aid easy flow of air and water.
- Ensure proper drainage system and if you are using a drainage tray with the pot, then make sure to get rid of collected water in a few hours.
- Avoid misting nearby your jade plant and keep them in space with good airflow.
- Use miticides to keep pests at bay and neem oil to prevent and kill any eggs.
- Keep the leaves of your jade plant clean and dry.
Sources: Common insect pests and diseases.