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Cacti and Succulents: Some weird scum stuff on my jade

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pisces

(Zone 4b)

June 17, 2001
11:34 PM

Post #6697

Ack! I found some weird whitish scum stuff on my favourite jade plant yesterday! Does anyone know what could have caused this? I checked the plant for mealy bugs, and it's buggy-free. None of my other jades have weird white scum on them, but then, this one is in a different room from all my other plants (except for one glorious coleus). It's hanging in front of a window that's almost always open. Do you think it could have caught some weird airborne fungus? I'd hate to think I'm in danger of losing this plant. It's the "mom" of all my other jades. But then it seems healthy in every other way.

thanks y'all!
pisces
Crasulady
Valley Village, CA

June 18, 2001
5:32 AM

Post #84213

If it is a fungus you are going to have a battle royal. Keep it dry, very dry, get a fan going close by, see if you can purchase a fungicide, perhaps the ones used on Roses. Take off all of the diseased parts, perhaps drench with 1 tbs. of liq. dish soap. Use Sulfur, Benomyl(Benlate)It is caused by the weather, we do not get that here in So.Cal. I hope more people respond, I am taking it for granted that you live in the Eastern part of the country. Do not mist the plant. Crasulady
pisces

(Zone 4b)

June 18, 2001
12:31 PM

Post #84237

Thanks for responding, Crassulady. So you think it may have something to do with the climate? Do you think I should take it out of the open window? It seems to be growing better there (until this scum business, that is) than in the livingroom where it doesn't get as much sun.

Following the advice I'd read somewhere else, I wiped down the plant with water and a little rubbing alcohol. The scum is gone, and, two days later, I don't see any - although it's probably too early to tell yet.

As for cutting back the plant, the white scum (not fuzzy, but scummy) was mainly down at the base of the plant. If it gets to the point where I have to cut it back, will the plant recuperate from such drastic surgery?

Another thought a friend of mine had - I had recently (about two weeks ago) washed off with dish soap some ill-advised mayonaise (I know, I know...) Could it be residue dish soap scum this late after washing it? I never noticed any scum until a few days ago, and I was sure I rinsed off the plant thoroughly.

Thanks again,
pisces
Crasulady
Valley Village, CA

June 18, 2001
2:38 PM

Post #84273

Keep the plant by the window, just leave it alone, no oil, it closes the pores,(hythroids)Your plant is trying to survive and it just may if you leave it alone.
It needs very little care, little water this time or year. If you give it too much water it will crack the leaves. It can only handly just so much. Do not mist! This plant can gather moisture from the air if the humidity is high. Keep it very clean, pick up the dead leaves. In October trim it back, yes, very severly. It will grow new leaves (heads) that hopefully will set the flowers for Christmas. Norma
pisces

(Zone 4b)

June 18, 2001
6:45 PM

Post #84368

Thanks Norma! It's really humid here in the summer, so I barely water my jades at all. Even in clay pots, they seem to be able to stay moist a little too long for my taste.

I'm glad that you, too, feel that little Jade has the will to survive! :) I'll take your advice to heart!

thanks again,
the fish who dreams of the desert.
Crasulady
Valley Village, CA

June 19, 2001
5:23 AM

Post #84523

Mayo, really? I actually thought you were testing me,I don't blame that plant for protesting. I have just potted up a cutting of Jade that I left sitting in an empty pot. The cutting was quite large, but it didn't miss a heart beat, sure enough, in order to survive new roots formed very quickly, it looked like a brush of roots. Good luck, keep us posted how it is doing.
Norma
pisces

(Zone 4b)

June 20, 2001
6:03 PM

Post #85163

Well, it's been four days since I wiped the white scum off, and it doesn't seem to be coming back. Hopefully, it was just soap scum (although why it would only show up after 2 weeks is a little weird.) Thanks for all your advice Norma. The plant seems to be doing well, even branching out like a frisky little thing. I'd hate to see this plant die - I love it more than I like some people!

Yeah, the mayo thing- a friend of mine wipes mayo on the leaves of almost all her houseplants to make them shiny. She hasn't had any problems with her plants, in fact they grow like weeds, and she's been doing it for years. I decided to give it a shot. Bad idea. Don't ever try it. 'Nough said.

