The Q&A Archives: Whitish material on potting soil

Question: My houseplant's soil is a whitetish around the edges? Do I need to change my soil? What is the best way to repot a plant?

Answer: The whitish material on the top of your potting soil is simply an accumulation of minerals from the water you use. As the moisture evaporates it leaves a concentration of salts. You can scrape it off the potting soil if you don't like looking at it. It won't harm your plants or the potting soil.

Repotting a plant is relatively straight-forward. Choose a pot slightly larger than the one the plant is in. Moisten some potting soil and then lay the plant and pot on its side and gently pull it out of the old pot. If the roots are circling around and around you can gently loosen them. Then place some new potting soil in the bottom of the new pot and set the plant on top. You want the plant to be at the same soil level as it was growing before to check the depth. When it is perfectly situated, fill in around the edges of the pot with moistened potting soil and lightly press it down to eliminate air pockets. When you've finished repotting your plant water it thoroughly to help settle the soil. That's all there is to it!

Best wishes with your houseplant!

« Click to go to the homepage

» Ask a question of your own

Q&A Library Searching Tips

  • When singular and plural spellings differ, as in peony and peonies, try both.
  • Search terms are not case sensitive.

Today's site banner is by ge1836 and is called "Sempervivum Henry Carrevon"