Slime Mold

| June 20, 2012

I did my usual container garden and plant check this morning and was greeted by a thick off white moldy type of thing. It almost looked like someone took tapioca pudding and plopped it onto the soil and molded a bit around the bottom of the basil plant.

After getting my glasses (and camera) to investigate further, my gut told me this pudding like mass wasn’t harmful. It seemed to slowly and lovingly engulf the basil plant. The plant appeared to be wearing a custom fit jacket.

Slime Mold and Basil Plant

Slime mold engulfing basil plant

Slime Mold

A Ball of Slime Mold

The basil leaves looked no worse for the wear, but the mold was rather unattractive. Whether it was a good or bad thing, I decided to remove most of the mold from the plant so I took a pair of tongs and gently removed it.

It came of easily and the basil is no worse for the wear.

What was that Thick Slimy Stuff?

I searched on Google and found this page  on the Clemson University site that called this thing slime mold. In their picture caption they describe it as “dog vomit mold.” They also confirmed my gut feeling that it was harmless and wouldn’t hurt my plants or vegetables.

It will disappear on its own in dry weather, but since we’re heading into a spell of 90 degree heat with matching humidity, it won’t go away any time soon. I did manage to leave just a small patch of the mold in tact to observe its behavior. Who knows, when I wake up tomorrow it might be all over the basil again. If that’s the case, I’ll leave it be.

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Category: Container Gardening, Gardening

About the Author ()

Felicia is a bit of a tree hugger and likes to share ways to lighten the toxic burden on the environment.

Comments (1)

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  1. Joni says:

    It’s weird how we learn so much from nature. I’m like you, not a “regular” gardener. But that does look “yucky” (I’ve learned yucky is not always bad). But I am interested to see if it returns. Let us know.
    Joni