There are numerous reasons as to why white mold and powdery mildew may begin to occur amongst indoor plants. If caught in time the process to reverse and prevent fungi spores is fairly easy and simple.
Indoor plants require constant watering similar to plants outdoors. However, indoor plants that do not have adequate fresh air exchange are likely to fall victim to white mold and powdery mildew. White mold and powdery milder occur when an overabundance of water within the soil has not thoroughly dried due to various factors within the indoor plants immediate environment. These factors include a lack of fresh air exchange, overwatering, and a lack of sunlight. Even various pests such as aphids and mealy bugs can contribute to the spread of fungus within indoor gardens because the sticky secretions that these bugs produce provide a perfect habitat for spores to colonize. Fortunately though there are several methods to reverse and prevent the growth of white mold, powdery mildew, and fungus altogether.
Fresh Air Exchange
A proper flow of fresh air exchange is a major contributor to the growth process of a plant. Fresh air exchange allows for the plant to inhale CO2 and exhale oxygen through the stomata. Stomata, in essence, are the nostrils of the plant which allows for the plant to breath. Without a proper flow of fresh air exchange the stomata of the plant can become clogged thus resulting in the soil surrounding the plant to not thoroughly dry once watered. Because of this a lack of fresh air exchange can become a major contributor to white mold and powdery mildew. In order to provide a flow of fresh air exchange for indoor plants set up multiple fans that will help push air around the room. For rooms with multiple plants purchasing a CO2 bag to be placed in front of a fan will help greatly increase fresh air exchange.
One of the most common reasons for white mold and powdery mildew to occur is due to over-watering. Often homeowners will over-water an indoor plant at once forcing water to gather at the base and attract pests due to the lack of proper drainage. Other times homeowners will water too frequently such as every other day or twice a week which does not give the plant enough time to thoroughly dry. To reverse and prevent white mold and powdery mildew allow the soil to dry as deep as one inch below the surface. Before watering be sure to measure an appropriate amount of water that will not cause damage to the plant. Finally, make sure that proper drainage occurs a few minutes after the plant has been watered to ensure that no additional water will attract pests.
Another major contributing factor to why white mold and powdery mildew may occur is due to an inadequate amount of sunlight. For an indoor plant to thoroughly dry after it has been watered a proper amount of sunlight must be absorbed. For plants that are placed beside windows to absorb sunlight from outside white mold and powdery mildew may most likely occur. This is because sunlight absorbed for a limited time only through a window is not enough to sustain the plants longevity. To reverse fungi on such indoor plants simply place the plant underneath the proper type of indoor garden light. Doing so will allow the plant to undergo photosynthesis ultimately reversing white mold and powdery mildew.
As previously mentioned aphids and mealy bugs can stimulate the growth of fungus. This is because the sticky secretions that these bugs produce allow for fungi spores to thrive. To reverse white mold and powdery mildew once these pests have been identified pesticides will have to be administered intravenously. At this point pesticides will be the only remaining solution to slow the spread of fungi and eliminate it altogether.
White mold and powdery mildew can begin to occur a few inches underneath the soil as fungi spores and spread fairly quickly if not caught in time. However, at every watering the soil surrounding the plant should be churned up to at least one inch deep in order to check for aphids, mealy bugs, and fungi spores.
“Ventilation for Indoor Gardens.” By Susan Slobac
“Aphids – How to Control Aphids on Indoor Plants.” By Jon VanZile