Jade plants are pretty self-sufficient classics for any homeowner. Generally, they prefer bright light and occasional watering during the spring and summer. So why does your jade plant have white spots even in its preferable environments? Let’s find out.
Why there are white spots on jade plants? White spots on jade plants occur from mineral or salt build-up from high sodium levels in artificial soft water, calcium and magnesium carbonates in hard water, and over-fertilizing. White spots can also occur from overhead watering, powdery mildew (a fungal infection), or mealybugs and scale.
White spots may be a natural occurrence or hints of present fungal disease, whichever; there are easy methods to identify and deal with the problem.
Why Does My Jade Plant Have White Spots?
You’ll be pleased to discover that the white pots encompassing your jade plant’s leaves are generally a build-up of mineral deposits that form due to factors including soil, hard water, or over-fertilizing. The mineral build-up reveals itself by developing tiny white spots all over the jade plant’s leaves.
In addition, jade plants are generally undemanding plants; however, they are susceptible to over-watering and a selection of diseases. Therefore, edema and pests like mealybugs and scale explain why your jade plant has little white specks.
Here’s a better overview of the potential causes:
Mineral Build-Up In Soil Causes White Spots
Jade plants generally need infrequent repotting. So, if you do not change or refresh the potting soil, the goodness and nutrients gradually deplete. In turn, a mineral imbalance occurs that leads to salt accumulation.
Unfortunately, salt accumulation in indoor container plants is typical, particularly in potted plants that receive liquid fertilizer combined with artificially softened water. Soft water contains sodium (salt) that reduces or replaces the water’s high calcium and magnesium levels.
The white spots on jade plants are due to these soluble salts found in the water, which concentrate and later form into white crystals residues as the water evaporates.
Numerous signs indicate salt accumulation in container plants, some obvious, like the white spots on the jade plant’s leaves and a visible salt build-up on the soil’s surface. These tiny white specks on the jade plant’s foliage generally occur from overhead watering.
In addition, you will notice the salt crust in the soil’s surface. By poking your finger into the ground, the crust will generally shatter. Lastly, you might even be able to notice that the jade plant’s pot starts to develop salt crystals on its inner surface.
If you allow the salt accumulation to progress, your jade plant will suffer from more severe conditions, including yellowing leaves, stunted growth, wilted growth, dropping leaves.
Your best bet to prevent your plant from these worrying signs is to provide band new soil, in some cases repot the plant.
Watering Jade Plant’s With Hard Water Cause White Spots
Hard water generally has a high dissolved mineral content, mainly calcium and magnesium carbonates, sulfates, iron, and bicarbonates.
In addition, jade plants are succulents that store most of their water content in their lush, fleshy leaves. So, when you water your jade plant with hard water full of calcium and magnesium, the plant’s moisture levels tend to become imbalanced.
Then, as the plant aims to re-balance the salt content, it transpires to eliminate the excess minerals and salts through its leaf pores. In turn, the evaporation leaves a salt residue and white spots on your jade plant’s leaf pads.
As previously mentioned, overhead watering causes white specks on your jade plant; as the excess water evaporates into the air, the salt deposits are left behind.
A soft and moist cloth can generally wipe these white spots away to restore the appearance of the foliage.
However, it’s best to try to use an alternative solution like filtered water or flushing your plant’s soil occasionally to prevent long-term damage from using too hard water.
Over-Fertilizing Cause White Spots On Jade Plant
Unfortunately, potted plants have a limited amount of soil to work with; over some time, the nutrients in the soil deplete, and your jade plant then relies on a small amount of fertilizer for that additional boost to thrive.
So, when you’ double feed’ or add too much fertilizer to the jade plant’s soil, the unabsorbed minerals of the fertilizer remain in the ground. The mineral build-up potentially causes an exasperated salt residue and white spots on your jade plant’s leaves.
Fortunately, an easy process called leaching helps to rid of this build-up. Therefore, it is advisable to regularly leach your jade plants and other indoor plants to remove excess minerals and salts and keep their soil clear.
Remove the salt residue on the soil’s surface. Next, place your potted jade plant in a sink or somewhere outside where water can run freely. Then, slowly pour lukewarm water into the container without letting it overflow.
Pour at least twice the amount of water that the pot can hold to ensure that you wash away most of the excess salts.
It would be best if you leached your jade plants every four to six months (University Of California Master Garden Program) or consider replacing the potting soil altogether.
Powdery Mildew Causes White Spots On Jade Plant
Powdery mildew is a fungal infection that commonly affects many plants, including jade plants.
Due to improper circulation, this fungal disease forms gray to white powder spots on the jade plant, especially during the winter with excessive humidity and cold limited sunlight and warmth.
Fortunately, powdery mildew is easy to treat if you catch it early enough.
The white specks can look strikingly similar to mineral and salt build-up. So, the best way to check is to wipe off the leaves of the jade plant using a soft, damp cloth. If the white spots rapidly reoccur after a week, it’s powdery mildew.
To treat powdery mildew, use a home remedy consisting of one teaspoon baking soda, non-detergent soap, and a gallon of water. Mix the contents and directly spray the mixture onto the foliage daily until the spores disappear.
In addition, avoid overhead watering and consider using a fan to increase circulation, preventing fungal growth from occurring.
Other Common Causes Of White Spots On Jade Plant
Edema is a condition that occurs due to overwatering jade plants. The roots soak up too much of the water, and the plant fails to use the excess moisture in the foliage, causing the plant cells to rupture and blister.
Rarely, the white spots on the jade plant can also indicate mealybugs or a variety of scales. Mealybugs tend to have a white-to-silver, fuzzy exterior and mostly occur where the leaves attach to stems. At the same time, the scale has tiny silver bodies that can look like white spots on the jade plant.
Wipe mealybugs and scale off using a cotton ball and rubbing alcohol.
The white spots on your jade plant are not only unsightly but can also cause damage to your plant. Therefore, identifying, solving, and preventing white spots from reoccurring again is beneficial to the plant.
It’s best to prevent salt accumulation by pouring extra water into the jade plant’s pot every four to six months (leaching) to flush away salt build-up before it becomes an issue.
In addition, try preventing salt accumulation by avoiding applying too much fertilizer or using artificially softened water or hard water. Lastly, avoid overhead water and even though the jade plant is hardy, keep an eye of for pests like mealybugs and scale.
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