How To Prevent Mould Growing On Plants
Prevention is better than a cure. And although mould wont really harm your plants if treated early, its better to try and avoid mildew from growing in the first place.
Rhians main tip for preventing mildew on plants is to make sure theres adequate airflow.
The air flow is the most important part to try and decrease the humidity, she says. To increase airflow, thin plants out and avoid planting too closely together. Additionally avoid overhead watering and make sure youre placing plants in appropriate locations.
If its a sun loving plant, don’t put it in a dark area. Really choose the right species of plant for the right location.
How Can I Prevent New Mold From Growing
Getting the right combination of sun, air, soil and water will keep the natural balance of your soil in check. Start by watering only when necessary. Many houseplants come with care instructions, but Levi says not to adhere to them. Most plant tags that come with a plant provide care guidance for where the plant was grown, not necessarily your home/area, he says.
Instead of watering on a rigid schedule, stick a finger a few inches into the soil to check its moisture level. Hydrospikes are another option for forgetful plant owners.
Avoid pots without drainage holes. If you fall in love with a decorative pot that doesnt have holes, there are a few things you can try. One common solution is to add landscape rocks beneath the potting soil so that water has a place to pool. You can also try to drill holes into the pot, but clay or ceramic pieces may shatter. Be aware that these solutions are not guaranteed, so you may end up repotting your plant due to mold on its soil.
Finally, place your houseplant where it will get enough sunshine and air circulation. This means that tight spaces and forgotten corners might need fake plants. If an open window is out of the question, consider using a fan to mimic a natural breeze.
Is It Safe To Use A Bag Of Old Moldy Potting Soil
Sometimes, you may not use all the potting soil at once later, when you go to use some more, you discover that fuzzy white stuff has bloomed inside the bag. It might also be that you buy a new bag of potting soil, bring it home, and discover the same thing. The question is, can you still use that soil?
- If you are transplanting, planting, or just replenishing dirt levels, the answer is yes. Before you use it, simply mix up the contents of the bag and work the white stuff back in with the dark. You might also add a little fresh compost. Cut the bag open and leave it outside, exposed to the sun and air, for a day or two, turning occasionally. You could also mix in some fresh compost.
- On the other hand, if you’re planning to sow seeds, you should not use that soil. Since the mold will compete with the seedlings for nutrients, it’s best to give the new plants a fighting chance in some fresh dirt.
Read Also: How To Eliminate Mold Smell
How To Treat A Mild Infestation Of Mold
For a mild infestation of mold or fungus on the soil in your plants, all you need to do is remove the contaminated soil. Treating the problem before it gets out of hand will save you the trouble of fighting a massive infestation later. This will not just save you time, but also money in the long run.
- Using a small spoon or scoop, you can remove the top ½ to 1 inch of soil. This will remove any fungi or mold that is currently in bloom or growing.
- Be sure to replace any soil that you removed. You want to ensure that the roots of your plants are completely covered.
- You can treat the soil with a light dusting of cinnamon or baking soda to prevent mold from recurring.
- Be sure that you do not water the plant too heavily in the future as moist soil enables growth.
- Wait until the top ½ inch to two inches of the top of the soil is dried out before watering .
- Consider a new place to set your plant to ensure it gets more light to dry the soil faster.
- Adding ventilation can help the soil to dry faster as well. This will help to prevent the mold from returning and an infestation from happening.
Mild infestations will tend to be confined to just a few plants and have not had a chance to spread to all of them. It is better to treat all of your plants, even those that do not seem to be affected as of yet, just to prevent an issue before it arises. Even if the mold is just on the soil at this point, mold can travel on air currents, and it can eventually grow up to the leaves.
What Type Of Mold Is It
Does the mold on the surface of your potted plants soil look something like this:
If so, then this is almost certainly something called saprophytic fungi .
Saprophytic means: an organism which consumes decaying organic matter. When you see mold in your potted plants, this is essentially your plants going wow, this soil is LIT!
Saprophytic fungi are known as litter transformers. By eating dead organic material, they literally change the chemical composition of that material into something valuable for the soil.
Saprophytic microbes are therefore very important to composting, as they break down the organic material added to compost piles to turn it into rich soil. They essentially eat garbage and poop out gold.
Note: Not literal gold. Lol.
Compost fungi that result in mold are most often actinomycetes. Now, were not expecting you to remember that fancy word, but just know that these guys are naturally occurring in soil and that their presence is a GOOD THING.
