How to Get Rid of Mold in Potting Soil
Gardening is so much fun and a very good hobby for you and for your family but if you are a garden lover and you like to see green and healthy plants around you then there is something that you need to know.
Mold contamination is not uncommon in potting soil and it’s often an eyesore. White mold, in particular, can cause root rots, cankers, and wilts that can lead plant to die.
Thankfully, there are various ways for you to take good care of your plants and remove or prevent mold in houseplant soil as discussed below.
Expose Your Potting Media to Direct Sunshine
Mold, like any other fungus, tends to thrive in poorly lit and damp areas. With that said, check to ascertain that the potting soil isn’t too wet. Ensure to dry out the soil to prevent it from becoming too moist. Using natural sunlight comes highly recommended, considering that ultraviolet rays kill different types of mold and dries out the potting soil to keep the fungus at bay.
Drying out the potting soil using ultraviolet ray simply involves moving your plant outside or placing it in a sunny area of your house, and leaving the sun’s rays to work their magic. While at it, scoop out the top layer of the soil containing mildew and throw it away before moving the potted plant outside. Ensure that your indoor plant is not sensitive to direct sunlight, lest the sun burns it out.
You’ll also want to make sure that your plant doesn’t wither due to excess sunlight. Therefore, only expose your plants to direct sunlight for one or two hours. Alternatively, you can remove the plant from the pot, scoop out all the oil, and spread the soil in a sunny spot. Once the soil has dried out completely, repot it into a clean container and replant your houseplant.
Remove Mold by Hand
Removing mold from potting soil by hand is the obvious first step when looking to curb this menace. Mold usually grows on the surface of the soil. You may begin by scooping out the top layer of the potting soil and disposing of it. Next, remove any visible mold on your plant. You can accomplish this by wiping down the houseplant with a damp cloth to remove all the traces of mildew.
Add an Anti-fungal to Your Plant
You might find it quite tedious to remove mold by hand, especially when the fungus is well established and persistent. If scooping out the mildew with your hand is not solving the problem, consider applying a chemical fungicide to the potting soil. However, you may apply a natural fungicide, such as a mixture of potassium bicarbonate and water if you’d rather utilize something more eco-friendly.
Potassium bicarbonate works well for white mold; you may spray it generously over the soil and the plant, given that the natural antifungal causes no harm. Also, you can mix the fungicide with the soil. Other examples of natural fungicides include apple cider, baking soda, cinnamon, and vinegar.
Repot the Plant
One sure way to eliminate the mold problem is to repot the plant in fresh, treated soil. Start by removing the plant from its container and dispose of the soil. Gently clean the plant with a damp towel or spray it with a mild fungicide, and clean the container.
To completely remove the mold out of the equation, consider soaking the container in a solution of dishwashing liquid. Subsequently, proceed to refill the container with sterile soil before repotting your houseplant. After replanting the plant, be sure to implement appropriate watering and care routine.
You should also repot newly acquired houseplants, preferably with sterile soil, which will go a long way in preventing mold infestation. New plants nurtured from the seeds by someone else could have been exposed to mold. So, despite the color and pomp that the new plant may add to your interior décor, you’ll want to make sure that they don’t introduce mold into your home.
Dispose of the possibly mold-infested soil before it gets into contact with your existing plants. Spray the newly acquired plant with a mixture of baking soda or vinegar and water before making it a part of your indoor garden.
Tips for Preventing Mold infestation In Potting Soil
Now that you’ve learned how to remove mold from your houseplant, it is imperative to know how you can prevent your plants from getting mold contamination in the first place. Ultimately, prevention is easier and cheaper than curing mold in potting soil.
The following are tips for minimizing the risk of mold growth.
Keep the Air Around Your Plants Dry
It is worth noting that overly moist-free air is as bad for your houseplants as it is for your health and that of your family. Moist air may trigger the growth of mold in houseplants. Things could be even worse if you reside in areas with high humidity, or regions that are prone to floods. Moist air could be one of the factors contributing to damp potting soil in your home.
This is where a dehumidifier comes in handy. This device will go a long way in removing traces of moisture from your indoor atmosphere and air surrounding your plants which can lead mold to grow. The Veranda Interiors reviews the best dehumidifier that are available in the market which makes the buying process easier for you. As you should know, there are different types of dehumidifiers that you can use to lower the humidity levels in your property, including desiccant and compressor-based units. Most dehumidifiers consume minima electricity and are incredibly environmentally friendly.
Expose Your Plants to Bright Light
Mold, as mentioned in the above section, flourishes in dark, moist areas. You will, therefore, want to adjust the positioning of your houseplants by moving them to an area where there’s natural, indirect light. It would also help if you considered lighting up your interior space using artificial illuminations.
Adjust Your Watering Program
Too much water is a recipe for mold contamination. If you’re looking to keep mold at bay, consider adjusting your watering schedule. One good way to accomplish this involves reducing the amount of water you pour onto the potting soil.
Given that overwatering may suddenly bring about mold growth, be sure to ask other people not to water the plant. If you’re going for a holiday and might be away for a few days, ask the people you leave behind to adhere to your watering schedule.
The Bottom Line
If you are a passionate indoor plant lover, you must be aware that mold can cause much unhappiness. The good news is that there are myriad of highly effective ways to prevent and get rid of mold in your potting media. You may choose to remove mold by hand, expose your potting soil to sunlight, or use an anti-fungal among other restorative measures. If your plants haven’t been contaminated by mold yet, consider investing in a dehumidifier in a bid to keep the air around them dry and the soil mold-free.