The Q&A Archives: Mushrooms in Houseplant Soil

Question: I am having a problems with mushrooms in my house plants. This all started when I changed soil and upgraded an African violet to a larger pot. Within no time, yellow mushrooms starting popping up. The african violet had been HUGE. When I repotted it into a larger container and had to add soil, all this started. I tried adjusting the water amount, thinking I was overwatering, but to no avail. The african violet has not returned to its former glory (has been about 6 months). Now I am finding the same little yellow mushrooms in my Christmas cactus. They are yellow until they die and then and then the mushrooms turn tan. Help! The plants are both in an ondoor sunroom. What can I do? I have two cats inside and the mushrooms worry me, as I am afraid my cats might try to nibble them. I pull them out, but wonder if maybe that is the wrong thing to do, as maybe I am spreading spores, etc. Any advice is welcome. thanks!!!!!

Answer: I think it's more of a coincidence than anything else. Even if the potting soil is sterile when you buy it, as soon as you open the bag, it's exposed to all kinds of fungal spores that are always floating through the air. You are correct in your procedure - pick out the offenders and destroy them - and remember to wash your hands so you don't carry the spores from plant to plant. If you keep your soil a bit on the dry side, you should see fewer mushrooms.

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