Is Mold on Houseplants Dangerous to Humans?

Mold spores are microscopic, making them nearly impossible to see until the mold grows and becomes a problem. At My Pure Environment we provide mold removal from homes and businesses in the San Francisco area. If you’ve spotted mold on your houseplants and you’re wondering if it’s dangerous to your family, we want to help keep you safe.

Why Your Houseplants Grew Mold

Spotting white, fuzzy growth at the base of your house plant might cause you to think you messed up somewhere. Don’t worry—it’s not your fault. Mold growth on your houseplants doesn’t mean you have a dirty home. Some species of mold produce airborne spores that can travel into any building, even one that is cleaned regularly. Mold always seeks the right conditions to survive and grow, and one prime location for mold is in potting soil.

Here are three reasons why you found mold on the soil of your potted plants:

  1. Airborne mold found its way in, fed on the organic matter in the soil, and grew.
  2. You overwatered your houseplant, and created prime conditions for mold.
  3. The plant has poor drainage, light, and airflow.

Is the Mold on Your Plants Dangerous?

If you have been having symptoms of toxic mold exposure, like fatigue, sinus problems, excessive thirst, headaches, cough, and others, it’s not unreasonable to think that your moldy house plants are making you sick. There could be other areas of your house or business that you’re overlooking. Mold hides in spaces like air return vents that we don’t always notice.

The best course of action to take after experiencing symptoms of mold exposure or a mold allergy is:

  1. See your doctor.
  2. Get your home cleaned by a professional mold remediation company.
  3. Take preventative measures in the future.

Keep Mold Growth Off Your Houseplants and Garden Soil

Water According to Each Plant’s Needs

Not all plants need water on the same schedule. If you’re watering all your plants every day, you might be over-watering a few of them. Pots need proper drainage, as well. When water sits in the soil the plant roots can rot and mold can grow. Also, the type of container you choose is important. The outside of terra cotta pots are susceptible to mold because of their ability to pull moisture from the soil.

Prevent Mold from Popping Up

There are a few easy ways to treat the soil of your potted plants and discourage mold from growing in the first place. First, pick up any dead leaves that drop on the soil. Second, space your plants so they have “room to breathe.” Their leaves shouldn’t be rubbing against one another. People with green thumbs say that sprinkling cinnamon or baking soda on the topsoil or misting it with apple cider vinegar can naturally inhibit mold.

Leave Extra Soil Exposed to the Air

If you keep spare garden soil, or if you compost, you’ll want to make sure not to trap any moisture. A closed compost or soil bin sitting in the sun all day will become quite hot, then overnight without the sunshine, it will turn cold, resulting in condensation. All this moisture will invite mold growth.

Cleaning Your Home After Discovering Mold

At My Pure Environment, we know that the average homeowner can never completely eliminate mold from their home using their own methods, even if it was only on the houseplants. This is because of something we call the “mold load.” Because of how dangerous mold is, and how difficult it is to get rid of, we use our powerful dry fog technology. This reduces the mold concentration level for every building we treat to virtually zero.

The dry fog attaches to any mold spores it finds and kills them on contact, rendering them unable to grow and spread any further. We’ll work room by room through your home or office and clean it completely to eradicate any existing mold. Call us at (408) 741-9878 to schedule an inspection for your San Francisco home or office.

Image used under creative commons license – commercial use (6/3/2021) Annie Spratt (Unsplash)

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