Outdoor Plant Mold

catie(z3-4 PEI Can)August 11, 2005

Despite this summer's hot and steamy weather, I have managed to grow 4 flowering climbing plants in pots, 2 Madevilla and 2 other unnamed things with flower like a bleeding heart. I feed the plants with Miracle Grow occasionally and use a slug poison to rid the plants of those gross leaf eaters. The past 2 mornings, I found 1" layers of a disgusting fluffy white mold growing over the soil. Yuk. Any suggestions on what I can do to cure the problem before it affects the soil and root system? Thanks!

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tapla (mid-MI z5b-6a)

Probable a slime mold (dog vomit fungus). Many references to it on various forums. The spores were likely in the mulch - it's harmless, even if unsightly. A search on the key words slime mold or dog vomit will bring up lots of info.


    Bookmark   August 12, 2005 at 7:18AM
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Catherine_GP(7b MD)


Before I posted, I actually did do a search and found the other references to dog vomit. However, the descriptions of that problem didn't sound like the "months in the fridge" science experiement that appeared on top of my soil. I spooned out the fluffy stuff both (very steamy) mornings, and this a.m. (hot, bright sun/not quite as steamy), there wasn't any mold.

I saw references to using 3% Hydrogen Peroxide as a kind of "cure all" for garden ails, but the idea of spreading that makes me nervous. Then again, what do I know ;- )

    Bookmark   August 12, 2005 at 11:35AM
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lindac(Iowa Z 5/4)

3% peroxide is often used as a mouth wash.....you are save putting it on your soil.....and while you are at it....add a few drops of listerine to the mix!
Linda C

    Bookmark   August 12, 2005 at 12:05PM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

There are many many kinds of slime molds.....only a few really qualify to be labeled 'dog vomit'. However, an image would solve the problem!

Anyway, it is very likely that it is one of the slime molds, and therefore not a problem for your plants. However, physical removal or spraying with strong streams of water should get rid of it. I don't see the problem with using household strength H2O2.

    Bookmark   August 12, 2005 at 2:06PM
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How do I treat fungus / infection on gardenia?

    Bookmark   July 31, 2006 at 2:00PM
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meldy_nva(z6b VA)

Adele - please post your question as a separate thread (directions are at the bottom of each forum) and give more detailed information. Is the gardenia in a pot? What are the exact symptoms? There is a big difference between fungi and infections. Where are you seeing the problem - leaves, soil, stems? If you can, include a photo of the affected area.

    Bookmark   August 1, 2006 at 6:46AM
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Catie, just to add my $.02 worth, few soil surface fungi are harmful to plants - they are generally just the visual aspect of a normal decomposition process of some organic matter in the soil. The ones that cause problems tend not to be so noticeable, unfortunately :-)

This may not be applicable in your case, but eco-safe slug baits, those that are based on iron phosphate, tend to develop a furry, fungal appearance as they become moist and begin to biodegrade.

    Bookmark   August 2, 2006 at 10:32AM
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thank goodness for searches! i just discovered that my recent spring planted...mother of thyme garden...and...4 of my outdoor flowering planters have a thin fluffy layer of mold covering the visable soil. the weather has been particularly steamy with serious rain storms in between. without rain i would normally water daily. the rain last watered two days ago. i discovered the mold today...what should i do?

    Bookmark   August 6, 2006 at 3:25PM
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gardengal48 has shed light on my problem! I have been noticing a white fuzzy mold on the soil around my plants usually about 1 to 2 weeks after using eco-safe slug bait. I typically just scrape it off--doesn't seem to harm the plants.
Should I switch bait to avoid the mold? Has anyone successfully tried hydrogen peroxide for this problem?

    Bookmark   May 29, 2007 at 12:16PM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

It's not a problem. You don't need to change your slug bait and you don't need to treat with H2O2.

    Bookmark   May 29, 2007 at 12:26PM
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