Mold on the soil.

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Mold on the soil.

Post  Mikey P on Fri May 20, 2011 3:41 pm

Hi IBC. My friend re-potted a ficus tree a few months ago in to 3-1 compost and sand. It is in a very large pot and sits in his living room close to the window. The tree is really healthy with loads of new growth, however there appears to be loads of white mold growing on the soil. It covers about 40% of the soil. I think he is keeping the soil to damp for too long. Is there any solution to this problem? Is there any fungicides or resolutions that any one could tell me about?
Thanks Mikey. : Confused

Mikey P
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Re: Mold on the soil.

Post  handy mick on Fri May 20, 2011 3:53 pm

Mikey, I would get your friend to put the tree out in the open sun to start with and see what happens, you said the tree is very healthy.

Mick

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Re: Mold on the soil.

Post  Mikey P on Fri May 20, 2011 4:00 pm

Hey Mick, yes it is healthy. But it is a ficus so it cannot go out side in this weather. It is a tropical ficus you see.

Mikey P
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Re: Mold on the soil.

Post  Billy M. Rhodes on Fri May 20, 2011 5:26 pm

What is your overnight low in Leeds now?

Billy M. Rhodes
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Re: Mold on the soil.

Post  Billy M. Rhodes on Fri May 20, 2011 5:35 pm

OK, it seems your low right now is about 39 F with days close to or above 50 F. If there is not frost a Ficus will survive 39 F, it will not be happy, but it will survive. Close to a building our on a covered porch or patio will be warmer. If possible the plant could be put out during the day and brought in at night It should not get full strong sun without being slowly acclimated. However, my understanding of Leeds, UK weather is that it can "damp," when it is not raining.

Billy M. Rhodes
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Re: Mold on the soil.

Post  JimLewis on Fri May 20, 2011 10:14 pm

Tell your friend to stop watering until the soil is dry. The mold is coming from very wet soil. Ficus do NOT like wet soil. They may be tropical, but they are not aquatic. If he lets it stay this wet it will not be healthy for long. the "very large pot" is compounding the problem. The pot is so large and holds so much soil that the tree's roots can not take up enough of the water he's going it. By "dry" I mean top to bottom of the soil.

If he would jam a chopstick (or some other wooden or bamboo stick) into the soil and keep it there, withdrawing it every day at the same time, he can learn when to water. He should not water until the chopstick feels dry when he pulls it out.

When he next repots, suggest he changes the soil ratio to 50-50 "compost" and coarse sand (1/8 inch/ 2+mm). That will allow the soil to drain faster and will help keep the soil from getting soggy.

_________________
Jim Lewis - lewisjk@windstream.net - Western NC - People, when Columbus discovered this country, it was plumb full of nuts and berries. And I'm right here to tell you the berries are just about all gone. Uncle Dave Macon, old-time country musician

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Re: Mold on the soil.

Post  Mikey P on Fri May 20, 2011 10:24 pm

Thank yo very much for your reply Jim. I thought as much. I will let him no and keep it on the dry side. But in the meantime is there any fungus treatment i could use to get rid of the mold?
Thank you As well Billy all your reply's are much appreciated.

Mikey P
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Re: Mold on the soil.

Post  Nina on Sat May 21, 2011 1:21 am

There's no need to treat the soil- just have your friend dry it out. The mold is growing because of the wet and the (I suppose) fertilizer. There are always mold spores in the air, so there's always the *potential* for mold. But the mold isn't attacking the tree, so it's not the problem here- the excessive moisture is the problem, because that will eventually weaken the tree and make it susceptible to real root rot fungi.

Nina
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