Mushrooms Orchids Repotting

Mushrooms Growing in an Orchid Pot

Mushrooms growing in the potting mix at the base of an orchid. Photo: www.asociacionmicologicamairei.com

Question: Small white mushrooms are growing next to my orchid. It finished flowering 2 weeks ago and seemed healthy until today. What should I do? Repot it? Or is the presence of these fungi a sign that the plant is doomed?

Charline Chevalier

Answer: The fungi you see live on decaying wood and other organic particles, not on plants, and are therefore harmless. So, no, your orchid is not in any way doomed nor is it even bothered by them.

The mushrooms we see are just the fruiting body of the fungus. The real fungus is the mycelium, the white filaments that inhabit the potting mix. Photo: www.sign-lang.uni-hamburg.de

You can cut the “mushrooms” off if they bother you, but that won’t really kill them. They’re only the fruiting body of the fungus, the real fungus being largely composed of mycelium (filaments) largely out of sight in the potting mix.

Time to Repot

The presence of fungi in an orchid pot is, however, a sign that the potting mix is starting to seriously decay and that, if it progresses too far, can negatively affect the future growth of the plant.

It would therefore be wise for you to repot your orchid eventually, perhaps in the spring, replacing the old mix with fresh mix. For that purpose, don’t use ordinary houseplant potting mix, but rather one especially designed for orchids and probably composed of bark, coconut fiber, sphagnum moss, perlite, clay pebbles, charcoal or similar products. 

You can find an orchid mix in any garden center as well as online.

Here’s an article to help you repot your plant: How to Repot an Orchid.

Garden writer and blogger, author of more than 60 gardening books, the laidback gardener, Larry Hodgson, lives and gardens in Quebec City, Canada. The Laidback Gardener blog offers more than 2,500 articles to passionate home gardeners, always with the goal of demystifying gardening and making it easier for even novice gardeners. If you have a gardening question, enter it in Search: the answer is probably already there!

1 comment on “Mushrooms Growing in an Orchid Pot

  1. My orchids are not bothered at all by fungi. In fact, I plant some of the common (and overly prolific) ones in rotting tree stumps full of oak leaves, to get the stumps to rot faster. I typically find neighbors to share the orchids with before the stump is completely decayed.

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