Sclerotinia stem rot, which primarily affects field crops, is white mold (white fungus on succulents).
It’s a widespread problem for soybean farmers, and it might take years to eradicate it from farm soils. Powdery mildew is a common houseplant condition that’s easy to treat. If your succulent has white mold on it, it’s more than likely powdery mildew.
It resembles a white powdery mold and can survive on succulent stems and fleshy leaves.
In our guide, you can learn about white stuff on succulent leaves as it can differ from the above. By the end, you’ll know what attacks succulents and how you can deal with infected leaves. (Read Are Succulents Poisonous To Dogs)
How Do Succulents Get Mold?
Mold growing on your succulents can be a common occurrence. However, before looking at how to treat succulent mold, it will help to know how it grows on your plant.
Mold grows in wet environments and from spores that float in the air and land on soil or other damp surfaces. Over-watering plants increase spore moisture availability.
Watering succulents differ from watering everyday houseplants. Succulents have bigger leaves and longer roots and stalks. As a result, they can carry more water and go longer between refills.
Not Enough Sunlight
Insufficient sunlight is another significant cause of mold. Succulents love light. Outdoors, they can get up to 6 hours of sun. Indoor succulents need to be placed in the brightest part of the house to get enough light. Mold is more prone to form if the plant is not fed.
If you neglect your plant, mold will grow. Succulents are low maintenance and easy to care for, but they take time and effort. In addition, neglecting your plant fosters fungal disease. Incorrect irrigation, lighting, and cleaning are examples. (Read Is Sedum Poisonous To Dogs)
Different Mold Types
Before you ask how to get rid of mold on your plants, it is good to know the different molds.
- Green mold: Green mold is the most frequent sort of fungus you’ll find in your home. Green mold can develop on various foods, walls, and plants.
- White mold: This mold isn’t one form of mold in particular. Molds can appear white and grow on various surfaces in your home, including wood, soil, and paper.
- Black mold: Many people are alarmed when they hear the word black mold, yet not all black mold is harmful. This fungus usually thrives in wet locations outside or plant soil indoors.
Not only can you tell what species of fungus it is by its color, but you can also categorize it according to its health hazards. Molds harmful to your health can be classified into three groups: allergic, pathogenic, and toxigenic.
- Allergenic mold can trigger allergic reactions in people who already have allergies or illnesses like asthma.
- Pathogenic: This type of mold is pathogenic, which means it can harm those who already have illnesses or have weakened immune systems. Pathogenic fungi can cause illness or health problems.
- Toxic Mold: Toxic mold can be harmful to everyone. It can lead to significant health problems and death in the worst-case scenario.
How Do I Identify the Different Types of Mold?
Every succulent lover should know the difference between types of mold as it helps determine the best treatments. However, even while you may not tell which sort of fungus is infecting your succulent with certainty, there are a few broad signs to watch for:
- White Mold: You’ll find this common and easy to identify. It has a fuzzy or cotton-like appearance and will be white. The fungus can be found on any part of the plant, and white mold most times can be harmless.
- Grey Mold: Grey mold will have a powdery appearance and a grey tint. This type of fungus is frequently found around the plant’s roots in the soil, on the stem, or where the plant is most full. If left unchecked, grey mold will eventually kill infected plants.
- Black sooty mold: Some black growths have a sooty texture and can be black or dark green in appearance. This mold can be found on the soil and at the stem or base of your plant.
Simple methods can be effective in getting rid of mold.
Use Neem Oil
Neem oil also works well. However, it would help if you use caution, as this horticultural oil can harm plants. Test the oil on one leaf first. After 24 hours, you can spray the entire plant if it’s okay. Spray Neem oil at night or when the plant is not in direct sunlight. This may harm the foliage.
What is Powdery Mildew?
Succulents are susceptible to powdery mildew, a fungal disease that affects a variety of plants. Powdery mildew can harm legumes, nightshades, cucurbits, and other plants in addition to succulents.
When the fungus takes over succulents, powdery mildew spores sit on the top of the leaves. Unfortunately, this pathogenic fungi can infect nearby plants when spores get blown in the wind.
