My 3 year old peace lily has been in this clear pot for almost a year and within the last few weeks these spots began appearing near the roots and now cover the soil on the top layer. The spots are in clusters and are greenish-white.

The peace lily blooms regularly and seems to be fine in terms of its leaves.

I took it outside for the first time since I repotted it a few weeks ago, around the time this started happening. I live in Brooklyn, could it be something in the air?

Can anyone identify what's causing this and how bad it may be?

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1 Answer 1


You've got eggs! I am checking on what insect this could be but I've also got two questions; does this pot have a drain hole? and second, is this soil from out of doors or is it potting soil. The timing of transplanting and being out of doors a few weeks ago is telling us that something really liked your plant's soil. If you transplanted using your own garden soil/compost that isn't sterilized you included an insect into your mini ecosystem.

I'll go find some good candidates. If I were you, I'd get a similar sized clay pot with drainage holes and plain potting soil to transplant your plant again. No fertilizer or water holding sponges/gels added to that soil. You won't be able to remove all eggs so don't worry about that for now. I'd keep some of that soil and eggs in a container all by themselves to check out what hatches!

Here is an initial culprit; Oak Lecanium Scale eggs of Oak Lecanium Scale

When you transplant with fresh bagged sterilized potting soil, clean off all dead leaves and debris from the top of your plants. If you are using potting soil then some errant insect found your peace lily and deposited eggs while out of doors. Should not be a problem at all for your lily. btw, do you own a cat?

scale eggs and predators

  • haha this is a terrifying response. No I don't have a drainage hole (despite every source saying I should). I'll go get a clay pot with the holes. I'm gonna move this outside because I'm afraid of whatever hatching in my home...
    – JLF
    Aug 23, 2017 at 2:45
  • Take it outside but do not allow any direct sun light, okay? Your plant is not acclimated to full sun. It will burn as the epidermis needs to be thickened by slowly acclimating to direct sun. So what kind of soil did you use? Scale won't be a problem in your home unless you've got lots of plants. They move very very very slowly, grins. Transplant and clean up your plant then keep an eye on it. If you see more eggs then use Neem. Spray out of doors at NIGHT. Spray the top of the soil as well. I doubt you'll have problems once you transplant into potting soil.
    – stormy
    Aug 23, 2017 at 17:56
  • Yep it's in some indirect light outside. It's basically sitting on the other side of the window where it originally was haha. Last night I did a soft spray of neem on my other plants just in case (I have a lot of them).
    – JLF
    Aug 23, 2017 at 20:57
  • Just remember light is different coming through the glass than it is outside. As long as that plant is not in direct sunlight, being out of doors is helping it to make its own food, more of it, to last through the winter indoors. So you sprayed your other house plants? Hummm. I would check out my plants in the out of doors garden. That scale came from somewhere out of doors. Grins. You haven't said what soil you used when you transplanted a few weeks ago.
    – stormy
    Aug 23, 2017 at 21:11
  • It's some average potting soil. Most other plants in my home use the same soil. Only my succulents use cactus soil.
    – JLF
    Aug 23, 2017 at 21:26

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