What is this on the bottom of my plant?

AKlutheDecember 18, 2013

So I got some new plants and discovered....this...under one of the pots.

Needless to say, I'm concerned it's some sort of egg cluster or fungus? Does anyone with more insight on this sort of thing know what it is or what I should do?

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    Bookmark   December 18, 2013 at 10:47AM
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bikerdoc5968 Z6 SE MI

While it could be perlite, I have a feeling it is a mold/fungus. Obviously, if you rub it between your fingers and it feels gritty, it's perlite.

    Bookmark   December 18, 2013 at 10:57AM
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rosemariero(Z9 SW SUNDiegoCA)

I've found them in my pots before. Too small for Perlite. I always thought they were eggs. I suspected slug eggs (but they may be larger than this).

Upon investigating online, some are saying it might be type of fungus. I know I have found them at the bottom & sides of the soil inside pots. I usually dig out whatever I've found & squish. Then use a soil drench (for insects) & let the soil dry out thoroughly.

I have never waited to see if they hatch. If fungus, easy to eradicate & let's you be aware of not keeping soil too moist.

Some consider these root mealies, but they have a different shape (are not round).

So, this has an "eww" factor, but not too much concern about harm...just get rid of them (out of the pot/soil).

    Bookmark   December 18, 2013 at 11:40AM
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I've opened bags of Miracle Gro potting soil and found the surface of the mix inside was covered with these round things. They never moved or hatched into bugs, thank goodness! I looked online and was never able to ID them, but also suspect some type of fungus. Miracle Gro said that sometimes conditions can cause an overgrowth of fungus in their product, but that it isn't harmful to plants. I suspect it was in the mix originally used to pot your plants. You can just remove it. However, I don't like the "eww factor" either, and seeing roots coming out of the pot would probably repot the plants.

    Bookmark   December 18, 2013 at 12:55PM
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Thank you for all the input, everyone. Tneomi. I almost mentioned that, but they look too small to be perlite. I realize now it's hard to read scale with this sort of closeup, though.

I was terrified I had some sort of infestation but after poking around online, it does seem to be some type of fungus. I would have never guessed fungus can look like tiny beads!

And donna_c, I do of course plan on repotting them. They're new purchases that I haven't moved to their new homes yet -- the fungus discovery has slowed that process down.

    Bookmark   December 18, 2013 at 3:30PM
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paul_(z5 MI)

It's the fruiting bodies of some type of fungus. The media is likely too water retentive and/or there is not enough air circulation. The fungus shouldn't cause the plant any harm though its presence does indicate repotting is likely in order.

On the slug related note, sea slug egg masses are actually quite lovely. See the link below if curious.

Here is a link that might be useful: sea slug eggs

    Bookmark   December 19, 2013 at 11:47AM
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I have seen several postings with similar photos on the forums, all from people who used Miracle Gro. So, if Miracle Gro says the mix is susceptible to fungi, that's probably what it is.

    Bookmark   March 3, 2014 at 11:18PM
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Crenda SWFL 10A

I went through the same problem with an Aloe vera, discussed in the link below. It was in a gritty mix, but I had also thrown in a handful of MG soil to bind it together. I'm not sure if I used C&S soil mix or regular potting soil.

So the common denominator is the MG. 2 and a half weeks later, I see no signs of it's return - but of course I left out the MG on the new mix.

Here is a link that might be useful: Mold or fungus?

    Bookmark   March 4, 2014 at 9:45AM
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Hi again. I was just reading this post and thinking of you, glad to see you replied! I'm also glad to hear so far you haven't seen a return of the unknown "stuff." How's your Aloe looking? I don't remember if you ever posted a photo of the plant itself.


    Bookmark   March 4, 2014 at 11:03AM
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Crenda SWFL 10A

I have 2 identical (?) Aloe vera plants. They have had the same soil mix, light and water and until I repotted the one on the right, the same pots. Oddly, they have never looked the same. I guess one just tans better than the other. Leaves are firm and both are showing new growth. Both about 18 inches tip to tip.

The one on the right had the "stuff" on it. So I made the rash assumption that the stuff was the difference in looks and my other assumption about health. Both will be PIG on a sunny raised island with good drainage that I have out front. I finally convinced hubby to quit putting that awful plastic sheeting down to prevent weeds.

    Bookmark   March 4, 2014 at 11:57AM
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Those look nice and healthy, thanks for sharing! I don't know much about Aloes, but they do look identical. Hopefully they will provide you with some beautiful blooms one day.


    Bookmark   March 4, 2014 at 12:28PM
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