Yuck! Mold on the substrate and how to remove it
Mold on the substrate is an unpleasant but solvable problem that often occurs in our homes, but also offices, especially in the winter months , when the air humidity in the rooms is higher due to insufficient ventilation.
These conditions are ideal for the growth of mold, which can have negative effects not only on the aesthetics and health of houseplants, but can also pose a health risk to people and pets, especially if they are allergic to mold.
How do you know that mold has settled on your substrate?
Mold it can be recognized on the substrate by several characteristic features.
Usually, a white , gray or sometimes greenish coating begins to form on the surface of the substrate . This coating can have the appearance of dust, mold or cobwebs.
Clumps of mold: In addition to the extensive coating, you may also see individual spots or clumps of mold on the substrate, which are usually white, green, black, or pink.
Odor: Mildew to cause an unpleasant odor, often described as musty or earthy, to emanate from the affected substrate.
To get rid of mold and prevent it from spreading, here are some recommended steps:
1. Optimize watering :
Reduce the amount of water during the winter months when plants often enter a period of dormancy. Water only after the top layer of the substrate has dried.
2. Improve air circulation :
Place plants with plenty of space between them and in areas with good air circulation. Do not forget to regularly ventilate to reduce the humidity in the room.
3. Remove the mold coating :
Remove the unwanted layer of mold from the surface of the substrate, use a knife or other tool (perhaps even a fork or Chinese chopsticks ) and loosen the surface to improve air circulation in the substrate.
4. Use fungicides :
If the mold is widespread, you can use a fungicide. Choose a product that is safe and environmentally friendly.
Sprinkle some ground cinnamon on the soil. When you remove only the top layer of soil, it is advisable to sprinkle it lightly with ground cinnamon . Cinnamon contains cinnamaldehyde , a substance that gives it its characteristic taste and aroma, and also acts as an effective natural fungicide , preventing the further spread of fungal infections and molds. It is not necessary to use cinnamon in large quantities; a small amount will do .
Although some sources may suggest the use of vinegar , it is recommended to limit this solution, because although vinegar can effectively kill fungi, it can also damage the root system of your plants .
5. Transplantation :
6. Increase the light :
Don't worry, spring is coming and with it warmer weather and with it a significant decrease in mold on your plants.
You can learn more interesting things about the phenomena associated with growing houseplants in our book Give me a houseplant .
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