Scale on Your Jade Plant? Here’s What to Do

Jade plants are tough, sun-loving succulents that are easy to care for. They originate in South Africa and thrive in warm, dry weather. Jade plants have the scientific name Crassula Ovata and are generally considered relatively pest resistant.  But, if you end up with scale on your jade plant, it’s easy to get off.

However, two insects will suck the sap of the jade plant; mealybugs and scale. Scale insects can be very destructive as they will pierce the jade plants’ foliage and suck out the juices. This will affect the plant’s health, and when an infestation occurs will stunt your plant’s growth. The good news is that you can take steps to get rid of scale on jade plants. Let’s look at what causes scale on a jade plant and how to eliminate these insects.

What Causes Scale on Jade Plant?

Scales on Jade Plant

Jade plants are popular houseplants worldwide; they can also be grown outdoors in the right climate. These plants will thrive in USDA zones 10 to 11. One of the most common pests that affect jade plants is scale insects. These tiny pests don’t really look like bugs. They have a hard, waxy shell and appear on the underside of the plant leaves as small bumps.

The scale will suck the jade plant’s sap and cause the leaves to turn yellow and then brown. Eventually, the leaves will drop off the jade plant. If your plant becomes infested with scale, it will also stunt the plant’s growth. It’s, therefore, best to treat your plant as soon as you notice any problems.

How to treat a light scale infestation

If your plant has a light infestation, it’s essential to take action immediately before your plant starts to suffer and the insects breed. You can scrap scale off your jade plant leaves using either your fingernail, a dry toothbrush, or a dull knife.

Alternatively, you may like to use isopropyl alcohol to kill the pests. Dip a cotton swab in the liquid and hold it on the scales hard shell for about thirty seconds. The insect will absorb the solution, and it will break down the oil in their shells and eventually kill them. It will also suffocate the pests. Be careful when applying rubbing alcohol, and don’t get it all over the plant’s leaves.

Heavier Scale Infestation

For plants that are suffering from a heavier scale infestation, you can mix one cup of isopropyl alcohol with a teaspoon of insecticidal soap and a gallon of water. Use this solution to spray the insects and plants foliage. Plants will need to be treated regularly to get rid of pests completely. Spray your plant every three days for two weeks.


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Scale insects are one of just two pests that commonly affect jade plants. These insects suck your plant’s sap and have a hard waxy shell. They cause small bumps on the underside of the leaves. You can pick off the insects or treat your plant with insecticidal soap or rubbing alcohol.