Are any of these toxic mushrooms growing on your houseplants?
If you’ve ever seen mushrooms growing on your houseplants — especially the bright yellow kind that look like Peeps candy — you might wonder what’s going on. “A potting mix is an ecosystem in which different types of microorganisms live,” says Justin Hancock, horticulturist at Costa Farms. “When environmental conditions such as humidity, temperate and humid levels are suitable, the fungus may develop.”
The fungus itself is the reproductive structure of the fungus, and the organism spends the rest of its life cycle underground in the soil as a thread-like body, or mycelium. When conditions are just right, the fruiting body, or mushroom, emerges.
We know what you’re thinking –Well, nature is wild, but will this strange growth kill my plants, my pet, or myself? Probably not. “In fact, the presence of mushrooms can be beneficial because the mushrooms break down the organic matter in the potting medium, releasing nutrients that the plant can use,” says Hancock. It’s a symbiotic relationship where everyone wins!
Here’s what else you need to know about mushrooms on your houseplants:
What’s yellow on my houseplants?
Different types of mushrooms may grow on houseplants, but the most common are yellow lipota (Also called Leucocoprinus birnbaumi), It is often called the yellow umbrella or yellow houseplant mushroom. They have a light yellow cap 1 to 2 inches in diameter that turns white and expands to release spores, and may grow singly or in groups.
They look like candy peeps, however This mushroom is toxic to people and pets. If your cats, dogs, or young children are likely to gnaw on these mushrooms (or you’re not sure), remove the mushrooms immediately and throw them in the trash (not compost unless you want them in your garden). Eating this mushroom is thought to cause mild gastrointestinal upset, but its exact toxicity level is unknown. To be on the safe side, dig up the mushrooms and keep the plant out of reach of children and pets, Hancock says.
Why do houseplants get mushrooms?
If you spent the summer outside in the yard, fungi may have been present in the soil when you brought the plant home, or fungus spores may have been blown into the pot, starting a fungal colony.
Does fungus affect houseplants?
Take a close look at your houseplant: If the fungus is not growing on the plant itself, it is not pathogenic. Mostly, this fungus appears when conditions are right, and then disappears. It’s okay to remove them if you don’t like the way they look, but leaving them on won’t harm the plant.
Can I get rid of houseplant fungus for good?
You can shake it off and get rid of it, although sometimes it comes back. Fungicide treatments are not effective, so don’t bother trying them, you will only pile up unnecessary chemicals on your plants.
If you don’t want uninvited mushroom guests coming back, the most important thing you can do is make sure you don’t overwater your plants. “If your potting soil is moist enough to produce mushrooms, it’s probably too wet,” says Hancock. No plant likes to be wet, and average houseplants (especially succulents) like to dry out a bit before watering. Always feel the soil before giving your plant another drink, and you should be able to keep the fungal visitors away.
Arricca Elin SanSone writes about health and lifestyle topics in the areas of prevention, rural life, women’s day and more. She is passionate about gardening, baking, reading, and spending time with the people and dogs she loves.
(Signs for translation) Poisonous mushrooms