Click & Grow White Mold: What is it? And how to Remove it.

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When I was about 3 weeks into growing my first batch of plants in my Click & Grow Smart Garden 3 I noticed that the top of my seed pods was covered in white mold. Naturally, I was worried that this mold might damage my plants or even be harmful. So, I did some research, and here’s what I found.

The white mold that can sometimes grow on top of your Click & Grow seed pods is a type of common saprophytic fungus. This mold is completely harmless to humans and will not cause disease in your plants. However, if desired, it can easily be cleared away using only a paper towel.

In this post, I’ll go into a little more detail about what this mold is, what causes it, and how you can prevent and remove it to keep your Click & Grow in good working order.

What is the white mold on your Click & Grow?

The white mold that sometimes grows on top of the Click & Grow seed pods is a type of saprophytic fungus. Saprophytic fungi are common in nature and are one of the most active decomposers present in the soil. Sarophytic fungi, in fact, are an essential part of every ecosystem. Without them, organic material would not break down and we’d be living under a thick blanket of dead leaves and wood!

What does saprophytic mean?

The vast majority of fungi are saprophytic. This means that they feed exclusively on dead organic material, such as leaves and decaying plant material. Pathogenic fungi, in contrast, feed on living material.

Leading causes of white mold in your Click & Grow seed pods

Damp soil, poor drainage or contaminated soil are all leading causes of the saprophytic fungi that create the white mold you see growing on your Click & Grow. Because of the nature of wick hydroponics (the type of hydroponics system used by Click & Grow), the soil is continually damp and therefore can make a good environment for the fungi’s spores to germinate.

Mold (saprophytic fungi) growing around the base of a plant in a Click & Grwo Smart Garden 3

These spores exist everywhere and are very difficult to completely expunge from your environment, even from the Click & Grow Smart Soil itself. So you shouldn’t worry if you see white mold on your Click & Grow. It’s completely normal.

The fungi usually exist as invisible tubular structures called ‘hyphae’ that branch into dead organic matter and break it down. These hyphae can aggressively multiply in your Click & Grow to create visible white ‘mycelium’, especially within older pods where some of the organic matter has died.

Is the white mold on my Click & Grow harmful?

Can it make you sick?

No. Because the mold is saprophytic, it doesn’t feed off living material. Although it might not look very nice, it cannot make you sick and is not harmful to humans.

Can it cause problems for your plants?

In general, no. Because the type of fungi that constitutes the ‘mold’ are saprophytic (meaning it only feeds on dead organic material) it cannot cause problems like disease or damage to the plants growing in your Click & Grow Smart Garden.

In rare cases, if left unchecked, the fungi’s mycelium can start to fruit (creating mushrooms/toadstools). These fruiting bodies are harmless but can cause an unpleasant smell or smother young seedlings in the worst cases.

Removing white mold from your Click & Grow seed pods

Removing the white mold from your Click & Grow seed pods is only really necessary for aesthetic purposes as the fungi will not cause harm to your or your plants. However, should you still wish to remove it, then it’s super easy to do.

Wipe the mold away with a dry paper towel

Removing the fungi’s mycelium ( which creates the visible white mold) is straightforward. Grab a paper towel or dry cloth from the kitchen. Then, wrap it tightly around your index finger. Using this finger, gently scrape away the mold from around the base of each plant, being careful not to cause any damage to new seedlings or stems. It really is as simple as that!

Check out this quick video showing your exactly how to do it:

How to prevent white mold from growing on your Click & Grow

It’s very difficult to prevent white mold from forming on your Click & Grow seed pods. Saprophytic fungi are everywhere (which is a good thing) and their presence within the Smart Soil is completely normal. However, there are a couple of steps you can do to minimize the chances of mycelium (the visible white parts of the fungi) forming.

1. Remove dead and dying material from the base of your plants

Saprophytic fungi feed on dead organic material, breaking it down into nutrients that can then be reabsorbed. While this process is an essential function in nature, it can be halted by removing its food source. Keep removing as much dead material from around the base of your plants as you can. This can help to stop the fungi from growing too rapidly and forming the visible white mycelium.

2. Sprinkle cinnamon around the base of each plant

It may seem a little odd, but sprinkling a little cinnamon around the base of your plants can stop the fungi’s mycelium from forming and therefore preventing the white mold from appearing. Cinnamon is well known for its ability to prevent fungi from forming.

In conclusion

The white mold you see forming on your Click & Grow seed pods is caused by a harmless saprophytic fungus that is not dangerous to either you or your plants in the vast majority of cases. The main reason for removing it is purely aesthetic, but it can be done so easily using nothing more than a paper towel. Sprinkling a little cinnamon around the base of your plants and removing dead material can help to prevent the fungi from forming viable white mycelium.

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William, an experienced consultant and passionate advocate for technology and sustainability, is the founder of Smarter Home Gardens. William's journey into gardening began with the purchase of his first home, which came with a small backyard garden. Despite initial challenges brought about by limited space, soil, and sunlight, William's determination to create a vibrant garden led him to research and experiment with innovative gardening technologies and sustainable practices. Driven by his lifelong enthusiasm for technology and sustainability, William explored various gardening methods, including vertical gardening, hydroponics, companion gardening, and composting. Through these efforts, he realized that it was possible to combine his passions with his newfound love for gardening. Smarter Home Gardens was born out of William's desire to share his research and experiences with others, helping them create smarter gardens that leverage cutting-edge technology and contribute to a more nature-positive world. The blog offers in-depth articles on innovative gardening technologies and methods, helpful 'how-to' guides, reviews of the latest gardening technology, and research on cost-effective garden maintenance solutions. William's commitment to sustainable and technologically-driven gardening has made him a trusted voice in the field. His enthusiasm for creating gardens that work with the planet, rather than against it, is evident in every post he shares on Smarter Home Gardens. Through the blog, William hopes to engage with a wider audience, encouraging others to join him on this exciting journey towards smarter, more sustainable gardens.

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