Mushrooms are one of the most well-known fungi. These little friends can be found growing almost everywhere, from decaying wood to coffee grounds or ocean floors. They always find a way to thrive. However, mushrooms can also make their new home in your pot with Monstera in it.
These usually don’t pose any threat to your plant. They can even be a sign of extra healthy soil. But there are also some mushrooms that can be toxic and harm you or the plant.
In this article, we’ll explore all about the relationship between your plants and mushrooms and see if there’s something you should watch out for.
What are those Mushrooms Growing in your Monstera?
If you’ve noticed white mushrooms growing in your Monstera plant’s soil, don’t panic!
These fungi are actually a natural part of the plant’s ecosystem. Monstera plants have a symbiotic relationship with saprophytic fungi, which feed on decaying organic matter in the soil and help break it down into nutrients that the plant can use.
In exchange, the plant provides the fungi with a steady source of food in the form of dead or dying plant material.
The white mushrooms you see growing in your Monstera’s soil are likely one of these saprophytic fungi, and they’re a sign that your plant’s soil is healthy and thriving.
While it might seem strange to have mushrooms growing in your houseplant, they’re actually a good indication that your Monstera is well-cared-for and thriving in its environment.
How do Mushrooms get to the Soil?
Potting soil is generally a combination of different organic materials. The exact ratio depends on the type and the way of the use of the soil mix. Because these organic materials are, well, natural, they can also contain mushroom spores. Additionally, if you’ve previously grown other plants in the same pot and didn’t sterilize it properly, the spores may have transferred over to your Monstera.
The mushrooms may not even appear right away. In fact, spores can usually last for several years, waiting for the right conditions to start sprouting.
Are Mushrooms Bad for your Plant?
While mushrooms growing in your Monstera plant’s soil may seem concerning, they are generally not harmful to the plant itself. In fact, they are quite beneficial by helping to break down organic matter in the soil.
However, an excessive amount of mushrooms growing there may indicate some underlying issues. Your soil may be way too moist, or there is a buildup of organic matter. Both these issues can lead to root rot and other problems.
Additionally, not all mushrooms are safe. Some can produce toxins that are harmful to your plant and even to animals and humans. It’s always a good idea to avoid touching or ingesting any mushrooms that you’re not familiar with. If you’re concerned, look into an encyclopedia and try to identify what type of fungi you are dealing with.
Should you Remove Mushrooms or Replant your Monstera?
As was already said, these mushrooms are usually quite beneficial for the plant. But many people find them nasty (I am the people…).
The mushrooms are not something the plant won’t survive without. But they can effectively replace at least some types of fertilizers. However, if you find them uncomfortable, I would definitely remove them.
There are quite a few routes you can take for that. It can also be effectively done without chemicals. Let’s take a look at them.
How to Remove Mushrooms from Monstera
The easiest way to remove mushrooms from your Monstera is to simply pluck the mushrooms out of the soil by hand. Be sure to wear gloves when doing this to avoid touching the mushrooms directly.
After you get rid of the visible parts of the mushrooms, the mycelium can still be spread around the soil. I had a lot of success with aerating the soil with a fork or any other utensil. This will break up the soil and disrupt the mycelium, making it harder for it to spread and reducing the chance of future mushroom growth.
Alternatively, you can use a trowel or a spoon to scrape the surface of the soil and remove the mushrooms and any surrounding organic matter. You can then aerate the soil as in the previous method to break up any mycelium residues.
To get rid of the mushrooms once and for all, you can either replant your Monstera to fresh soil or use a chemical fungicide. I would recommend replanting the plant. Fungicides can be pricy and may not be exactly the most environmentally friendly solution.
You are anyway supposed to replant your plants every one to two years. You can simply wait for the first spring day and replant your Monstera to new, well-draining soil. This not only helps get rid of any unwanted mushrooms but can also give your plant a fresh start with new nutrients and better drainage.
Finding white, yellow, or any other colored mushrooms growing in your Monstera plant is not uncommon and can be caused by a variety of factors. These mushrooms are not harmful to your plant, and there is nothing to be alerted about, at least until there your entire pot is covered in these.
An excessive amount of mushrooms may be a sign that your watering schedule needs adjustments. Fungi do well in moist environments, so you are either watering too much or the soil has poor drainage.
To solve that, I would recommend replanting your Monstera in fresh, well-draining soil. This will not only eliminate the visible mushrooms but also help with the mycelium that can be spread around the whole surface.