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House Plants/large jade plant problem


Jade plant
Jade plant  

Jade leaves
Jade leaves  
Hi Will,
 My gorgeous jade plant has something wrong with it.The total height of the potted plant is 27"(10" high pot).It stays indoors during the winter under 3 grow lights and has been extremely healthy.I put it outside during the summer where it grows so much I'm pinching 30 leaves off at a time.I was going away for a week and decided to put it outside, it was May so I figured it would be all right. I noticed it was getting a little sunburned so brought it in and then noticed what had happened to my poor friend.The leaves have raised black spots which I can't really scrape off.Some of the leaves then get raised cork-colored spots.The leaves feel gritty when I rub them.Brown streaks are on some of the leaves mostly on top but some on the underside of the leaves.One leaf appeared to have something papery on the bottom which I was able to peel off.Leaves then wither and die.I did notice that the soil was "bone dry" although the leaves are plump and full.I'm afraid to water it.I have seen no bugs or cottony patches.All the spots are on the top of the leaves. I have included a picture but could send more if you wish.I was on the internet last night for two hours trying to find out how to resolve this. I would so appreciate any help.

Thank you,
Nancy Z

Hi Nancy,

I'm sorry it took you so long to find me on the internet. Save my email address below so you can contact me directly next time you have an indoor plant question.

The symptoms on your leaves are definitely a result of too much sun. Most folks don't realize that outdoor sunlight can be 100 or more times intense than indoor sunlight. This is the time of year that many houseplants get moved outside and their leaves get scorched and/or cold damaged.

The leaf discoloration will never go away, but it will not spread any further. I suggest you trim off the most badly damaged leaves and resume watering it normally.

You mentioned that your Jade was extremely healthy before moving it outside and that during the summer it grows so much you have to pinch it back regularly. My question is why move it outside in summer? In general, plants do not like changes in their environment. An increase in light can sometimes be beneficial, but often the results are not good. When you have a good indoor location for a plant with enough light for it to thrive, my recommendation is to leave it there year round.

I have written articles on moving plants outside and on Jade care that I will email for free to you (or anyone else) who emails a request to me at I have also written an indoor plant care book in a PDF format that I can sell you if you contact me at my email address.

Please let me know if any of this is unclear or if you have any additional questions.

If this information has been helpful, please click the Rate Volunteer bar below and enter a rating and NOMINATION for me. I am a volunteer on this site so Ratings are the only compensation I receive for answering plant questions.

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Will Creed, Interior Landscaper
Horticultural Help, NYC

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Will Creed


I am the only expert in this category with professional hands-on experience and knowledge of all indoor plants. I can answer questions regarding light, water, fertilizer, repotting, pruning and humidity and temperature requirements. I can identify plant pests and provide information on safe, effective treatments. My answers are based on 35 years of professional experience and scientific research and are clear and easy to understand. I do NOT use search engines to find answers to your questions. If you read my previous posts here, you will get a good idea as to how thorough and professional my answers are.


I have over 35 years of professional indoor landscaping experience caring for plants in homes, offices, building lobbies, stores, restaurants, and other adverse environments. I have written extensively on the care of indoor plants, including a 260 page book. My specialties include Ficus trees, low light plants, repotting, pest control, and re-blooming holiday plants. Be sure to check my ratings and nominations to learn why I am the top-rated indoor plant expert. I am the only House Plant expert consistently ranked in the AllExperts Top 20.

BA, Amherst College

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