Help! There’s Mold Growing on My Houseplant’s Soil

It’s a troubling sight when you notice a patch of furry black-grayish colored mold growing on the soil of your houseplant. Whether you’re growing fruit, vegetables, herbs or just decorative flower, you need to get into the habit of checking it for mold on a regular basis. If left untreated, mold can quickly take over an otherwise healthy plant, resulting in slower growth or even death in some cases. But how exactly are you supposed to handle mold that’s growing on the soil?

What Causes Mold To Grow on The Soil?

There are literally hundreds of thousands of different mold varieties, although only 100,000 have been officially named and classified. Some of these varieties actively seek the nutrient-rich composition of soil, creating a serious problem for gardeners.

In order to prevent mold from growing on your houseplant’s soil, you first need to understand what causes it. Whether it’s botrytis or any other common variety, mold needs two things to thrive: moisture and organic material.

Too Much Water May Cause Mold

One of the most common reasons why gardeners experience mold growing on their houseplant’s soil is because they are watering it too often. Overwatering your houseplant creates the perfect breeding grounds for mold, so only water your plant when it’s absolutely necessary.

Most plant nurseries and home improvement stores sell special moisture detectors which tell you when the soil needs watering, but the truth is that you can tell whether or not soil needs watering by feeling it with your hands. If it’s dry, arid and doesn’t stick to your fingers, add some water to it.

Organic Compost May Cause Mold

Going back to the basics of what causes mold growth, using organic compost in your houseplant’s container may encourage growth. Mold thrives on practically any decaying organic matter, including organic compost. If you’re going to use fertilizer on your houseplant, stick with a chemical-based variety rather than organic.

Treating Mold-Covered Soil

Now that you know a little bit about mold prevention, you might be wondering how to treat soil that’s already covered in it. Assuming it’s just a small patch of mold (not covering the entire surface), you can usually treat it by scooping out the affected portion. Use a disposable spoon to carefully scoop out any soil covered in mold. Try to avoid touching the mold-covered soil on your plant, as this may spread it. When you are finished, fill the empty pockets with fresh new soil.