White Stuff In Potting Soil
What is the white stuff in potting soil? Is it there on purpose? Is it bad for my plant? Let’s find out. The white stuff in potting soil that you’re most likely refering to is Perlite. Perlite is a substance that is used in lots of potting mixes, it isn’t harmful to your plants and once you learn about it you’ll probably want to start adding it to the soil in all of your plant pots.
So What Is Perlite?
Perlite is small pieces volcanic glass that’s used to aerate soil and improve the drainage to avoid plants becoming water logged. It feels like small dusty stones and the pieces can be crushed between your fingers if you exert enough pressure. If you see white stuff in potting soil that looks like small white rocks then you’re most likely looking at perlite.
Why Is Perlite Used In Potting Soil?
Perlite is used in potting mix to create air pockets in the soil. These pockets give the plant better drainage. If a potting mix is just made up of soil this can become too heavy and can retain too much water. The excess water can then cause problems with the root systems of the plant. Perlite is used to help prevent this and is very useful.
Where Can I Get Perlite?
Now you’ve realised that the white stuff in potting soil isn’t something to be worried about afterall you may be wondering where you can get your hands on some and you won’t have to look far. The majority of plat shops and local nurseries will stock this substance. As it is common you’ll be able to come across it in lots of places, maybe even some hardware stores or supermarkets.
If you are struggling to come by it in your day to day life then you can buy it here on Amazon.
If the white stuff in potting soil that you’re talking about is not perlite then you may have a pest infestation. Take a closer look and see if these white things have wings or legs, if that’s the case then you could have a case of plant pests in your soil. White mould can also grow on the soil if it is kept under moist conditions. If you see this mould you can simply scrape it away from the top layer of soil. If you notice it repeatedly coming back then make sure your plant has adequate drainage, try removing it to a more aerated room and keep an eye on it.
So: white stuff in potting soil, most probably perlite, but you have to look out for mould and houseplant pests as well.
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