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Slime mold

July 21, 2018


I have a lot of weird spores growing in my flower gardens. They look like someone has thrown up. They are yellow, pink and brown. This is the year I put hardwood mulch down. I was going to spray but am wondering what I should use.

AnswerYou have slime mold. This is a very basic type of fungal organism and comes in a wide range of colors. It isn’t hurting anything, but it does look pretty gross. Rake it off, wash it off with a strong spray of water and lightly turn the mulch, aerating the mulch. When it is done breaking down, it will go away on its own.


June 11, 2016


QuestionMy son has an orange fungus or something on the mulch in his flower bed.  Some mornings he says it has spread across most of the bed.  If water is poured on it, a "smoke" goes up.  Do you know what this is?



We have seen a lot of slime mold this year with all the rain and humidity.  Slime mold is also called dog vomit fungus.  It can come in a lot of colors including orange, yellow, green and even blue.  The “smoke” that you see coming off of it, is actually the fungal spores.  These fungi feed on decaying organic matter, bacteria and yeasts, so they can be common during warm, wet conditions on mulch.  Thankfully they look worse than they are.  Just hose it down or use a rake to turn the mulch.  When it dries out, they won’t be around.  


July 2010

QuestionI have what I think might be a fungus growing under my hosta plants. It looks like melted parmesan or mozzarella cheese. Do you know what it is and how I get rid of it?


AnswerIt is slime mold. Slime molds produce relatively large, single-celled bodies called plasmodia. Plasmodia are the feeding stages of slime molds, and they are frequently seen on lawns, mulch, and decaying wood in summer. Just remove it or lightly turn the soil. It can grow back when conditions are right for it. Slime molds don't harm plants but they aren't the most attractive thing either. They will eventually break down and disappear.


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