Yellow mushrooms in potted plants‘ is what you would see in their soil that, presents an issue that stems from varying causes. Opinions on their aesthetic value differ; some find them delightful additions to their plants, while others detest their presence.Yellow Mushrooms in Potted Plants

Ultimately, the determination of whether to keep or remove these yellow mushrooms lies with you. However, we’re here to offer some insights to aid you in making an informed choice, so read this article, and you will know the details.

What Are The Causes of Yellow Mushrooms in Potted Plants?

Yellow mushrooms in potted plants are caused by spores that were present, or the soil has poor drainage and overwatering issues. It can also be due to having excessively nutritious soil, or the soil outside has bacteria, and lastly, due to wind-borne spores.

The occurrence of Leucocoprinus birnbaumii mushrooms in your plant’s soil could arise from various sources, including soil age and airborne moisture. An overabundance of organic material or overwatering may contribute to their growth too. You shouldn’t get discouraged, however — the presence of mushrooms does not necessarily indicate any health issues with your plant.Causes of Mushrooms in Potted Plants

Rather, these Leucocoprinus birnbaumii come as a byproduct of the decomposition of dead matter within the soil and even aid in digesting dead plant matter. Yellow mushrooms grow in clusters or as single specimens, reaching a height of one to three inches high.

The question to keep or eliminate these organisms can be confusing to some, as it isn’t completely clear whether they benefit or harm the plant. One thing is for sure — they become difficult to manage once established.

– Spores Were Present in the Soil

It is possible that spores already existed in your plant’s soil from the moment you bought them. These can stay dormant until the opportune time and environmental conditions allow for their emergence.

The spores are responsible for the growth of leucocoprinus birnbaumii — they initially appear as tiny, spherical structures on the surface of the soil. As they develop and release more spores, they mature into fully-formed mushrooms, resembling those found in nature, and this is because ever since you bought it, they were present in the soil. At full maturity, the bell-shaped caps of these fruits can reach widths of up to two inches.

– Poor Soil Drainage

Poor potting soil drainage can create conditions conducive to the growth of yellow mushrooms in the soil. When water is unable to drain properly from the soil, it can accumulate and create pockets of stagnant water, providing an ideal environment for the growth of fungi, including yellow mushrooms that would start to develop due to the excessive water content present.

This stagnant environment is rich in organic matter and nutrients providing an ideal food source for the mushrooms to grow too. This organic matter breaks down and releases nutrients, which can stimulate the growth of mushrooms.

– Overwatering Issues

The emergence of mushrooms in your indoor plants can be the result of your plant care practices, specifically your watering habits. Overwatering your plants can lead to excess moisture in the soil, creating a perfect breeding ground for fungal spores, some of which are the yellow kind.

Overwatering Symptoms in Mushrooms

When the soil is consistently moist and does not have efficient time to dry out between watering sessions, the medium caters to the growth and development of mushrooms.

– The Soil Is Too Nutritious

The presence of rich organic matter in potting soil may cause mushroom growth. While some mushrooms found in the wild can be parasitic, those grown indoors are unlikely to fall into this category.

The mycelium interacts with plant roots and enhances their nutrient and water uptake abilities. These beneficial mushrooms feed on dead plant material and other organic matter in the soil, thereby providing additional nutrients to your plants. Still, they will also develop due to the presence of too many additive nutrients, and the richness of the content will give them further development.

In cases where the soil is compact, which means retaining moisture, spores can thrive and produce mushrooms. In addition, some commercial soil mixes are designed to cultivate a mushroom-friendly environment. If you wish to avoid seeing mushrooms in the topsoil, it is best to steer clear of such brands.

– Wind-borne Spores

Mushroom spores are microscopic; most are only 10 micrometers large, making them barely larger than bacteria. This property makes them easy to be lifted and carried by the slightest breeze.

As a result of the matter, the fungal spores can come in through the window and spread on the soil surface even if everything you do is perfect. This holds especially true if you’re living in warm and moist climates, but it can happen in almost all of them as you provide them with the right conditions.

– The Soil Outside Has Bacteria

This is one of the likeliest possible causes for mushrooms growing in your potted plant soil. Did you know that a handful of outside soil taken from the forest floor contains miles and miles of yellow fungus or mycorrhizae, they are so tiny that you cannot see them growing.

Bacteria on Soil Outside

While mushroom presence in the soil can be beneficial, the outside soil contains plenty of bacteria and viruses that can be potentially harmful to your plants. Especially, if it’s untreated forest soil.

Nevertheless, we often feel tempted to fill our pots with parts of that rich organic material, thinking it’ll do good for our plants. Although, we just don’t have enough soil mix to mend the fallen planting pot and we quickly grab some of that outside soil. However, if you don’t want to see any yellow houseplant mushrooms in your soil, stay away from reaching for the soil from the wild.

How To Get Rid of Yellow Mushrooms in Plant Pots

To get rid of mushrooms in plant pots, you must try handpicking them or removing the top layer of the soil. You should also adjust your watering schedule and solarize the soil properly, balance the plant’s feeding, and try to repot the plant.