An essential step into killing powdery mildew is how to identify it. First, you will notice powdery mildew as white fuzz. Once you notice white fuzz in circular spots, your entire succulent looks as if you have dusted it and the powdery coating in flour.
As stated previously, powdery mildew spreads via the air to other plants. You could think you have healthy plants, but dormant spores can create fresh outbreaks on your succulent plants or other plants.
Powdery mildew thrives in temperatures between 60- and 80-degrees Fahrenheit. Colder and wetter climates slow the spores’ spread.
How To Kill Powdery Mildew?
To prevent powdery mildew, you need lots of air circulation and light conditions in your gardening spaces. Baking Soda is among the more widespread organic solutions to treat powdery mildew.
Baking soda mixed with dish soap and water can help get rid of mold, black fungus, and powdery mildew. (Learn How To Plant Succulents In Pots Without Drainage Holes)
Since succulent leaves are durable compared to normal plants, you can wipe the mold away using this mild solution and a cloth. Purchase a spray bottle so you can simply spray the mixture onto your entire succulent and its leaves.
- In one gallon of water, mix one tablespoon of baking soda and one teaspoon of liquid soap.
- Spray on your infected plants and the cottony substance every one or two weeks.
Potassium bicarbonate, sometimes known as baking soda, has the benefit of removing powdery mildew after it has been discovered. Powdery mildew spores are readily killed by potassium bicarbonate, which is a contact fungicide.
Vinegar’s acetic acid controls powdery mildew, and all you need is 2-3 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar that is at least 5% acetic acid to 1 gallon of water.
However, larger quantities of vinegar (above 5%) are more beneficial, but too much could harm your plants. You can help with a non-chemical approach to help eradicate powdery mildew.
Most succulents affected need to be managed in their surroundings. Plant your succulents in full light that has lots of air circulation.
Controlling humidity and leaf moisture is critical, so don’t overplant. Instead, allow lots of space between your succulents on a windowsill to improve air circulation and reduce humidity.
If you use any pruning tools, make sure these are sterilized before you work on your succulents.
What If I Have A Mealybug Infestation?
Mealybugs are found in warmer climates, where they spread quickly. The cotton mealybug eats healthy leaves on succulents. Mealybugs can’t get between the leaves of Echeveria, Crassula, and Aeonium tabuliforme.
Succulents can be infested and destroyed by them, so keep checking your plants for actual bugs as the leaves distort. To treat these pests, only systemic insecticides work, whereas contact insecticides like cypermethrin fail.
These insects release a sugary substance that attracts ants and fights off predatory insects to protect themselves from predatory insects. A white or round yellow cottony material resembling fungus could be an egg nest. Once they hatch and feed, new growth will be deformed or smaller than usual.
To deal with mealybugs doesn’t take too much apart from time. First, prepare to clean your sick plants by removing them from the pot and rinsing them thoroughly. Many plant herbicides kill mealybugs, but 70% isopropyl alcohol is the best solution.
The alcohol is often applied with cotton buds, although a spray bottle is more effective and easier to handle. 70% Isopropyl Alcohol is readily available. All you do is spray the isopropyl alcohol directly on the mealybugs and spray the whole plant, especially the concealed spaces near the stem where tiny bugs can hide.
The alcohol evaporates quickly, killing the Mealybugs. The cottony texture breaks up, and the grayish-white bugs turn crimson red.
After the alcohol evaporates, wash your plant with a strong water spray to remove the dead bugs. Then, keep looking for bugs on the plant for a few days. If they persist, reapply the alcohol as needed.
If you spot mealybugs early, they can be destroyed with a single round of alcohol spray. However, it only takes a few days for them to re-spread. So keep spraying them until they vanish.
Using 70% Isopropyl Alcohol is safe for most succulents and produces significant results. However, some succulents, such Echeveria Blue Sky, Graptoveria Debie, and Graptoveria amethorum plants may face slight burning if exposed to 70% alcohol. Luckily, the alcohol evaporates quickly, so there shouldn’t be too many health risks where you lose leaves.
With all the details above, if you have mealybugs eating your succulents, powdery mildew on the leaves, you have all you need to combat these issues with things from around the home.