I was transplanting seedlings of chives and parsley and noticed white fuzzy specks clustered in the soil. Because it exists in both sets of seedlings - neither of which started with this fuzzy stuff - I imagine it is something in the soil or it is a mold they both got.

White fuzzy specks in potted seedlings' soil

White fuzzy specks in potted seedlings' soil

White fuzzy specks in potted seedlings' soil

White fuzzy specks in potted seedlings' soil

These seedlings grew indoors under a grow light by a window, occasionally with a heating mat on beneath them. The soil was kept pretty moist - rarely fully wet or dry - and to keep it that way took frequent watering since the grow light would dry the soil of these small seedlings daily.

What are these white fuzzy specks? My guess is some kind of fungal activity, but I'm not sure if it's bad. These seedlings have been growing well. I plan to transplant some of these to the garden soon, or bigger pots, or keep in their pots - any precautions or steps I should take in light of this fuzz's appearance?


I think these are mealy bug eggs or aphid eggs or spider mite eggs. Is there a gelatinous thingy holding these tiny eggs together? I am unable to tell. great article on pest suppression My guess is mealy bug. This soil must be non-sterilized garden soil which would have no beneficial insects or controls once separated from the larger body of garden soil? Sure an awful lot of them! Where did you get this soil? insect eggs in soil Look through this site of pictures to see what you think. I don't think this is fungus at all. Please don't reuse this soil whatever you do. Putting this soil in your compost is perfectly fine. Make sure you add some nitrogen to your compost and keep this towards the center where the heat will kill and disable the eggs. Bagging to send to your land fill or landscape debris collection would be not so nice? Wash those buckets/pots with bleach. Amazingly prolific dudes, huh!

  • It does look a lot like the picture in your link for mealybug eggs. Do they lay eggs in soil? Worm or slug eggs might be other possibilities. – Shule May 9 '17 at 4:53
  • Slug eggs are clear/transparent. As are snail eggs. Worm eggs...I've not noticed in all this time. I thought worms...earth worms just pooped out live baby worms? Grins. Seriously, I've never thought about worm eggs. Aphids, mealybug eggs are definitely laid in the soil. I've never seen this MANY of them in a container?! – stormy May 9 '17 at 18:33
  • Just one more reason to not use garden soil in pots! Subjecting a plant in a pot to whatever is in the soil is like staking a lamb out to be eaten by a tiger...is that an ok analogy? – stormy May 9 '17 at 18:35
  • Looking at those pictures I agree, it looks like mealy bugs. This soil came from an old bag of potting soil that sat around on a porch for a long time. The thing is, the soil didn't have these eggs when I potted these plants. I potted basil, parsley, and chives with this bag of soil, and the basil plants are growing slower but had no eggs, while the parsley and chives grew faster and had tons of these eggs. They have been (and still are!) all gathered nearby one another under a grow light. – cr0 May 9 '17 at 20:48
  • 1
    No harm in trying to transplant these little starts in fresh, sterilized potting soil but remember just one of those tiny little eggs could easily get a ride to a new environment with no brothers and sisters with which to compete. You planted via seed, yes? Shoot, I'd just start all over again. Get rid of that soil is the main thing and use potting soil to make your garden starts. Will these be transplanted into the garden later? I'd probably try though. The onion sets will be easier to transplant and not have to take old soil with the sets. Parsley is another matter. – stormy May 9 '17 at 21:46

It is fungal in nature, some sort of saprophyte trying to break down the organic components of the potting soil. Try less water or better ventilation/drainage. You could try taking it outside for awhile which will give the better ventilation.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.