In this article, you’ll learn how to remove the moldy potting soil naturally and safely. Also, I’ve got some proactive steps you could use to prevent the mold from coming back. The entire process is quick and effective, for both you and your plants!
If there’s mold growing in your potting soil, here’s what to do:
1. The first step is physical removal. Wearing a breathing mask, scrape off and discard the affected bits of soil.
2. Lightly dust the soil with ground cinnamon. Cinnamaldehyde, the stuff that gives regular cinnamon its flavor and scent, acts as the perfect natural fungicide and prevents mold growth. Try to get an even distribution and remember that it only takes a thin layer.
3. Do not water until the top two inches of soil are dry. For smaller containers (a gallon or smaller), wait until the top quarter inch has dried before returning to a water regimen. Use your finger to gauge moisture levels.
4. Never let pots sit in saucers full of water for more than 5 minutes. Drain off excess moisture.
5. Place plants in sunlight or strong artificial light to help them dry.
6. If you see any mold, take the plant outside for a day to expose it to natural light and air. When you bring it back in, choose a new home for the plant in a spot that is slightly more sunny and breezy.
7. You might also consider transplanting to a larger pot full of fresh dirt. Make sure you choose a pot with plenty of drainage holes.
8. If you are transplanting, you could also use the same soil. However, before you use it, simply mix up the contents of the bag and work the white stuff back in with the dark. You might also add a little fresh compost. Cut the bag open and leave it outside, exposed to the sun and air, for a day or two, turning occasionally. You could also mix in some fresh compost.
9. Remember, don’t overwater. Overwatering is the main cause of mold growth in container plants. Soil that is constantly moist is much more likely to harbor happy spores. Water only after a quarter of the pot’s total soil volume has dried out. For example, if your plant’s soil is 8″ deep, don’t water it until the top 2″ have dried out. For most indoor plants, watering once a week should be sufficient.
10. Reduce humidity and increase the ventilation. Together, these two conditions create the stale environment in which mold thrives. By already not overwatering, you’re also reducing the humidity, so to reduce moisture even further, place your plants in sunnier, well-ventilated areas or use a small fan to constantly push new air around the soil.