Mold Prevention for Indoor Plants


Healthy houseplants provide lush greenery, brightly colored blooms or both to your home. Many indoor spaces do not provide the proper amounts of light, air circulation and moisture which can lead to yellow mold or other mold and mildew problems on the plant. Prevention is key to avoid these fungus problems from killing or damaging your houseplants. Molds may grow on the soil or directly on the plant, depending on the type of mold problem infesting the houseplant.

Step 1

Place the plant in an area that receives the amount of light recommended for the plant variety. Too little light, especially if the soil is overly damp, creates an environment that mold thrives in.

Step 2

Water when the top 1 inch of soil begins to feel dry so the soil doesn't become overly soggy and prone to mold growth. Water at the base of the plant, and avoid wetting the foliage, as wet foliage is susceptible to mold and mildew.

Step 3

Thin out the plant with proper pruning. Remove up to one-third of most plants with no danger of damage. Cut out interior branches at their base and remove any damaged or crossed branches to provide more air flow to the center of the plant. Proper air circulation cuts down on mold growth.

Step 4

Remove surface mold from the soil in plants that are already afflicted. Lift the mold off the soil with a spoon, taking care not to disturb the plant's roots. Replace the removed soil with sterile potting soil so you don't introduce new mold spores to the plant.

Step 5

Trim out infested foliage if the mold only covers a portion of the plant. Remove individual leaves or entire branches as necessary, cutting them cleanly from the plant with shears. Sterilize the shears after each cut by dipping them in a solution of one part bleach and nine parts water so the mold isn't spread to healthy areas of the plant.

Step 6

Inspect plants regularly for aphids, as aphids secrete a sticky substance called honeydew which can lead to sooty mold problems. Rinse any aphids away with a sharp spray of water or spray the affected areas with an insecticidal soap to kill the insects.

Things You'll Need

  • Shears
  • Spoon
  • Sterile potting soil
  • Bleach
  • Insecticidal soap


  • University of Illinois Extension: Yellow Fungus/Mold
  • University of Georgia Extension: Growing Indoor Plants with Success
Keywords: preventing houseplant mold, indoor plant mold, curing plant mold

About this Author

Jenny Harrington has been a freelance writer since 2006. Her published articles have appeared in various print and online publications, including the "Dollar Stretcher." Previously, she owned her own business, selling handmade items online, wholesale and at crafts fairs. Harrington's specialties include small business information, crafting, decorating and gardening.