Why Does My Succulent Have Mold

It’s possible for mold to form on your succulent plants frequently. It will be helpful to understand how the mold develops on your plant before we talk about how to treat it.


Anywhere there is moisture in the air, mold can grow. Spores, which can float through the air and land on surfaces, are the source of mold growth. Mold spores are actually present all around us. To begin growing, the spores simply require the ideal habitat. Overwatering your plant increases the moisture that spores have access to.

Overwatering can harm your plants and is a common cause of home plant death. The plant cannot properly absorb oxygen when the soil is excessively wet.

In a few ways, watering succulents differs from watering standard houseplants. Succulents have bigger leaves and larger roots and stalks. As a result, they can store more water and survive longer without freshwater. Because of this, they resemble cacti greatly and are excellent indoor plants for individuals who are busy.

You’ll be safe watering your plant once a week during the summer and warmer months. It goes without saying that you should exercise caution, but weekly watering will be sufficient for your succulent to survive. Fill the pot to the brim with water before watering. The succulent will be able to absorb all the water it requires this way. You can also combine fertilizer and water if your succulent is still growing.

You can water your succulent less regularly in the winter than you can in the summer. Don’t worry if the soil gets a little dry; the plant will still be able to live.

Mold growth will be more challenging if you adhere to the succulent’s recommended watering schedule. However, even if you water once each week, mold might still develop. Let’s examine some additional causes of fungus that you might be experiencing.

Not Enough Sunlight

Lack of sunshine is another frequent factor that can contribute to the growth of mold. Much light is required by succulents. They may be exposed to up to six hours of sunshine when they are outside. If you have an indoor succulent, you must put it in the area of your house with the best lighting to make sure it receives adequate light. Mold is more likely to start growing if the plant is not given enough to eat.

Poor Maintenance

If you do not properly care for your plant, mold will develop. Since they don’t need much upkeep, succulents are relatively simple to look after, but you still need to invest some time and effort into it. Neglecting a plant will foster the ideal conditions for the growth of fungus. This covers insufficient cleaning, inadequate illumination, and inappropriate watering.

Why does the white mold on my succulent exist?

Powdery mildew is rare in succulents, but it can occur in some species.

The symptoms of powdery mildew include a white coating that develops into splotchy areas on the leaves.

Usually, powdery mildew develops on succulent leaves after prolonged contact with water or when the soil is very damp.

It is best to isolate your succulent as soon as you discover any powdery mildew symptoms to stop it from spreading. Use safer soap or isopropyl alcohol to remove the mildew.

How can white residue on succulents be removed?

When you detect mealy bugs on your succulents, the first thing you should do is quarantine the affected plants and relocate them away from other plants. Check the healthy plants for any indications of mealy bugs.

After that, be ready to clean your contaminated plants by removing them from the pot and giving them a thorough rinsing under running water. In hot, soapy water, wash the pot. Replant with fresh soil after allowing the plant and pot to dry out. Old dirt should be disposed of in the regular trash, not the green bin.

If you don’t instantly have ready-mix succulent soil at your home, you can put the soil in an oven-safe container covered with foil and bake it for at least 30 minutes, or until the soil reaches 180 degrees Fahrenheit. After letting cool, plant again. Since there may still be mealy bug eggs in the old soil, we advise getting new soil.

Now let’s get to the most crucial step: mealybug elimination. Pesticides made of chemicals are generally the first thing that springs to mind. We don’t advise using them, though, as some of them can be highly damaging to succulents. Here are some secure choices we’ve tried and think are really helpful:

Neem oil and soap mixtures or rubbing alcohol (isopropyl alcohol) come first. The cheapest and most efficient approach for controlling aphids, mealybugs, and spider mites is to use 75 percent rubbing alcohol. Simply give the succulents a good spraying and leave them. The bug will start to turn brown, which indicates that it is dead. The plants won’t be harmed by the alcohol because it will entirely evaporate in a short period of time. Perform this each week until you no longer notice any bugs. &nbsp

Another secure insecticide that can be applied directly to outbreaks is neem oil. It has the ability to instantly eliminate all stages of mealybugs. Neem oil at a concentration of 5% in water is combined with a few drops of soap before being sprayed all over your succulent. Keep in mind that using concentrated neem oil could burn your succulents. &nbsp

If you don’t have a spray bottle, you might paint-brush any area where mealy bugs are present. After a few hours, water the plant to remove the dead insects. You can readily find rubbing alcohol and neem oil online or at your neighborhood pharmacy. To prevent water stains or sunburn when using neem oil or rubbing alcohol, be sure to keep the plant out of direct sunlight. For a few days, keep them away from the window and direct sunshine. &nbsp

If there are still some mealy bugs on your plant, check it again and continue the procedure for a few days. Then, as a preventative step, spray once again after a week. Neem oil can also be sprayed into the soil to eliminate any bugs or eggs that may be lurking there. Put the plant back in its original location and continue inspecting every three weeks if mealy bugs don’t recur after thoroughly checking and spraying for a few weeks.

