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January 16, 2023

Mushrooms In Fiddle Leaf Fig (Complete Guide)

Are Fiddle Leaf Fig mushroom issues giving you a headache? If you’ve noticed mushrooms growing in your Fiddle Leaf Fig soil, don’t panic, there’s a solution to this pesky problem. This blog post will teach you how to spot the mushrooms in the soil, how to remove them, and how to prevent them in the future.

Mushrooms in Fiddle Leaf Fig are caused by a fungus, in most cases, Leucocoprinus Birnbaumii (Lepiota Lutea), also known as flower pot parasol, or yellow parasol. Mushrooms are the reproductive structure of a fungus that was introduced to the pot through either the potting mix or a fungal spore that floated through the air and landed in the pot, starting a colony in the Fiddle Leaf Fig soil.

The following research has shown what causes mushrooms in Fiddle Leaf Fig:

  • In 2021, Dr. Angela Madeiras, a Diagnostic Technician from the University of Massachusetts, Center for Agriculture, Food, and the Environment confirmed that mushrooms in houseplant pots are caused by Leucocoprinus Birnbaumii (Lepiota Lutea)
  • In 2007, Christine Engelbrecht, ​Plant Pathologist from the Iowa State University Extension and Outreach stated that Lepiota Lutea is the cause of mushrooms in houseplants
  • In 2011, Dusty Purcell, a Mycologist and Plant Pathologist from the University of Florida stated that Leucocoprinus Birnbaumii (Lepiota Lutea)  is the cause of mushrooms in houseplant pots

Mushrooms can also be caused by different types of fungi, but Lepiota Lutea is the one that is most commonly found in indoor plants, including Fiddle Leaf Fig. The fungal spores are tiny and spread easily, which means they can infest your Fiddle Leaf Fig quickly. Luckily, there are ways to treat mushrooms in Fiddle Leaf Figs and prevent them.

Mushrooms introduced to the pot from the potting mix on the left and spore flying through the air and to pot

Mushrooms can appear in the pot from two sources - a potting mix that you use for planting and through the air as a spore that comes from the mushrooms

What Do Mushrooms In Fiddle Leaf Figs Look Like?

Mushrooms in Fiddle Leaf Figs caused by Lepiota Lutea are small and lemon yellow in color. They are 1 to 3 inches tall and they have 1 to 2 inch bell-shaped or oval caps. Mushrooms in Fiddle Leaf Figs can appear individually or in clusters.

two yellow mushrooms in the soil

Yellow mushrooms growing in the soil

How To Remove Mushrooms From My Fiddle Leaf Fig Soil?

The best way to remove mushrooms from your Fiddle Leaf Fig soil is to pull them out of the soil (to remove them physically). Note that Lepiota Lutea mushroom breaks down dead organic matter in the pot, and is not harmful to plants, so you don’t have to remove the mushrooms for the sake of the Fiddle Leaf Fig plant’s health. The mushrooms don’t normally last for more than a day or two.

The following research and expert guidance illustrate these points:

  • In 2021, Dr. Angela Madeiras, a Diagnostic Technician from the University of Massachusetts, Center for Agriculture, Food, and the Environment confirmed that mushrooms may simply be removed from the soil and discarded.
  • In 2007, Christine Engelbrecht, ​Plant Pathologist from the Iowa State University Extension and Outreach stated that mushrooms in soil do not harm plants and that mushrooms don’t need to be removed for the plant’s sake
  • In 2011, Dusty Purcell, a Mycologist and Plant Pathologist from the University of Florida confirmed that mushrooms in soil don’t harm the plants they share potting soil with. He also confirmed that the mushrooms don’t last for more than a day or two

How to prevent mushrooms in Fiddle Leaf Fig Tree?

These are the crucial steps if you want to prevent mushrooms in Fiddle Leaf Figs:

  1. Give your Fiddle Leaf Fig tree enough natural light
  2. Provide your Fiddle Leaf Fig with optimal air circulation
  3. Use sterilized potting soil
  4. Repot your plant into a sterilized potting mix
Fiddle Leaf Fig plant outdoors, one half of it is lit by direct sunlight in front of a white window frame

Take your Fiddle Leaf Fig outside into direct sunlight to reduce the chance of mushrooms growing in your pot

Fungi and mushrooms thrive in wet Fiddle Leaf Fig soil and dark conditions. Plenty of bright light can reduce the chances of fungi multiplying as well as help your plant be healthier. Also, one of the best ways to prevent mushrooms in Fiddle Leaf Figs is to use soil that is sterilized. Sterilized potting mixes don’t contain fungal spores which cause mushroom growth. To find the best potting mix for a Fiddle Leaf Fig, check out the linked blog post.

If you’re dealing with mushroom problems, it’s a good idea to take your Fiddle Leaf Fig outside. Fresh air circulation and an abundance of natural light and direct sunlight will reduce the chances of fungi and mushrooms multiplying.

When it comes to light requirements, the more is the better for Fiddle Leaf Figs. Adequate light is vital for plant health. Your Fiddle Leaf Fig will photosynthesize more if you provide it with more light. Photosynthesis consumes a lot of energy, so the plant will use more water. This means that the roots will spend less time in moist soil, which also lowers the chances of fungal infection and root rot. If the Fiddle Leaf Fig soil stays damp too long due to over watering, it will dry out faster outside than it would inside your home.

Keep in mind that you should expose your Fiddle Leaf Fig to direct sun gradually. The plant needs time to acclimatize to full sun, or it will get sunburnt.

Fiddle Leaf Fig in a white pot in front white background

An abundance of bright light is crucial for growing vigorous Fiddle Leaf Fig Trees

If you want to prevent mushroom new growth in your Fiddle Leaf Fig, you should repot the plant and give it fresh sterilized soil, to make sure there are no fungi spores that can cause the mushrooms to sprout again.

To repot, gently remove as much Fiddle Leaf Fig soil as possible from the roots, to minimize the risk of contaminating fresh soil with fungi spores. Wash the roots under water. In case you notice any mushy, brown, or smelly roots, prune them. If you see any mushrooms growing from the plant’s roots, pull them out. Repot your Fiddle Leaf Fig in a clean or new pot with drainage holes, and use well-draining, porous potting soil. This will prevent over watering and potential mushroom growth down the road.

Also, check what is the best potting mix for a Fiddle Leaf Fig in this blog post.

Ficus Lyrata next to two pots and soil that is on the ground and in the pots

Repot your Fiddle Leaf Fig in fresh spore-free soil to prevent mushrooms from sprouting

Final Thoughts

Although Fiddle Leaf Fig mushroom issues are troublesome and sometimes unsightly, there are ways to both prevent mushroom growth in Fiddle Leaf Fig soil and treat it if it happens. Just be vigilant and pay attention to your Fiddle Leaf Fig’s requirements and you will succeed in growing a lush plant that’s more resilient to fungal growth.

Yours Truly,

Mr.Houseplant-signature-tr

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