Considered to be a symbol of good luck in the East, jade plants (Crassula ovata) are a joy to care for and, with proper maintenance, can be a beautiful house plant that adds a touch of class and color to any home or office. However, if you’ve ever experienced jade plan branches rotting, you might not feel so lucky! Thankfully, all is not lost and with a little TLC, your beloved jade plant will be back to full health in no time at all.
In this post, you’re going to learn the following:
- What causes branches to rot,
- How to fix the issue
- What to avoid going forward to prevent it from happening again
Let’s get started.
Causes of Jade Plant Branch Rotting
- Overwatering: Excessive watering is the primary cause of branch rot in jade plants. These succulents are native to arid regions and are adapted to store water in their thick leaves and stems. When they are overwatered, the excess moisture can lead to root rot, which affects the health of the branches.
- Poor Drainage: Inadequate drainage in the pot or container can contribute to water accumulation around the roots, leading to root rot and subsequent branch rotting.
- Fungal or Bacterial Infections: Fungal or bacterial pathogens can infect jade plants, especially when there is excess moisture and poor airflow. These infections can cause the branches to rot.
- Physical Damage: In some cases, physical damage to the branches, such as cuts or wounds, can create entry points for pathogens, which can then lead to rotting.
How to Fix Jade Plant Branch Rotting
- Assess the Damage: Examine the affected branches carefully to determine the extent of the rot. If only a small portion of the branch is affected, you may be able to salvage it with appropriate treatment.
- Prune the Affected Areas: Using clean and sterilized pruning shears, carefully remove the rotted parts of the branches. Make sure to cut a few inches above the visibly rotted area to ensure that all infected tissue is removed.
- Inspect the Roots: Gently remove the jade plant from its container and examine the roots. If you notice any signs of rot or mushiness, trim off the affected roots with sterile scissors. Allow the roots to dry for a day before repotting the plant.
- Improve Drainage: Ensure that the container has proper drainage holes to prevent water accumulation. Repot the jade plant in well-draining soil specifically formulated for succulents. Avoid using regular potting soil, as it may retain too much moisture.
- Adjust Watering Practices: Let the soil dry out between watering sessions. Stick your finger about an inch into the soil to check for moisture. If it feels dry, it’s time to water. However, if it feels damp, hold off on watering until the soil has dried out.
- Provide Adequate Airflow: Ensure that your jade plant receives adequate airflow and is not placed in an area with high humidity. Good air circulation helps prevent the growth of fungal and bacterial pathogens.
- Apply Fungicide: If you suspect a fungal or bacterial infection, apply a suitable fungicide following the instructions provided. This can help combat the pathogens and prevent further rotting.
- Avoid Overfertilizing: Jade plants are relatively low-maintenance when it comes to fertilization. Overfertilization can stress the plant and make it more susceptible to infections. Use a balanced, water-soluble fertilizer formulated for succulents and follow the recommended dilution and frequency.
- Monitor and Maintain: Regularly inspect your jade plant for signs of stress or disease. Address any issues promptly to prevent further branch rotting.
How To Fix Jade Plant Branches Rotting?
The most common cause of jade plant branches rotting is down to moisture. Either you’re overwatering your plan, or the pot isn’t allowing water to drain away. Thankfully the solution is simple – remove the rot and re-root the stems.
Below, we walk you through what you need to do:
Remove The Rot
- Starting at the bottom of the stem, gently squeeze – if it feels soft and mushy this is generally a sign of root rot.
- Move up a few centimetres and squeeze again until you find where the firm area starts.
- Once you’ve cut the stem, look at the end – of it’s black, cut a little higher, so you’re sure there’s no rot left.
- Repeat the process with the other stems until there’s no rot left.
- Don’t worry if you’re left with no rooted stems; jade roots well from healthy cuttings.
Re-Root The Stems
- Dip each stem in rooting hormone and let them dry for three or four days.
- Place each stem into a plant pot filled with cactus mix, burying the stems around 1-2 inches deep.
- Loosely bin the stems together and use stems to provide support.
- Water and leave the plant in a shaded area ensuring the pot doesn’t sit in water (don’t use a saucer under the pot).
- Only lightly re-water when the cactus mix looks dry.
If you’d prefer, you can also follow the steps above, but rather than combine the stems together, you can individually plant them in new pots – giving you lots of lovely new jade plants.
Whichever option you choose, keep an eye on new growth, as this is a sign that the plants are rooting and you’ve been successful.
Prevention is Key
Preventing branch rot in jade plants is essential for their long-term health. Here are some preventive measures to keep in mind:
- Use well-draining soil specifically formulated for succulents.
- Ensure proper drainage in the pot or container.
- Water the plant sparingly and allow the soil to dry out between waterings.
- Provide adequate airflow around the plant.
- Avoid overfertilizing.
- Maintain a suitable environment with good lighting and moderate humidity.
By implementing these preventive measures and promptly addressing any signs of rot or disease, you can help your jade plant thrive and maintain healthy, rot-free branches.
The Bottom Line
So there you have it; while jade plant branches rotting can seem like a cause for concern, fixing the problem is just a case of cutting away the rot to prevent it from spreading upwards.