The Carnivorous Plant FAQ v. 11.5
- courtesy of -
The International Carnivorous Plant Society

Q: What should I do about white fuzzy mold?

Dionaea
No fungus on me!
A: Here is the skinny on Venus flytraps and mold.

If you have white fuzzy mold growing on your Venus flytraps, either you should not worry, or you should worry. Here's why.

Don't worry:
That white fuzzy mold is a saprophyte. That means it only eats dead stuff. Apparently, your plant has some dead tissue, and the mold is just surviving on it. The mold will not spread to your plant, do you not have to worry. Relax! Your plant is just doing what it does normally; it is growing new leaves that will replace the old and dead ones.

Worry:
If you are not growing your plant properly, it could be in its death throes. And that mold? It is feasting on the newly dead tissues. Yum yum! And in the coming weeks? Your plant will continue to die, and the mold will continue to feast. So that mold might be a warning that your plant is in serious trouble!

How can you tell which situation you are in? Well, if the fungus is working on just one leaf, or perhaps just a little tissue around the base of the plant, then there isn't much to worry about. But if the whole plant is starting to collapse, and the bases of all the leaves have suddenly gone all limp and nasty, worry.

What should you do? There is no point to try to kill the fungus. If you read the above carefully, you can see that the fungus is merely a symptom of dead tissue. Killing the fungus will not help your plant---new fungal spores will germinate anyway. If your plant is going to die because of fungus, it is because your other cultivation methods are in error. Fix them.

Page citations: Personal observation.

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Revised: December 2007
©Barry Rice, 2005