Have you ever watered your houseplants in the summer, only to find mold growing on them the next day?
It’s not uncommon to see white or yellow, hair-like mold covering the surface of the soil, which can be unpleasant. But, if you don’t take care of it, mushrooms may start to grow over time.
You might wonder how the mold got there and how you can get rid of it. Don’t worry, though – mold won’t kill your houseplants, even though it can be annoying.
In this article, we will review why mold grows on houseplants and share some tips for preventing it. We’ll also give you step-by-step instructions for removing it if you find it on your plants.
- Is It A Big Deal If You See Mold Growing on Your Houseplants?
- Causes of Mold Growth on Houseplants
- Methods for Removing Mold from Houseplant Soil
- Tips for Preventing Mold Growth on Houseplant Soil
- Note: Mold Can Help Your Houseplants Thrive
- Mold on Houseplants: Not as Bad as You Think
Is It A Big Deal If You See Mold Growing on Your Houseplants?
Well, not really. Some types of mold are even suitable for your plants! But there are a few things you should watch out for.
Mold Growing on The Surface of Soil And Compost Is Okay
If you notice mold growing on the soil’s surface or compost, don’t worry – it’s totally normal and not harmful to your plants. However, some plants need mold to survive.
However, there’s one type of filamentous mold you should be careful of. It’s called Sclerotinia stem rot, also known as white mold, and it can be terrible news for your plants.
You’ll know it’s this type of mold because it looks like white cotton growing on the soil.
The problem with stem rot disease is that it’s hard to save once your plant is infected. So if you see white mold growing, acting fast is crucial.
First, you’ll need to replace all the soil and pots with new ones and disinfect the roots with a fungicide like Thiophanate-methyl (which sounds scary, but it’s just a type of spray that kills fungus).
If you want to prevent stem rot from happening in the first place, you can do a few things. First, use soil that drains well and keeps your plants well-ventilated.
You can also use a fungicide containing Trichoderma spp. to help stop the fungus growth that causes stem rot.
White Or Black Mold on Leaf Surfaces Is Dangerous
Have you ever seen white, black, or brown mold growing on your houseplant leaves? Well, if you have, you should know that it’s not a good thing. This mold type differs from the kind that grows on soil, and it can cause disease in your plants.
The worst part is that if you don’t do anything about it, the mold can spread to other parts of the plant and nearby plants! So if you notice any mold growing on your houseplant leaves, you must act quickly and remove it.
Causes of Mold Growth on Houseplants
Have you ever wondered why mold grows on houseplants? Well, it turns out that moisture is one of the main culprits – but a few other things can cause it too.
Here are five things that can lead to mold growth on your houseplants:
- Using organic soil or fertilizer.
- Keeping your plants in a humid environment.
- Not giving your plants enough sunlight or fresh air.
- Letting the soil stay wet for too long.
- The pot already has fungus in it.
And if you’re thinking, “Wait, that’s a lot of things!” – you’re right! Sometimes, it’s a combination of several factors that can cause mold to start growing.
By the way, did you know that mold is actually a type of fungus, not a plant or animal? And it’s so tiny that you might not even notice it’s there until it’s already taken over your indoor space.
1- Using Organic Soil or Fertilizer
Have you ever noticed that mold seems to grow easily on soil and compost? It’s because these materials are packed with organic stuff that mold just loves to chow down on.
Mold is a type of fungus that spreads by sending out tiny spores. Some molds even grow into mushrooms! And get this – when they’re wet, they sprout roots and start spreading out like plants.
Since mold gets its nutrients from organic matter like plants and animals, it can only grow in places that have that kind of stuff. So if your houseplant soil has humus, wood chips, bark, or coconut fiber, mold will latch onto it and start multiplying like crazy.
2- High Humidity
If you’ve ever seen mold growing on your houseplants, you might be wondering why it happens. Well, it turns out that mold loves warm and humid environments.
Mold can survive in temperatures between 32-113°F (that’s 0-45°C). When it comes to houseplants, mold tends to grow best in temperatures between 68-95°F (around 20-35℃) and when the humidity is around 60-80%. But if the temperature gets above 140°F (60°C), the mold won’t be able to survive and will die.
Mold loves moisture too, and it can spread quickly when the soil is wet. In fact, it can stretch out in the soil like the roots of a plant! So if you keep your houseplant in a humid room after watering it, you might wake up to find mold growing on the soil. And trust me, it can grow really fast – almost like a mushroom popping up overnight!
