Mold spores can spread by air, soil and direct contact […]
Mold spores can spread by air, soil and direct contact with an infected plant. Flower pots may develop mold inside as a result of an infected plant in the container or soil left behind that is still harboring spores. You need to sterilize soil and containers before you reuse them to prevent the disease from coming back.
Consistently damp soil creates an environment for mold growth. Ensuring your soil has adequate drainage can help guard against disease. Mold spores can continue to live in the soil after a contaminated plant has been removed. Soil should always be pasteurized before planting. Bagged potting soil from the garden center is typically pasteurized. Whenever you reuse potting soil from one season to the next, you should heat the soil in an oven to kill any harmful pathogens.
Thousands of mold spores can live on a single plant leaf. Just one spore can cause a healthy plant to become diseased. A flower pot in which one of these contaminated plants is growing is likely to come in contact with the spores and become a host for the disease.
Reusing flower pots cuts costs and reduces waste, but mold can live on a container even after the soil and plant are removed. If a new plant or soil is put in this pot, it can also become infected. Mold on a pot isn't always visible. Whenever you reuse a flower pot, you should sterilize it using a solution of 1 part bleach to 9 parts water. Soak the pots in the solution for 10 to 15 minutes, then rinse them and allow them to dry.
While gardening, use good control practices including keeping your tools sterilized and water your plants only as needed. Plants that are stressed are more susceptible to disease, so keeping your plants in good health helps prevent disease problems.