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Mold On Plant Soil: What It Means And How To Get Rid Of It

Seeing white mold on plant soil might be a terrible sight, but it is quite natural. The mold growing on soil is often harmless and can be treated with relative ease. 

This phenomenon is caused by a saprophytic fungus and can appear as a white fuzzy mold on top of the soil. 

Why Does This Happen?

Mold On Plant Soil: What It Means And How To Get Rid Of It

Mold spores are a healthy part of the plant’s soil (whether indoors or outdoors). They can be harmless at first. But if left untreated under certain conditions, they can develop into fungus.

This fungus is the white stuff in the soil that you see. Asides from being unpleasant to look at, the white mold can also compete with the plant for nutrients.  Some of the conditions leading to this are:

  • Contaminated Soil
  • Overwatering 
  • Bad Drainage

Contaminated Soil

It is possible for houseplant soil to get contaminated. This is often due to terrible storage and prolonged exposure to excess moisture. 

If contaminated soil is used for an indoor plant. It can lead to the houseplant soil growing mold. 

Overwatering Soil 

There is no upside to overwatering your houseplant soil. This is because the excess moisture promotes the growth of mold in the soil of the plant. 

Soggy soil is a breeding ground for mold spores to flourish. This is why you must follow the proper watering practices for the plant you care for. 

Reduce how frequently you water your plants during the winter or fall. Most houseplants go dormant during these seasons and don’t need the excess water.  

Bad Drainage 

Drainage is an important aspect to consider when it comes to selecting the right soil for your plant. Having bad-draining soil can make it easy to overwater your plants. This is because the plant’s roots are left to sit in water for long periods. 

Always choose a good pot with adequate drainage holes. And you can improve the soil drainage by mixing adequate portions of sand or perlite. 

By adding adequate amounts of perlite and sand to the mix, you can improve soil aeration. This in turn improves the overall drainage of the soil. 

How Bad Is A Moldy Plant Soil? 

How Bad Is A  Moldy Plant Soil

Mold spores are harmless as has been stated earlier. However, when left untreated for too long, they can prove harmful to plants. 

This is because they develop into a white mold on the soil surface. This can compete with the houseplant for nutrients.  

A more serious condition can be root rot. The mold is an indication that your plant is exposed to excess moisture. And overtime, this can lead to root rot. 

How To Get Rid Of Mold On Houseplant Soil

Getting rid of the mold on the plant-soil can be easy. There are two approaches that you can try. These are:

  • Replacing the entire soil. 
  • Correcting the affected soil

Replacing The Soil

A great approach you can take towards fixing the houseplant soil is by starting fresh with new soil. 

To achieve this, consider taking out the entire soil and replacing it with a new well-draining mix. This is a simple and straightforward mix you can try out. But it helps to ensure your pot has sufficient drainage holes. 

Correcting The Affected Soil 

This can be done through a variety of ways, but the best start would be getting rid of the mold. Scape off the white mold using a trowel, and dispose of it in a proper manner. 

With that being done, you can try using a natural fungicide on the houseplant. A mix of water and baking soda could be used or the use of cinnamon powder on the soil.  

If these natural fungicides don’t work, try a commercial fungicide. These are affordable and can be found in most garden centers. 

Frequently Asked Questions   

How do you stop soil mildew?

You can achieve this by reducing the humidity level you provide for your plants. 

How can you kill mold in plant soil?

The best way to kill mold in plant soil is by repotting the plant. 

What is the best soil mold treatment for plants?

Using natural fungicides is great. But a commercial fungicide spray is a trusted option. 

What is a natural antifungal for soil?

Try mixing baking soda, water, and vegetable oil to get a potent natural fungicide.

How long does it take to treat soil mold?

With the use of proper fungicide, it can take between a day to 3 days to kill the fungus.