Why Is There Mould In Your Greenhouse?

Wednesday 26th April 2023

Ellen Warren

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Mould on greenhouse window

CONTENTS

It can be incredibly frustrating when your greenhouse becomes victim to mould, damaging the plants and infecting the soil. Unfortunately, greenhouses are the perfect environment for mould to begin growing and quickly spread without professional intervention.

Here at ICE Cleaning, our rapid and thorough mould remediation services can make your greenhouse safe, again. Our Dewpoint-accredited technicians can determine the root cause of the mould and will advise you on how to prevent it in the future.

Read on to learn more about why mould grows in your greenhouse and what you can do to prevent its growth.

What is the mould in your greenhouse?

Mould is a fungus that grows in humid, moist environments and requires a source of water and produce to sustain itself. It can affect your health when inhaled, touched, or ingested, and you may experience symptoms like sneezing, coughing, and eye irritation.

If your greenhouse is made of wood, mould could affect its structural integrity if left alone, which will require the intervention of a mould removal company.

There are three types of mould that you might see growing in your greenhouse, and they can all affect your plants in various ways:

Grey mould

Botrytis cinerea grows on leaves and small fruits and is known for its ash-grey appearance. It survives on the plant’s nutrients and kills it with toxic secretions.

Sooty mould

Various fungi will collect and produce dark growths and spores, and can often be found on the plant's upper leaves. It thrives on sugar-rich plants like honeydew that attract insects like aphids or ants.

Powdery mildew

This fungal disease infects plant stems, flowers, fruit, and general foliage. It affects fruit and vegetable plants, covering the surface with white, powdery patches that can be difficult to see.

How does mould grow in greenhouses?

Greenhouses provide a perfect environment for mould due to their high humidity, moisture, and produce that are prone to decomposition with poor care.

If your plants are crowded close together and overwatered, the risk of mould growth increases. Poor air circulation also encourages the mould to grow and spread spores across the greenhouse.

Plants that produce sap and sugar are at a higher risk of mould growth due to the type of fungi that thrive on high-sugar contents. If your plants start to die, the mould will remain to feed off the decomposing organics.

Can mould affect plants and soil?

If there is mould on the soil in your greenhouse, there is no cause for alarm just yet. You may spot a white, fine dusting across the dirt, which is quite a common occurrence, and harmless in this form.

Mould on soil indicates that you are overwatering your plant, or it is in a dormant season. If you start to see grey, white, or black mould growing on your plants, then there is a chance your plant could die.

You may start to see mould growing on the leaves or stems of your plant, which can harm your plants significantly if left alone. Grey mould causes leaves to turn yellow and fall off and stems to become discoloured and stunted in their growth.

Sooty mould is a warning sign for leaf spot disease, leading to wilting and death. Powdery mildew also harms the leaves, becoming brittle and falling off the plant, eventually killing it.

It is important to remember that mould can appear in various colours like pink, red, yellow, blue, or orange. Even though it is less common, it is still something to keep an eye on.

How to prevent mould growth in your greenhouse

The best way to prevent mould from growing in your greenhouse is to purchase a thermometer and hygrometer to keep track of the temperature and humidity. You should keep humidity under 80% and ensure the temperature ideally remains at 15°c.

You must also keep air circulating in the greenhouse and give the plants plenty of space to prevent mould growth. Purchasing a fan heater for your greenhouse can solve any circulation and temperature issues you may be having. These will regulate temperature and keep the air moving.

The amount of water your plants have during specific seasons has an impact on mould growth, too. You should avoid watering on wet, cold days with high humidity and water on sunny days where the plants dry quickly to keep mould at bay.

Avoid watering the leaves if you can, as well, as moisture on their extremities may encourage mould growth. Following all these steps will also keep the structural integrity of your greenhouse safe and free from mould.

What to do if mould is in your greenhouse

If you spot mould on your plants or the structure of your greenhouse, you must act quickly to prevent further growth. You should empty the greenhouse of all produce and water sources and air them outside to slow the mould progression.

DIY solutions for mould on plants can vary from vinegar solutions to specialised mould removers. However, if the mould has spread to the structure of your greenhouse, you must not attempt to clean it yourself.

Trying to scrub or clean the surface mould on wood may only encourage the spread of mould spores and further damage the rotting structure. You might also be at risk of inhaling the mould spores, which can trigger allergy-like symptoms and worse ailments for immunocompromised or asthmatic individuals like:

  • Headaches
  • Coughing
  • Body aches
  • Shortness of breath
  • Fatigue
  • Sinusitis
  • Skin rashes

Your greenhouse's integrity is also in danger of collapsing due to the mould eating away at the structure or rotting the wood. You must open all doors and windows to the greenhouse to air out the area and stay away from it until mould removal services arrive.

Get in touch

We are a mould remediation company that can remove all the mould in your home, car, and greenhouse. We are available nationwide, 24/7, every day of the year.

If you want to know more about our industrial-grade cleaning services, you can contact our friendly team by calling 0208 066 0360 or sending an inquiry to enquiries@icecleaning.co.uk.

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