Types of mushrooms in houseplants seem to grow out of nowhere. If this is the case with your plants, you don’t have to worry because mushrooms growing out of your houseplant’s soil can be a good thing.
It just means that the potting soil is fertile and healthy. Now, let’s figure out what they are and what we can do about them.
- What Is the Most Common Type of Mushroom Found in Houseplants?
- Getting Rid of Mushrooms in Your Houseplants
- How Do You Prevent Mushrooms in Houseplants?
- Frequently Asked Questions
What Is the Most Common Type of Mushroom Found in Houseplants?
The most common type of mushroom that grows in houseplants is the yellow mushroom, scientifically known as Leucocoprinus birnbaumii. It is characterized by its light yellow color. The cap of this mushroom can be either flat or balled, depending on how mature it is.
Mushrooms are caused by fungal spores that grow in damp soil. This happens quite a lot when the soil is constantly watered and exposed to warmth.
Potted plants can have mushroom growth that can quickly die off as easily as they appeared. However, just because they disappeared doesn’t mean that they will stay away for good.
Most of the time, this type of mushroom will sprout during warmer seasons because it prefers to grow in warm, humid, and moist conditions. The environment is especially conducive when the spores are present in the soil of indoor plants.
Getting Rid of Mushrooms in Your Houseplants
If you happen to have a house plant with yellow mushrooms, you don’t have to panic right away. While it may be hard to get rid of them, it can still be done successfully.
Here’s what you can do:
– Get rid of the plant
Throwing away indoor plants with mushrooms in the soil is the easiest but the most drastic method you can ever think of. This method is simple but will require contemplation, especially when the plant has a certain amount of value attached to it.
If getting rid of your indoor plants is not an option but the mushrooms still offend you, then you still have other choices.
– Change the soil completely
This is the second most drastic of all options, but it is also one that can alleviate the concern. By changing the soil completely, you ensure that the entire pot is free from fungal spore contamination.
When replacing the soil, ensure that it is sterilized. Otherwise, your efforts would have been in vain. However, if changing the soil is not an option, you still have other choices.
– Remove the mushroom caps
Spores live in mushroom caps. Spores are cells that fungi use to reproduce. When you remove the source of spores, you lessen the risk of the mushroom growing in your houseplant soil.
Additionally, when you remove mushrooms and their caps, you decrease the chances of their spread to other house plants.
– Scrape off your houseplant’s soil
Take off approximately two inches of the topsoil of your plant. While this is not a foolproof method, it can help eliminate the possibility of spores living in the soil.
While you can remove this layer of soil, you may need to replace it with another layer to keep the roots of your plant from being exposed. Make sure the new layer is not contaminated.
– Apply fungicide
You can purchase fungicides in most garden centers. Look for one that is appropriate for your plant so that you don’t end up with a sickly yellow houseplant.
Applying fungicide is helpful in eliminating mushrooms, but you have to make sure that the soil is completely drenched. If even one spore is left, you might begin to see one mushroom growing and multiplying.
Read the instructions on the label of the fungicide to make sure that you apply the proper dosage at the appropriate frequency and length of time. Doing this will help ensure that mushrooms are less likely to come back.
How Do You Prevent Mushrooms in Houseplants?
Now that you know how to remove mushrooms from the soil of your indoor plants, you’ll need to make sure that they don’t come back. Nothing is 100 percent effective, but if you practice these tips, you’ll have lower chances of mushrooms in the soil of your indoor plants.
– Change indoor conditions
Mushrooms grow in environments where the air is humid, the soil is moist, and the temperature is warm. If this is your current indoor environment for your houseplant’s soil, then you can expect houseplant mushrooms to thrive.
While this is also the condition that most indoor plants prefer, you can find other ways to change the indoor conditions. Place your indoor plants in areas that offer more ventilation to lessen the humidity in the air.
You’ll have to ensure that indoor plants with mushrooms growing in them are kept away from curious children and pets. They can be quite poisonous to humans and animals.
– Water properly
Fungal spores thrive when they are in constant contact with wet soil. Too often, the cause of growing mushrooms is just soil that is frequently moist.
To combat this, water the soil of your indoor plants only when the topmost inch is dry. This helps lessen the chance of mushrooms sprouting due to moist soils.
Additionally, soil that is constantly wet is not ideal for indoor plants because it promotes root rot.
– Sterilize gardening tools
Spores spread through contaminated materials, such as soil, tools, and even through us. While some can be airborne, most fungal spores grow mushrooms that multiply through physical contact.
By simply cleaning and sterilizing your tools before and after, you lessen the risks of spreading yellow houseplant mushroom spores all over your indoor plants. As an added precaution, you can also make sure that your clothing is thoroughly cleaned and sterilized.
– Sterilize your soil
Some homeowners resort to this method to prevent fungal spores from growing in the soil. Usually, this involves heating the soil up to a temperature of 180 F.
This can be done in a microwave for small amounts, or in an oven if the quantity is large. Some gardeners wait for the summer season to expose their soil to the sun.
It is a cost-effective strategy but can take up a lot of time and effort. However, if the presence of mushrooms really bothers you, then this might be an option for you.
– Keep indoor plants safely away
Sometimes, we can be the sources of fungal spores. Whenever we go out to enjoy the outdoors, we run the risk of bringing spores on our hands, clothing, and shoes.
Children and pets are the most common carriers of spores since they are the most active. In order to prevent houseplant mushroom spores from coming inside, it’s best to keep children and pets clean when they come indoors.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Are Mushrooms Bad for Your Plants?
No, mushrooms are not bad for your plants, and they can actually be beneficial to the health of your plants. While most believe that mushrooms take away nutrients from the soil, the opposite is true. Mushrooms benefit plants by providing them with additional amounts of nutrition and moisture.
In fact, mushrooms provide high levels of magnesium, phosphorus, and potassium. These nutrients are vital to plant health. Magnesium facilitates photosynthesis while phosphorus and potassium encourage vibrant growth.
2. How Do You Know if Your Soil Has Mushroom Spores?
You will know that your soil has mushroom spores when mushrooms begin to pop out, only then can you be certain they’ve already spread again. You won’t know early on if your soil has mushroom spores because fungal spores are not visible to the naked eye.
3. Is It Safe to Eat Mushrooms From Your Garden?
It is sometimes safe to eat mushrooms from your garden. However, it is taking a big risk. There are some mushrooms that are edible, but many are poisonous. While those growing in the soil of your indoor plants do not affect the plant itself, they can be dangerous when ingested.
This is why it is always best to keep indoor plants with mushrooms away from curious children and pets. They could be tempted to try eating these colorful fungi and become poisoned by them. Symptoms include nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. If mushroom poisoning is suspected, call for medical help immediately.
Finding mushrooms in the soil of your indoor plants shouldn’t be a cause of worry or an indication of poor plant care. However, if the sight of these mushrooms bothers you, you can always find ways to get rid of them, so let’s recap the methods:
- Get rid of the plant completely, or get rid of the soil entirely.
- Take off the mushroom caps to eliminate the source of fungal spores.
- Scrape off the top two inches of your soil, and replace it with sterilized soil.
- Apply fungicide to the soil as directed by the instructions on the product label.
- Apply preventive measures to keep mushrooms away.
Getting rid of and preventing mushrooms in your indoor plants just became easier now that you know how. The next time you see any mushrooms, use these methods right away!
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