Last Updated on August 16, 2022 by Real Men Sow
A white mold on indoor plants’ soil is usually a harmless fungus. It does not cause any damage to the plant but it is noticeable and can be a sign that something is wrong. Poor drainage, overwatering, and contaminated potting soil can encourage saprophytic fungal growth. This fungus feeds on the soil’s decaying organic matter.
How To Clean Up The White Mold on Indoor Plants’ Soil
You can usually remove the mold from the soil surface and then place the pot in an area that is well ventilated so the soil can dry. Repot your plant with fresh, sterile pot soil if the mold returns. You should soak the pot in 1 part household bleach to 9 parts water for 10 mins, then rinse it out with water and scrub it with dish soap and water.
How to Maintain Mold-free Soil
Once you got rid of the mold, the challenge now is how to keep the indoor plants mold-free. Below are some tips.
Soggy soil can encourage saprophytic fungi, which can lead to root rot. Proper watering ensures that the plant gets all the water it requires without making the soil too wet. Houseplants should only be watered when they are absolutely necessary. It is a good rule of thumb to water houseplants in 6-inch pots when the soil has dried to a depth of 2 inches. For smaller pots, water should be given when the soil has dried to 1 inch. Slowly add water until the water runs out of the bottom of your pot. You should dispose of excess water as soon as it drains from your pot.
If the pot isn’t draining freely, even the best watering techniques won’t stop it from becoming soggy. Each plant container should have drainage holes at the bottom. The container should also be placed on a removable saucer to catch water as it drains. A layer of small pebbles, or pieces of broken crockery, in the bottom of a pot, will improve drainage and stop soil from clogging holes. A 6-inch pot should have at least 1″ of pebbles, while a 12-inch container requires at least 2″. To ensure that the holes aren’t blocked, check them periodically.
Use The Right Potting Soil
A good quality potting soil should contain a mix of peat moss and composted plant material like bark. Although potting soil can contain additional materials, these three are essential for soil that is able to support plants and drain easily. Potting soil must be free from pathogens and insects. Potting soil that has been contaminated often smells sour. You should seal any moist potting soil bags tightly to prevent insects and microorganisms from breeding. Even the most expensive potting soil will only last for about a year. It will not be able to retain enough moisture once it starts to degrade. To refresh the soil and improve drainage, it is recommended that you repot your plants every two to three years.