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Good Morning,

In October I purchased 2 beautiful hanging jade plants. I placed each in a window to receive the sun. Being new to Chicago I didn't know the sun only comes out here twice a week. One plant is doing fine but the other has a white foamy substance on it and the branches are dropping all on the floor. In the last week alone it has shrunk to half it's size. When purchased I was told to water it every 2 weeks until winter (winter began 12-21-14). How can I save this plant? I really love it and don't want it to die. Thank you very much for your help.
Kind regards,

Hi Gilda,

A photo posted here or emailed to my address below would be very helpful.

"White foamy substance" is probably a mealybug infestation, but I cannot be sure without a photo. Treat mealybugs by mixing a solution of 5 parts water, 1 part isopropyl alcohol and a squirt of liquid soap. Then, spray the entire plant until all leaf and stem surfaces are dripping wet. Thoroughness of coverage is critical to success.

Jades do require lots of sunlight. The watering instructions you received are inappropriate. Assuming your Jades are potted properly, then they should be watered only when the top quarter of the soil is very dry. This is true all year round and is not seasonal.

I have written detailed articles on treating indoor plant pests 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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