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Ridding jade plant of scales

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From: Jane Amundsen
Urbana, IL
Hi, my large jade plant has scales. I've tried to keep them at bay by wiping with a Qtip dipped in rubbing alcohol, but it's definitely a losing battle. I just can't get to all the cracks and crevices on the many leaves, so now there are a lot of scales. I read that insecticidal soap is not good to use on jade plants. Also it's a large plant (2 1/2' tall & 3' wide) so not easily moved. It's also starting to drop small sections of it's branches and has some yellow shriveling leaves. Help!

Extension Message
From: James Schmidt
Extension Specialist, Home Horticulture/4-H
Department of Crop Sciences
Scale on a jade plant is not easily controlled. Especially if the problem is as advanced as you indicate. You are doing the right thing by using a qtip dipped in alcohol but that has limited control. At this point, considering it is beginning to drop stems, it might be too far gone. I would suggest drenching the plant with a mild soap solution, but since it is a succulent, it might take the extra water and as you indicate, it is not easy to move it. As much as I hate to recommend it, I think your best approach is to get rid of it and start over as you have a never-ending battle on your hands. Be sure to check all your other houseplants if you have any, as the insect can migrate to them and perpetuate the problem. Wish I had a better suggestion.

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