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Mold Removal Tips for Houseplants and Gardens

by BrianReeves
green fields

Houseplants and gardens can create a wonderful, attractive addition to a home. They can help purify the air or even serve as more than just decoration, having a much better effect on your garden or rooms. Caring for plants needs efforts and time, but some pretty bad issues can come up during the process of care. Mold can be one of these, ending up growing on your plants in ways you may not predict. Take the following steps to ensure this never happens or to stop it once it does:

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  • If you have to clean leaves from mold, then you can start with a simple solution: just moisten a paper towel with some warm water. Mold on living plants can be easily wiped that way. Wring the paper towel after dampening it to avoid dripping. Support the underside of the leaves with your hand, wiping the tops in the process. Never do this with a dry towel, or you will spread the mold spores in the air if you’re not careful.
  • You will need to replace the paper towels when you’re cleaning. The paper towel will accumulate dust and mold from the leaves of the plants, so you will need to change it unless you want to let the accumulated mold and dust spread around the area. Make sure you do the cleaning in a well-ventilated area if you can. You should use a spray bottle to make cleaning much easier overall.
  • Removing mold from the soil itself will take a bit more effort than that. You must scoop the top layer of soil with its moldy infestation. If you have potting soil that shows the growth of mold, then you will likely have the mold confined to the top layer of soil in most cases. You can use a spoon or a spade to strip that layer and place it into a plastic bag for easy disposal.
  • You should replace the stripped top layer with some new potting soil. After you remove all traces of visible mold, then you will need to work on replacing it. If the infestation is far too bad, then you will need to replace a lot more than just the top layer.
  • You will need to add a more natural, anti-fungal substance to the soil to keep its spores from growing. You can do so by using cinnamon on top of the soil, which will deter the growth of mold, but on the other hand its harmless to the plants themselves.
  • You will need to prevent the mold from growing back, so you can start by placing a thin layer of gravel at the bottom of the potting mix. This will allow for a much more effective draining. Doing so will keep the plants healthier, while at the same time minimizing its susceptibility to mold.
  • You will need to keep each of the houseplants in a well-ventilated area. Mold will really thrive in areas of poor ventilation, so ensuring proper ventilation is an absolute must. You can do this with a dehumidifier or by opening a window, running proper ventilation fans and so forth if its on the inside. If you happen to have an indoors garden, this is an absolute must.


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Mia Boyd May 26, 2015 - 10:26 am

Thanks for the information. I live in a home where it seems like the mold is running rampant. I’m going to follow your tip about trying to remove it. I especially like your tip about replacing paper towels as I clean. With that being said, it also seems like I should hire a professional. That’s probably my safest option.

Cindy lewis November 27, 2016 - 7:33 am

This solution is a start. Never had mold trouble and it occurred after I brought this succulent leaf type plant indoors due to cooler weather. My only other question on the topic would be should I trim the plant down. I will use the soil treatment solution for sure it makes since. Thanks.

Carolyn Lundgren March 6, 2017 - 11:57 am

I have a small rosemary plant that as a light coating of what looks like white powder on the lower leaves. I used a spray bottle with a tiny bit of dish soap and sprayed it but the white powder is back.

I saw a solution of 1/2 tsp of baking soda per qt. of water was supposed to help. Have you heard of that? Do you have any other solution?


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