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Yuck! Mold on the substrate and how to remove it

Mold on the substrate is an unpleasant but solvable problem that often occurs in our homes, but also offices, especially in the winter months , when the air humidity in the rooms is higher due to insufficient ventilation.
These conditions are ideal for the growth of mold, which can have negative effects not only on the aesthetics and health of houseplants, but can also pose a health risk to people and pets, especially if they are allergic to mold.

How do you know that mold has settled on your substrate?

Mold it can be recognized on the substrate by several characteristic features.
Usually, a white , gray or sometimes greenish coating begins to form on the surface of the substrate . This coating can have the appearance of dust, mold or cobwebs.
Clumps of mold: In addition to the extensive coating, you may also see individual spots or clumps of mold on the substrate, which are usually white, green, black, or pink.
Odor: Mildew to cause an unpleasant odor, often described as musty or earthy, to emanate from the affected substrate.
To get rid of mold and prevent it from spreading, here are some recommended steps:

1. Optimize watering :

Reduce the amount of water during the winter months when plants often enter a period of dormancy. Water only after the top layer of the substrate has dried.

2. Improve air circulation :

Place plants with plenty of space between them and in areas with good air circulation. Do not forget to regularly ventilate to reduce the humidity in the room.

3. Remove the mold coating :

Remove the unwanted layer of mold from the surface of the substrate, use a knife or other tool (perhaps even a fork or Chinese chopsticks ) and loosen the surface to improve air circulation in the substrate.

4. Use fungicides :

If the mold is widespread, you can use a fungicide. Choose a product that is safe and environmentally friendly.

Eco tip!

Sprinkle some ground cinnamon on the soil. When you remove only the top layer of soil, it is advisable to sprinkle it lightly with ground cinnamon . Cinnamon contains cinnamaldehyde , a substance that gives it its characteristic taste and aroma, and also acts as an effective natural fungicide , preventing the further spread of fungal infections and molds. It is not necessary to use cinnamon in large quantities; a small amount will do .

Although some sources may suggest the use of vinegar , it is recommended to limit this solution, because although vinegar can effectively kill fungi, it can also damage the root system of your plants .

5. Transplantation :

In extreme cases, when the mold has significantly damaged the substrate, it may be necessary to transplant the plant into a new, clean substrate. IN during the winter months, be careful when transplanting plants and do not unnecessarily stress the plant after transplanting , for example by moving it to another environment.

6. Increase the light :

Make sure the plants get enough light, especially in winter when the days are shorter and the sunlight less intense. When fighting mold, it is important to adopt a comprehensive approach that includes not only immediate treatment of affected plants, but also changes in plant care and indoor environment to minimize the conditions for mold growth.

In addition to the steps already mentioned, such as optimizing watering, improving air circulation, removing mold, using fungicides, transplanting and increasing light, it is also important to regularly check the plants for any signs of problems and to respond quickly to any changes .

It is also useful to use a quality and aerated substrate . When we remove mold from the substrate, we need to be gentle but thorough . Contaminated material should be carefully removed and disposed of immediately to prevent the spread of spores . It is important not to use compost when disposing of these materials as this could only add to the problem.

Disinfection of tools and work surfaces after mold removal is also essential. This may include using disinfectants that are safe for you and your plants.

Remember, prevention is key , and maintaining a healthy environment for your plants can help not only prevent fungal problems, but also promote their overall growth and vitality. In the event that mold appears, it is important to act quickly and consistently to prevent its further spread and negative effects on plants and the surrounding environment.
Don't worry, spring is coming and with it warmer weather and with it a significant decrease in mold on your plants.

Are you having another problem with your plant? Trust us with by him in our Facebook group: DMP Plant Forum .

You can learn more interesting things about the phenomena associated with growing houseplants in our book Give me a houseplant .

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