mysterious liquid-filled yellowish balls in soil

snoop92May 25, 2010

Hi everyone....

While I was adding soil amendments to the soil in my earthtainers from last year, I noticed a lot of hard pale yellowish/orangish balls in the old soil. When squeezed, the ball cracks and liquid comes out.

Does anyone know what these are? I'm hoping it is benign. I mixed new soil with this old soil, in accordance with the earthtainer directions.

Thanks.

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dickiefickle(5B Dousman,Wi.)

I have seen this in store bought mix before ,don't know what it's called ,but it is added to retain moisture .So it was in there last year too .

    Bookmark   May 25, 2010 at 8:50PM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

Possibly/probably a slow release fertilizer.

Josh

    Bookmark   May 26, 2010 at 12:05AM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

Yep, I'd guess a slow release fertilizer prill, too. You'll find them in some potting mixes, and in plants purchased from the nursery. The yellow color comes from the sulfur sprayed on in the manufacturing process.

Not all prills are yellow, though. Different manufacturing processes make a difference, as does a color 'coding' associated with how many months the product is supposed to last. You'll often find green prills in the containers of woody plants. It can last up to 12 months.

    Bookmark   May 26, 2010 at 6:27AM
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calistoga_al

I agree with rhizo. If you find them close to the top of the soil and they are more translucent they may be snail eggs. When bringing potted plants into your garden it is a good idea to scratch around the surface of the soil to make sure you are not bringing more snails into your garden. Al

    Bookmark   May 26, 2010 at 8:53AM
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haase(10 CA)

I think those are some eggs, too. What does it say on the new soil bag? If this is something added for additional moisture, I think it would say so on the bag. If it popped up in your own garden soil that you've had for a while, - it's a pest.
Ingrid

    Bookmark   May 26, 2010 at 10:53AM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

I still think fertilizer.
Slow release fertilizer is commonly added to bagged soils...moisture retention pellets are not.

Also, if you squeeze a snail egg, guts shoot out.
A picture, of course, could put the question to rest.

Josh

    Bookmark   May 26, 2010 at 11:00AM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

We get questions every year about 'eggs' in the potting soil. They all turn out to be Osmocote, or other product.

    Bookmark   May 26, 2010 at 11:04AM
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momstar(5)

I have also seen these "eggs" in potting soil. Sometimes they are Osmocote but that will eventually dissolve. The ones that stick around are a polymer water retention bead.

I agree, a picture would help to identify.

    Bookmark   May 26, 2010 at 11:42AM
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snoop92

Yes, I agree that a picture would help to solve the mystery.

These balls are about the size of a pencil eraser..a tad smaller than that, and seem to be dispersed all throughout the soil. They have a hard exterior and when squeezed, crack easily and clear fluid comes out that looks like water.

I will try posting a picture soon.

Thanks to everyone for their feedback. I was wigged out when I saw these things everywhere and was/am really hoping it's not something alive and gross, especially since I mixed in new amendments to this existing soil.

Thanks again.

    Bookmark   May 26, 2010 at 5:36PM
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precioushoney(5b)

Hehe while taking the soil out of a pot left over from the previous house owners I found lots of little yellow balls towards the bottom. I of course pinched one cause I thought they were solid. Talk about freaked out! I had to set that pot aside for a little bit because in my mind it was some alien type of egg lurking in my garage. (I watch a lot of horror movies LOL)

    Bookmark   May 26, 2010 at 9:12PM
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nancyanne_2010(Z 8 / WA)

could be any of the above - or slug eggs.

    Bookmark   May 29, 2010 at 5:55PM
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dickiefickle(5B Dousman,Wi.)

Slug eggs the size of a pencil eraser ? Bring a saddle

    Bookmark   May 30, 2010 at 3:13AM
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nancyanne_2010(Z 8 / WA)

here in the seattle area - yes.

    Bookmark   May 30, 2010 at 6:15PM
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speakerb_mindspring_com

i think they are moth eggs. last year when i planted indoor spring plants with fresh bags of soil, i too noticed these orbs. i squeezed one and saw the same thing. later into the season, all of a sudden, there were moths in my house. i then went to the plants and expelled as many as i could find of the orbs that appeared more and more frequent at the top of the soil. you'll notice they slowly creep up to the top of your soil after plantings. this is because the moth fetus move around in the orbs making them come up to the top.

every bag of fertalizer i've used has them. you just have to pick them out by hand and discard them before they hatch.

    Bookmark   May 7, 2011 at 3:35PM
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Jcdaniels2

Its either, Snail, Moth, or earthworm eggs, My best guess is that its earthworm eggs

    Bookmark   May 30, 2013 at 11:38AM
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tinabean04

Ok is this the same thing everyone is talking about?? I have a spot in my yard that everytime I plant something in here it dies! Today I planted a Knockout Rose bush in this "haunted" space and dug out all the old dirt and the deeper I dug, the more of these beads were showing up? If you pop it, it has a milky white liquid in it..are these beads what is killing all my plants in this space??

    Bookmark   July 5, 2013 at 8:15PM
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mick12009

I have the exact same yellow balls in my indoor plant. Do you know what they are? Any information will be helpful. thank you

    Bookmark   July 11, 2013 at 1:06AM
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fredman

I had the same thing today. Mine was smaller and much brighter yellow. Cant be fertilizer as I found it in the pine bark I bought a while ago and they said they don't add fertilizer to the bark. Only to the completed mix in the end.

    Bookmark   July 11, 2013 at 2:02AM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

For those of you who want to find an ID for whatever it is in your containers, you'll need to let us see some pictures!

I have attached several images of what Osmocote (or other SRF brand) prills look like in varying stages of 'swelling'. It is very easy to see why they are so easily mistaken for an egg.

Here is a link that might be useful: fertilizer prills

    Bookmark   July 11, 2013 at 1:23PM
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edweather(Zone 5a/b Central NY)

Seems like some of this CRF takes YEARS to "release." I swear I am still finding fertilizer 'balls' of various sizes and colors, two to three years later. Some of the CRF nurseries use is practically indestructible :-)

    Bookmark   July 11, 2013 at 5:42PM
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fredman

My thinking is a CRF ball will be hardish. This yellow BB gun size balls is a shell with juice when squashed. Its definitely some kind of egg.

    Bookmark   July 12, 2013 at 7:11AM
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edweather(Zone 5a/b Central NY)

Yeah, I'm sure that you are right about them being eggs. Now I am going to be more vigilant than ever and squish every one I see and fertilize my containers with them too :-)

    Bookmark   July 12, 2013 at 7:01PM
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spaceman13(6b)

Put some in a plastic container with holes and put them in a warm shady spot to see if anything hatches out. Most insect eggs will hatch out within 10 days (just pray they aren't 17 year cicada eggs!)

After Identifying the hatchling and treat for whatever is laying all those eggs.

    Bookmark   July 13, 2013 at 9:13AM
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bragu_DSM 5

SLUG eggs

no doubt

they can be hard, soft, clearish. Clear ones are ready to hatch.

Bug getta from lowes is a good product. best if spread around before mothers day in midwest.

I grow hostas. these are slug eggs

ÃÂ.ÃÂ --~

dave

    Bookmark   August 25, 2013 at 4:41AM
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Gadgetandrew

They vary in size between 2-3 mm. I have read all replies and am still confused as to what they are!

    Bookmark   February 21, 2014 at 4:36AM
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Gadgetandrew

Photo

    Bookmark   February 21, 2014 at 4:41AM
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