Houseplants are a great way to beautify your home and purify the air you breathe. What many people don’t know, however, is that houseplants and the soil they’re rooted in can provide the perfect incubator for mold. If you look closely at your plants, you may see mold on the leaves, in the potting material, or both.

Mold can develop for a number of reasons including overwatering, insufficient sunlight, or accumulation of leaves and other material in the potting soil. As when it develops anywhere in your home, mold in your potted plants can release spores that spread in air currents to other areas. So, it’s best to eliminate it as soon as it is discovered.

Clean the Green

Here are steps to take to get rid of mold on your houseplants.

  1. Using a damp paper towel, gently wipe the leaves while supporting the underside. Use a clean area of the paper towel for each leaf so you don’t spread the mold from one place to another.
  2. After the mold is removed, take the plant outside and spray it with a fungicide. Ask your local garden supply store what type you should use.
  3. To remove mold from the soil, gently scoop the top layer out of the planter. The more pervasive the problem, the deeper you’ll have to go to get rid of all the mold. In a worst case scenario, you may need to remove it all, clean the planter, and then start from scratch with fresh potting soil.
  4. Replace the material you’ve removed with fresh, sterile potting soil.

Keep ‘em Clean

Here are some things to keep in mind to prevent mold from returning.

  • Give plants the appropriate amount of sunlight.
  • Water your plants only when they need it and only as much as they need. For plants that require moist soil, let the top layer dry before watering (the soil below remains moist for a time even after the top layer has dried). For plants that can tolerate drier conditions, let the soil dry down to a depth of around two inches.
  • Put your plants in areas that have good ventilation.
  • Remove dead leaves, blossoms, and other material from planters.
  • Sprinkle some baking soda, cinnamon, or apple cider vinegar on the soil for natural mold prevention.

By providing the right conditions and care for your houseplants, you can ensure that they remain healthy and mold free, and don’t become a launchpad for a mold invasion. Of course, when mold gets out of hand in any part of your home it’s time to call an expert. Certified Mold Inspectors are here to ensure that you and your home are safe and mold-free.