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Terra Cotta pots covered with white stuff!!

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by Tammy-Sue on November 26, 2006 06:08 PM
I have a MOther-in-laws Tongue in a terra cotta planter with a drainage dish and it keeps getting covered with a crusty white substance. I have simply wiped it off, used soap and water, and even lysol wipes and it keeps coming back. WHat is this stuff and how do I get rid of it!! HELP

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by Jiffymouse on November 27, 2006 01:28 AM
the crusty white is the minerals in the water you are using to water your plant. it is a "normal" aging of the terra cotta planter.
by Tammy-Sue on November 27, 2006 02:11 AM
But it is a new pot, I've only had a plant in it for about a month, and it's thick and falling off in clumps like shingles or something. That's normal? The water here in Germany really is full of minerals, you can smell them. Can I use something to "defuse" them a bit without killing my plant?

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by DowntoEarth on November 27, 2006 02:29 AM
You can try using rain, or distilled water, or just cut back on tap watering all together. Snakes can go for few weeks or more without water and food, especially in the winter months.
Being that the leaves are semi succulent, they can hold water longer than of the many of the other thinner leaved plants.
Let the soil dry out well between waterings and it's not over-potted and you shouldn't get as much of the white mineral stuff.
I'm watering mine about once a month or so.
by Jimmy V on November 27, 2006 03:20 AM
Tammy I have some in terracotta I spray them with distilled water in between waterings if you let it get overcrowded in the pot it will bloom. DO NOT over water I never water mine more then once a month in summer and we get pretty warm here in summer 100 to 115 + heat index gets real humid also in winter I spray with a spray bottle and very seldom water when I do I will use some water from a bird cage that is plenty and sometimes it has a little natural fertilizer in it too. [Big Grin]

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by Star Dancer on November 29, 2006 07:39 PM
Washing the outside of terra cotta pots with vinegar usually removes mineral stains.
by joclyn on November 30, 2006 03:13 AM
someone asked about this before...i forget who made the suggestion...use denture cleaner (efferdescent tablets) to clean the mineral build up off.

to hide it, put the clay pot inside a larger decorative pot - you can top it off with some moss to hide the fact that you've doubled up the pots.
by Cliver_McGyver on December 01, 2006 06:50 AM
Perhaps use a ph tester / strip to see what the PH is and add an acidic substance to compensate the alkaline problem… maybe tea...flush pot with plenty of water to remove any build up on the surface of the soil...

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