White Spots on Ogre Ear Plant

White Spots on Ogre Ear Plants

Should you worry about the white spots on Ogre Ear Plant?

The white spots you see on your succulent’s leaves can be attributed to a few possible causes. These include powdery mildew, excess salts, insect infestation, and overfertilization.

What causes white spots on Ogre Ear Plant

If you see white spots on your Ogre Ear Plant, do not panic. In most cases, these white spots are no cause for concern. What is critical is to identify the underlying cause of this problem so you can take the appropriate actions.

Powdery mildew

Powdery mildew is a type of fungal disease that affects various kinds of indoor plants, including succulents. A plant becomes vulnerable to this fungal disease due to a combination of different factors, including high humidity, poor air circulation, low temperature, and low light. 

The fungus that causes the white spots often begins its attack on the broadest part of the plant, usually the leaves. This is why you often notice the white spots on the foliage. Later on, as the powdery mildew spreads, you will notice fungal strings on different plant parts.

If you are not sure that the white spots are caused by powdery mildew, check your plant’s growing conditions. Once you have ruled out these conditions, you can check for other potential causes.

When caught early, powdery mildew is easy to treat and will not cause any long term harm to your Ogre Ear Plant.

To treat an infected plant, you will need a mixture of baking soda, non-detergent soap, and water. Spray this mixture on the affected parts of the plant daily.

Excess salts

Succulents like the Ogre Ear Plant store most of the water they take in their leaves. Now, if you give your plants water that is high in salt content, the balance in the water stored in the leaves becomes disturbed.

To restore balance in the moisture content of the leaves, your Ogre Ear Plant will try to eliminate the excess salt through the leaf pores through the process of transpiration.

In short, the white spots you see on your plant are simply salt residue.

Looking at the white spots caused by powdery mildew and those caused by excess salts, it can be hard to see any difference between the two.

Fortunately, there is a way to distinguish one cause from the other. To determine whether the white spots are caused by excess salt, all you have to do is to wipe away the spots with a damp cloth.

Wait for about a week before checking if there are spots left on your plant. If white spots appear after a week, those spots are caused by powdery mildew.

If the underlying cause is excess salt, those white spots will not appear again for quite some time.

Insect infestation

Two pests that can cause white spots on your Ogre Ear Plant are the mealybugs and spider mites. Mealybugs are small insects with flat white bodies that typically hide in the branches and stems of succulents. Spider mites, on the other hand, are tiny arachnids that often lurk beneath the soil.

If you suspect that your plant is infested by either of the two, shake the leaves of the succulent and see whether any of these insects will drop. You can wipe both of these pests using a cotton ball or cloth soaked in a mixture of water and rubbing alcohol.

Other insects to watch out for are aphids and thrips. However, these two rarely infest Ogre Ear Plants. As much as possible, avoid using commercial insecticides which can do more harm than good on your plant.

Overfertilization

Succulents are not heavy feeders and they can get by with the occasional application of fertilizers. If you are fertilizing your Ogre Ear Plant excessively, you will notice that its leaves have white spots which are likely the build-up of surplus nutrients.

Finding the cause of white spots on Ogre Ear Plant

In most cases, white spots are just cosmetic blemishes that appear on the top of the leaves. These speckles can be removed easily without posing long term harm to your plant. However, that does not mean that you should take white spots lightly, especially if there is a possibility that your Ogre Ear Plant is infested by an insect.

Fortunately, determining the root cause of the white spots is not rocket science. However, there are a few steps that you need to undertake.

First, it is a good idea to check the content of the water on your property. It will make it easier for you to rule out excess salt as the underlying cause of the white spots.

Second, you can check the spots if these are fluffy or stringy. In such a case, the white spots are caused by powdery mildew.

Finally, you can shake the leaves of your plant and check if any insect falls off.

Preventing white spots

Although in most cases, white spots are not harmful, you would not want to leave anything to chance. The best way to prevent white spots is to keep your Ogre Ear Plant healthy. Here are a few helpful tips to help you achieve that goal.

1. Light requirements

The Ogre Ear Plant can be kept indoors or outdoors, as long as you provide it with adequate light. Indoors, you should keep your plant in an window which will give it sufficient light.

Jade plants like the Ogre Ear tend to take on a deeper green color when kept in the shade. Putting your plant in an area with more sun exposure will lighten the color of the plant.

Ogre Ear Plants that do not receive enough light will stretch and become leggy. Remember that your plant cannot survive in poor lighting conditions for a long time and you must find a suitable place for it. If you cannot find such a place in your home, consider buying a grow light for it.

Outdoors, place your plant in an area that is bright but partially shaded. The plant can tolerate the full sun but needs time to adjust. Otherwise, it will become sunburned.

2. Soil requirements

As a succulent, your Ogre Ear Plant needs well-draining soil to prevent the build-up of excess moisture. Many succulent owners use commercial cactus mixes while others create their own potting mixes using coarse sand, perlite, and organic potting mix.

3. Water requirements

When it comes to succulents, the rule of thumb is to water deeply but infrequently. But what does it mean to water infrequently?

The number of times you will need to water your Ogre Ear Plant will depend heavily on the prevailing temperature in your area.

During the hotter seasons, you will need to water your plant around a weekly basis. When the temperatures begin to go down, you can lessen the number of times to water your succulent, typically every two weeks.

Another critical factor to consider is humidity. During humid days, you should lessen the water you give to your plant. Humidity makes it harder for the soil to dry up.

The easiest way to tell if your plant needs to be watered is to feel the top inch of its soil. If the soil is dry, you can water your plant again. If it is still moist, wait a few days more.

A cause of concern?

White spots are fairly common on Jade Plants, including cultivars like the Ogre Ears. You should not ignore these blemishes as these may signal a larger problem which should be addressed before it causes further damage to your succulent.

Image: istockphoto.com / Gids

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