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What is this mold?

Posted by sun_worshiper FL 9b (My Page) on
Sat, Jul 27, 13 at 17:08

I have previously posted about a mold that causes hippeastrums to rapidly collapse sometimes in my yard at the height of the summer rainy season (see link below).

The first indicator is seeing the stuff in these pictures around the neck of the bulb. Next the bulb leaves yellow at the base and easily pull off from the bulb. And if I dig up the bulb it generally has some whitish mold near it, and the bulb quickly rots into complete mush. If I catch it in time, dig the bulb and wash all the mold off and scoop off any mushy bits, the bulb can usually be saved.

But I still am not quite sure if this is all mold, or some sort of insect also. What do you think?

When I lifted up my watering can today, the area underneath it was filled with this stuff and I could get some good pictures. Typically, there is not very much in one place so hard to photograph.

With my fingers for size comparison:

The white webbing is certainly a mold. But it all those little round things I am suspicious of. Are they part of the mold? Or are they insect eggs? They are hard, like grains of sand.

I'd appreciate any info on what this is. Knowing what it is will make it much easier to control!

Here is a link that might be useful: Previous Post

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: What is this mold?

the white veins are defiantly mold but as for the round balls, I haven't a clue they almost look like eggs or seeds. good luck. if I could make a suggestion I would say for amaryllises its to wet.

RE: What is this mold?

It is called a slime mold, and the balls are their fruiting bodies (sporangia). It is not a true mold, and in fact are not closely related to mold at all. They do no attack plants, so they are not the cause of your problem.

RE: What is this mold?

Ugh... I moved my container that my big Amorphophallus is in and found something similar, but it's yellow. It's not affecting any Hippis growing nearby.

RE: What is this mold?

Slime mold is a good suggestion! I've had other kinds in ny yard like the one called dog vomit. Googling it, wow there are alot of kinds! it seems like that might be it what this is. It could explain the way that this attacks hippeastrums, which I assure you it does do. Since slime molds feed on decaying matter, they would like the dead brown layers of the hippeastrums tunic, as well as the decaying roots that hippeastrums are continually shedding. And once those have been attacked, it makes an easy entry point for all sorts of other fungus present in the mulch layer. What I have observed is this stuff around the top of the bulb, and then a rapid decay of the roots and basal plate, and a coating of very slimy stuff on the outside of the bulb, but the center of the bulb is totally untouched. Thanks so much for the great information!

Of course, I'm fully aware that some of the spots where I want hippeastrums are too wet. But in FL in mid summer dry spots ate rare=) It isn't unusual here to get well over an inch of thunderstorm rain a day for weeks at a time. But if I only grew plants in spots where they "should" grow, my yard would be much less interesting. The price for pushing the boundaries is some losses, but I'm ok with that. By experimenting, I can sometimes succeed in improbably locations. I've found using companion plants to be a good way to help suck up extra moisture think I'll start a new thread on that...

RE: What is this mold?

Whatever you are doing, it must be right. Your hippis thrive and are beautiful. You get lots of offsets too, right!?

RE: What is this mold?

Thanks! Yes, they do form a lot of offsets. Some varieties more than other. One of the clumps I dug this year had 16 bulbs - I planted a single one about 3 years ago! And another that got attacked by this fungus had around 12 offsets, some larger than the original bulb I planted. I was able to save about 8 and the mother bulb by carefully cleaning them. So all in all, the wins outweigh the losses=)

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