?? mould on new soil

Palm_shadeMay 20, 2013

This was abit of a suprise. This is all new multi purpose compost with 1/4 vermiculite. I gave the compost its 1st watering yesterday and found this when I came home from work, not seen it before is it bad news?
Water was distilled with a tiny bit of palm foucs fertilizer.

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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

Unfortunately, the addition of vermiculite did not contribute to the porosity of your potting medium. Next time, use perlite. I would use a table fork to keep the surface of the potting soil stirred up a bit.

I'm not sure what it is...it might even be something growing on the Palm Focus.

    Bookmark   May 20, 2013 at 1:07PM
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Palm_shade

Really? I was told vermiculite is exactly the same as perlite well was told vermiculite was more popular thats why I chose 1 over the other, could you be kind enough to tell me why so I can explain at the garden center.

I hope the moulds not something thats going to cause problems :( im going to have to start researching abit on it.

Thanks.

    Bookmark   May 20, 2013 at 1:29PM
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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL

Vermiculite holds water, perlite doesn't. Vermiculite has dangerous dust and a mask should be worn when working with it, at least back in the 80's when I last used it.

There could be some organic matter in the mix that is naturally decomposing.

Letting the soil dry out should also help. How does the plant in that pot look?

    Bookmark   May 20, 2013 at 6:44PM
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Palm_shade

Im really annoyed at them for telling its the same, im gonna have to buy perlite, compost and redo the whole lot. I did some googling at the difference between the both and I thought id quote this to sum it up perfectly lol

"it is important to know the difference between perlite and vermiculite so that you are never influenced to do something that could ruin your gardening projects by incompetent store employees."

Do you mean in health or appearance? Health is good, apperance ok think I will combine it with another to make it bushier then buy another large 1 for the other pot.

This post was edited by Palm_shade on Tue, May 21, 13 at 5:14

    Bookmark   May 21, 2013 at 5:10AM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

Vermiculite is no longer dangerous. It now has to be tested for asbestos before leaving the quarries. However, it compresses when mixed with the potting medium, losing the physical structure we bought the darned stuff for in the first place. Upon wetting and handling, each particle pretty much collapses right away.

The garden center staff, from the top down, needs to be educated. There's a purpose for vermiculite but as an additive to potting soils is not a good one.

Perlite comes from a special type of volcanic rock that contains microscopic pockets of moisture. When the raw ore undergoes the tremendous heat processing in manufacturing, the moisture expands...like popcorn.....creating an expanded form of the same rock. It's hard, but filled with air pockets instead of water pockets. Because of the structure of the origjnal rock (mother rock), it will never form the crushable layers of the micaceous rock from which vermiculite is manufactured.

Perlite should be rinsed well before using. Not only to get rid of the dust (one should never inhale this or any kind of dust) but to wash away fluoride.

    Bookmark   May 21, 2013 at 7:01AM
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monet_g

If you add some air circulation, it should take care of the mold. You could also spritz the area with a peroxide solution.

    Bookmark   May 21, 2013 at 9:20AM
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asleep_in_the_garden

As for the mold,sprinkle cinnamon(without sugar please)all over the molded area. It won't hurt your plant and it should kill the mold.

Hope this helps! :)

    Bookmark   May 21, 2013 at 10:13AM
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Palm_shade

Thanks, I used the fork technique and found some pure ground cinnamon in the cupboard lol so ive used abit of that.
I think its the compost its new and ive not seen mould before. Im going to get a new bag of compost at the weekend aswell with the perlite, any particular recommendations for Areca palm other than multi purpose compost? Mine was pretty cheap not sure why but about 20% less than the branded stuff. It has a peat content of 1-39% I read they like peaty mix but didnt say what also read a sandy mix but nothing really specific, I figure im redoing it I may as well do it properly.

    Bookmark   May 21, 2013 at 4:01PM
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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL

If water flows out as fast as you can pour it on, that's good, well drained.

I didn't know it was dangerous from Asbestos (in the past.) Scary! TY for sharing the excellent info, Rhizo!

Are these palms in the pot?

    Bookmark   May 21, 2013 at 4:59PM
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emerald1951

Hi all, I hope you don't mind me posting in your thread, but this thread is very interesting to me because I get this mold on all my pots in the winter time in the house that seems to be the only time it happens...
I mix MG cactus mix and MG orchid mix and MG perilite...
equal parts of each..its very fast draining and drying..I really like it for everything...but why the mold??? linda

    Bookmark   May 21, 2013 at 8:00PM
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KatherynIridaceae

I would re-pot it honestly. It's not worth the risk to the plant or your health to just leave it be. Scrape off the mold and excess mix and give a good bit of perlite and plain potting mix. I might also, if it becomes difficult to keep properly hydrated, give it a thin layer of mulch, (pebbles not organic material), A fluffy, dry potting mix like what i'm suggesting might need the mulch just to keep the soil on the surface from running off when you water it.

    Bookmark   May 23, 2013 at 10:13PM
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hexalm

I'd expect this to be mostly harmless. They're hyphae, i.e., a mass of many of the mycelium (quasi-root like strands) of the fungus. Keep in mind these aren't interested in living plant matter. Looks like it's growing exclusively around the soil line, and not climbing the stalk.

I've encountered this in high moisture, low airflow environments with organic media. In fact, if you sterilize an organic medium, you're more likely to see this as it's fresh for the colonizing with no competition. I'd expect it to Peter out at some point.
Kind of hard to make them go away in my experience. I had sterilized some reused old gritty mix (came in some plants from Al himself) to try and root some random bits of houseplant I'd collected. When this stuff showed up all over the bark I tried cinnamon as well as chamomile tea. No effect. However, time seemed to take care of it, eventually.

    Bookmark   May 24, 2013 at 2:25AM
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DocHudson(6 / NYC)

Just curious, what solved the problem?

I seem to have the same problem. Inputs welcome on this (http://forums2.gardenweb.com/forums/load/houseplt/msg111111451346.html?2) thread.

    Bookmark   November 21, 2013 at 2:48PM
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