Friday, May 24, 2024

How To Kill Mold In Plant Soil

Ways To Get Rid Of Mold Growing In Your Houseplants Soil

How to Kill Mold in a Plant Pot : Indoor Planting

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.

How To Prevent Mold Growth On Soil

If you observe mold on your soil or houseplants, take immediate action to prevent damages and health risks. Use the following tips to ward off mold growth on your soil and plants.

  • Use healthy and disinfected soil when changing your soil and for all new plants. You can also use commercial potting soil because it contains enough nutrients for your plants.
  • Moist conditions are favorable for mold growth, so avoid overwatering your plants.
  • Remove dead leaves and other debris from the soil and clean dirt or dust from the leaves frequently. Besides, always remember to trim the lifeless parts of your houseplants.
  • Ensure your plants are getting enough light and ventilation. Sunlight is not only essential for your plants growth but also good at repelling mold. Also, use a source of ventilation to ensure airflow around the plants.

Preventing The Return Of Mold

Once you remove the mold, you will want to take measures to ensure it does not return. This can be done in a number of ways from treating the soil to moving where you keep your plants.

Preventing the mold means removing a few things from the equation where plants are concerned. The biggest thing is to remove moisture. While you obviously cant just stop watering your plants, you can do things to make sure that the water does not just sit and the soil stays damp for long periods of time.

More sunlight can help to dry up the top of the soil better, as can better circulation or ventilation around the plant. Moving air can help the top soil to dry faster without pulling the moisture from the deeper soil. It can be difficult to be able to find that balance between making sure your plant has water and keeping it from being too wet for too long, especially in the wintertime.

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White Fuzzy Growths Can Appear At The Base Of Your Plant Seemingly Overnight Salvage Your Houseplant And Prevent Moldy Soil In The Future

You might find mold on houseplant soil after bringing your plants in for the winter, or it might grow in containers that are inside year-round. It can pop up on new additions to your urban garden, or it can appear on established members of your leafy collection. Mold occurs on soil for a number of reasons. Understanding what caused the problem and how to get rid of it will keep your garden and home happy.

Most people dont realize that plants have natural microorganisms that exist around them just like we have within our bodies and on our skin, explains Shelby DeVore, a gardening expert with a masters degree in agriculture and founder of Farminence. Many of these microorganisms are necessary for proper plant health.

This symbiotic relationship is why living soil is so favorable. To create living soil, many gardeners try to attract worms, which aerate soil and supply much-needed nutrients. Adding compost is another way to get those beneficial microorganisms. However, improper plant care can disturb the delicate balance of nature.

When you start to notice mold emerging on the surface of the potting soil, DeVore says, theres an issue.

On This Page

  • How Can I Prevent New Mold from Growing?
  • First Get Rid Of The Existing Mold


    Start by isolating your plant, since mold can quickly spread from one pot to another. Then, in a well-ventilated area, scrape away the top few inches of soil. If the mold is relatively new, that should do the trick. “If the mold is deeper than an inch or returns after a few weeks, you need to repot the plant entirely using an organic soil made for potted plants,” says Dubow.

    Before you repot the plant, clean the inside of the container with a squeeze of dish detergent, a sprinkle of baking soda, and water. The baking soda acts as a mild abrasive to scrape mold off the inside of the pot. Let the pot dry completely and then spray the infected leaves with water before wiping down each one with a paper towel . Snip off any brown or dead leaves and toss them in the trash spray the underside of those remaining with an organic fungicide. “You can easily make your own: Mix one tablespoon baking soda, a half teaspoon of liquid soap, a tablespoon of horticultural oil, and a gallon of water,” says Dubow. “Don’t skip the oilit’s what helps the mixture adhere to the mold.” Let the soil dry completely before watering your plant again and keep your plant isolated for a few weeks to ensure the mold hasn’t returned.

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    What Are The Different Types Of Mold

    Before freaking out, its important to note that mold can be more or less problematic depending on the type. There are actually over 100,000 different types of mold, and many of them are crucial to the overall functioning of our ecosystems. Some of them are dangerous and others are completely harmless.

    For example, youve probably heard of black mold, or Stachybotrys chartarum, before. This kind of mold can be extremely toxic to people. Its typically found in water-damaged buildings and it is not one of the typical variations of mold on plant soil .

    Aspergillus is another type of potentially toxic mold that you may have heard of before. Its usually grey or green in color and can cause allergic reactions or lung infections in many people.

    Youve probably heard of Penicillium before as wellits one of the most common genera of mold in the world and is how the antibiotic Penicillin was discovered! Some people have mild to severe allergies to Penicillium.

    Mold can vary by color, from black, brown, and green to orange, yellow, and white. Unfortunately, you cant tell whether or not mold is toxic by just looking at the color.

    Usually, when enough mold grows to where its visible to your naked eye, thats already an indicator that theres an imbalance that needs to be addressed. Its best to prevent and get rid of any type of mold or fungus you see growing on your plant soil as soon as possible.

    What Is The White Mold On Your Plant

    If there are over 100,000 different types of mold, then how do you know which kind is growing on your plant soil?

    Without sending it to a lab, its impossible to determine the exact strain of mold thats growing on your plant. However, theres a good chance that its a Saprophytic, which is a category that includes several different types of mold. Some of the most common types of Saprophytic mold are Aspergillus, Penicillium, and Trichoderma. As noted above, these types of mold can be potentially toxic to humans, so you should try to remove the mold as soon as possible.

    Its also worth noting that mold on plant soil can either be active or dormant. Active mold on plant soil tends to be more fluffy and soft-looking, while dormant mold has a dustier and flatter look. Its important to know that dormant mold isnt necessarily less toxic.

