Thursday, June 20, 2024

Why Is There Mold On My Plant Soil

How To Successfully Identify White Mold Damage

White Mold on top of soil on houseplants and is it Harmful ?

White mold symptoms can vary based on the environment aswell as the type of plant. However, there are some commonly displayed ones suchas:

  • At first, the stem may appear as having a water-soaked part. And at this point of the infection, your plant will still have beautiful appearance looking healthy above so it is very difficult to detect already occured damages.
  • Wilting of stems, especially at the base accompanied by tan discolouration. Pay close attention as Infected stems may have tan to dark brown lesions.

And from these lessons, you will most likely find a dense, almost cotton-like growth forming under high humidity conditions.

Why Is There Mold On My Plant Soil

Amoldthehouseplant potting soilafungusthe plantpotting soilfungusthesoil

How to get rid of mold in houseplant soil:

  • Repot the plant in sterile potting soil.
  • Dry out your potting soil in direct sunlight.
  • Remove mold from the plant and spray with a fungicide.
  • Add a natural anti-fungal to your houseplant soil.
  • Repot new plants immediately into sterile soil.
  • Also Know, is plant mold dangerous? Powdery mildew is unsightly. Severe infestations damage plants. It can’t infect humans and won’t hurt you if you touch it. While it is not directly harmful to humans, it does harm to potential food sources.

    In this way, is mold in plant soil harmful?

    The visible mold in your soil is like a saprophyte, which is harmless to you and your family. However, leaving the mold there will leave your plant susceptible to root rot. If there is an extensive amount of moldif it has spread to the pot itselfrepot the plant. Use high-quality potting soil.

    Does cinnamon kill mold in soil?

    Cinnamon gets rid of molds and mildew in house plants too. Simply sprinkle a bit of cinnamon on the soil. It will also get rid of gnats if you happen to have them buzzing around your house plants.

    Water Plants According To Soil Moisture

    As creatures of habit, many of us have a routine for when we water our plants. Although there are good rules of thumb, checking the actual soil moisture is more reliable.

    For example, watering plants every week could lead to overwatering if the plant has a slower absorption rate. The more accurate option is to check how moist the potted soil is.

    In this case, the rule of thumb is only watering when 1/5 of the soil is dry which generally amounts to the top 1 2 inches of potted plant soil. To make things simpler, do not water your plants when the top layer still feels moist wait until it has become drier.

    You May Like: How Do You Get Rid Of Mold In Your Body

    What Causes Mold In The Dirt Of Houseplants

    Overwatering is the main cause of mold growth in container plants. Soil that is constantly moist is much more likely to harbor happy spores. For example, if your plants soil is 8 deep, dont water it until the top 2 have dried out. For most indoor plants, watering once a week should be sufficient.

    Will Moldy Soil Harm My Plant

    White Mold On Tomato Plant Soil

    Mold on soil may or may not harm your plant. It depends on the type youre dealing with.

    Andrew Gaumond, horticulturist, botanist and director of content at Petal Republic, explains that white mold is relatively harmless to the overall health of the plant, while fungal mycelia can be a real issue. Although fuzzy, white mold on its soil may not hurt your houseplant, the conditions that allowed such mold growth will. And some molds and fungi do cause plant diseases.

    Mold in the home may also be toxic to humans, or at least irritate those with asthma or allergies. So youll want to get rid of it right away for the sake of your plant and yourself.

    Also Check: Does Black Mold Cause Seizures

    Despite Its Alarming Appearance Fuligo Septica Is Harmless Not Only To Your Plant But Also To You And Your Pets

    Again, it shows up when the soil is damp, and theres plenty of humid, stale air.

    And thats that. Moldy soil can be unsightly and give us pause to believe the worst, but as weve discovered, this common plant problem rarely has dire effects. And now that you know how to prevent it, it can be a problem of the past.

    If you dont want a dog, but rather youd like more houseplants, I suggest reading the following:

    How To Manage White Mold

    Once white mold has been introduced to a garden, the disease often reoccurs each year. Several cultural control practices can help reduce the number of plants affected.

    • Choose plants with an upright and open form because they will dry more quickly than plants that lie along the ground or grow in dense clumps.
    • Space plants far enough apart so air moves through them and dries them quickly.
    • Use drip irrigation or soaker hose instead of sprinklers.
    • Remove all plants infected with white mold, as soon as the disease appears. Take care not to knock off any sclerotia in the process.

    • Infected plants should be burned or buried in an area of the yard that will not be used for vegetable or flower gardening in the future.
    • Infected plants can be composted only if the compost heats up to 148 to 158 F for a minimum of 21 days. If your home compost pile does not meet these standards, consider bringing infected plants to a municipal compost facility that does.