Neem oil and rubbing alcohol are relatively secure, but there is a danger they could harm your succulent.

So we advise utilizing ladybugs as another natural cure. Yes, you heard correctly! These adorable ladybugs are all-natural enemies of mealybug and other troublesome pests. However, we advise utilizing ladybugs only as a preventative measure and when your plant is in the early stages of infestation.

Can you remove mildew that is powdery?

For a fast visual inspection, note that powdery mildew can be scraped off the leaves. Eventually, mildew will cover leaves and entire plants, limiting photosynthesis, plant vigor, and bud quality. These fuzzy mycelium patches release airborne spores that quickly attack nearby plants.

How can fungus appear on succulents?

Fungi belonging to the genus Colletotrichum produce anthracnose. Numerous types of succulents and cacti are impacted by this virus. Moist, tan-colored rot with red, orange, or pink pustules on the surface is an indication of anthracnose. Spots disappear quite rapidly from crowns and leaves. You can only remove and destroy afflicted leaves from your succulent when it has this fungus infected it. You should avoid recycling the soil and make sure that your instruments are completely clean because this virus spreads through contaminated pots and dirt. In order to eliminate any remaining fungal bodies, you should also use a copper fungicide.

Can you find powdery mildew in soil?

Although powdery mildew can be found in almost every growth zone, it prefers environments with lengthy stretches of warm, dry weather. Similar to how PM can go very out of control in our garden here on the temperate Central Coast of California if left unchecked! However, powdery mildew enjoys a little dampness as well, just like any other fungus would. The fungi are encouraged to grow by the moisture in humid air (or nighttime dew), and the spores are disseminated by the warm, dry air throughout the day.

Although they can survive or overwinter in soil, compost, mulch, or other plant waste, powdery mildew spores primarily thrive on plants. Wind, insects, water splashing, or direct contact with diseased plants are some of the ways that the spores are transferred from plant to plant (or are first brought into your garden). Powdery mildew is also more likely to grow in crowded areas, places with poor airflow, and in shade.

Light grey or white, dusty-looking patches or blotches are the hallmarks of powdery mildew. They are typically rounded, fluffy, and occasionally somewhat elevated. The telltale dots will initially be visible on the tips of plant leaves. If you look closely (or as the illness worsens), you could notice mildew on stems, the undersides of leaves, on blooms, and occasionally even on the actual fruit or vegetable. The plant looks as though it has been sprinkled with flour or powdered sugar when it has a severe case of powdery mildew. Eventually, the diseased leaves could dry out and turn yellow.

Once you are familiar with powdery mildew, identifying it is not too difficult. However, it could be mistaken for other fungi-related illnesses, like downy mildew (which causes darker spots on leaves instead). Even more, sometimes natural patterns on plant leaves might resemble mildew as well! Take a look at the illustration of our zucchini plant below, for instance. Some melons, squash, and zucchini plants naturally have white spots or variegation on their leaves, depending on the variety.

The main distinction is that a naturally occurring leaf pattern will be flat (not fuzzy or dusty) and appear more uniform, most likely “mirrored across both sides of leaf veins. Mildew spots, on the other hand, typically appear on the top and bottom sides of leaves and are much more sporadic in their distribution. In contrast to the natural leaf pattern, PM can be removed with a damp cloth or paper towel (or at least made to momentarily appear to do so).

The good news is that plants seldom die from powdery mildew. But that doesn’t imply you should ignore it just because it won’t kill you. A few little spots won’t initially do any damage to the host plant, but they can transfer spores to other plants or remain in the soil of your garden. The fungus feeds on and steals nutrients from the plant as the condition worsens, leaving it stunted or less productive.

Photosynthesis can be hampered when powdery mildew covers a substantial section of leaves. For the plant, this is essentially a slow famine. Since the plant will be producing fewer sugars as a result of a change in photosynthesis, crop flavor may also be affected. Last but not least, infections with powdery mildew stress plants, and stressed plants are more vulnerable to other illnesses or pest damage.

In general, people are not harmed by powdery mildew. It is therefore neither harmful nor poisonous. However, some people are allergic to mildews and mold and are therefore advised to proceed with caution. We have undoubtedly consumed our fair share of crops with a few mildew patches as mildew is pretty prevalent in our garden (I hate the idea of wasting food). We simply thoroughly wash the produce before eating it, but we do not eat any pieces that are seriously diseased.