But here’s the thing: while high temperature and humidity can be bad news for your houseplants if they’re prone to mold, it’s actually a great environment for tropical plants. So if your houseplants are native to the tropics, they’ll thrive in warm, humid conditions.
3- The Impact of Poor Sunlight and Ventilation on Mold Growth
Let’s talk about poor sunlight and ventilation – they may not directly cause mold growth, but they make it easy for mold to take over. When the air in a space isn’t moving, it becomes stagnant and traps moisture. So when it’s rainy outside, the humidity and temperature rise and mold can quickly grow in these warm and damp conditions.
Let’s say you have poor sunlight and ventilation in your space. This can also create a breeding ground for fungi on your walls or plants, which can harm your plant. So, it’s important to have good ventilation and access to natural light to keep your space healthy and mold-free.
4- Soil That is Difficult to Dry Out Can Cause Mold Growth
Let’s talk about soil – sometimes it can be a real pain to dry out. But did you know that if the soil stays wet for too long, it can create the perfect environment for mold to grow and spread?
This is especially true if you’ve got wood chips on top of the soil. Even though they might look harmless, they can actually trap moisture and cause white mold fungi to grow on the underside of the chips.
5- Mold Fungus Pre-Mixed in Potting Soil
Here’s another thing to think about – mold fungi and spores can already be hiding in the soil of the potted plants you buy or the soil in your garden. It’s easy for these tiny spores to travel through the air and find their way into your home, even through open windows or on your clothes.
So, even if you try your best to prevent mold from growing, it’s hard to keep it completely at bay. Just remember to keep an eye on your soil and try to keep it dry, and sanitize any items or tools that you use to handle it. This can go a long way in keeping your home healthy and mold-free.
Methods for Removing Mold from Houseplant Soil
Have you ever noticed fuzzy mold growing in the soil of your houseplants? It’s not the most pleasant thing to see, and it’s important to get rid of it to keep your plants healthy.
Here are four ways to remove the mold and prevent it from growing back:
- Although mold on the surface of plant-soil may seem like a problem, it can actually be beneficial to let it grow, dry it out, and mix it into the soil as it provides nutrients and promotes plant growth
- Spray the soil with wood vinegar. This is a natural antifungal agent that can help prevent mold from growing.
- Repot the plant in a new location. This can help create a new environment that’s less hospitable to mold.
- Move your plant to a sunny and well-ventilated location. This can help dry out the soil and create an environment less likely to harbor mold.
If you still see mold after trying these methods, you can use tweezers to remove the soil’s surface. But remember that this may not eliminate the mold, and it could come back if the environment is still favorable for mold growth.
1- Utilizing Mold Growth for Nutrient-Rich Soil in Houseplants
When you see mold growing on the surface of your soil or compost, you might be tempted to get rid of it immediately. But did you know that you can let it grow, dry it out, and then mix it directly into your soil?
The mold fungus you mix into the soil gets broken down by tiny microorganisms and becomes nutrients your plants can absorb. This means that you don’t need to apply fertilizer as often, which can save you time and effort.
Did you know plants grow best in organic soil such as humus or woodchips? When plants grow in organic soil and get exposed to sunlight, they produce special chemicals called phytochemicals. These chemicals help plants protect themselves from harmful UV rays, pests, and pathogens.
So, by mixing the dried-out mold into your organic soil, you’re feeding your plants and helping them become more resilient and healthy.
2- Spraying with Wood Vinegar
Mold on your houseplants’ leaves or soil is never a good thing. But before applying harsh chemicals, have you considered using wood vinegar instead?
Did you know that there are over 1.5 million types of fungi in the world? Many of them can cause plant diseases, but some beneficial microorganisms also live on your houseplants and help protect them from pests and diseases. Strong fungicides can kill both the bad and the good microorganisms.
This is where wood vinegar comes in handy – it’s a natural solution that can eliminate mold while feeding the good microorganisms in the soil. That way, you can eliminate the mold without harming the natural balance of your houseplants’ ecosystem.
3- Using Repotting as a Method to Get Rid of Mold on Houseplant Soil
If you’ve tried removing mold from your houseplant’s soil, but it keeps returning, it might be time to repot your plant in fresh soil. Mold can have deep roots in the soil, so using a disinfected potting medium is vital to prevent it from returning.
You might also want to look closer at the roots when repotting your plant. Mold fungi can sometimes live symbiotically with the roots, so gently washing and cleaning them can be a good idea.
