White Mold/Fungus on violet soil

minal(6)October 19, 2009

Hello, I live in Buffalo, NY and suddenly the temp. went down 10 degrees. After that I noticed, white fluffy mold or fungus growing on the surface of the soil. It is not powdery stuff, but white stuff we usually see on rotten food.

My plants are fine, nothing on leaves or buds. But should I be worried about stuff growing on my soil? Any suggestions on how to get rid of this stuff. I have already re-potted the plants a few months ago. These are all on my adult violets.

thanks, any suggestions appreciated.


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Cold and damp are two things AVs hate - and they lead to crown rot. (Or so I've been reading lately.) I wouldn't know if you'd have problems this quickly with your crowns, but I might gently unpot one to check it. Plants can look very healthy but the crown can be dying. Am not at ALL saying this is what is happening, just that it can happen with damp cold soil.

The key to winter, as I understand it, is to water very sparingly to prevent problems. I have already noticed a drastic decrease in the water intake in my plants. They are staying wet much longer, so I've decreased my watering quite a bit.

I would think a fungicide would remove the mold you have growing, whatever type it is. Letting the plants dry out completely may also accomplish the same thing. Cinnamon is a natural fungicide, but I don't know if it would work to sprinkle some on there or not!

    Bookmark   October 19, 2009 at 3:54PM
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I have occasionally experienced this gray-white mold growth also, usually in conditions where I wouldn't be surprised to see powdery mildew. I treated it by lifting the leaves and spraying the 'mold' with Lysol spray. Seems to work...


    Bookmark   October 19, 2009 at 10:42PM
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Thanks for the replies. I have Cinnamon and also Lysol spray. I will cut down on watering and grind some cinnamon. If that doesnt work, then will try Lysol :)

    Bookmark   October 20, 2009 at 10:04AM
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Yeah, I keep forgetting that Lysol works. I don't keep any in the house, but I do use the cinnamon from time to time. Not sure how well it works (I dip cut edges into it to help prevent rot).

    Bookmark   October 20, 2009 at 10:24PM
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okie_deb(6 OK. zip 737)

Lysol spray won't hurt the AV's even if you were to water from the top and it ran through the soil later??
I sometimes get some of this white mold on spagnum moss I root or grow Hoya's in inside terrariums. I usually just rub my finger across it and it disappears. Just wanting to know if the Lysol is in any way harmful to the plants.
Thanks for any info!,,,,Debbie

    Bookmark   October 21, 2009 at 12:01AM
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Debbie, I don't think so....but someone who's used it will know more than I do. I've just read about it multiple times (and keep forgetting that I've read about it!)

    Bookmark   October 21, 2009 at 2:03AM
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The Lysol spray will not harm your leaves if used correctly. It will, however, mar the blossoms if it gets on them.

For this 'mold', lift the leaves and spray from as close as you can get with the spray. You will have to move around the pot, doing a little area at a time, and spray onto the mold.

You can also use Lysol if you had powdery mildew; you can spray from about 12 inches above the plant and let the mist settle down onto the plant. This is to avoid the cold spray from marking the leaves. I also will sometimes spray into a very small container so I have the liquid, and 'paint' it onto the affected leaf with a q-tip. This seems to work a little better for a small area.

If you had any kind of a syringe, you could also use this method to spray the mold on the top of the soil, being sure all of it is covered by the liquid.

Cinnamon? If it is to prevent rot, this isn't necessarily a rot situation. I'd be more inclined to go with the Lysol.


    Bookmark   October 21, 2009 at 3:08AM
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okie_deb(6 OK. zip 737)

Only 1 problem wit using Lysol with me,,,it effects my lungs for some reason and takes my breath away. Don't know why but learned it does this back when I worked in a small office and they sprayed it to avoid germs during cold season. It's almost like it locks my lungs,,,strange! Anybody ever experienced this with a product of any kind??
If my husband sprayed it outside into a small container to get the liquid maybe I could do the Q-tip method though.,,,,Debbie

    Bookmark   October 21, 2009 at 1:02PM
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Lysol causes my lungs to have a burning sensation, even if I just breathe in the residual fumes. I use OTC neem oil products--quite effective and non-toxic. You could apply it just the same way Barbara applies the lysol.

    Bookmark   October 21, 2009 at 3:30PM
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