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What is the white fungus on top soil?

Updated February 21, 2017

The white fungus growing on the top soil in your garden or container is a harmless type of white mould. It indicates stressful conditions for your plant but is not harmful.

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All moulds are types of fungus. The white mould that appears on the topsoil is a harmless fungus, but white mould or fungus on the plant is a sign of a bigger problem.


White mould on top soil usually means the soil is receiving too much water and not drying out. The soil could also be too dense or compact so that air and water are not flowing freely through it.


If the white mould is only on the top layer of soil, scrape it up with a fork and decrease the frequency of watering the plant receives. You can also replant your plant in fresh soil and a clean container.


Always plant house plants in containers with drainage holes to allow access water to flow out. Add several inches of crushed rock to the bottom of the container before you plant to improve drainage.


Better light and air circulation help keep all plants healthy. Shift your plant to a sunnier location or place a fan nearby to improve air circulation and prevent fungus from occurring.

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A successful website writer since 1998, Elton Dunn has demonstrated experience with technology, information retrieval, usability and user experience, social media, cloud computing, and small business needs. Dunn holds a degree from UCSF and formerly worked as professional chef. Dunn has ghostwritten thousands of blog posts, newsletter articles, website copy, press releases and product descriptions. He specializes in developing informational articles on topics including food, nutrition, fitness, health and pets.

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