    The plants below were evaluated for resistance by the University of Minnesota in 2011-2016.

    Moderately resistant

    In these plants, individual stems or shoots become infected and die back but the plant remains alive through the growing season.

    • New Guinea Impatiens
    • Pentas
    • Sweet Flag


    When grown in the garden, some stem infection could be found but plants did not wilt or die.

    • Purple Millet Grass
    • Elephant Ear

    There are no symptoms of disease in these plants.

    • Fiber Optic Grass
    • Ornamental Reed

    Recommended Reading: How To Remove Mold From Clothes With Hydrogen Peroxide

    How To Prevent A Reoccurrence

    First things first, reduce the frequency of waters if it’s in a dark location. In some cases, but not all, mould or fungi can still develop on dry soil, but usually is caused by poor soil or low light. The relationship between the frequency of irrigations and the light levels is significant. If you’ve got a plant in a shady setting with high humidity, you must allow the top few inches to dry out in between waters. This is because the combination of no natural lighting and overly saturated soil will significantly increase spore germination.

    Poorly stored bags of used compost should never be used for houseplants. When there’s an open hole in the sack, moisture can be absorbed into the soil which will be a breeding ground for nasties to develop. If you’ve got leftover soil, be sure to keep it in a dry, dark environment with the hole sealed fully.

    Regularly check for any signs of fungus development in the plant’s soil – even if it’s just a small portion that becomes moulded, be sure to remove the whole layer for a fresh batch. You can never be too safe with an infestation of pests or diseases, especially if you have them in close proximity to one another!

    Does Vinegar Kill Mold

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

    Vinegar does kill mold. In fact, it can tackle over 80 different species of mold, including most that grown on plant soil.

    However, vinegar is also highly acidic. Spraying vinegar on a plant can cause burning of the leaves and flowers and it can make the soil too acidic.

    Even though vinegar is effective in treating mold, it is not the best solution for treating mold on houseplants. There are safer natural ways that wont cause harm to plants.

    Don’t Miss: Can Mold Cause Lung Nodules

    White Mold On Houseplant Soil

    If youve ever owned a houseplant, then it is likely that youve come across white mold growing on top of the potting soil. This white fuzzy mold is actually a fungus. Although its presence can indicate a problem with watering, it does not necessarily mean that the plant itself is sick or that it is going to die.

    Basically, dont panic about it.

    A photograph showing a white mold-like substance growing on the soil of a house plant.

    Although this fungus is harmless to humans, it does indicate that there could be a problem with the soil. Furthermore, it can be unsightly. Nobody wants to look at a carpet of white fuzz growing across the soil of their lovely house plant. This is because most of us have a natural aversion to mold. When we see it, we think of things like spoiled food and dampness. Both of which can harm us.

    Bright Light Will Prevent Mold In Houseplant Soil

    It is no secret that mold likes dark damp places. By brightening up the space where your houseplants are positioned, you can keep mold under control.

    Some houseplants do not like too many hours of direct sunlight, so make sure you know what your specific houseplants lighting needs are before exposing it to too much sun. Place your houseplants in a bright room with decent natural indirect sunlight.

    Open the blinds or curtains during the day and position the plants near the windows. To help the soil, you can position your houseplants so that the sun shines on the soil, for a certain amount of time each day.

    You May Like: How To Get Rid Of Mold Spores In Basement

    Is Moldy Potting Soil Good To Use

    • Save

    Are you planning to get rid of your favorite potted plants because they have grown mold on them? Well, you dont have to do that anymore because you can easily get rid of the mold, in fact, moldy soil can actually be beneficial for your plants.

    Did you know that not all molds and fungi are harmful to plants? If the mold is white and fuzzy, it is most certainly saprophytic fungi .

    Saprophytic fungus is caused by Compost fungi which occurs naturally in plants. It is beneficial for plants as it helps in the process of decomposing non-living organic matter to make the soil rich.

    At this point, you must be thinking, what happens if your potting soil grows mold on it and how to get rid of that mold? We are going to answer all these questions in this article but before we do that, lets first find out the common types of molds found in potting soil.

    Lets take a brief look at these types

    What Is Causing This White Mold To Grow On My Plant


    This white mold / fungus will typically appear if you have been over-watering the plant. Over-watering can lead to soil that is waterlogged. This creates the perfect conditions for fungus to thrive in. It loves moisture.

    If you feel as though you havent been over-watering the plant, then it could mean that the pot or basket does not have sufficient drainage.

