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Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Q&A: Can You Identify Mystery Weblike Substance?

Reader Christina shares some photos of a white web like substance appearing in her terrarium. I am not familiar with this particular affliction but I share in hopes that someone else might have experience with this fungus or insect problem.  The best course of action for a mystery fungus is removal of the afflicted areas.  If the problem persists, you may need to empty out your terrarium and try building it again with new plants and soil.

Christina says "I've been noticing a strange white almost weblike thing growing on the branch points of some of my plants. The plants seem to be growing well but I was just wondering if you would happen to know what it is and how I can fix it. I've just been trimming it off hoping it goes away. I haven't had any problems with bugs in it so I don't think it's a nest of any kind. I've attached some pictures of the 2 plants that seem to be affected. My terrarium has quite a large opening at the top that I never cover and it gets a good amount of sunlight."


  1. super blog here.

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    I have some ideas for decorating the terrarium or vivarium

  2. Looks like the telltale signs of mealybugs.

  3. Those are almost certainly Mealy Bugs! I hate those things, they suck the juice right out of the plant and can spread fast. They usually hang out under the leaves around the stem, the white cotton substance grows on their back. A spray bottle filled with water and a tiny bit of alcohol is useful for getting rid of them and cleaning up the plants - look carefully, they can range in size from a sesame seed to almost microscopic. Also, be careful not to touch other plants without washing your hands, they spread easily. My advice: quarantine those plants ASAP, clean them off and monitor. Home Depot also sells a natural insecticide called Oragnocide, it works, however it smells heavily of fish oil (yuck!). In my experience, these usually show up when the planter soil is too moist and the plant begins to weaken from overwatering.

    I hope this helps!

    On another note, I just found your blog and I'm enjoying it so far. I blog about succulents and cacti, Interior Design, and travel over at:


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  5. Ok, so I'm good at the creative side, just not knowing much about plants. Thank you so much been reading through all this information and taking note :D


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