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What Is The White Stuff In Potting Soil?
What is the white stuff in potting soil? Are the things you’re looking at small and white? Do they look like tiny stones but you’re able to crush them between your fingers? Do they leave a powdery residue? If you’re answering yes to all these and you want to know what are the white things in potting soil then you’re probably talking about perlite.
Perlite is a type of volcanic glass that comes in the form of small rocks or pebbles. It is used in potting mixes to aerate the soil and help with drainage. It’s important for a lot of houseplants that soil doesn’t become water logged or too heavy and roots need to breathe and can also drown if water is unable to leave soil. Perlite really aids with that and is a great help to your potting mix. If you’ve recently bought a plant from a shop, online or a local nursery and there are small white rocks in the soil then it’s probably perlite. If you notice these white things in your soil when you’re buying your plant and you’re not sure then ask the seller. They will be more than happy to explain to you what’s in the mix and if they aren’t, then maybe you should be looking else where for your plants.
If you aren’t using perlite in your potting mixes then we can’t recommend it enough. You can get perlite from Amazon, it’s cheap, easy to use and will work wonders for your plant.
Now if you’re saying, nope it’s not perlite, tell me what is the white stuff in potting soil that I need to be worried about then it’s time to discuss pests. If you’re convinced that the white stuff in your soil isn’t perlite then you need to look a lot more closely. Do they have wings or legs? If yes then you’re looking at a pest infestation and it’s important to separate the offending plant from your other plants and treat the pests immediately.
If that’s not it and it’s not perlite then it’s possible that the white stuff in your soil is fungus. If a plant is being watered too often or the humidity is too high it’s possible for mould or fungus to start growing in your soil. Check the soil, is it soaking wet? If so then this is a very possible cause. Fungus can look like thick dust and it can also come in the form of tiny white balls. Remove the fungus from your soil. Hopefully it should just be in the top layer of soil but if it goes deeper then you may need to replace your potting mix. But don’t worry, it shouldn’t do too much damage to the plant. If you want to stop this from happening again in the future then maybe move your plant to a less humid area, use a lighter potting mix or even water your plant less.
We hope we’ve managed to answer your query of what is the white stuff in potting soil? If we haven’t managed to help and it’s something else in your soil then let us know what you found in the comments below. We’re always keen to learn more about plants and soil types but in our experience the most common white things you’ll find in your soil are pests if you’re unlucky and perlite.