What is this white plant growing from the tree? The host tree (not the white root) is about 30” tall.

I was checking the soil from this tree because it was deteriorating pretty fast and I wasn’t sure what the problem was.

So I remove it from the planter and I notice this white root growing. The tree is basically dead, but this white thing is growing.

I was about to throw it away when I noticed this.

Can anyone identify this plant and should I still throw it away? The trunk has small worms.

enter image description here

This is the tree: enter image description here

1 Answer 1


I don't think it is "a plant growing from the tree". I think it was actually the last ditch attempt of the tree itself to stay alive. When the white shoot had grown up through the soil it would have turned green in the light as it started to produce chlorophyll.

Unfortunately, digging it up won't have increased its chances of survival, even if you replant it again. Some of the original roots must have been alive, but you may have damaged them and they won't survive long if they are not replanted.

Since the old dead trunk has "worms" the best thing to do IMO is throw the whole plant away (in the trash, not onto your garden or compost heap) along with whatever soil of compost it was growing in, and then thoroughly clean the pot before you re-use it.

  • Thanks, I’ll do that.
    – rbhat
    Sep 3, 2019 at 0:19
  • Is it possible to save the potting soil I used for this plant?
    – rbhat
    Sep 3, 2019 at 0:24
  • 1
    If there have been worms in the soil (possibly leaving eggs behind, even if you removed them) and now you have bugs living in the remains of the plant, do you really want to save a few dollars worth of soil to risk infecting the next plant you put in it?
    – alephzero
    Sep 3, 2019 at 8:43

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