    In a previous article, I wrote about mushrooms appearing on lawns. In that article, I pointed out that fungus will appear when there is organic matter for it to feed on. The exact same thing is happening in this case. The saprophytic fungi that appears on houseplants likes to feed on dead plant matter. For example, a dead leaf that has become embedded in the soil.

    Another thing that people forget is that houseplants tend to get a lot of shade. And if theres one thing that we know about fungus, its that it loves shade.

    To sum it up, fungus can appear when you combine waterlogged soil and decaying organic matter. Once you put these two together, youve created a recipe for white fuzz.

    Read Also: How To Control Mold In Basement

    How Can I Stop Mould Growing On My Plants

    Preventative care:

    • Check your plants for mould when you buy them
    • Make sure the top of the soil gets chance to dry out between waterings. Even moisture-lovers like Calathea. Even if the top of the soil is dry, the layers underneath can still be damp.
    • Keep a close eye on your plants aim to check them over a few times a month.
    • Remove dead leaves from the soil
    • Take good care of your plants make sure they have enough light, arent over watered, and are in a pot that has drainage holes.

    How to get rid of mould:

    Firstly, isolate your plat so it doesnt pass its mould on to any of your other plants.

    • If its regular white mould, you can just scrape it off the soil with a weapon of your choice let me recommend a spoon.
    • If its warm outside, take your plant out to help it dry out more quickly. Be careful not to leave it in direct sunlight we dont want it to cook
    • Im gonna mention neem oil for the billionth time its a great fungicide, so spray your plants with a neem oil solution be sure to dry them with a cloth or kitchen paper after
    • Repot your plant in sterile soil

    If you have any more mould-related queries be sure to leave them in the comments.

    Keep The Top Of The Soil Clean

    Make it a habit to remove any dead leaves or debris that has fallen onto the top of the soil. Left unchecked, this organic matter will start to decay and invite rot and disease.

    If your plant is large and bushy, making it difficult to see the soil, this step is especially important. Not only will you have a mess on the top of your soil, but because its harder to see, you may not catch it before it turns into a larger problem.

    You May Like: How To Clean Shower Tile Grout Mold

    What Exactly Is Mold

    Mold is essentially a type of fungus. It consists of small organisms that can manifest themselves in various colours such as white, green, purple, black or orange. Mold can reside both indoors and outdoors. It thrives, however, on moisture and can reproduce through spores that travel through the air.

    Whether we realise it or not, were exposed to mold on a daily basis. In most cases the amount is so small that its harmless to us. Damp spots that appear in your home, however, could potentially cause sickness and its worth getting these checked by a specialist.

    Mold in the garden, however, is not necessarily harmful. Most kinds actually help to break down materials in nature and transform them into compost for new growth. Spores that produce mold are actually present, to an extent, in various gardening mixes such as bark, peat, and moss. We cant see them until the conditions are met for spores to reproduce.

    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.

    Recommended Reading: How To Check For Mold In Your Body

    How To Prevent Mold In Houseplant Soil

    • Use healthy and sterile soil for all newly acquired plants or when changing the soil. Consider using commercial potting soil, which contains plenty of nutrients for your houseplants.
    • Avoid overwatering plants. Mold thrives in moist conditions, so too much water will help mold spores to develop. As a rule of thumb, you should water your plants once the top 2 inches or ¼ of the total soil volume is dry.
    • Remove debris from the soil and wipe off dust or dirt from the leaves regularly. Leaving organic debris on the soil can provide a better environment for mold to grow. Dont forget to trim dead parts of your plant, as well.
    • Provide plenty of light and ventilation to your plants. Sunlight or artificial light is essential not only for your plants growth but also for repelling mold. A source of ventilation, such as a fan on low setting, allows airborne particles to circulate around the plant freely.

    Why Does My Plant Have Mold On The Soil

    Post Author

    If potting soil is moldy, the soil was not necessarily contaminated. Much more often, storage conditions, watering behavior, or the composition of the potting soil are the causes of mold in the flower pot.

    Whether peat or peat substitute, fresh or old potting soil, long open or freshly opened sacks every potting soil molds under certain conditions. But mold on the potting soil can damage plants, is unattractive, and can irritate the respiratory tract of sensitive people. Thats why we explain everything about the causes, prevention, and control of mold in flower pots below.

    Read Also: What To Do If You Find Mold In Your Bathroom

    What Should I Do About The Mold

    Well, thats entirely up to you. Do you care if theres a bit of white fuzz on top of your soil? If not, then go ahead and let Mother Nature get on with it. Once the biomatter is completely decomposed in your soil, that mold will eventually disappear!

    But if it bothers you, or youre concerned about the spores potentially irritating an existing asthma or bronchial sensitivity, then fixing the issue is fairly straightforward.

    Popular Articles
    Related news