Answer: It is mold or are the white particles perlite and the brown particles vermiculite? Both are often found in potting soil. They keep the soil light in weight and help hold moisture. Squish a few of these between your fingers. The perlite will be hard and will crumble when you apply pressure; vermiculite is spongy and lightweight. If that's what's in your soil, it's perfectly normal. On the other hand, if you can scrape the matter off the top of the soil and it is soft, it's probably mold and it means you're keeping the soil too wet. One more possibility is that you are seeing a salt buildup on the top of the soil, which indicates your tap water has lots of minerals. If this is the case, try using bottled water for your houseplants.
Brown leaf tips can be the result of overwatering, dry air, or chemicals in your tap water. Sadly, some dracaena plants are more sensitive to these conditions. I'd water thoroughly and then allow the top of the soil to dry out between waterings, use bottled water, and try to increase the humidity around the plant. You can cut off the brown leaf tips if you find them unattractive. Good luck with your new plant.
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