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Tips to Manage Mushrooms in Your Houseplants

  • 4 min read

Tips To Manage Mushrooms In Your Houseplants

One day, you’re watering your houseplant and see little yellow or white caps in the soil. Don’t worry; insects aren’t plaguing your plant, but it does have mushrooms, and you aren’t alone. Mushrooms showing up in your houseplant’s pot are surprisingly common, and they aren’t the end of the world either. Still, finding your favorite houseplant sharing a pot with some unknown fungi can be quite a shock! To help manage mushroom growth in your home garden, check out these tips:

[Mushrooms in my Plants?]Why Are There Mushrooms in my Plant?

Before dealing with these fungal infiltrators, it’s essential to know why mushrooms might appear in your soil. Mushroom caps will only appear if mushroom spores are already present in the soil itself– it’s most likely that your soil was just near some spores at one point. However, you won’t see any mushroom growth unless your soil fits one of two criteria:

High Fertility

Mushrooms love rich, fertile soil. If your houseplant sits in nutrient-rich soil that isn’t the best for drainage, chances are you may see some mushrooms. A contaminated soilless potting mix may already contain mushroom spores, and those spores will thrive on the surplus of organic material in the potting mix.

Mushrooms in Houseplants, Rich Fertile Soils May Have Mushrooms

Mushrooms love rich, fertile soil

by Catherine McQueen

Extra Moisture in the Environment

Mushrooms also require high humidity and moist soil to grow, so the sight of mushroom caps in your pot may also be a sign your houseplant needs better-draining soil or a less-humid environment. However, some plants prefer rich, moist soil over well-draining, porous soil.

Mushrooms in Houseplants Loves High Humidity and Moist Soil

Mushrooms also require high humidity and moist soil to grow

by GetPaidStock.com

[Mushrooms a Good Sign?]So, Are Mushrooms a Good Sign?

Ultimately, mushrooms aren’t going to kill your houseplant. They’re more likely to coexist and help your houseplant manage soil pH and provide extra nutrients in your soil as essential decomposers. The Mushrooms alone won’t kill your plant, nor will letting them coexist with your plant. 

Mushrooms won't kill your houseplants

 Mushrooms aren’t going to kill your houseplant

by GetPaidStock.com

If your houseplant requires lower humidity levels and well-draining or nutrient-poor soil, mushrooms are a sign your plant’s external environment isn’t ideal. Succulents like Sempervivum and Echeveria can’t handle soggy soil and are particularly susceptible to root rot and mold growth when their environment is too muggy. Other plants, however, love these conditions. Ferns, Snake Plants, Pothos, Monsteras, and Bromeliads love humid environments and will appreciate having a few fungal friends.

[Mushroom grow in Houseplants]Types of Mushroom that Grow In Houseplants

The most common mushroom you’ll encounter with houseplants is the Leucocoprinus birnbaumii, better known as the Flowerpot Parasol or Houseplant Dapperling. These small, lemon-yellow mushrooms grow to about 1-3 inches tall and are great at breaking down organic matter in the soil. As we mentioned, the Flowerpot Parasol poses no threat to living houseplants. Instead, they help the ecosystem by breaking down complex nutrients and clearing the soil of ammonia to let your plants grow in peace.

Mushrooms may help your houseplants to grow
These mushrooms help the ecosystem to let your plants grow in peace

by Christopher Kimmel

These mushrooms are, however, moderately toxic to animals and people. Like most wild mushrooms, it’s best to avoid eating them at all costs and to keep them away from pets and children. If your pet or a child eats one of these mushrooms, contact poison control immediately, or visit an emergency care clinic. 

[Remove Unwanted Mushrooms]How to Remove Unwanted Mushrooms

You don’t have to remove mushrooms from your soil unless you find them unsightly or they pose a threat to curious pets and kids. Fortunately, Flowerpot Parasols are pretty easy to remove, as long as you have the right tools. For temporary removal, you can uproot any visible mushroom caps and remove the first two inches of soil from your pot, but you’ll likely see further growth in the future. 

You’ll need to repot your houseplant with some extra steps for a more permanent solution. Before repotting, ensure your tools are completely clean and that you have fresh soil and a clean pot. Using soap and water, wash and rinse your pot thoroughly. Keep your pot and tools in a separate area to avoid any spores from spreading to the new pot. Then, remove your plant from the pot as you usually would while repotting. If your plant is struggling with root rot, now’s the perfect time to trim your roots and let them dry for a day. 

Mushroom in Houseplant Treaments

 No need to remove mushrooms from your soil unless you find them unsightly or they pose a threat to curious pets and kids

by MmeEmil

Repot your houseplant with the clean tools and pot you’ve set aside, using brand new soil to avoid any extra contamination. When you’ve finished repotting your houseplant, spray fungicide around the base of the plant and your soil to prevent extra growth. It may take multiple fungicide treatments to eliminate excess spores around your plant’s roots.

Mushroom Prevention Tactics

To prevent mushrooms from growing in your soil, keep your environment dry. Use well-draining soil to prevent excess water from sticking around, and only water your plants when the soil is completely dry to the touch. Using a dehumidifier to lower the humidity around your plants can also prevent mushroom growth.

Dry Environments Keep Mushroom Away From Houseplants

To prevent mushrooms from growing in your soil, keep your environment dry

by Agrobacter

Mushrooms vs. Fungal Infections

Mushrooms growing in your soil and fungal infections are completely different, although they are both caused by fungus. Unlike mushrooms, an infected plant will appear wilted, with tan to reddish brown spots on its leaves. Leaf spots first appear on newer growth, then spread to older leaves and eventually your plant’s stem. Fungal infections can stifle a plant’s growth and eventually kill the plant.

Mushrooms vs Fungal Infections

An infected plant will appear wilted, with tan to reddish brown spots on its leaves

Treating Fungal Infection in Houseplants

Fungicide is once again your best friend when treating fungal infections in your houseplants. Plus, treating fungal infections is the same as removing mushrooms! Simply follow the repotting instructions above to help your houseplant recover from a fungal infection. Check our blog here for a more in-depth guide to treating fungal infections in succulents and houseplants.

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