How to Prevent White Mold From Plants


White mold is a disease caused by several species of the fungus sclerotinia. The severity of the disease can vary and may range from mild and barely noticeable to deadly. Some plants seem to be more susceptible to white mold--petunias, lima beans and sunflowers among them. White mold manifests itself in different ways, the most obvious of which is a white, powdery substance on plants and on the soil. There is no cure for the disease; removal of infected plants must be done to prevent the spread of the disease to neighboring plants. There are, however, steps you can take to prevent white mold in the future.

Step 1

Prune the plant 4 to 5 inches below the infected portion. If any plants are too infected for this procedure, remove them from the garden and burn them.

Step 2

Remove the top 2 to 3 inches of soil and replace it with fresh soil.

Step 3

Remove any weeds in the area as they, too, can be infected with white mold.

Step 4

Prevent further infections by clearing away all dead leaves and other debris on the soil, watering less frequently and applying fungicides with preventive properties. Your county extension agent will be able to give you information on which fungicide is suitable for your area.

Tips and Warnings

  • Disinfect all gardening tools used during the removal of infected plants prior to using them again.

Things You'll Need

  • Pruning shears
  • Soil
  • Fungicide


  • University of Wisconsin Extension: White Mold
  • North Dakota State University: White Mold of Vegetables and Ornamentals
Keywords: remove white mold from plants, how to prevent white mold, white powdery substance on plants

About this Author

Victoria Hunter, a former broadcaster and real estate agent, has provided audio and written services to both small businesses and large corporations. Hunter is a freelance writer specializing in the real estate industry. She devotes her spare time to her other passions: gardening and cooking. Hunter holds a Bachelor of Arts in English/creative writing.