Slime Mold on Roses? - Knowledgebase Question

Clifton Park, NY
Avatar for Mackthekid
Question by Mackthekid
July 12, 1999
I have used your library to identify (I believe) slime mold. The weather has been very hot and humid and your description fit the mass I found on top of the leftover mulch pile. However, I found a mass completely covering the base of a small rose bush. I also found another mass at the base of a large tree but it was also slighty on top of the mulch, unlike the one on the rose bush, which was barely touching any mulch at all. I am a novice garderner who has enthusiastically taken over the gardens of the previous owners of our new home. Any help you can give me will be greatly appreciated.

Answer from NGA
July 12, 1999
There are many varieties of "growths" like the slime molds and assorted lichens and so on and as a rule they are simply a normal part of the decay process or basically harmless. As long as they are growing on dead material such as mulch they should not present a problem. If however they are growing on a live plant such as the rose canes themselves, then it is possible that it is something other than a relatively benign occurrence, but unfortunately I am unable to identify it for you on the basis of your description. You might wish to take a photograph or a sample to your County Extension (885-8985) for help in identifying it. Enjoy your "new" garden adventure!

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