The Q&A Archives: Moldy Mulch

Question: I always get white mold growing in my mulch, and it seems to inhibit my flowers' growth. I've tried to turn over the mulch often, but it just reappears. Is there something I can mix in the mulch to eliminate the mold problem?

Answer: Mold likes to grow in areas that are cool, dark, and without good air circulation. Is this the type of atmosphere the mulch is in? White mold on the top of the soil/mulch is not a plant disease and requires no treatment. Such molds are simple non-pathogenic fungus which break down the organic matter in the soil or mulch and are actually beneficial to the plants, releasing nutrients from the soil. You mention that you suspect the flowers aren't growing well because of the mold. Could the problem lie elsewhere? As I mentioned, mold grows well in shady, damp areas - perhaps your flowers aren't getting enough light or they are staying too damp and that is the cause of their poor growth pattern. If you suspect the plants themselves are sufferingfrom a fungal infection, look for symptoms such as spots on the leaves or flowers, deformed buds, etc.

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