I fall to
Pisces
each time I see you again.
cactusmcharris
Kamloops, BC
(Zone 4b)

June 20, 2001
11:21 PM

Post #85280

Dear Pisces,

'nuff said? Do tell us more!

Lovely pun, btw.

Just imagining the idea of putting mayo on plant leaves leaves me nothing short of a cackling idiot, but I may have been there already.

So it was a bad idea, therefore you had to chagrin and bear it?
Crasulady
Valley Village, CA

June 20, 2001
11:50 PM

Post #85284

Hi gang, Our plants are not like others. All Crassula have hydathodes, this exudes excess water. Some Sedum also. Other house plants do not. Some people use milk to wipe off the leaves of house plants. I have actualy done this on Sanseveria. Norma
pisces

(Zone 4b)

June 21, 2001
12:22 AM

Post #85295

Bad news, guys.
I went to check on my jade before going to my Big Meeting (went fabulously btw), and there's more white stuff. I have no idea what the heck this is. It's not really *moist*, but it wipes off. It seems to be coming up from the base. Man, I'm stumped.

Think I should try this fungicide business, or leave it alone for a little longer to see what happens?

Fish don't pun. I have no idea what you're talking about, Jeff :) "chagrin and bear it". Now THAT'S good!

Shelly
Crasulady
Valley Village, CA

June 21, 2001
2:04 AM

Post #85318

Put in a pencil about half way down the pot for about 5 min.
Now is it moist? If so, yo may want to take the plant out of its home and give fresh dry soil, wait two weeks and water. I don't know what to tell you anymore. You said the leaves are growing rapidly, thats good news. Any moisture coming from the base of the leaves? I'm frustrated. How often do you water? Norma
pisces

(Zone 4b)

June 22, 2001
12:08 PM

Post #85785

Hey, Norma
thanks for all your help. I water the jade once every week and a half / two weeks. I'm going to try repotting it in clay this afternoon. Maybe it IS just waterlogged. Maybe I've been over-fertilizing it. I'm going to try just water, and very little of it, in a clay pot. Hopefully, that'll do the trick.

I'm getting frustrated, too. The plant is healthier than ever, branching out, sprouting new leaves, doing it's jade thing - except for this scum stuff that keeps coming back! I can't figure the darned thing out!

One question - do you think that I should try to clean the roots up a little, in case there was something in the pot or the soil that could still be on them? I'd hate to frig around with the roots too much during transplanting, but on the other hand, I'd also hate to just transfer the same stuff to a new pot.

Thanks y'all, for your support in this time of crisis!
pisces pisces, queen of the sea...
cactusmcharris
Kamloops, BC
(Zone 4b)

June 22, 2001
2:16 PM

Post #85825

Dear Pisces,

Ancient wisdom handed down, from generation to generation:

'When in doubt about a plant's health, especially a succulent plant's health, depot it and let it dry out'.

I don't think cleaning up the roots when you have it depotted and dried out would hurt the plant. I always clean out the dead roots among an aloe's rootball, often to the tune of Mozart's 'Hunt' quartet (seems to put me in the right frame of mind, whatever that is). Once it's dried and picked over, cleaned up and ready for assembly, I should think a little rooting powder might be in order.

One should not employ mayonnaise on the root stock/ball, if you were curious about the use of said condiment on that end of the plant.

Queen? Were you demoted recently?
pisces

(Zone 4b)

June 24, 2001
12:42 AM

Post #86316

Demotion, schmemotion - the sea has always been ruled by the queen, and always shall - ha ha ha (thunder) ha ... ha... ha

So... I repotted the jade this afternoon, and found some strange white crystally things at the base of the plant, just below the soil line. It looked like sugar. Having absolutely NO idea what the heck it was, I promptly WASHED the roots, let them dry out for a few hours, then repotted it in dry succulent soil in a clay pot. I hope to goodness and graciousness that I did the right thing. What ARE those darned sugary bits anyway? I also noted that the plant did not have a very strong root system. Ack. My poor baby.

Soylent green is people,
pisces
Cena

June 24, 2001
6:14 AM

Post #86384

NOW you tell us...?

