Have you ever noticed a yellow fungus that grows from the soil of your potted plants? It might be surprising to hear that these mushrooms are not that uncommon. In fact, there’s a high chance that at least one of your plants housed them at some point in their life.
But what are these yellow mushrooms in houseplants, and what can you do to get rid of them?
What Are These Yellow Mushrooms in Houseplant?
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Generally speaking, the mushrooms that you’ll notice in your houseplants are Leucocoprinus birnbaumii. Since people commonly find them in homes and greenhouses, they refer to these fungi as flowerpot parasol or plantpot dapperling.
This fungus commonly starts out as a pale or bright yellow fuzzy patch on top of the soil. Then, it slowly develops into a large, tall, parasol-shaped mushroom.
When taking a closer look at the fungi cap, you’ll notice that it has a variety of bumps and lines, which some consider aesthetically pleasing. Additionally, while the mushroom does have gills, they are not attached to the stem. These details allow you to recognize it easily in contrast to other similar species.
Why Are There Yellow Mushrooms in Your Houseplant?
More often than not, the fungus was already present in the potting soil that came together with your plant. Unfortunately, if that’s the case, you won’t be able to completely get rid of the spores unless you change the soil completely. Keep in mind that, depending on the plant, that might have devastating effects on its health.
Although most store-bought plants are infested with these spores, they can only develop into yellow mushrooms when they meet certain conditions. More specifically, high humidity, soil moisture, and the presence of organic material in the soil are what promote the growth of these pesky fungi.
What Do They Do to the Plants?
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Leucocoprinus birnbaumii is a saprotrophic mushroom, meaning that it feeds on dead organic matter. In other words, it will eat insects, decaying potting material, and dead roots. Afterward, it will release waste into the soil that can be used by your plant as food. Therefore, they are not dangerous and shouldn’t put at risk the health of your plant.
Should You Remove These Yellow Mushrooms?
As previously mentioned, while they might not be very good-looking, these mushrooms can actually benefit your plant. However, please note that this species is toxic to animals and small children. When ingested, Leucocoprinus birnbaumii can cause diarrhea, vomiting, nausea, and other similar gastrointestinal upsets. So, if you want to be completely safe, you’ll need to get rid of this fungus.
How to Get Rid of Yellow Mushrooms
First, you’ll need to remove the caps as soon as possible, as they are responsible for spreading spores in the soil. That will also prevent the mushroom from infesting other nearby plants.
Then, you can either scrape off the top two inches of soil in the pot and replace it, or just change the soil entirely. If you opt for the latter, you’ll need to be careful not to damage the roots of your plant.
Once you’ve done that, you should drench the soil with a fungicide to kill any remaining spores. And don’t forget to adjust the conditions, by lowering the humidity of the room and the moisture of the soil to reduce the chance of future infestations.
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