Remember to repot your plant between April and July, when it’s growing season. If you do it at the wrong time of year, your plant might become stressed and even die. So, be patient and wait until the right time to give your plant a fresh start in a clean potting medium.
4- Relocating Houseplants to a Sunny and Well-Ventilated Area for Mold Prevention
Mold loves warm and humid environments, so if you notice it growing on your houseplant, it’s time to take action. One easy solution is moving the plant to a sunnier, more well-ventilated spot.
When the air can flow freely, and there’s plenty of sunlight, the moisture in the air is less likely to stick around and create a breeding ground for mold. So, keep your windows and doors open and let the fresh air in!
You can help keep your houseplants healthy and mold-free with a little sunshine and good airflow.
Tips for Preventing Mold Growth on Houseplant Soil
Mold can be a stubborn enemy for houseplant owners. Once it takes root deep in the soil or wood, it can repeatedly return, no matter how many times you remove it.
So, how can you prevent mold from growing in the first place? The key is to create the right environment for your houseplants to thrive without mold.
Here are a few tips to help you get started:
1- Use Inorganic Soil for Surfaces
Molds on houseplants thrive on organic surfaces, so if you’re using organic soil, one way to prevent mold growth is to cover the surface with inorganic material. For example, you can use red ball soil, deer clay, vermiculite, perlite, or river sand. With less chance for mold growth, you’ll also reduce the risk of mushroom or fly infestations.
It’s also good to pay attention to fertilizers and add chemical fertilizers to the soil as a plant’s starter fertilizer.
2- Use Well-Drained Soil
Moist soil that doesn’t dry out quickly can be a breeding ground for fungi, especially if the temperature and humidity conditions are right. Various fungi can quickly develop; mold and mushrooms can grow if left unchecked. To prevent this, use well-mixed, well-drained soil such as humus, red ball soil, or coconut fiber.
After watering or misting your houseplants, let the soil dry thoroughly before watering again. The key is to manage the soil balance so it’s dry and moist.
If the soil drains too well, you may need to water your plants more frequently. If the soil tends to dry out too quickly, mix in some black soil or peat moss to improve water retention.
3- Grow in a Sunny and Well-Ventilated Place
Since mold thrives in damp environments, growing your houseplants in a sunny and well-ventilated location can help prevent humidity buildup. In addition, creating a clean and dry environment reduces the likelihood of fungi, bacteria, viruses, and illnesses.
Note: Mold Can Help Your Houseplants Thrive
Mold might not be the most attractive or hygienic thing on your houseplants, but did you know it can help them grow?
That’s right – the fungus attached to plant roots can play an essential role in supporting the health and well-being of your indoor greenery.
So, before you reach for the fungicide, take a moment to appreciate the little ecosystem developing in your houseplant’s pot. Who knows, maybe you’ll start seeing mold in a new light!
The Symbiotic Relationship between Fungi and Plants
Did you know that fungi and plants have been working together for millions of years, ever since the ancestors of plants transitioned from the sea to land?
Around 80-90% of plant roots today are symbiotic with fungi, which help support their growth in several ways.
One of the most well-known examples is legumes like the silk tree, whose roots are always symbiotic with a fungal bacterium called Rhizobium. This partnership allows them to thrive by exchanging essential nutrients and compounds.
Thanks to this mutually beneficial relationship, plants can produce organic matter and carbon compounds through photosynthesis, which they supply to the bacteria. In turn, the bacteria provide the plants with nitrogen and phosphate, which they need to grow strong and healthy.
How Fungi Help Strengthen Your Houseplants
Fungi don’t just have a symbiotic relationship with plants – they can also play a key role in helping to keep them healthy and strong.
While some fungi can cause plant diseases, others can help prevent them by attaching to the plant’s body and creating a barrier against harmful pathogens.
This protective effect is partly due to the presence of effective bacteria, which can help inhibit the growth of pathogens and boost the plant’s immunity.
So, the next time you see fungi growing on or around your houseplants, remember that they might just be part of a natural defense system helping your green friends thrive!
Mold on Houseplants: Not as Bad as You Think
While it’s true that white and yellow mold can grow on houseplants, it’s important to remember that they’re not necessarily harmful. Many types of fungi and mushrooms that attach to plants play a role in helping them grow and thrive.
That being said, keeping your indoor houseplants clean and free of mold is still important. By choosing the right location and preventing moisture buildup, you can help your plants stay healthy and strong.