Why Does My Jade Plant Have Brown Spots? Causes & Solutions

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Brown spots on a jade plant can be a sign of several issues, from overwatering to pests or diseases. In this article, we will explore the possible causes of brown spots on your jade plant and provide expert tips to help you identify and solve the problem.

Symptoms of Brown Spots on Jade Plants

Jade plants, known for their lush green foliage and easy-to-care-for nature, can sometimes develop brown spots on their leaves. The first step in addressing this issue is to identify the symptoms associated with the problem.

Brown spots on jade plants can vary in size and appearance. They may start as small dots and gradually expand, cover large areas of individual leaves, or appear as patches on several leaves. In some cases, a yellow ring may surround the brown spots, indicating an issue related to pest infestations(source).

Another telltale sign of a problem with your jade plant could be the appearance of white spots or deposits on the leaves. This may indicate water-related issues, such as the presence of salts and minerals in the tap water used for watering the plant(source).

If your jade plant’s leaves are not only displaying brown spots but also becoming dry and brittle, this could be a symptom of sunburn caused by excessive exposure to direct sunlight(source).

Finally, a more severe symptom of brown spots on jade plants is the presence of brown-colored scale or other pest-related damage. This may indicate an infestation of mealybugs, scale insects, or spider mites, which can cause damage to the leaves and stems(source).

It is essential to monitor your jade plant for any signs of these symptoms, as early detection can help you effectively address the underlying issue, ensuring the overall health of your plant.

Causes of Brown Spots

Watering Issues

One of the leading causes of brown spots on jade plant leaves is improper watering. Overwatering can result in a physiological disorder known as oedema, which manifests itself as unsightly brown bumps resembling corky blisters on the leaves of the jade planteHow. Additionally, using tap water with a high concentration of salts or minerals can cause chemical burns on the leaves, leading to the formation of brown spotsSmart Garden Guide.


Another factor that may contribute to the appearance of brown spots on jade plant leaves is sunburn. When the plant is suddenly exposed to intense sunlight, the leaves can become sunburned, resulting in dark spots. It’s essential to gradually introduce your jade plant to direct sunlight, or provide it with diffused light, to prevent sunburn.


Sap-sucking pests can cause small brown spots on jade plant leaves, often accompanied by a yellow ringAll About Gardening. These insects find the succulent leaves of the jade plant irresistible and settle down on the leaves to feed, causing damage and triggering the formation of brown spots as the affected area dies off.


Diseases can also lead to brown spots on jade plant leaves. Fungal diseases due to humidity issues or infected gardening equipment, as well as viruses like the black ring, can cause dark spots to appearPlantophiles. It is crucial to diagnose the specific cause of the problem and address it promptly to prevent further damage and ensure the health of your jade plant.

Preventive Measures

Proper Watering

One of the main reasons for brown spots on jade plants is improper watering. Overwatering can lead to root rot and brown leaves, while underwatering may result in dehydration and leaf browning. To avoid these issues, it is essential to establish an appropriate watering routine for your jade plants.

Always allow the soil to dry out slightly between waterings, and make sure the pot has drainage holes to prevent standing water. You can also use a moisture probe to ensure that you’re watering only when necessary. Focus on providing a thorough watering rather than frequent, shallow waterings.

Sunlight and Location

Excessive direct sunlight can be harmful to your jade plant and cause brown spots on the leaves. Even though jade plants love sunlight, they can become sunburned if exposed to intense rays for long periods. To avoid this issue, choose a location that provides bright but indirect sunlight.

Be attentive to the changing light conditions throughout the year and adjust the plant’s position if needed. You can also use blinds or curtains to diffuse the light if it becomes too strong for your jade plant.

Pest and Disease Control

Maintaining a healthy environment for your jade plant can help prevent pest infestations and diseases that may cause brown spots on the leaves. Take the time to inspect your plant regularly for signs of pests or disease and act promptly if you notice anything suspicious.

  • Check the leaves and stems for any visible insect activity or damaged areas.
  • Remove affected leaves or branches to prevent the spread of pests or disease to other parts of the plant.
  • Use natural pest control methods or mild insecticidal soaps to manage infestations.
  • Ensure proper air circulation around the plant, as this can help prevent fungal diseases from developing.

By following these preventive measures, you can significantly reduce the risk of brown spots forming on your jade plant and enjoy a healthy, thriving plant for years to come.

Treatment Options

Removing Damaged Leaves

If your jade plant has brown spots on its leaves, it’s important to remove the severely damaged leaves. This will help direct the plant’s energy towards growing new, healthy foliage. Don’t be anxious about removing these leaves, as it will ultimately benefit the plant in the long run. It’s also suggested to periodically wipe or wash the foliage to keep it clean and healthy(source).

Adjusting Care

Brown spots on jade plant leaves can be a result of various factors. To treat those spots effectively, you should first identify the cause and then adjust the plant care accordingly.

  • Light: If the brown spots are caused by too much direct sunlight, move the jade plant to a location with less intense light(source).
  • Watering: Inconsistent watering might lead to brown spots on the leaves. Ensure that the plant is evenly watered, providing enough moisture without causing waterlogging(source).
  • Pests: Pests such as mealybugs and scale insects can cause brown spots on jade plants. You can fight these pests by spraying your plant with a mixture of 1 part rubbing alcohol and 5 parts water(source).
  • Neem Oil: Regularly spraying your jade plant with neem oil can help prevent and treat various issues, including the appearance of dark spots on the leaves(source).

By identifying the cause of the brown spots and adjusting care accordingly, you can help your jade plant recover and maintain its vibrant, green appearance.

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