Houseplants and Mold
Posted by Desirina on Monday, January 02, 2006
A few days ago, we looked at an article about the benefits of houseplants in improving indoor air quality. Indoor pollution like VOC's and other toxins can be broken down and minimized by houseplants, improving indoor air quality. Today's question addresses another aspect of keeping houseplants – their affect on a mold-allergy sufferer.

Q: I recently found out I'm allergic to mold. Could house plants be a cause?

A: Yes. House plants can grow mold. By themselves, houseplants generally will not cause excessive mold exposure, but if you're allergic to mold spores, you may want to take steps to control any possible mold growth.

Houseplants can attract mold because they offer the ideal conditions that mold needs to thrive: an organic food source and lots of moisture. Mold does well in areas which have high temperatures, high humidity, and little or no light. This basically describes the conditions surrounding a houseplant, especially an over-watered one.

Obviously, the most effective way to avoid mold on houseplants is simply getting rid of them. But for those who love houseplants, or whose mold allergy is not severe enough to warrant turning your green babies out in the cold, there are a few steps you can take to minimize the risk of mold growth in your houseplants.

  • Keep the soil a little on the dry side. Water with care and only as needed.

  • Don't let water accumulate in the houseplant's pot or the tray beneath.

  • Give plants more light by putting them in the sunniest windows.

  • Consistently remove any dead leaves; don't allow dying foliage to build up.

  • Monitor indoor humidity using a hygrometer to ensure that the general environment is not overly moist.

    On 1/3/2006 jerry wrote:
    One often overlooked cause of nasal problems is glade and other bathroom "fresheners". These sprays irritate a large percent of the population and are often transmitted on tissues left in the bathroom. If you have nasal problems and use these products, discontinue their use and you will likely see a huge improvement. A match is more effective and unlikely to cause a reaction.
    On 7/19/2007 mrsjody03 wrote:
    I have trouble with all of my house plants growing mold on them.what can I do to eliminate the problem if any
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