Why are mushrooms sprouting from potting soil?

texas.transplant(8b TX)April 27, 2009

I bought a small bag of Miracle Grow potting soil and now all the pots I placed it in have sprouted ugly white mushrooms around my plants. Should I throw it out? Can they be harmful? I've been pulling the mushrooms out with my fingers and washing my hands, but they grow like weeds. Any advice would be great.

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leira(6 MA)

Are you sure your potting soil isn't too damp? If it's damp enough to grow mushrooms, I might worry.

    Bookmark   April 27, 2009 at 3:21PM
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dan_staley(5b/SS 2b AHS 6-7)

Fungal spores can also travel in air, esp the likely LBMs that are in the too-wet soil. Fungal spores are remarkably hardy and can sometimes survive the treatment of making potting soil.

Dan

    Bookmark   April 27, 2009 at 5:22PM
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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

I would agree that you may be keeping it too wet and that is more of a possible threat to your plants than the fungi. Overly wet soil deprives the roots of the air they need just as much as the water.

Like the fungus that causes damp-off opportunistic fungi tend to thrive in overly wet conditions where there is inadequate air circulation. But quickly disappear if you allow the surface to dry out well.

Dave

    Bookmark   April 27, 2009 at 6:29PM
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jean001(z8aPortland, OR)

All that said, neither the mushrooms nor the fungi that cause them, will damage your plants.

    Bookmark   April 27, 2009 at 11:12PM
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Kimmsr(4a/5b-MI)

Those mushrooms are growing there because there are the conditions present that are good for fungal growth, a food source (and all the foods that fungi eat have the fungi present all the time they do not need to get blown in on the wind), sufficient moisture, and the right soil temperature. The fungi that produce mushrooms are not harmful to plants, although the conditions they like to grow in can be. That you do have mushrooms growing is an indocation that most likely the soil is too wet for the best healthy of what you are growing in that potting soil.

    Bookmark   April 28, 2009 at 8:24AM
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texas.transplant(8b TX)

Thanks for all the input. I admit that I've been over zealous with the watering. I am releasing my kung fu grip from the watering can and backing away from the plant slowly... :)

    Bookmark   April 28, 2009 at 11:08AM
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Juanzx23_yahoo_com

Hey you guys I have the same thing going on but for me it's not a problem it's more a fortune but one question !!!! Can I eat those mushrooms??? They are not yellow they are white and have gills thanks

    Bookmark   December 24, 2010 at 6:03PM
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aakalan

I just noticed the same thing. My Miracle Gro is also growing little white mushrooms. But I didn't overwater. Nature did.

I transplanted my seedlings just four weeks ago. Since then, we have had three-and-one-half weeks of almost-continuous rain, including thunderstorms. Believe it or not, I haven't had to water my tomato plants until the last three days. The question is: should I pull the little fungi, or leave them alone?

I do think, however, that it was a bad batch of Miracle Gro. I had a third of a bag left over from last year and planted a 5-gallon pail with that potting soil. My Big Boy plant, in the pot with the old soil, is growing like wildfire - it's already more than 3 feet tall and I'm off today to buy a tomato cage. It's growing like Kudzu. But my Celebrity and Brandywine are showing only modest growth - and they're the ones with the new potting soil and the mushrooms!

Is it worth it to re-pot those? Should I pull the mushrooms out? Will the shock of re-potting kill my plants?

Never had this problem, before. Wasn't happy with the consistency of that batch of Miracle Gro Soil. It was almost solid and I had to break it up before planting.

Any suggestions? Or should I leave well-enough alone?

    Bookmark   June 16, 2012 at 11:16AM
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mneisler

I also have many little white mushrooms sprouting from my Miracle Grow Soil that I purchased from biglots.

Here is a link that might be useful: Mushroom Pictures

    Bookmark   March 31, 2013 at 1:23PM
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cws32466

I was so glad when I did a "Google" for "mushrooms miracle grow" and this forum popped up. I actually saw a mushroom in the bag before using the product and thought it could be part of the miracle grow fertilizer. LOL I have 4 plants in large pots sitting in the bay window of my living room. These are more of a project to give my 77 year old father something other than TV. I am the most ignorant person when it comes to "green thumbs." I thank you for all of your input. Hopefully soon it will be warmer soon and less likely to produce thunder and tornadoes. I live in the heart of Oklahoma.

