Recently, I discovered a white and yellow mold or fungus on one of my houseplants, which astonished me. I understood that it may be somewhat unsettling if I weren’t used to seeing this. As a result, I decided it was time to discuss the causes of mold on indoor plants, how to prevent it, and how to effectively remove mold from an indoor plant.
Why are the plants in my house developing mold? Mold frequently grows on indoor plants as a result of inadequate drainage in the plant’s pot or container, excessive watering, inadequate ventilation, or insufficient sunlight. Houseplants with mold are frequently curable by removing the contaminated soil or chopping off the afflicted plant parts.
You won’t want to miss this article if mold is spreading on your indoor plants. I’ll go through how to recognize houseplant mold later. I’ll also go into greater detail regarding the circumstances that support the growth of mold and discuss some practical mold eradication techniques. Go on reading!
How can mold on indoor plants be stopped?
- For all newly acquired plants or when switching soil, use wholesome, sterile soil. For your indoor plants, think about using professional potting soil, which is rich in nutrients.
- Try not to overwater plants. Too much water will encourage the growth of mold spores because mold prefers moist environments. Generally speaking, you need to water your plants whenever the top 2 inches or 1/4 of the soil is dry.
- Regularly remove dirt or dust from the leaves and remove debris (such as dead leaves) from the soil. It may be easier for mold to grow if organic waste is left on the soil. Don’t forget to prune your plant’s dead branches as well.
- Your plants should have a lot of light and airflow. Both natural and artificial light are necessary for the growth of your plant as well as to ward off mold. Airborne particles can readily move throughout the plant when there is a source of ventilation, like a fan set to low.
Why do the roots of my houseplants have mold on them?
Most likely, the white fluffy substance on the plant soil is a saprophytic fungus that is not harmful. The following factors can all contribute to fungal issues (mold) on the plant soil: excessive water, inadequate soil drainage, polluted potting soil, and a lack of sunlight. Low light and moisture provide the “ideal setting for the growth of white mold on home plants.
Tiny minuscule spores that make up the mold fungus begin to grow and thrive under specific conditions. The mold’s color can change depending on what caused the potting soil infection.
White fungus on soil
White growths on the ground that resemble threads are saprophytic fungus, according to the Royal Horticultural Society. Even if there is a lot of this white fungus growth, also known as mycelium, it is innocuous. (1)
Yellow fungal mold
Another example of benign saprophytic fungus is yellow mold growth on plant soil. Scrape it off or repot the plant in sterile potting soil to get rid of it.
Gray mold on houseplant soil
Gray mold can occasionally be a fungus called Botrytis. The location of this fuzzy growth is typically close to the soil’s surface or growing in thick vegetation. If gray mold is not handled, the plant could suffer.
Scale may be indicated by patches of black or dark green material that resemble soot. As they consume the plant’s sap, these minuscule insects have the ability to kill your plant. Although the sooty mold won’t hurt the plant, you must promptly get rid of scale insects.
Powdery mildew, a fungus that affects houseplants, can have the appearance of flour dusted on plants. The plant’s photosynthesis may be hampered if the fungal infestation becomes too severe, which could restrict the plant’s growth.
How can mold be removed from a plant?
High humidity is typically the cause of mold growth on plant soil. If you experience this issue, you must act right away. Nearly all beginning gardeners have a similar issue at some point.
How to remove mold from plant soil
- Early on, remove the contaminated topsoil.
- Citric acid/lemon juice should be used to water potting soil.
- replanting in a fresh container with fresh soil
- Utilize oven drying or direct sunlight to disinfect the soil
- To your plant soil, add natural antifungal ingredients like charcoal.
- Apply fungicide to the soil and houseplant.
- Employ baking soda and antifungal medications.
- sprinkling coal ash on the surface of the moldy soil
So it’s crucial to understand what causes mold to grow in plant pot soil, how to get rid of it, and how to stop it from growing again. I know all the solutions to this problem, so keep reading.
What is the fuzzy white substance on my houseplants?
Mealybugs frequently leave a white, cotton-like residue on plant leaves. The stems and leaves are where you’ll usually discover this residue. Either the mealybugs themselves or their egg sacs make up this residue.
The plant could also be covered in a sticky substance. This is honeydew that the mealybugs excrete. Ants may also be drawn to it.
Mealybugs are tiny, flat, oval-shaped white spots that appear on plant leaves. They also have a fuzzy or powdery appearance.
What kind of mold is it?
Your plant’s soil has a covering of mold that is probably an unharmful saprophytic fungus. Mold spores are present in all soil. However, your plant just so happens to be creating the ideal environment for the spores to flower, resulting in a white, fluffy covering.
Will it harm my plant?
The response is “no.” The saprophytic fungus won’t harm your plant on its own. However, it might also serve as a clear clue that your plant is undergoing hazardous conditions. For instance, it can be overly damp, not have enough airflow, or require more sunlight. Neglecting these warning signs is bad for your plant’s health in general.
How can I get the mold off my soil?
What time of year is it? Repotting is not a smart idea if your plant is dormant unless the soil has extensive mold growth. However, repotting is a simple choice during the growing season. Keep in mind that some plants, like the Hawaiian Palm, have “reverse” growing seasons, which means they are active in the winter and dormant in the summer. Before making a decision, do your study!
When did I last water the plants? If you decide to repot your plant, you must also rewater it. Repotting or rewatering your plant now, if it is still too wet, will cause root rot, which is almost always irreversible.