Never seen sugary stuff before. Plant Experts, interject here.

(Good Luck with this one.)

Cena
Crasulady
Valley Village, CA

June 24, 2001
6:47 AM

Post #86395

Heaven's forbid that it comes here. Never heard of the stuff before. I'll ask the crew at the Huntington, that is one advantage working at the Huntington, I get free information and pass it one to others, it makes me look smart, and everyone benefits, I learn a lot. What state are we talking about here?
pisces

(Zone 4b)

June 24, 2001
12:37 PM

Post #86446

No State - I'm in Canada: Eastern Canada in New Brunswick (just above and to the east of Maine). But it is an indoor plant, although I do keep it in front of a window that is open most of the time.
Crasulady
Valley Village, CA

June 24, 2001
11:43 PM

Post #86621

Hi, I,m Peter van der Puyl from the Netherlands on visit on Norma and have this Dutch advise to you for protecting you plant: Move all the kids and women out of the house when the are eating or have anything in theit fingers, switch on the music, but very slow music no rock music or stereo near the plant, also televion should be switched on with a program about plant growing tips, take a glass of good wine for you and speak calm and clear to the plant what you expect from it, growing and flowering all the days. Don't tell it what would happened when it doesn't. Lucky growing.
Pirate_Girl
Brooklyn, NY
(Zone 7a)

June 25, 2001
9:39 PM

Post #86895

Any chance those white crystally things you found could be those (forgot what they're called) things one can put into the soil to help conserve water (water conserving crystals)? The ones I have seen tho' are clear, transparent, not white, & look kind of like bits of jello, rather than bits of sugar? Just a thought??
pisces

(Zone 4b)

June 26, 2001
12:08 AM

Post #86932

You know, Pirate Girl, I thought so too, at first, because it looks an awful lot like the white crystally stuff that is in most succulent soils anyway. But it was condensed around the base of the root, and I MEAN CONDENSED - like, if it had been sugar, I would have had coffee condiments for a week (okay, well, maybe a day - I DO drink alot of coffee...)
pisces

(Zone 4b)

June 26, 2001
1:27 PM

Post #87116

OH MY GOODNESS! Could it be mealy bugs in the roots??!!!? I was reading today about root mealy bugs, and this book (by Clive Innis) said that they are white and fine. Ack, please tell me that I would never confuse mealy bugs with sugar! Lie if you have to, but somebody tell me that there's absolutely no chance that they are mealy bugs.

Man oh man oh man, this could be a tragedy.

Shelly
Crasulady
Valley Village, CA

June 26, 2001
11:53 PM

Post #87381

If it is powdery white,yes, it could be mealies. That is easy to get rid of. Remove all soil, and roots. Set the plant in a pot, no soil and wash off with soap and water. Wait until you see the roots and repot, but not in the same pot. Cut your watering down to once a month. If it is fungus, buy a fungucide for the soil treatment of house plants. Gosh I sure hope one of us guesses what this problem is and settles it once and for all. Is it possible that you could put it in a plastic bag and take it to the nursery for identification. I think if they could see it, certainly they should be able to help you. Norma
pisces

(Zone 4b)

June 27, 2001
11:34 AM

Post #87527

Norma, nope it wasn't powdery (like talc you mean?) Thank goodness! I will take you up on your suggestion to take it to a nursery if it continues. This is starting to scare me, although since I repotted it last Saturday, I haven't noticed any scum...

Keeping my fins crossed.
Crasulady
Valley Village, CA

June 28, 2001
7:41 AM

Post #87880

Great, it's repotted. Now wait before watering, and don't be in a rush. If you see that stuff again, I'll send you my snail address and you can mail it here in a sealed plastic envelope. I have several entomologist (spelling) here right now. The national convention will start this weekend. Now please leave the poor plant alone. If you can set out in morning sun, or your window will be fine. Do not give the hot afternoon sun, unless you move it a bit back from the direct rays.
It would be great if the tips turn red.
You are more than welcome to email me directly.
When you fertilize salts can build up and if the plant cannot consume all of the nutrigents,
perhaps they might build up at the base of the plant this could cause the trouble that you saw, I don't know, it is only a guess, I sure would like to find out. Norma

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