Rust Colored 'gunk' From Drainage Holes - Knowledgebase Question

Name: Robin V.
Chicago, IL
Avatar for crys24robn
Question by crys24robn
September 23, 2000
Tried searching your library, but don't even know what to look for. I have a Ming Aralia that I got from the interior landscape company I work for. It is about 6 ft. tall, somewhat old, I guess. It is in a 12 inch plastic grow pot.

Today while watering I noticed a crusty looking substance seeping out of the drainage holes. It is a rust/brown/yellow color. When I touched it, it was not crusty, but a creamy consistancy.

I doubt this plant was ever fertilized, aside from what the grower used before shipping. Do you have any idea what this is? The plant is relatively happy.

Answer from NGA
September 23, 2000
Based on your description I would suspect a root rot problem or possibly some sort of slime mold developing in the potting soil or possibly a slow release fertilizer in a state of deteriorating. You might want to consult with your local county extension to see if they can identify it with more certainty. I'm sorry I can't be more helpful.

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