Fungus disease and infection of potted indoor plants can be dangerous to the health of your indoor garden. Although it is common for some fungus to be in the soil of growing media such as perlite and vermiculite, more invasive fungi can wither your plant and rot the roots.
Yellow mushrooms are common in store-bought potting media. This fungus is used to make compost in large commercial composting factories. Yellow fungus is safe and will not harm the plant unless the soil is over-watered. To remove yellow fungus, allow the soil to dry between applications of water.
Signs of Fungal Infection
Several fungi are invisible to the eye. Detecting symptoms is often the only way to know your plant has a fungal infection. Common symptoms include the browning and falling away of leaves, leaf spots and blemishes, blisters on the stem of the plant and scabby spots. Wilting of the plant and a general drooping in posture may indicate a root problem caused by fungal infection.
Indication on Soil
Some fungi, like the yellow fungus, can be seen in the soil of the potted plant. Fungi comes in a variety of colors, such as yellow, white, brown, red and black. Visible fungi in the soil cannot be controlled by removing the fruiting bodies or removing the top layer of the soil. Fungus grows deep under the dirt and will reappear. Completely re-potting the plant, as well as a cleaning the pot with diluted bleach and water, may remove the problem.
Testing the Soil
Thousands of fungal varieties exist in the wild, which makes fungi identification on indoor plants difficult. Checking against common symptoms of plant disease for your particular plant variety may help narrow down the possibilities, but may prove confusing. If in doubt, soil samples can be collected from your potted plant and sent to your local university extension according to their instructions.
Fungicide can be applied to your potted plant to remove fungus from the soil. Specially formulated fungicide is available for indoor plants, which protects both you and your pets from poisoning. Fungicides are available as liquids which are applied directly to the soil, or sprays are applied directly to the plant foliage. The ideal fungicide variety for your situation will be determined by the specific fungal infection and the type of plant.