Ask a Question forum→Do you think the bag of dirt is full of mold?

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Madison , Wisconsin
shumate
Jun 4, 2018 9:52 PM CST
I had Miracle Grow potting mix unopened bag outside on my patio. I had repotted all my plants today but I noticed that the soil was moist and wet. How did it get wet ? Then I noticed little pin holes all up and down the side maybe for the dirt to breathe. Then when I was done with all my plants I was thinking with the sun beating down on it all month long and the rain that we've had all month that I just open up a bag that was full of mold and put moldy dirt in my plants?
Name: Sally
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sallyg
Jun 4, 2018 10:11 PM CST
I don;t think you need to worry. After all, you keep plants in wet dirt their entire lives and that doesn't bother them in the least...
i'm pretty OK today, how are you? ;^)
Name: Joshua
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia (Zone 10b)
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Australis
Jun 4, 2018 10:20 PM CST

Moderator

There will almost certainly be mould spores around, but if your plants are healthy and get adequate ventilation and light, it won't be a problem. It is mainly when they stay too wet and cannot breath properly that problems with mould start to develop. If you see mould, remember that it's probably a symptom of an underlying problem, rather than a problem just by itself.
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Madison , Wisconsin
shumate
Jun 4, 2018 10:30 PM CST
Australis said:There will almost certainly be mould spores around, but if your plants are healthy and get adequate ventilation and light, it won't be a problem. It is mainly when they stay too wet and cannot breath properly that problems with mould start to develop. If you see mould, remember that it's probably a symptom of an underlying problem, rather than a problem just by itself.


Allergic to the black mold so I didn't want to bring it into the house with my houseplants but unfortunately I noticed too late I think and all my houseplants are done today
Name: Joshua
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia (Zone 10b)
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Australis
Jun 4, 2018 10:58 PM CST

Moderator

How bad is your allergy? There's going to be mould spores around if you have houseplants, so if they generally don't bother you, it comes down to making sure the conditions don't favour the growth of mould. As I mentioned, ensuring plenty of light and airflow as well as not overwatering will minimise the risk of any mould growing.
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Madison , Wisconsin
shumate
Jun 4, 2018 11:15 PM CST
Australis said:How bad is your allergy? There's going to be mould spores around if you have houseplants, so if they generally don't bother you, it comes down to making sure the conditions don't favour the growth of mould. As I mentioned, ensuring plenty of light and airflow as well as not overwatering will minimise the risk of any mould growing.


It was in a unopened plastic bag sealed Miracle Grow controlled so there wasn't much air flow for a whole month with the Heat and the rain
Name: Joshua
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia (Zone 10b)
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Australis
Jun 4, 2018 11:39 PM CST

Moderator

I have had mould grow in seed-raising mix in those conditions before. In my experience it's usually been quite visible (in one case it was like a scene out of a horror movie when I opened the bag and there were large, flat, circular mould and fungal growths everywhere... it was quickly disposed of!).

If there wasn't any mould visible when you potted up your plants, then there will just be the spores (potting mix and seed-raising mixes are rarely sterile). Even the media your plants were previously in probably had some mould spores.

The key here is that you don't want to provide the conditions for them to start growing now that you have your plants repotted and back inside the house.
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Madison , Wisconsin
shumate
Jun 4, 2018 11:47 PM CST
Okay I was thinking of maybe repotting them again tomorrow wearing a mask but this time using dry soil instead because I had the moisture control Miracle Grow but I was reading where you're supposed to let the water trickle out and usually it's pathos plants usually one cup of water but to make sure that the struggles out I had to use six and that was last week and they still seem like they were wet like I just watered them which is why I tried we potting them today however the soil was very very damp ... then I was thinking of putting baking soda or apple cider vinegar or hydrogen peroxide spray is what I heard to put on soil to stop any grows
Name: Joshua
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia (Zone 10b)
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Australis
Jun 4, 2018 11:57 PM CST

Moderator

I probably wouldn't repot them at the moment, but it is up to you. You have to balance the probability of mould growing vs the stress to your plants by repotting them again.

Try to keep your houseplants where they will get good airflow and sunlight (you could even use a fan to help circulate air and dry out the mix). Let the potting mix dry out somewhat before you water them again; you don't want your plants to dehydrate, but the mix doesn't need to stay sodden, either. This will help discourage any mould growth.

A problem with using any of those (baking soda, vinegar, hydrogen peroxide) is that if you apply them to a pot plant, it can upset the balance of the soil and the plant will suffer (or possibly die). If mould does start to grow, then wear your mask and take the plant outside. The extent of the mould growth will determine the best course of action at that stage; often it is possible just to remove the affected bit of soil and allow the rest to dry out thoroughly.
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[Last edited by Australis - Jun 4, 2018 11:58 PM (+)]
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Madison , Wisconsin
shumate
Jun 5, 2018 12:01 AM CST
Australis said:I probably wouldn't repot them at the moment, but it is up to you. You have to balance the probability of mould growing vs the stress to your plants by repotting them again.

