House Plants/Jade Plant

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Question
My jade plant has a gooey white stuff at some of the joints and the leaves keep dropping off.  I just moved from a basement condo to a 3rd floor apartment.  Do you think that could be a problem. It was given to me in 09 when my sister passed away.  It means a lot to me.  Please advise.  thank you

Answer
Hi Charlene,
  It sounds like your Jade plant has mealy bugs or, if the white stuff is web like, spider mites.

Mealybugs are soft-bodied, oval shaped, scale like insects with many legs. Mealybugs are covered by a sticky, white, cottony looking substance that extends out from it's body like short filaments. Mealybugs can be a problem to get rid of because the cottony substance often protects the insect from pesticides. The best way to get rid of Mealybugs is to pick them off with a cotton swab dipped in alcohol.
Mealy bug eggs and immature crawlers can very easily be missed in the crevices, folds and creases on both the plant's leaves and stems that these insects like to hang out in.
Also mealy bugs have been known to deposit their eggs in places like the pot and the area immediately surrounding the pot (such as a window sill) as well as the plant itself.

Spider Mites are tiny, spider like mites that can barely been seen with the naked eye. The most common Spider Mite is the Two-spotted Spider Mite, they have soft, light green, pear shaped bodies with 2 dark spots on their backs. The most visible sign of a Spider Mite presence is webbing on the undersides of leaves and between stems, however, webbing indicates a high population of Spider Mites. Although Spider Mites are very hard to see with the naked eye, their eggs can usually be seen easily, grouped together on the undersides of leaves. Looking at the underside of a leaf at a slight angle is also helpful in making the eggs (and adult spider mites) easier to see.
Spider Mites are very difficult to get rid of or control. Often they are resistant to chemical pesticides and many insecticides do not work for Spider Mites. If you are going to use a commercial chemical pesticide be sure that it is listed on the label that the product is effective for Spider Mites.

The first step in getting rid of spider mites (and most crawling insects) is to spray the leaves, especially the undersides, with a strong spray of water. This will wash off as many of the insects as possible. Since Spider Mites are often resistant to most chemical pesticides it is best to use a homemade insecticidal soap spray.

To make a homemade insecticidal soap spray to get rid of spider mites and mealy bugs put distilled water, a few drops of dishwashing liquid in a spray bottle and thoroughly spray the plants (Be sure to get the undersides of the leaves). Repeat this about every 3-5 days until all evidence of spider mites or mealy bugs is gone.


I hope this helps. If you have any questions or need additional information please don't hesitate to ask.
     Thanks
       Tracy

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Tracy

Expertise

I am knowledgeable and experienced (professionally) in the care of many different kinds of houseplants as well as the pests and diseases common to houseplants. I have had a lot of experience and success with most propagation techniques. I am also knowledgeable and experienced with artificial lighting for plants. I can answer questions about all aspects of 'indoor gardening'. Not only questions about growing foliage plants and starting seeds under artificial plant lighting but also questions about artificial plant light system set up, supplemental artificial lighting and cost. ~ I can help identify plants accurately ONLY if you submit a picture of the plant with your question.~

Experience

I usually always have at least 70 houseplants at all times. I have done extensive research, education and have over 20 years of experience with houseplants, indoor gardening, interior landscaping and artificial plant lighting. About 30% of my houseplants are grown exclusively under artificial plant lighting. Many of the other houseplants that are growing in natural light are also given supplemental lighting using artificial plant light. I have 5 complete artificial plant light systems that I designed and built.

Publications
I have written extensively about plants, all aspects of houseplant care, indoor gardening and artificial plant lighting. I have written many informational blogs, articles and 'plant care guides' for many websites, forums and some online horticultural communities.

Education/Credentials
I have knowledge and experience on the care of houseplants, the different kinds of houseplants, pests and diseases common to houseplants, indoor gardening/landscaping and artificial plant lighting.

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