Why Is My Jade Plant Stem Turning Black? [How to Fix]

Jade plants are jewels in the plant world. Their bright emerald color brightens a dusty corner of a house and beautifies an outside rockery. Although most people know the basics of plant care, some plants need specific conditions to thrive. If the environment is not suited to the jade plant, it develops diseases and dies.

Why Is My Jade Plant Stem Turning Black? Jade plant stems turn black for two reasons. The plant may be overwatered, which suffocates the roots and causes the stem to become black. Fungal infection causing root rot is another cause of a jade plant with a black stem. It is difficult to save a jade plant once the stem has blackened. 

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If you love plants but have missed the proverbial green thumb, you may need some advice on why your jade plant stem is turning black and what to do about it.

What Causes My Jade Plant Stem To Turn Black?

 It is an unpleasant shock to notice that your precious jade plant has a black stem. You may have been carefully tending your plant, and suddenly the stem turns black.

Jade stems turn black for two reasons which can occur in isolation or together.

  1. A jade plant that receives too much water will develop a black stem.
  2. Jade plants are prone to root rot which is a fungal disease that begins underground.

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How Can Too Much Water Make My Jade Plant’s Stem Turn Black?

Jade plants are succulents native to South Africa, which has a hot, dry climate in many places. It is in precisely these climatic conditions that jade plants flourish and grow naturally. In addition, their preferred microclimate is dry, rocky, well-drained hillsides or sandy regions.

Rainfall in South Africa is sporadic and does not occur every day. The pattern is that there is usually an intense downpour of rain followed by several days or even weeks of dry conditions. The jade plant has adapted to these conditions by having thick fleshy leaves and stems to store water.

Watering your plants too often results in the roots becoming waterlogged. They are unable to take in oxygen and begin to decay. The decay spreads up the plant, and the stem will turn black.

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I Don’t Overwater My Jade Plant, But The Stem Has Turned Black

You may have read that jade plants do not need much water. You are carefully obeying instructions on watering, but your jade plant is still not doing well. A drainage issue could cause the problem. If your jade plant is in a pot, the potting soil must be suitable for succulents, and the pot must have drainage holes.

Undrained pots,  limited evaporation, and incorrect potting soil result in the plant experiencing the same effects as overwatering. Decay will set in, and the plant will become black and die.

A jade plant in the garden must be planted in well-drained soil with minimal compost added. Sandy soil or rock-filled areas are best for jade plants, allowing the water to drain away. This ensures the jade plant does not have constantly wet roots.

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What Is Root Rot, And Why Does It Make My Jade Plant Black?

Root rot occurs as a result of fungi that grow in the soil around the jade plant roots. Fungi thrive in moist warm conditions, so overwatering and wet soil encourage the growth of fungi.

Fungi spores are tiny and are naturally found in soil, waiting for the right conditions to grow. Many different fungi species can affect your jade plant. The fungi cause the roots to become soft, pulpy, and unable to absorb moisture.

The fungal infection will spread up the stem and cause black or brown spots to appear. The spots spread until the whole stem is black and soft, causing the plant to die.

Can I Save A Jade Plant With A Black Stem?

If your jade plant stem has turned black, there is no hope of saving that plant. The stem carries water and essential nutrients to the leaves. When it turns black, the transportation routes inside the stem are compromised and can no longer function.

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What Is The Best Action If My Jade Plant Stem Turns Black?

If your jade plant stem has turned entirely black, examine the plant carefully to see if there is any viable part that looks healthy. Cut off the healthy section and propagate a new jade plant using this cutting.

If the jade plant stem is partially black from over-watering, then remove the plant from the soil and allow it to dry out. This can be achieved by leaving the entire plant open (not planted) for a day or two.

Alternatively, you can replant the jade plant in dry sandy soil or cactus potting soil. Do not water the plant if you replant it immediately. Give it a few days to dry out before cautiously watering it.  

How Do I Treat Root Rot In My Jade Plant?

If your jade plant has a fungal infection, you need to consider if any of the plant can be saved. If you can make a healthy cutting, you can replant that cutting in a clean plant pot.

Do not use any soil from the previous post, as it will be infected with fungal spores. It is best to dispose of that soil in a place where it cannot infect other plants in your garden or house. If you wish to use the pot again it must be disinfected using an antifungal preparation or a bleach solution.

If your jade plant developed a fungal infection while planted in the garden, you must remove the plant and treat the soil with a fungicide.

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Jade plant stems turn black because of too much water at the roots. Fungal infections are common in constantly moist soil, and this can make the jade plant stem blacken. Prevention is infinitely preferable to a cure in this scenario. Ensure that your jade plant has good drainage and water it appropriately to maintain a healthy, vibrant plant.

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