Try to keep your houseplants where they will get good airflow and sunlight (you could even use a fan to help circulate air and dry out the mix). Let the potting mix dry out somewhat before you water them again; you don't want your plants to dehydrate, but the mix doesn't need to stay sodden, either. This will help discourage any mould growth.

A problem with using any of those (baking soda, vinegar, hydrogen peroxide) is that if you apply them to a pot plant, it can upset the balance of the soil and the plant will suffer (or possibly die). If mould does start to grow, then wear your mask and take the plant outside. The extent of the mould growth will determine the best course of action at that stage; often it is possible just to remove the affected bit of soil and allow the rest to dry out thoroughly.

Okay thank you

Madison , Wisconsin
shumate
Jun 5, 2018 12:05 AM CST
it's just that the root ball and everything was just so wet almost like it could drip... So that's why I thought I repot them in dry soil and would help balance
Madison , Wisconsin
shumate
Jun 5, 2018 12:21 AM CST
I'm kind of new at the plant business however I didn't think I would notice any black mold because the soil was already black and wet
Name: Will Creed
NYC
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WillC
Jun 5, 2018 8:41 AM CST
If a plant is in soil that is water-logged, it is best to determine why. Was there no drain hole? Is someone else watering your plant? Is the plant in a pot that is too big or in light that is inadequate? Simply replacing the soil with dry soil is not a very good solution and may cause a lot of other problems.

Bagged potting mixes often contain non-sterile ingredients such as bark chips, soil, and compost all of which may contain fungus spores and fungus gnat larvae. This is a potential problem even if the bag is fresh off the retailer's shelf. Look for a potting mix that contains only peat moss, coir, perlite, lime and some fertilizer. Unfortunately, you have to find the ingredients and they are in fine print on the bag. As an alternative, you can mix your own by using 4 part of peat moss and 1 part perlite.
Will Creed
Horticultural Help, NYC
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Madison , Wisconsin
shumate
Jun 5, 2018 10:55 AM CST
WillC said:If a plant is in soil that is water-logged, it is best to determine why. Was there no drain hole? Is someone else watering your plant? Is the plant in a pot that is too big or in light that is inadequate? Simply replacing the soil with dry soil is not a very good solution and may cause a lot of other problems.

Bagged potting mixes often contain non-sterile ingredients such as bark chips, soil, and compost all of which may contain fungus spores and fungus gnat larvae. This is a potential problem even if the bag is fresh off the retailer's shelf. Look for a potting mix that contains only peat moss, coir, perlite, lime and some fertilizer. Unfortunately, you have to find the ingredients and they are in fine print on the bag. As an alternative, you can mix your own by using 4 part of peat moss and 1 part perlite.


Thanks I will check on that. Currently I have the old dirt from yesterday pots lying out in the sun, it looks like they're almost dry but I've heard once you add water to the soil reactivates the mold just like when it rains and there's mold in the house everything comes alive again symptomatic
Name: Dr. Demento Jr.
Minnesota (Zone 3b)
RpR
Jun 5, 2018 11:59 AM CST
Now I do not know if it is simply bad dirt or it spoiled, (I had never heard of bagged dirt spoiling).

I bought a large bag of Just Natural, I am fairly sure that was the brand, raised bed soil last year because it was on sale.
I do not have a raised bed garden but put it in the holes of many of the items I planted last year.
All those plants died or looked like they wanted to die.
The bag smelled sour, not like an anaerobic swamp , just plain sour.
I dumped the rest into my compost heap and will never use that brand again.
I blame part of my garden failures last year on using that bagged soil.
Name: Will Creed
NYC
Prof. plant consultant & educator
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WillC
Jun 5, 2018 12:57 PM CST
I recommend that you use the moldy soil only for outdoor plants even after it has dried.
Will Creed
Horticultural Help, NYC
www.HorticulturalHelp.com
Contact me directly at [email protected]
I now have a book available on indoor plant care
Madison , Wisconsin
shumate
Jun 5, 2018 1:13 PM CST
Have you heard of sulfur or neem oil as a fungicide to put on
Madison , Wisconsin
shumate
Jun 5, 2018 1:21 PM CST
I put all my plants out in the sun hopefully that will dry them up for the whole day
Madison , Wisconsin
shumate
Jun 5, 2018 1:36 PM CST
Don't know if you see the pictures or not but I went out to check on my plants to see if any of them got any dryer and this was on the leaves . anyone know what this is?
Thumb of 2018-06-05/shumate/bea8aa
Thumb of 2018-06-05/shumate/7ac52a

Madison , Wisconsin
shumate
Jun 5, 2018 1:39 PM CST
Brown almost taking over the leaves

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