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I started putting my jade plant outside (fire escape) every morning because I live in an apartment and was trying to maximize sunlight. But then I noticed my jade plants were shriveling and turning pale yellow, and I was pretty sure it wasn't due to light or watering. Then I noticed these tiny bugs on the saucer. When I uprooted the plant, I found these cotton-like webs in the soil. The damage is fairly extensive. What are these things—they don't look like mealybugs or spider mites to me, but I'm not an expert—and what can I do about them?

Also, should I be concerned about my other house plants? Not sure how much these things move around.

  • Good question; if could include an overall illustration, illustration of all plants, closer illustration of the possible pests to show detail, size of the possible pests, plant height(s), the region, watering amount & frequency, nutrient amount & frequency, average daytime temperature, average nightime temperature, container size(s), and if some coarse gravel in the bottoms & a hole in the bottoms for good aereation & drainage, could also be helpful. We encourage you to take the Tour, and browse through the Help center, to learn more about how the site works! Thank you! Welcome to the site! – M H Aug 22 at 14:38
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    Also, you can include illustrations that appear within the text of your questions by clicking on the scenery/mountain silhouette button, and then adding images according the instructions which appear. Thank you! Welcome to the site! – M H Aug 22 at 15:15
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If your jade plant has never been outside in direct sunlight before,that could explain the yellowing and shrivelling; even if plants get sunlight indoors, through glass, they only get UVA rays,but outdoors, they get both UVA and UVB, so acclimatisation is usually necessary. Most plants do not like being moved in and out so regularly either - it's fine to harden off a plant and leave it outdoors for summer, then move it back in for winter, but in and out every day is hard for them to adapt to.

That said, unfortunately your image of the insects does not magnify well so I can't tell how many legs they have to determine whether they are arachnids or other insects. Whatever they are, you don't really want them in the soil of a houseplant. I suggest you decant the plant from its pot and stand the root ball/soil in a bucket of water for a couple of hours, till the whole root ball is saturated. You may need to use some large stones or something to keep the rootball submerged, but don't submerge the topgrowth. The insects might just leave the soil on their own in an attempt to escape the water, but either way, once its had a good soak, shake around in the water to remove as much soil as possible without damaging the roots, gently assisting this process with your fingers to try to make sure there are no insects left behind, nor any eggs either. Rinse in clean water, then repot the whole thing in a new, clean pot, (or clean and sterilise the existing pot) using new potting soil. Water well, allowing it to drain down freely, then take it back indoors and keep it there,in a brightly lit (daylight) spot with sunlight if possible. Hopefully, it will recover over time.

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