The Q&A Archives: Mold On Surface Of Soil Around Juniper Bonsai House Plant

Question: I received a juniper bonsai for Christmas which I water by adding to the pots tray since the tree's pot has a hole in the bottom through which it allows the soil to absorb water. The surface of the soil develops mold which I tried to scrape off once, but it still returns. How do I keep mold from returning?

Answer: Mold often grows on soil surfaces if the soil remains overly wet. Junipers like soil on the dry side, so watering less frequently should make your plant happy and help keep mold from forming. Check to make sure that what you're scraping off is actually mold and not a mineral build-up. If you have a magnifying glass, look to see if the white matter is fluffy or if it looks more like hard crystals. Fluffy is mold and should be scraped away. Mineral build up is hard and granular, and it can be leached away with copious amounts of water. Once you've determined the cause of the problem you can take action to keep it from recurring.

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