– Handpicking

The most straightforward way is to remove them from the soil manually, or you can use a small gardening trowel and dig a few inches around the base of the mushroom cluster. After this, simply place the unwanted fungi in a bag. Ensure that you are sealing the bag tightly to avoid spore spread, and throw the lot in the garbage bin.Get Rid of Yellow Mushrooms in Plant Pots

You can also try adding these mushrooms to your compost bin, if you don’t wish to waste them. Doing so may aid in the decomposition process and allow them to take root where they are more useful. Just be mindful — getting rid of mushrooms in this manner won’t necessarily solve your fungal problem, as there’s a high likelihood that you didn’t get all of the mushroom roots, and they may appear again from time to time.

– Remove The Topsoil Layer

Your mushrooms will most probably be prevalent in the topsoil layer, where they feed on the dead and organic matter. This is why if you must aim to remove the topsoil and replace it with a fresh mix may be effective at removing most of the mushroom roots.

This method won’t guarantee you a bulletproof solution either. As we already said, fungal spores also like to reach plant roots where they live in symbiosis with the plant, so removing the topsoil doesn’t mean you’ll be completely free of the root cause for the yellow mushroom fruit. However, using the following two tips may greatly improve your chances of not seeing any more of those yellow mushroom tips.

– Adjust Watering Schedule

Proper watering is key to prevention, and mushrooms require optimal conditions to grow, typically from excessive soil and air moisture. Hold off your watering when the top layer of soil is still moist. Then, you can water your plants only when the topsoil has gone completely dry.

Watering Plants in Garden

When watering your houseplants, water them less often but drench them thoroughly, because this will give better results than watering them often with less. Always allow the unnecessary water to drain from the holes at the bottom and avoid leaving your houseplants water-filled standing trays. This will only do them good when you’re away and can’t ensure they’ll receive enough water in time.

The bottom line is that insufficient moisture will prevent fungi from maturing and growing mushroom fruits—a proper watering regime results in a minimal likelihood of seeing those yellow mushrooms again.

– Solarize Soil

If you want to get rid of fungi, bacteria, or viruses in your bought or forest-found soil, then soil solarization may solve your troubles. This method relies on solar energy and heat to burn and rid the soil of any pests and pathogens, including fungal spores.

What you should do is to put the soil into see-through plastic bags and place them in the full sun. Exposed to the heat, the microbes, and spores will burn up and die, leaving your soil properly sterile for your houseplants. The sun’s heat will also speed up the decomposition of any organic matter inside the soil, making it more nutritious in turn.

For this method to work, it’s best to poke some holes in plastic bags to allow excess moisture to leave. Keep the bags in full sun for a minimum of four weeks. With a similar effect, you can heat small batches of soil in the oven too at 180 degrees Fahrenheit. Instead of plastic bags, spread the soil on baking trays, and bake for a good three to four hours.

– Balance The Diet

As we already said, mushrooms will appear due to spores feeding on residual nutrients in the soil. These nutrient remnants directly result from our feeding regimes and habits, so it’s crucial to follow a well-balanced feeding schedule, rather than just randomly throwing things at our plants, which can harm them too.

Balanced Diet for Plants

If you follow a recommended feeding schedule, that’s often printed on store-bought plant feed.

– Try Repotting The Plant

Repotting is one highly efficient method of getting rid of yellow mushrooms and giving your plants a fresh start. Be careful with doing it too often, though. Repotting is only best done in early spring and at the end of it.

Just remove the plant and shower the roots with some water to remove all the dirt and ensure none of the spores are left touching the plant. After this, clean your pots and sterilize them with some rubbing alcohol. Once that’s done, you can plant the pet in some fresh potting mix.

Try to dispose of the old soil by placing it in tightly sealed plastic bags before putting them in the bin. Moreover, clean your working space thoroughly to prevent any spores from becoming wind-borne.

Origins of Yellow Mushrooms


Our potted plants can quickly become mushroom ridden if we overlook the soil. If this occurs, it’s best to remember what we’ve discussed in this article:

  • Mushrooms aren’t necessarily harmful but indicate issues with the soil. Either it’s too compact, old, waterlogged, or simply a combination of many different factors.
  • To put things plainly, the reasons are most likely connected to the way we care for our house plants, so you cannot expect to see a healthy, thriving, mushroom-free plant sitting in a moist and stale room with poor airflow.
  • Whether you like the mushrooms that grow next to your plants or not, you’ll likely need to choose whether you want to retain or remove them as beneficial helpers. No judgments here, but if you want to remove or prevent them there are plenty of things you can do.
  • You can either take them out by hand, play with the topsoil, or use some of the more efficient methods of proper plant care overall.
  • Remember, sun solarization can come to your aid if you’re strapped for soil — better than going for the forest dirt.

Now that you understand the basics of mushrooms and the soil, you would see the most relevant method of removing them, and to give your plant a better growing place.

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