fungus on surface soil in pot

ines_99September 4, 2006

One of my hanging plants has started growing a white wispy type of fungus on the surface of the soil. We have had alot of rain and damp weather lately. I don't know if it is bad for the plant, but I don't like looking at it no matter what! I tried a little neem oil, also said to be a fungicide, that didn't help. Does anyone know of something, preferably not too harsh, that I could put on the soil to kill this stuff?


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Soil staying damp for too long can cause fungus to grow on the surface.The fungus itself won't hurt the plant, but constant damp soil can. The soil could even be heavy and/or maybe not draining as well.
If you want to get rid of the white fungus, just scoop out the entire top couple of inches or so of soil trying to get all the spores and replace with new dry soil.

Billy Rae

    Bookmark   September 4, 2006 at 7:07PM
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Hi Ines,

I have had that problem in the past with a couple of my plants. It is environmental. But when you get it it can be a little problem to get rid of it. Some people just scrape it off and ad new soil. For me it always came back.

Here is something that works like a charm, but is poo poo'ed by most people on the forum. I always give credit for this to jon d. He is the one who came up with it and first told us about it on the forum.

The remedy is to go out and buy some spay foot powder with tonaftate in it, such as Tinactin. Get the dry arisol spray can. Hold the can around 1 ft. away from the soil and spray lightly. Don't worry if a little bit gets on the plant. It won't hurt it and you can wipe it off if you need to. It works like a charm.


    Bookmark   September 4, 2006 at 7:09PM
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Oh, hi Billy Rae, posted while I was in the middle of writing my post. Not to be argumentative, but I have never had success with replacing soil. Has soil replacement worked for you in the past?


    Bookmark   September 4, 2006 at 7:14PM
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Hi Larry!

I can honestly say that scraping the top part of the soil out has worked for me. I think the the trick is to get ALL of the spores out and of course, not over-watering, or having poor drainage/big pot, that kind of stuff...
This was something that happened a few times when I first started collecting houseplants many moons ago. At the time I didn't even know what that nasty white fluff was or where it came from. I'd scrape it out with a big spoon down a couple inches to near the top of the root-ball.

I have heard of using Tinactin on fungus soil and have heard good things about it!
With better understanding on my part of a plants basic care, a fungus problem is a thing of the past.

There can sometimes be more than one way to go about eliminating a plants problem and so I'm sure using Tinactin is just another successful way to go about it.

Billy Rae

    Bookmark   September 5, 2006 at 11:07PM
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Hello there.

I am a palm in my house that I bought a few weeks ago. I used Fafard all purpose soil. When I bought it, it was really wet.

My palm's soil surface has some white fungus growing on it. I have no idea what else to do to get arid of it. I tried to scrap of some of the soil and replace it, but it came back.

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   October 25, 2007 at 4:22PM
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