What to Do About House Plants With Mold

Overview

Mold is a type of fungus that spreads through spores in the air and can easily grow on nearly all organic material. It particularly likes warm temperatures, humidity and darkness. Mold appears in masses of branching, fertile, cobweblike threads. Each of these threads has the capacity to produce thousand of spores in as little as four to nine days. The best way to take care of mold is to remove the top 1 inch of soil from the plant and replace with a new layer. There are other ways to cure mold on houseplants.

Precaution

The best way to take care of mold is to make sure it doesn't appear at all. Molds thrive on continually cool and damp surfaces, and in overcrowded, overwatered plants placed in poorly ventilated areas. When the air is too humid, like over 60 percent, it can give plants mold. Plants should not be overwatered, and the soil should be kept on the dry side. An index finger stuck 2 inches into the soil should come out dry before the plant is watered. Plants should also be kept in bright sunlight so as to eliminate dampness and discourage mold growth. Good air circulation should also be provided by placing plants near open windows.

Fungicides

Fungicides can be obtained from gardening supply stores to help combat plant mold. Plants should be taken outside the house to be sprayed and then brought back inside. Though fungicides are effective, they are still chemicals that can harm people and the environment. The safest way to remedy mold is through an environment modification, like controlling the heat, humidity and light in the house. The recommended daytime temperature is between 70 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit, and between 60 and 68 degrees at night; the humidity in the house should be under 60 percent.

Tea Tree Oil Spray

A spray made with tea tree oil makes for very effective fungicidal control against plant mold. Mix well together 1 tsp. of tea tree essential oil and 1 tsp. of liquid castile soap with one gallon water. Spray the mixture on the topsoil and plants to get rid of mold. Tea tree oil is obtained by steaming the leaves of Melaleuca alternifolia. The oil is used for its antiseptic qualities and prevents and treats infections. Castile soap is made exclusively with olive oil and has a number of uses around the house. Both ingredients can be bought online or at local drugstores.

Vinegar Spray

A vinegar water solution is an effective remedy against mold. Mix 1 tbsp. of vinegar in 2 quarts of water. Use the mixture to water plants once a week.

Keywords: mold on houseplants, curing mold on houseplants, household plants

About this Author

Irum Sarfaraz is a freelance writer with over twenty years of non-fiction writing experience in newspaper op-eds and magazine writing, book editing, translating and research writing. Sarfaraz is originally from Pakistan and has been published in both American and Pakistani newspapers and magazines. She holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in English Literature, and diplomas in non-fiction writing.

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