Read Also: Can You Be Tested For Mold
Reasons To Remove Mold
While in general, mold on plants is not dangerous to humans, some people that are sensitive to mold spores can have a reaction to the mold. For this reason alone, you want to make sure to keep mold growth under control. For some people, exposure to mold can become a life threatening situation.
There is also an aesthetic reason behind removing the mold. It can just make your home look and smell dirty, even if it is otherwise spotless. Even if mold does not currently bother you, it could in the future, the more you are exposed to it.
Eventually, mold can kill your plants by starving it of the nutrients it needs to survive, so you will definitely want to remove it.
Removing Mold From The Leaves
Mold on the leaves of your plant can be a bit more serious as it is no longer the nutrients in the soil that the mold is feeding on. In this case, it is the nutrients contained within the plant itself that the mold is feeding on. This can be detrimental and is usually not the same kind of mold that grows on or in the soil. Mold that grows on the leaves of a plant is harmful and needs to be removed as soon as it is noticed.
One of the best and easiest ways I have found to remove mold from the leaves of a plant is just a damp paper towel. You can spray water on the plants too, to help keep the mold spores from being airborne, but make sure that the paper towel is at least damp to ensure that the spores attach to it instead of being spread around your environment.
Use a new paper towel or at least a new section of paper towel, to wipe each leaf. Otherwise, you may just end up transferring the mold spores from one leaf to another.
Even if you do not see mold on your plants, it is best to wipe them down once or twice a month anyways to remove any dust or dirt that gets on the leaves. Dust can actually inhibit photosynthesis and prevent the plant from thriving in an area that would otherwise be perfect for it. This would also be a good opportunity to check for mold on your plants as well.
Recommended Reading: How Much Is Mold Remediation In Basement
Will Mold Hurt My Seedlings
The good news is that the mold itself will not kill your seedlings. However, it is a sure sign that something else is wrong, and needs to be fixed ASAP.
Because what could eventually kill them is what causes the mold to grow in your seed trays in the first place.
The main causes are overwatering, improper ventilation, too much heat, and/or overcrowding. All of which Ill talk about in detail below.
Does Vinegar Kill Mold In Soil
Every garden contains a huge variety of fungi in the soil and on plants. Some fungi are visible, while others play an unseen role in the soil decomposing organic matter. Vinegar is an alternative treatment for mold on your plants and seems to destroy the white powdery mold often seen on plants, especially roses.
Also Check: Who To Call To Check For Mold
How To Identify If You Have A Mold Problem
Molds are hard to identify because they often look just like the plant itself when its growing or sometimes a little different but not too much so you might not notice anything at first glance. You need to know what signs of mold growth on plants look like before youll be able to find any.
If you see these signs, its time to take action: leaves with spots or streaks blackish-green patches under dead bark dark greenish-brown fuzz covering the surface of a wound fuzzy patches where there was once healthy tissue white powder on the surface of leaves, stems, or fruits.
How To Get Rid Of Mold In Plant Soil
If the soil in the pot smells of rot and is covered with plaque, change the watering schedule of the plant. You have to reduce the volume of water and also the frequency of watering.
Some plants do not need frequent watering and feel good in slightly moist soil. Overwatering of such plants will cause their roots to rot due to mold/fungal infection.
If you water the flowers less frequently but abundantly, you will have to loosen the soil. Do this deep enough, but be careful not to damage the roots.
You can get rid of the mold in pot soil without damaging the plant as follows:
Besides the above-mentioned quick steps. Now lets learn about the effective and comprehensive methods to get rid of mold in flower pots.
Don’t Miss: How To Test For Mold In Ac Ducts
What Is White Fuzzy Mold On Seedlings
White fuzzy mold on seedlings is not the type that causes blight or damping off, which causes the plant to flop over at the base of the stem.
Once damping-off hits your seedling tray, there is no way to save the plants.
The white fluffy, fuzzy mold that you see on your seedlings is most likely a saprophytic fungus. The mold isnt an immediate danger to your seedlings, so you have time to treat the invasion.
Ways To Get Rid Of Mold Growing In Your Houseplants Soil
Getting rid of mold is not a particularly difficult task, if you know what to do. Most people see mold and assume that it means the end for their plant, but its really not. Mold usually grows for a number of common reasons such as overwatering, poor drainage, and sometimes even using soil with soggy decaying organic matter or previously contaminated soil.
