Houseplant soil is not just dirt. It is home for many microorganisms and given the right temperature, moisture, darkness and stagnant airflow, the white, fuzzy mold can start to take over. Dryer climates don’t typically have this problem as much as humid ones. Moving from Arizona to Virginia was a bit of a learning curve for caring for indoor plants for myself. Since I woke up one day with this moldy stuff on the top of my houseplant’s soil, I will share how I got rid of it, saved my beautiful plants, and prevented it.
Once I saw the mold, that means the soil was too wet for too long. I extended the watering schedule by a few days. Then, I carefully scooped up the white fuzziness and put it in a garbage bag. To kill some mold spores and possibly any fungus gnat eggs, I squirted a few squires of 3% hydrogen peroxide. Don’t worry, rainwater contains a similar amount of hydrogen peroxide and plants actually like a refreshing squirt of this stuff here and there. If too much soil is removed, you can add a few scoops of fresh new indoor garden soil but do not water until it’s time.
Finally, the secret to preventing the mold that can grow quickly just overnight. I turned on a fan in the room as I shut off all the lights to go to bed. Keeping the fan on at night, creates an airflow similar to an outdoor breeze. This allows the top layer to dry a bit but not too much. It’s most effective at night because mold likes a dark environment when the sun goes down. Having this airflow all night long from a simple indoor fan can disrupt the topsoil environment just enough to prevent that mold takeover.
Here is a list of steps to summarize how to effectively treat and prevent indoor plant soil mold
- Reduce watering schedule
- Remove as much mold as possible from the soil carefully with a spoon
- Add 3% hydrogen peroxide
- Turn on a fan to run at night
Just 4 steps to follow once you see that fuzzy white mold when you wake up in the morning. If you happen to get those fungus gnats, I do know this ultimate 4 step method for those tiny bugs that can share the soil with this fuzzy mold.