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does anyone know what this is?

(7 Posts)
Gatekeeper Wed 08-Jun-16 08:40:02

it's growing on the root ball of my chocolate mint and also growing on the outside of the terracotta pot it's growing in. Plant is vigorous and healthy, neither too dry or too wet. Nothing crawling around- no root aphids; substance is almost waxy which suggests this but I don't think it is esp with it growing on outside of pot. Doesn't look like crown rot either

Googled till eyes are googly .HELP...I loves me chocolate mint

No comments on how I should be wearing gloves or using handcream- my 52 year old careworn hands are beyond redemption grin

shovetheholly Wed 08-Jun-16 08:53:41

Hmmmmmm, it looks like some kind of fungus or slime mould. My guess - and it is just a guess - is that it's caused by the damp soil that mint likes and something in the compost that is still being broken down - sometimes I find similar white mould in the middle of sacks of compost. It doesn't seem to be damaging your plant, so it's not feeding off that. I wouldn't worry too much about it - you could always cover the bottom with a fresh load of compost to make it look more attractive.

Gatekeeper Wed 08-Jun-16 08:57:18

it's all through the rootball but am going to leave it for now and see what happens next. Never had this on a plant before so an unknown quantity

shovetheholly Wed 08-Jun-16 09:06:47

Thinking about this - the challenge is that mint likes it fairly damp, but so does mould. I'm wondering if one thing you could do is to improve drainage a little in the pot - not to make it alpine-like or anything like that, but just a bit to get rid of any compaction issues and loosen it up a little. I'm saying this on pure gut instinct, not on knowledge at all so it might be a totally stupid idea. grin. Also, getting it somewhere with some air movement may help.

The main thing is whether it's affecting the plant, and your mint looks strong and healthy, which is a relief. It does look alarming, but perhaps it's not as much of a concern as it appears?

I had a quick google and there are people sprinkling cinnamon and athlete's foot powder (!) on the soil. The former sounds like it might be worth a try??

Kr1stina Wed 08-Jun-16 14:11:08

I have no idea either. But since you love the plant so much , I'd dig out a few small pieces, wash the compost off them and replant in a clean pot and fresh compost .

That way you have an insurance if it's something nasty and your plant succumbs to it . As it's very vigorous , you will have a new pot in no time

Cathpot Wed 15-Jun-16 20:08:42

There is a white fungus that grows through bark chips and those chocolate bean shells you can use as mulch that is actually benficial- I only know this as I read it on the chocolate bean bag and then saw it in barkchips too. Maybe take some cuttings as back up? Don't know about chocolate mint but ordinary mint you can just leave a stem in a glass of water and it will root- (apologies if I'm teaching you to suck eggs- particularly as I'm a beginner! )

Cathpot Wed 15-Jun-16 20:15:12

archive.bio.ed.ac.uk/jdeacon/FungalBiology/mycorhiz.htm

Page of happy fungal news here

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