None of my thumbs are green!
Like most other newbies that drop by and post, I think I've done the impossible. I've slowly tortured and killed my jade tree. Please, I beg of you... help.
Problems I'm facing are below. Many high-res pictures available on flickr here: http://imgur.com/a/zu0no#0
I received a wonderfully giant beautiful jade tree for my birthday last April. I immediately started scouring the interwebs for tips and advice on not killing it. As soon as I got it home, I placed it against a wall in my living room. Far from the window. (did I mention I'm bad at this?) I saw the error of my ways, noticed the plant store had scorched and burned the leaves from full, direct light, took special care of it and bounced its leaves back to happy green life.
Fast forward a few months and leaves are falling everywhere. I frantically search the web and narrow my problems down to mites. I do a paper test and sure enough, I've got little red mites. I take my proud plant owner self to the plant store and talk carefully with the sales associate about what pesticides will not kill my sensitive jade plant. A few sprays and days later, no more mites.
Months go by. Leaves continue to drop. Things slowly get more bleak. I try to spray her leaves down with water/vinegar/soap solution thinking mold. I stop watering her for a long time (too long) thinking too much water. The drought seemed to help a bit... it slowed the problems, but they didn't stop.
Then I moved to a new apartment. Drier air, more heat. Less light? No water. And introduce the arch enemy... kitten.
PROBLEM 1: Crystallized leaves
For a long time, my leaves have slowly been drying and crystallizing when on the plant, surrounded by healthy leaves, and then falling. I've tried to clean these away a number of times, but it doesn't seem to change anything. Leaves appear to get soft, yellow-y and wrinkled before turning to flaky white.
PROBLEM 2: Softening branches
This is a newer problem, within the past few months. The smaller branches of my tree are getting soft and shriveling up, and entire branches are just falling off with healthy(ish) leaves still attached.
PROBLEM 3: Cracks and scabs on leaves
Long before the kitten came into the picture, my plant has shown brownish cracks or scratches in some of the leaves, and mysteriously I will find leaves that look like half of them have been cut off. Some weird mutations have occurred in new growth where leaves will be funny-shaped, but not recently.
PROBLEM 4: Brown scabby stems
I thought this was normal. Where new growth of stems is green, it looks all brown and scabby. I thought this was a normal growing part of turning from green stem to brown branch, but I'm having so many issues I'm doubting myself now.
PROBLEM 5: My cat.
My kitten is in love with my tree. She thinks it's the greatest thing to climb, ever. She's clawed the hell out of one poor branch, specifically, and it's now leaning over and weak. Should I stake it up or something? How do I help revive it? I've been telling her no and spraying an air can at her when she gets close and thinks about playing. It seems to work for the most part, unless I'm not around to watch her. Any suggestions on keeping her away?