Ask a Question forum: White powder-like substance at the base of my ficus tree

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Clinton Township, Michigan
shopgirl
Oct 7, 2017 8:39 AM CST
I just noticed a white powdery substance on the bottom branches of my ficus tree. Its not anywhere else. The plant is super healthy and there is nothing on the leaves. I've had the plant for about 3 years but never repotted it. Could it be that I need fresh potting soil and break up the roots which I see are on top of the plant. I love this plant, its healthy, shiny and lots of new growth constantly! HELP!! :-)
Name: Will Creed
NYC
Professional indoor plant consultan
Image
WillC
Oct 7, 2017 9:21 AM CST
Can you post a photo that shows what you are seeing?

Root exposure on the soil surface of Ficus trees is normal and not a reason to repot, refresh the soil, or break up the roots.
Will Creed
Horticultural Help, NYC
www.HorticulturalHelp.com
I now have a book available on indoor plant care
Clinton Township, Michigan
shopgirl
Oct 8, 2017 7:29 AM CST
Unfortunately, I am unable to post a picture. The soil is old that that's why I thought I'd repot with fresh soil. It's still in the plastic pot it came in. The white film is just that -- no bugs, nothing. Strange. It just came on so fast. I did spray it with some water before leaving for work and a lot of it came off. Everything is fine except for the very bottom of the plant. Thank you for getting back with me.
Name: Will Creed
NYC
Professional indoor plant consultan
Image
WillC
Oct 8, 2017 10:03 AM CST
I am having trouble visualizing the while film on the lower branches. Is it just at the base of the main trunk? Is it on the surface of the soil?

If it is easily wiped away, I don't think you have a problem and certainly not one that warrants replacing the soil.
Will Creed
Horticultural Help, NYC
www.HorticulturalHelp.com
I now have a book available on indoor plant care

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