What, you say? Houseplant mushrooms? Yes, believe it or not your indoor plants can develop fungi. Here’s what my sansevieria looked like a couple of days ago:
This lovely yellow mushroom is more properly identified as Leucocoprinus birnbaumii — and no, silly, of course I didn’t know that. I wrote a book on how to style with houseplants, not houseplant mushrooms and diseases. Ew. But I digress. I’ll never remember Leucocoprinus birnbaumii so we’ll just keep calling it the yellow houseplant mushroom.
So what causes this? Contaminated potting soil or mulch. I thought it might have something to do with overwatering, as one might think when dealing with mushrooms, but this is not the case. That one I knew without looking it up, because the yellow houseplant mushroom developed in my healthy Sansevieria pot. If I overwatered it, it wouldn’t be healthy — in fact, it would be dead. So, contaminated soil it is. Now that I know what it is and what caused it, what to do? There are several options:
- Totally replace the soil in that container. Some of the mushroom spores could still be attached to your plant’s roots, though, just FYI.
- Remove the yellow mushroom and spores. Just know, they can come back because they are difficult to get rid of.
- Throw the plant out. That would settle it, eh?
I’m not throwing out my Sansevieria. So I am going to opt for Door #1, replace the soil in the container, and see if that works. I’m all about trying the least invasive or severe option first.
Now, here’s the deal: They are not known to be poisonous, but nor are they mushrooms of the edible variety, so it’s best to not eat them. However, they will not hurt your healthy houseplant, so if you delight in The Little Shop of Horrors kind of houseplants (it’s October, after all), then just leave them be. They may spread to your other plants, however, so I personally would not do this or recommend that you do it. I’m just sayin’, is all.
And if you are a mushroom nerd, or have room in your brain for somewhat useless information, you can check out this site that will tell you all about the microscopic features of the yellow houseplant mushroom. Me? I’m getting a cocktail. Now, that’s useful.