The Q&A Archives: Yellow Powder On Mulch

Question: I found a yellow powder-like substance on my mulch about halfway between two small arborvitae. The patch of yellow was about 8 inches in diameter and in a circular patch. It looked a bit like pollen, but there was a tremendous amount of it. Today, that same patch had "bubbled" up a bit and was more of a yellowish white and somewhat crusty. When I removed it, the now crusty patch stayed together. Any idea what this could be?

Answer: These goopy fungi (Myxomycetes) live on dead organic matter and thrive in moist conditions. You can rake it out and dump it in the trash; especially in the early stages before it spreads its spores. Increasing the air circulation and allowing the soil to dry out will help eliminate the stuff. To help stop the growth of slime mold, just rake any mulch on the soil surface to expose it to air and sunlight. It's perfectly harmless - just revolting to look at!

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