Oh no! If it's the first time you’re seeing white fuzzy mold on your moss pole, it can be very scary.
You may feel an urge to panic.. WHAT HAPPENED?
Take a deep breath… *Inhale* *Exhale*
It's totally okay.
Mold is normal. Believe it or not, it is actually the result of a thriving ecosystem.
What is Mold?
Mold is a fungus that will grow on almost all organic matter when given the right heat and humidity levels.
There are many different types of molds, and not all of them are a bad thing. In fact, penicillin is a type of mold that is used as a lifesaving antibiotic.
Toxic black mold is the kind of mold that scares us. It can be found in damaged buildings when the drywall and wooden materials become wet without adequate ventilation.
Black Mold from Flooded Basement vs. Mold on organic material
The mold you may find on moss poles or plant soil is not toxic and usually does not harm your plants, but to stop the spores from spreading, action is required.
How did the mold get there?
In order for mold to grow, it requires four essential elements: Moisture, food, the proper temperature and spores.
The mold you may find on your moss pole is likely the result of having too high humidity with not enough air flow.
When the environment becomes just the right temperature, existing spores or environmental spores may come to life and feed off of decomposing plant material.
Again, this is not usually something to worry about, simply the result of a healthy ecosystem.
Naturally occurring mold on tree bark can also occur in some house plant potting mixes.
How do I get rid of mold?
If you are worried about your plants, start by turning down the humidity and let the moss pole “breathe.” Give it time to enjoy proper air circulation and let the pole dry out.
If you spray or soak your moss pole often, stop and let it get some air. You may want to start bottom watering your plants instead of giving them a heavy shower as well!
To keep it simple, increase the aeration and lower the moisture level. These small changes will make a big difference.
What if there is a lot of Mold?
In extreme cases, a layer of mold may develop on top of the soil that is so thick, it inhibits water penetration. In this case, increase aeration, slow down the moisture levels and use a fungicide as needed.
When using fungicide, try not to get any on the leaves and be cautious with the type of fungicide you’re using. There are some great natural fungicides out there that are better alternatives to its chemical opponents.
If you are DONE with looking at the (usually harmless) mold, we totally understand.
1. Try using baking soda and water. Mix up about 1 tsp of baking soda with 4 cups of water, and spray directly on the spots you wish to treat.
Baking soda is a gentle and natural fungicide that is safe for your plants. It's also non-toxic and is safe for mammals.
2. Neem oil is also a great tool to have! Mix 2 tbsp with 10 cups of water and spray every few days until the mold is gone.
3. Hydrogen peroxide is safe for your plants and will get rid of mold! Mix 9 parts water with 1 part hydrogen peroxide and spray directly onto the mold every few days until it is gone.
All in all,
Your plant is most likely going to be okay. Mold on moss poles is rare, but not something that should scare you and can happen anywhere where there is organic matter, including potting mix.
If you’ve taken the above actions and find that your plant is suffering, there might be something else to address. Look for pests. If there are none, you might have a different type of fungal infection.
In this case, send us some photos and / or ask the plant community for help!
Whatever the matter, there is no need to panic. You are certainly not alone, and we would love to help you through the process.
Have you experienced moldy potting mix or moss poles?
Maybe you found another way to treat the spores! If so, comment below or send us a message!
We would love to hear your houseplant tips and tricks!
Mary @ Mossify