Leaves falling off of Jade

engisprettaJuly 22, 2014

One of my jades isn't doing very well and I'm worried I might lose it. I got it in 2011 from Ikea.
It had been potted in standard Ikea potting mix, which I thoroughly removed from the rootball and replaced with a sandy soil mix for cacti and succulents that I bought from a plant show at a botanical garden, so I assume it's appropriate.
It has spent most of its time in a south facing window, but still hadn't been getting enough light and was pretty leggy. I trimmed it back in March before moving to a new apartment with a large terrace where it's been all summer. I didn't transition it to the sun very well, so a few of the leaves got burnt at the beginning of the summer, but it had been doing fine, I assume, until a couple of days ago.
I noticed that one of the main stems had sort of fallen over and the leaves were much lighter than those on the other main stem. When I examined it, all of the leaves started falling off, but just from that stem.
It had gotten a few days of rain a couple of weeks ago without drying out in between, so I was worried about root rot, but when I checked the rootball, everything looked fine. I'm not sure what could be the issue.
The other side looks fine, as far as I know, and they've gotten exactly the same treatment. I haven't been fertilizing this year. Any ideas about what the issue could be? I've attached some pictures of the plant post chop and what it looks like now.

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i had the same problem with some of my jades that i kept outside on the balcony. However, none of the plants i kept inside was affected. I think this "leaf-falling syndrom" is related to the very wet and quite cold spring and early summer we had this year in Germany. It is a kind of rot that might be induced by some fungi ...

All of the stems that showed this syndrom finally died. The problem is, that the rot is inside the stem (in the vascular bundel) and that it will continue to "grow" to other plant parts and finally most probably will kill the whole plant. I solved this problem by taking cuttings of yet uninfected stems and rerooted them. Like this i at least could safe the plants ...
You could easily test if your plant has the same disease by cutting your affected stem and look if there are brown, "soft" parts in the vascular bundel.
Good luck.
All the best from Hessen,

    Bookmark   July 22, 2014 at 10:10AM
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I suspect your problem starts in the soil. It appears to be "cactus & succulent mix" which is nothing more than standard bagged peat moss mix, with some sand, and maybe a bit more perlite. Sand is horrible in potting mix, because the particles are too small, clogging up the mix and ruining drainage. Peat moss is also bad, because as it decomposes, it turns into very fine particles, creating a mushy soil, which results in very poor drainage. These types of soils are easy to overwater, which is the primary cause for leaf drop on jades.

I would advise you to search these forums and learn about gritty mix, and the many benefits it provides, especially for succulents like your jade. One you get an idea of the concept, I'd repot into a gritty type mix ASAP. A porous mix like the gritty mix provides great drainage and aeration to the root zone, which is key to preventing rot.


    Bookmark   July 22, 2014 at 5:59PM
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americangolden(ZONE 5B)


Do any of the stems feel mushy? If so you can try to cut those areas off to save the rest of the plant if the roots are ok like you have stated. Sometimes my Jade's lose leaves as well and it is normal. If just a few leaves are falling off I think you are ok. Keep us updated and hope you jade plant is ok!

    Bookmark   July 22, 2014 at 9:01PM
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The base of the main stem felt mushy, so I decided to cut it off, and I'm glad I did because it looks like there is some major rot in the vascular bundle, as benst suspected.

You can also see what the soil is like in the second picture. Do you think the rest of the plant will be ok, or will the rot from the remaining stump spread? I tried to cut it down as far as I could.

    Bookmark   July 23, 2014 at 6:41AM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

Ben and Joe nailed it.
Move it out of that potting mix. Also, I would continue trimming up the trunk that you cut, looking for healthy green tissue (nice nails, by the way ;-) ). Then dust with cinnamon, let callus, and re-root that trunk. A few more leaves will fall in the mean time.


    Bookmark   July 23, 2014 at 12:26PM
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Hi all!
Crassulas are in stagnation at +28 C and above. Besides, they do not use water in the afternoon. And if they are watered in the morning or afternoon, the wet excess will lead to root rot and then to stem rot. When plants do not drink water, rot spreads without competition in the heat, darkness and dampness.
I agree with Ben, Josh and Joe, it is necessary to reroot into a suitable mix.
Also you can add probiotics into the soil.

    Bookmark   July 24, 2014 at 3:00AM
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Oks2n2, I'm not disagreeing with you, or challenging you, but I'd like to hear more about the jades not using water in the afternoon thing. I've never heard of that before, and wonder where you heard that. I ask because I have always watered almost exclusively in the afternoon, after work, and have never rotted a jade.


    Bookmark   July 24, 2014 at 5:37PM
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Joe, I can only refer to a Russian website as always http://www.samaracactus.ru/photosynt.htm
Photosynthesis is terminated from 12 to 15 hours among C4-plants with a "crassula acid metabolism" mechanism.
So you're doing the right thing, that watering after work :-)

This post was edited by Oks2n2 on Fri, Jul 25, 14 at 1:46

    Bookmark   July 25, 2014 at 1:08AM
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