    Bookmark   April 16, 2013 at 2:18PM
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ssg978

This is one of two tomato plants we purchased from a local "big box" store. After several weeks they were replanted into these larger pots. Being in S. FL, our "rainy season" started early this year. And overnight (literally!!) these mushrooms appeared in this pot and this pot only from almost 2 dozen we have outside. Should I leave them? Remove them? As you can see, these are brown, unlike the white ones noted in previous posts and pictures. Thanks!

    Bookmark   May 23, 2013 at 1:02PM
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toxcrusadr

They are unlikely to hurt the plants. Most fungi are beneficial and they are the first to begin breaking down wood, which there is a lot of in potting soil. Pull them if they bug you.

Do NOT eat mushrooms unless you can POSITIVELY identify them!

    Bookmark   May 23, 2013 at 2:02PM
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ssg978

Thanks for the reply. Will see what happens over the next day or two. However, if I never post again, it will be because so many mushrooms have taken ove..................

    Bookmark   May 23, 2013 at 5:13PM
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sac_chi

I sent an email to scotts and got this reply which i found convincing:

-----------------------------------------------------
I am sorry you were disappointed with Hyponex Potting Soil and that you have found mushrooms growing.. Our soils are specially formulated and tested to ensure that plants will grow their best. Keep in mind, however, that your plant's health is affected by many variables. Extremes of light, moisture, and temperature, as well as transplant shock, insects, and disease all can adversely affect plants.
Our soils are natural composted products that have not been sterilized or treated with any chemicals to kill off resident fungi or bacteria. Compost by nature will develop mold/fungus, some of which will develop mushrooms. Mushrooms are the fruiting bodies/reproductive parts of fungi that can naturally occur in all growing mediums. Since there are hundreds of types, there is no way for me to know for certain what type of mushroom is growing in your soil. These naturally occurring fungi help break down the organic material so that plants can use the nutrients in the compost. The fungi that break down dead organic matter do not harm growing plants. As a matter of fact, the by products that they release will often help plants to grow. You can simply pull the mushrooms out and dispose of them.

Frequently check the level of soil moisture. Soggy soil will promote root rot, so be sure containers have a drainage hole. For most plants, the soil should stay evenly moist like a squeezed-out sponge. To check the soil moisture level, poke your finger into the soil at the roots to a depth of about one inch. Soil dry one inch below the surface is too dry.

Closely examine the top and bottom of the leaves as well as the stems of the plant for signs of insects or disease. A local nursery can assist you in diagnosing any unusual spots, discoloration, or insects you may find.

Be aware that if your plant was recently transplanted, it could be suffering from transplant shock. Give the plant a week or two to recover. If many roots were lost in transplanting, cut off an equal amount of leafy growth on the top of the plant.

Please note that our potting soils are for use in containers only; potting soil will not drain properly if used in the native earth. Likewise, our Garden Soil, Topsoil, and Lawn Soil are not to be used in containers, as they will not hold moisture correctly in a pot/planter. Finally, it is not necessary to heavily feed plants potted in our potting mixes, as these mixes already contain enough food for at least several weeks of growth. Check the specific soil label for the duration of feeding for that soil type.

    Bookmark   June 20, 2013 at 8:46AM
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toxcrusadr

Pretty good answer, I can't find anything to disagree with there.

    Bookmark   June 20, 2013 at 11:32AM
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Neysa

I have a huge tall container that I had to pack plastic bottles , etc at the bottom of it to fill it up before I put soil in it. Guess what kind of soil I used????? You guessed it, Miracle Grow Moisture retaining one. Now yellow mushrooms are growing and my plant is Not over watered. I hope they are correct that those mushrooms will not hurt anything...............I am going to toss out the rest of the bag in the trash. I don't even want to take a change of putting it in my yard anywhere. I think they are just covering their behinds because there has been sooooooooo many complaints about nats coming from the soil and these nasty mushrooms.......................well, now I know what that are talking negatively about!!!!!

    Bookmark   August 8, 2014 at 8:26PM
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