The jade plant is one of the easiest house plants to care for. But it still requires attention because spider mites find it a delicacy. After all, it is succulent, and some varieties have a bluish-purple color, which is an ideal cover for those malignant eigh-legged devils.
Getting rid of spider mites on jade plant is pretty straightforward. But spotting them in time is another story. Often, you can see the damage when the infestation is already severe.
How To Spot Spider Mites On Jade Plant Varieties
The chances of finding spider mites on jade plants increase as humidity drops. As you may know, you do not need to water this plant often. But spider mites love low humidity levels, so they get the ideal conditions on your jade plant.
Every once in a while, look where the leaf attaches to the stem. The damage may also appear on the underside of leaves as most spider mites on jade plant skin poke tiny holes that look like pores. These acari suck the plant juices out and cause discoloration.
Get a magnifying glass as well. No matter what subfamily or tribe of Tetranychidae is feasting on your succulents, these pests can be as small as 0.04 inches. And they can be bright red, dark brown, white, and even black in color.
Beware Of Your Jade Plant Turning Pink
If you prune your jade plant, it might be harder to inspect some leaves. So you had better keep an eye on the leaf tips. When you get spider mites on your jade plant, the plant may blush and get pink as the parasites start feeding.
Because spider mites use webs to move on the plant, the plant will feel sticky. The tiny webs may not be visible. But they make the leaves have an unpleasant gloopy texture.
As soon as you notice either one of these two signs, take away the plant from the others. Quarantine should be your first line of defence against these pests.
What To Do About Spider Mites On Your Jade Plant
Neem oil works for many pests, including spider mites. If neem oil products are legal in your state, you can use them regularly. You only need to follow the instructions and mix the neem oil into a water solution. Some growers also like to add a few drops of dish soap to emulsify the neem oil mix.
When you use such a solution, you might want to pay extra attention to not overwater your succulents. Also, treat your plants at night or early in the morning because the oil could stain the leaves and burn them as the sun rises.
You can tell when your plant needs water because of its deflated leaves. In any case, wait for the soil to be bone dry. Soak your pots all the way through till it runs out. Then, wait for the oil to evaporate and drive the unwanted guests away.
If this treatment does not work and you see even more spider mites on jade plant parts, spray the leaves with the neem solution. Or better yet, sprinkle rubbing alcohol (or isopropyl alcohol) to kill the spider mites instantly. You can use other solvents, like ethanol and methanol, but the latter option is more dangerous for human health, so handle them with care.
You can soak the soil again with the neem oil mix every 7 to 10 days. But if you find this pest nemesis coming back, you will have to take some extra steps:
- Because you need to deal with many generations of spider mites hatching all the time, you have to keep treating your plants for at least a month. Spray the leaves often with a commercial miticide—every day if you use isopropyl alcohol.
- Keep your succulents protected from the wind. (Spider mites love to surf the wind.)
- Rotate through different spider mite control products every week because these pests build a resistance to pesticides.
- Try insecticidal soap, horticultural oils, and other products as well. But wait 30 days before switching from one chemical product to another. In the meantime, use neem oil or isopropyl alcohol.
- Water your plants regularly and spray the leaves. (Also, keep them clean to discourage other pests and remove any spider mite egg.)
Spider Mites on Jade Plant: Conclusion
If everything else fails, pick systemic insecticide for use as a drench. This is the last resort against spider mites on jade plant leaves that built a pesticide resistance.
Related article: Can spider mites live without plants?