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Why is my Soil Mouldy?

Updated: Aug 3, 2023

So I've got white mould on top of my plant's soil. What's the verdict? Have I bought an infected plant? Is my plant sick? Is my soil bad? Is my plant going to die? Are all my plants going to die?!

The short answer: don't panic, it's harmless!

White mould on top of your plants is called Saprophytic Fungus. It usually looks like fuzzy patches of white fur spread across the top of your houseplant soil. If you've got houseplants, you'll more than likely see it at some point. It's often around in winter when it's cold, especially on plants that are kept in darker, colder environments, or that like to be kept moist. The reason why: soil is rich with organisms. It's a good thing! And most of the time, a quick scrape off of the soil will disperse it and make it go away. However, it's a little unsightly, and if kept unchecked can become a bit excessive.

Here's a few tips to keep mould away:

Don't over water

Damp soil encourages mould. If you're watering properly, most plants won't stay wet on top for long. If your plants are staying wet for long periods of time, you may be over watering. Remember a lot of plants like to be allowed to dry out between waterings, and they need watering a lot less often once the weather cools off. So try cutting back - you might find this is all you need to do to sort your mould problem.

Keep in light, airy conditions

Dark, dingy corners also encourages mould. If you've got a lot of plants grouped close together, or in small stuffy rooms like a bathroom, you might find the lack of air circulation is causing the issue. As a store with many, many plants, we do sometimes see mould on our shelving units where there are lots of plants grouped together. It's a sign for us to take a few plants off the shelves and give them a little more room. Or, if you dare, opening your window for ten minutes every now and then will help air flow!

Try cinnamon!

If you've tried everything else, and you just can't stop the mould from coming back, try cinnamon. Cinnamon is a natural anti bacterial, meaning just a light sprinkle of cinnamon on top of your soil will keep mould spores at bay. You don't need anything special - a little 99p jar of ground cinnamon from the corner shop will do the trick nicely!

Have you tried these tips to no avail, or think you have a different houseplant problem? Contact us through our website or social media, we're always happy to help!

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