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    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.

    What Else Can You Do

    Getting Rid of White Mold in Houseplant Soil
    • Never let pots sit in saucers full of water for more than five minutes. Drain off excess moisture.
    • Place plants in sunlight or strong artificial light to help them dry.
    • If you see any mold, take the plant outside for a day to expose it to natural light and air. When you bring it back in, choose a new home for the plant in a spot that is slightly more sunny and breezy.
    • You might also consider transplanting to a larger pot full of fresh dirt. Make sure you choose a pot with plenty of drainage holes.

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    How Can I Get The Mold Off My Soil

    There are a few things to consider before answering this question.

    • What season is it? If your plant is dormant, repotting is not a good option unless the mold on the soil is severe. However, in the growing season, repotting is a straightforward option. Remember, some plants, like the Hawaiian Palm, have “reverse” growing seasons, so they are dormant during the summer months and growing during the winter. Do your research before you decide!

    • When was the last time I watered? If you opt to repot your plant, that means you are also rewatering. If your plant is staying too moist, repotting/rewatering at this point will overwater your plant, causing root rot, which is almost irreversible.

    • How extensive is the mold? If there is an infestation that includes mold on the soil surface and on the plant itself, you must take extreme measures. Contrastingly, if you only have a thin layer on the soil, there are a few easy, noninvasive techniques.

    • What are my plant’slight and ventilation requirements? Ultraviolet rays from the sun kill mold. Placing your plant in the sunlight for a day will help eliminate the growing fungus. However, you must weigh this decision with the overall care of your plant. Additionally, placing your plant in a well-ventilated area can prohibit moldon the soil surface, as long as your plant isn’t overly sensitive.

    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.

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    How Do I Fix It

    Physically scoop out the Fungus including the immediate top soil and dispose of it. If you are sensitive to allergens or have breathing difficulties be sure to wear a mask for this. Next sprinkle a fine and even layer of ground Cinnamon over the top soil. Cinnamon contains a natural and very effective fungicide which will kill any remaining Fungus. Be sure to allow the top soil to properly dry out before watering again, and preferably only water from below eg. directly to the reservoir of a self watering planter. Once the Fungus has cleared up, there is no need to continue applying the ground Cinnamon to the soil. This will only kill other forms of beneficial fungus in your soil.

    Cinnamon contains a naturally occurring fungicide

    Remove Mold From The Plant And Spray With A Fungicide

    8 Images How To Get Rid Of Mold In Garden Soil And View ...

    If the plant is contaminated with mold, it will keep contaminating the soil that it grows in, especially if it is consistently damp. Removing the mold by hand is a good first step.

    Mold is usually only found on the surface of the soil, so you can gently scoop the top layer of the contaminated soil out of the pot.

    Then, proceed to remove the mold from the actual plant. You can wipe the plant down with a damp kitchen towel or cloth a few times until there is no sign of mold on the plant.

    The next step is to further protect the plant and soil by applying a fungicide to the plant. If you do not want to buy a chemical fungicide and prefer to consider more natural routes, you can opt for using Potassium Bicarbonate mixed with water. This is an organic fungicide and works well with white mold spores. Simply spray this solution generously over the plant and on the surface of the potting soil.

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    Repot The Plant To Get Rid Of Mold

    If you are not willing to try to remedy the mold problem yourself, you might want to eliminate the problem completely, in one fell swoop. You can repot the plant in fresh, sterile soil and ensure that the old contaminated soil no longer forms part of the equation.

    Simply remove your houseplant from its pot, clean the container out and then refill the container with fresh sterile soil.

    Alternatively, to completely remove any remaining mold spores, you can soak the container in a solution of 9 parts water and 1-part liquid bleach, for around 10 minutes. Thereafter, simply rinse the pot out with regular dishwashing liquid and water. Once the container/pot has dried, you can fill it with soil and repot your houseplant.

    Before replanting your houseplant, make sure that you have rinsed off the root system and cleaned the mold off the leaves. If any mold spores remain, you could end up with recontamination. You might want to spray the plant with a mild fungicide before repotting it too. Once you have repotted the plant you will need to ensure that you prevent mold growth by implementing a better watering and care routine.

    Houseplant Mold: Identify Remove And Prevent Unwanted Mold On Indoor Plants

    White fuzzy mold isnt any good on the cheese in your fridge, and its almost as frustrating to see in the containers of your plants. Especially if youre growing herbs or other edible foods, but rest assured its easy to fix and can be prevented. Dont worry, I think its probably safe to admit that at one time or another, even the most experienced gardeners have come face to face with mold growing on their houseplant soil!

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    How Do You Kill Mold On Plants

    Combine one tablespoon baking soda and one-half teaspoon of liquid, non-detergent soap with one gallon of water, and spray the mixture liberally on the plants. Mouthwash. The mouthwash you may use on a daily basis for killing the germs in your mouth can also be effective at killing powdery mildew spores.

    How do you get rid of fungus in the garden soil?

    Keep Houseplants In Bright Light To Avoid White Stuff On Plant Soil

    White mold plant soil – how to get rid of mold in plant soil

    You can help prevent mold growth on houseplant soil by keeping plants in bright, indirect sunlight. Adequate sunlight helps the top part of the soil to dry out and also prevents mold. Light is necessary for photosynthesis, which keeps plants healthy and resistant to disease.

    Even though many houseplants grow well in low light, they are more prone to mold problems. So, if you have low-light plants indoors, be extra careful with watering them. Also, the humid atmosphere of bathrooms means that some shower plants are susceptible to mold.

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