0
points
Fungi in potting soil

General    Pennsylvania, USA

I have noticed several mushrooms growing in the potting soil of my avocado seedling over the past few weeks. I have attached a couple of pictures taken this morning. One of them is taken next to a quarter for some idea of scale. The fungi always emerge close to the edge of the pot and away from the avocado seedling in the center so I am fairly sure that the seedling is healthy and they are not associated with it. Does anybody know what the fungi is? The potting mix is miracle gro, did it just perhaps hitch a ride in the soil? More importantly could it prove harmful to my plant and if so, how do I get rid?


Posted by: Lindsay McMenemy (167 points) Lindsay McMenemy
Posted: June 9, 2013


Woody commented,
I just got the identical mushrooms in my Miracle Grown today. They just sprouted up over the weekend!!
almost 4 years ago.



Answers

2
points
The mushroom likely came along with the potting mix, as fungal mycelium. You can see mycelium growing on the surface of the potting mix in the attached photo - white fuzzy growth. The mushrooms will not harm your avocado, as they are living on the bark chips and organic material in the mix. You can continue to pluck them out, but there are a couple of additional things you can try. The potting mix looks too wet. I would suggest letting the surface dry out more. Secondly, you could replace some of the mix near the top, which would get rid of some of the network of mycelium that has developed. You are not the only one with this experience - see reply below.

Response from Scott's representative on Miracle-Gro review website - July 2, 2012 .
We apologize for the mushrooms that you have found growing in your Miracle-Gro Moisture Control Potting Mix. Our soils are natural composted products that have not been sterilized or treated with to kill off resident fungi or bacteria. Compost by nature will develop mold/fungus, some of which will develop mushrooms. You can simply pull the mushrooms out and dispose of them.



Posted by: Charlie B. (84 points) Charlie B.
Posted: June 10, 2013


Lindsay McMenemy commented,
Great Charlie, thanks. I will try replacing the top layer instead of the whole lot and see how it goes from there.
about 6 years ago.



1
point
Usually the fungus is not a health problem if you don't consume them. Most potting soils have been sterilized so it doesn't have fungus. Fungus usually occurs like this with the soil is too wet. You can go thru a laborious process of scooping out the fungi, taking all the soil and sterilizing it in the oven, sterilize the pot, wash off the roots of the plant and repot. Personally, I'm a little lazy for all that work. You should make sure there is good drainage on the pot so it doesn't stay waterlogged. If you have a tray under the pot, remove it. And just cut off the cap of the mushroom so the spores cannot spread. Remember that there are some good fungi also. If your seedling is still small, I would just remove it from the soil, use sterilized soil and repot it (just wash off the roots gently before repotting.


Posted by: Susan League, UF/IFAS Sumter Program Assistant (1 point) Susan League, UF/IFAS Sumter Program Assistant
Posted: June 9, 2013


Lindsay McMenemy commented,
Thanks Susan - can you tell me how to sterilize in the oven? What temperature for how long? I think I will re-pot in fresh soil and wash the roots like you suggest. I have been trying to pick the mushrooms as soon as I spot them but they keep appearing
about 6 years ago.

Peg Boyles commented,
Lindsay, don't forget that sterilization will kill all the living organisms in your potting soil, including microorganisms. I've had fungi like this often sprout from potting mixes, and they've never hindered germination or bothered my growing plants. You could add an inch or two of sterile peat-based seed-starting mix (like Pro Mix) on top of your organic material.
about 6 years ago.

Susan League, UF/IFAS Sumter Program Assistant commented,
Go to this University of Florida link on how to make your own potting mixes. Look at the paragraph on Soil and it gives directions on how to sterilize the soil to kill any disease organisms and weeds. http://solutionsforyourlife.com/hot_t...

about 6 years ago.



1
point
Looks like Leucocoprinus birnbaumii ! This species is very common in potted plants. I love to find them in mine, such cuties.


***Now that I've looked at the photo full size they look more like Coprinus.


Posted by: Emily (4 points) Emily
Posted: October 24, 2013




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