Weird Yellow Invansion

the_adamsMay 1, 2009

I have a potted pony tail palm and I just noticed a mushy, yellow substance growing on the base of the tree, partially in the soil.

Any idea what this might be, if it is endangering the health of my plant and what I should do to get rid of it?


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It's a little blurry, but it's most likely slime mold. scape it out, cut back on the water and you can treat it with a fungicide if it comes back. You may want to consider repotting the plant with fresh garden soil.

    Bookmark   May 1, 2009 at 6:12PM
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Thanks so much for the feedback. Sorry about the blurry pic, I was trying to take it at night. I did some google research and I am sure this is what I have!

My DH has been out of work with broken ribs and has taken over the plant watering for me. I think he has been a little over zealous!

It's hard to tell, but the plant is in a huge pot. It's going to be quite an undertaking to take out & repot. How neccassary do you think this is? I certainly don't want to lose this guy, so probably better safe then sorry.

If I do replace the soil, what should I do about the soil gathered to the root ball?


    Bookmark   May 1, 2009 at 6:36PM
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Sorry for the late response, it was a very busy week. It's hard to tell from the picture how big the PTP is. If you decide to repot you can try a messy technique I call the "Mr Miagi" ...wash off...wash on. Have plenty of well draining fresh potting soil on hand. Take the plant out side and remove it from the pot, soil and-all. Use a garden hose and chopsticks or similar wooden instrument and wash away the potting soil from the roots using the chopsticks to poke gently into the root ball to loosen the soil. BE GENTLE. Place the plant on a bed of potting soil in the new pot to bring it to the level you want. Pile potting soil loosley around the plant and water it into the root ball. Let drain and repeat til the soil is back to the original level on the caudex. Take your time but do it all at one time so the plant is only soaked for one day.

    Bookmark   May 4, 2009 at 2:43PM
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I brought a pony tail palm in a container to the desert and just dug a hole and put it in the ground. Still 4 years later, it's doing just fine.

However that yellow stuff looks familiar. We had a half used bag of potting soil sitting in the warm garage, and opened it the other day to be used to plant some grape vines. OMG! It was covered with that stuff!!

We scraped it off, and left the bag of soil outside to dry out I think the sun and dryness should take care of that creepy stuff.

    Bookmark   May 18, 2009 at 9:57AM
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