Fungus - Knowledgebase Question

Ellicott City, MD
Avatar for monicastewa
Question by monicastewa
July 6, 1999
I have noticed two types of fungus growing in among my flowers. One is bright yellow and the other is a tan color. Each look if someone had gotten sick. I have sprayed them with the water hose and the tan fungus blew dark brown powder everywhere. Can you tell me what causes this fungus to grow, and was it bad to have the brown dust blow everywhere. Was that powder its spores?

Answer from NGA
July 6, 1999
Welcome to the wonderful world of slime molds! 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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