what lies beneath (mushrooms!)

alexander3_gw(6 Pennsylvania)September 5, 2010


This spring I planted several paw paw seeds in 3 liter soda bottles. Most of them are in the 5-1-1 mix. About a month ago, looking through the sides of the bottles, I noticed fuzzy mold suddenly growing throughout the mix in a few of the containers with the 5-1-1 mix. A few days after that, several of the spots of mold were forming more solid masses that grew pretty fast, and I realized that the mold was actually mushrooms! I think it is Leucocoprinus birnbaumii, aka yellow houseplant mushroom.

Only one of the fruiting bodies poked through the top surface of the soil, and it quickly dried out, probably since the surface of the mix gets morning sun through a window (the body of the bottle is shaded). It was quite inconspicuous. If the containers were not clear, I would probably have no idea that this is going on! Several years ago, I had a bunch of these mushrooms show up in a terrarium, it was a beautiful display. I wonder how often they simply grow beneath the soil, and we don't see them?


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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

Saprophytic fungi spend pretty much their entire lives out of sight. All of them do so. It's only when they expend the energy on reproduction (mushroom or similar fruiting body) formation that we become aware of them.

The white fuzzy stuff is the actual fungal body, doing its year round work of decomposing the organic matter (potting medium) in your medium.

This is what is happening beneath the soil (in the ground) at all times, all over the world. I don't particularly like to see this in my container plants, and rarely do so now that I've pretty much eliminated peat moss as an ingredient. Haven't noticed fungal bodies of any kind using the bark as the organic component.

    Bookmark   September 6, 2010 at 4:54PM
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alexander3_gw(6 Pennsylvania)

>This is what is happening beneath the soil (in the ground) at all times, all over >the world.

Oh yes, I know this is the norm in the ground, I was wondering more specifically about how often it happens in containers without us noticing. I plan on having these trees in containers until the late winter/early spring of 2012....It will be interesting to see if there is a noticeable difference in the texture of the 5-1-1 mix in the containers with mushrooms vs those without.


    Bookmark   September 6, 2010 at 11:12PM
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