If your plants already have mold, growing on the soil, it is too late to start preventative care, but its not too late to start reversing the situation. First, you have to rid the soil of the mold and then you can start creating an environment that is uncomfortable for mold to grow. You can get rid of the unsightly white mold in your plants soil in the following 5 ways.
You May Like: How To Kill Black Mold On Ceiling
How To Combat This Disease
Unfortunately, it is very difficult to treat white mold once it has attached itself to plants and roots. This is because plant damage cannot be detected until it slowly dies.
If it is detected in time, you can try to combat this fungus. Ideally, infected and wilted plants should be removed to not contaminate other plants and thus avoid the spread of sclerotia in the garden. Another important tip is not to compost diseased dry plants to avoid transmitting the fungus to the ground. Instead, you simply have to discard them. Also, consider transplanting the infected plant to an area where it is isolated and with fresh soil.
Currently, many fungicides and chemical treatments can be used to combat these dangerous fungi. However, many can be harmful to the environment and be counterproductive. Most chemical remedies are usually quite efficient, but make sure you read the instructions carefully and know the risks to the plant and its neighboring plants.
Let Potting Soil Dry Out And Place In Sunlight To Get Rid Of Soil Mold
If you dont want the hassle of repotting a houseplant, you can let the plant soil completely dry out. Fungal growths and mold dont survive well in dry environments. Also, the suns ultraviolet rays kill fungus spores.
To kill mold on plant soil, put your houseplant outside in a sunny location. The heat from the sun and the dry conditions will help to limit or kill off the growth of white mildew. The reason why this method works well for mold is that mold generally lives in the top layer of soil. So, the heat from the sun should dry out the soil quickly. You only have to wait until the top 2 has dried.
If white feathery residue remains, you can safely scoop this away with a sterile spoon.
Another way to dry out plant soil to remove mold is to spread out the soil and leave it in the sun. However, because you will have to repot your plant later, it is best just to discard the soil and repot using a fresh potting mix.
Also Check: How To Test Furniture For Mold
Sterilize Your Planting Soil
Sterilizing your plant soil is a great way to get rid of pests, infestations, and fungus. It will deplete your soil completely of nutrients, but allow it to reset itself, too. This form of soil recycling can save you significant time and effort.
To sterilize your plant soil, you basically have to freeze or heat all forms of life within that soil. For this reason, youll want to remove your plant first and keep it in a safe place, like a temporary pot. If youre just going to report your plant altogether but want to keep the soil, thats okay, too. But you need to sterilize it before doing anything else.
Recycling soil works kind of like sterilizing food or water. You want to get it hot or cold to inhibit the lifecycle of any bacteria, virus, or fungi growing inside. Nothing can survive in high heat, or frigid temperature, for an extended period. For this reason, you should also thoroughly fertilize and mulch your soil after sterilization.
To sterilize your plants soil, you can use the following strategies.
How To Prune Your Plants After Getting Rid Of Soil Mold
Getting rid of the mold growth in the soil is only the first step in the plant care process. Your plants stems and leaves often suffer from mold, and pruning is necessary to promote good health to the rest of the houseplant.
- Pruning shears
Check the foliage of your house plant for mold contamination and spores, and use a damp cloth to clean them gently. Use pruning shears or sharp scissors to prune away stems or leaves if they are yellowing, wilting, or damaged from excessive fungal growth and discard them in a plastic bag.
Also Check: What Does Mold Do To Your Lungs
How To Stop Mold Growth On Houseplants
Mold growth on houseplants is a fairly common phenomenon, but that doesn’t mean that you should ignore it. Some molds are relatively harmless for some plants, such as sooty mold that grows on the honeydew produced by some insects. Other molds, such as those that cause root rot, may cause your plants to die.
Protect Houseplants With An Anti
In some cases, the soil may need a helping hand for keeping mold and fungus at bay. If you live in a damp or cold area, it may seem difficult at first but even using a natural anti-fungal and adding it to the soil can greatly help with the situation.
There are several nice natural anti-fungal options available. Some great ones include apple cider vinegar, cinnamon as well as baking soda. And rest assured, none of them will ever harm the houseplant providing you do not overuse them.
You can try mixing these into the soil or even sprinkle them on the top surface of your houseplants soil. However, make sure not to overdo it as putting too much of it in can harm the soil. A couple of sprinkles or several spoons per houseplant is enough so make sure to keep these amounts in mind. Neem oil or SB Plant Invigorator is both perfect for killing molds and the video below although made for controlling pests with these products will show you how to use them.
You May Like: How To Check For Mold In Your Apartment