How to get rid of mushrooms in soil
Fungus isn’t fun, but it happens. Here’s why mushrooms appear on your houseplants’ soil and what you can do to prevent it.
If you’ve noticed sneaky mushrooms appearing in your houseplants’ soil, you’re not alone. The fungus is attracted to damp conditions and can be annoying, but usually not harmful. Let’s try to get rid of it.
When it comes to identifying and getting rid of mushrooms in your houseplants, these are the things you need to know:
- Mushrooms are caused by tiny airborne spores
- They won’t harm your plant, but are toxic if eaten by humans/animals
- The best way to get rid of them is by scraping off the top layer of soil
- In serious cases, you may need to re-pot your plant entirely
- They have a habit of coming back, so be vigilant
What causes mushrooms in houseplants?
The spores that grow into mushrooms are tiny, so they can float in from anywhere. They may have drifted into your plant’s soil during the growing process. They may have come from another plant in your home, or even brushed off your clothes.
They love moisture. They particularly thrive in summer, when the soil is moist and warm. Overwatered plants with very wet soil are more likely to grow mushrooms.
Are the mushrooms dangerous?
They won’t cause any harm to your plants, but they are toxic to humans and animals if eaten.
If you choose to just leave them - perhaps you like the look - it won’t affect your plant.
How do you get rid of mushrooms in houseplants?
Unfortunately, it can be tricky. Those tiny spores spread easily, so the first thing to do is separate your mushroom-y plant from any others.
The easiest thing to try is to scrape off the mushrooms and the top inch of soil. Wear gloves so the spores don’t cling to your hands. Put the scraped up soil immediately in an outside bin. Put a fresh layer of soil on the plant.
If mushrooms keep returning, you may want to entirely change the plant’s soil. Learn about repotting here.
How do you stop mushrooms coming back?
There’s no way to guarantee it, as eliminating spores is near impossible. The best way to prevent them returning is by correctly watering your plants. The wetter the soil, the better the conditions for mushrooms.
Check soil regularly. Removing mushrooms before they’re big enough to produce spores will help slow the spread.
Putting fine gravel on the surface of the soil can prevent fungus taking hold.
Some people also swear by cinnamon, a natural fungicide, sprinkled on the soil. If it doesn’t work at least it will smell nice.
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