Mushrooms popping up in your houseplant soil? No need for concern friends. It’s actually a sign of good luck in some cultures! These saprophytic fungi don’t harm your plants and in fact, they can even help them.
This is a perfect opportunity to explore the relationship between soil microbes and how they interact with our houseplants. Let's dig in!
Leucocoprinus birnbaumii and Leucocoprinus straminellus are the most common type of mushrooms found in houseplant soil . Also known as the ‘flowerpot parasol’ these fungi are a saprophytic (not parasitic) type of mushroom.
Leucocoprinus birnbaumii, image via INaturalist
What does saprophytic mean?
It means they get their nourishment from decaying matter in the soil like compost, expired roots, leaves, or dead insects. They then turn this matter brilliantly into food for your plants to absorb! The part we see popping up is the fruiting body or the reproductive part of the mycelium aka the mushroom.
Quite often these mushrooms are an indication of overwatering or insufficient drainage, but occasionally they’ve just sporulated and hitched a ride inside your potting soil or nursery pot! Flowerpot Parasols are the most common mushrooms found growing throughout greenhouses and nurseries.
What should you do about these mushrooms?
Totally up to you. Aesthetically if you like the look, just leave them alone. As long as the soil is moist, they will spread and continue to grow making a lovely contrast of color and texture along your topsoil.
Not loving that look, or have pets or children who might try to eat them? Then it’s best to remove and dispose of them as they are considered toxic to consume.
We created this post as an answer to a dm from a customer. She reached out after applying our Sacred Soil Tonic because these mushrooms appeared shortly afterward. She wrote asking if had anything to do with our tonics?
The answer? Yes and No.
It's complicated to say for sure why they popped up in her houseplant as every plant lives in its own unique ecosystem. These ecosystems are a beautifully intricate and incredibly complex relationship between soil microbes including bacteria and fungi & the houseplant. Various inputs such as our botanical extracts play a positive role in that relationship!
We’re thrilled to see how continued use of our plant care tonics plays a vital, positive role in helping this ecosystem to thrive! Mushrooms, worms, microbes and mycelium work in unison to boost the immunity of your plants while eliminating the number of soil borne pests like fungus gnats.
How? Our Sacred Soil & Sacred Leaf tonics provide nutrients that feed the microbes and fungal networks to create a diverse & healthy living soil ecosystem. When that ecosystem is thriving, it’s no longer an environment for pests. They tend to set up homes where the environment is out of balance.
Our Sacred Soil Tonic contains concentrated extracts from plants such as neem, soapnut, aloe, kelp, live sprouts that simultaneously encourages a healthy soil ecosystem while helping to deter pests!
Want to dig more deeply into the science behind our tonics? Here are a few other blog posts you might enjoy:
Happy growing friends!