How to Identify, Treat and Prevent Fungi on Houseplants

Fungi on Plants

Fungi are not always the cause of disease. However, when a fungus is present in a plant, it can cause serious damage that makes the plant sick and eventually kills it.

 Although you might not see a mushroom or mold on your plants at home, it’s important to know what fungi look like and how to identify them so that you can protect your plants from these pesky organisms. In this blog post, I’ll give you some tips on how to identify and treat fungi on your plants.

Facts about Fungi

The first thing you should know about fungi is that they are incredibly diverse. They are found everywhere in the world and can be found on plants, animals, soil, and even people. 

There are many different types of fungi, but the most common include molds, mildews, rusts, smuts, and mushrooms.

A fungus will often begin to grow from where a plant has been injured or killed. This means that if you find a mushroom or mould growing on your plant, it might not be because the plant was killed by a fungus.

Fungi feed off of other living organisms. In order to survive and thrive without killing the host plant, they need nutrients like water and minerals from the ground.

 How to identify a fungus on a plant

There are several ways to identify a fungus on a plant, but the easiest and most reliable way is to see if you spot any fruit bodies. Fruit bodies can be seen as either mushrooms or molds.

 If you notice any colour changes in your leaves, try rubbing them between your fingers. If you notice some black spots forming on the underside of the leaf, that’s a sign of a fungus. Fungi will also produce spores that resemble tiny grains of rice on the plant’s leaves and stems where they are growing.

 How to treat a fungus on a plant

The first step to treating your plant is to identify the fungus. The key here is not just spotting the mold or mushroom: it’s actually looking for signs of a fungus, like black spots on leaves, discolored spots, and brown-colored rings around stems.

 After identifying the fungus, you can treat it with fungicide. There are different types of fungicides that work best depending on what type of fungus you have. For example, powdery mildew will be controlled by applying a solution of chlorine bleach to prevent infection in future plants.  For prevention purposes, keeping your plants healthy will reduce the chance of them getting infected in the first place.

 Prevention of fungi

If you want to prevent fungi from killing your plants, you should keep them in an area where humidity and moisture are limited.

 It can also be helpful to cut off the top of your plants with a sharp knife so that air can circulate through the plant’s stem. This will help prevent fungi from developing.

Once you know that your plants are infected with fungi, it’s time to take action. First, snip off the upper part of the fungus with a sharp knife. Then, soak both the top of the fungus and the surrounding soil in water for approximately one hour before washing them off in a bucket of soapy water using clean water. 

This kills any fungal spores that may have been left behind on the plant and prevents new ones from growing back on it. Next, place some lime or worm castings (which have high levels of calcium) around your plant to prevent any potential future attacks by fungi.


Is fungi a plant or bacteria?

Fungi is neither plant nor bacteria, it is a separate kingdom with its own unique characteristics. Fungi are eukaryotic organisms that evolved from a unique lineage of ancestors.

Can fungi affect plants?

Fungi are plant-like organisms that are independent of photosynthesis and capable of living on their own. This means that these organisms can cause damage to plants, even if the plants are not directly attacked by the fungus.

Can I spray vinegar on my plants?

Well, vinegar can be very effective in killing fungus on your plants, but it is not the best option. There is a danger of the roots being damaged by vinegar, so you should use it with caution. If you do spray the vinegar, don’t spray it directly on the roots. Spray it around the infected area and let it drip to the roots.

Written by Chris Buckland

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