How much mold is there? You must take drastic steps if there is an infestation that includes mold on the soil surface and on the plant itself. On the other hand, there are a few quick, non-invasive ways if the soil just has a thin coating.
What ventilation and light conditions do my plants need? Mold is destroyed by the sun’s ultraviolet radiation. You may get rid of the fungus that is growing by leaving your plant in the sun for a day. The total care of your plant must be taken into consideration when making this choice. Additionally, if your plant isn’t excessively sensitive, placing it in a well-ventilated area can prevent mold from growing on the soil surface.
Is plant mold dangerous to people?
By removing mold from your indoor plants’ leaves, you can lessen your exposure to it. On living plants, mold is readily removed with a damp cloth. Never use a dry paper towel for this; doing so will cause the air to become more contaminated with mold spores.
When cleaning, swap out the paper towels to stop the accumulation of dust and mold from spreading. Use a spray bottle to make cleaning easier overall and make sure you’re cleaning in a well-ventilated location.
It will take some extra work to get the mold out of the soil itself. A spade or spoon should be used to remove the moldy top layer of soil, which should then be put into a plastic bag for convenient disposal.
After getting rid of any indications of visible mold, replace the top layer of stripped soil with fresh potting soil. To stop additional exposure to mold, you may need to replace more than just the top layer if the infestation has spread too far.
To prevent the growth of any mold spores, add a natural, organic anti-fungal product to your soil. A fantastic alternative that will prevent mold growth and is safe for the plant itself is cinnamon.
Put a thin layer of gravel on the bottom of your potting mix to prevent mold from returning and to provide a much better drainage system.
Place your indoor plants in a room with good ventilation. Make sure to open a window, use a dehumidifier, or turn on adequate ventilation fans because mold loves to grow in places with low ventilation.
HOUSEPLANTS, AVOIDING MOLD EXPOSURE:
Start with clean ground. If you buy a new plant, repot it in sterile soil because the soil may have been moldy when you brought it home from the store. Repot the plant after carefully removing all of the soil from its root ball.
Only water your houseplants when the soil is dry. A plant is typically exposed to mold when it is kept consistently damp. When you either overwater your houseplants or water on a schedule rather than by touch, this occurs. Before watering a houseplant, make sure the soil at the top is dry.
Increase the light. Making sure that indoor plants receive plenty of sunlight and, more importantly, that the sunlight falls on the soil is a terrific strategy to reduce moisture since mold adores the dark.
Insert a fan. As was said above, adding a fan will lessen your exposure to mold since excellent air circulation around the plant will prevent mold growth in the soil. This can be helped with a basic oscillating fan that is set to low.
Organize your indoor plants. Mold exposure is made worse by dead leaves and other organic debris. Regularly clip any dead stems and leaves.
Houseplants are not the only source of mold exposure. Mold is sly, which is the worst. Check these odd locations where mold can get the food and water it needs to grow to locate it:
Not to be overlooked are your home’s internal workings, which include:
The HVAC ducting, subflooring, heating and air conditioning filters, and drywall
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) state that exposure to mold can result in symptoms like stuffy nose, itchy eyes, wheezing, and skin rashes. Serious mold allergies can cause more severe symptoms in people, such as fever and shortness of breath. People with chronic lung conditions, such as obstructive lung disease, may potentially become infected with mold in their lungs.
Infants and young children are especially vulnerable to mold spore inhalation due to their immature immune systems. Infants spend more time on or near the floor than adults do, making them more susceptible to hazardous exposures and inhaling more dust. Scientists previously believed that lead poisoning in children was caused by them chewing on windowsills, but we now know that lead is actually the cause since it is a component of poisonous dust and mold. According to the Environmental Working Group, consuming these spores can impair the development of motor skills, memory, and learning.
To make an appointment with an AdvantaClean mold specialist right now, call 877-957-5670.
Mold is fertilizer a mold-causer?
That is entirely up to you, though. Do you mind if your soil has a little white fuzz on top of it? If not, proceed and let Mother Nature take its course. That mold will ultimately go away once the biomatter in your soil has entirely broken down!
However, if you’re bothered by it or worried that the spores might aggravate your asthma or bronchial sensitivity, you can easily address the problem.
Try re-potting your plants:
In such small spaces, your plants and soil could feel a little claustrophobic. Try giving them a larger environment and potting with new soil to give them more room and a greater chance at soil aeration (decreasing anaerobic conditions).
Give them more sunlight:
Nothing terrifies mold and environments that foster the growth of mold like some good ol’ Vitamin D. During times of maximum sunlight, move your plant closer to a window and allow the soil to slightly warm up and dry out.
Note: For some plants, this might not be a smart idea. Certain species can begin to wither, dry up, or even die if exposed to direct sunshine; they prefer indirect or even very little sunlight.
Add better drainage:
Even if you are giving your plant kids the correct care, the environment may still be overly moist because of inadequate drainage.
For your plants to be able to gather water as needed throughout the day or week, make sure your flower pots have holes in the bottom that enable water to seep out and a dish where the extra water can collect.
Before placing soil and seeds or plants in a flower pot, add rocks to the base to aid drainage and strengthen the root system (giving the plant roots something to which they can cling).
Just wipe it away!
That simple, indeed. Instructions:
Note: You might feel more at ease performing this operation in an open-air setting, or even going outside with your plant to clean things up, if you are worried about any aggravation to current bronchial conditions or allergies. If you’re really, really concerned, you could also put on a construction mask. Security first!