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Can Hydroponics Grow Mold? [Expert Answer]

Can Hydroponics Grow Mold?

Yes. Mold in your hydroponics system is possible. One plant in your hydroponic system affected by mold can mean the difference between harvest and a dead garden. If you noticed the speckles of dusty mildew on your plants, the best thing to do would be to ensure it does not spread and get rid of it immediately. 

If not, you will find yourself throwing all your plants in the garbage bin and counting your losses. In this article, we are going to walk you through how to eliminate and prevent mold on hydroponic plants and keep your crop safe from any fungal menace.

can hydroponics grow mold

How to Get Rid of Mold on Hydroponics

If you’ve noticed a dusting of mold on the leaves of your plants, you need quickly get rid of it before it destroys the plants. In some cases, mold can prevent your plant from photosynthesizing and can harm the fruits or vegetables.

To get rid of the mold from the hydroponics, you can use the following systems: 

Natural Fungicides

Chemical fungicides can get rid of mold with ease. This is the best way out when it comes to mold in hydroponics, this is the best way to get rid of it and prevent It from coming back.

However, you need to be careful when using fungicides. These chemicals can be harmful to humans when used in large amounts. If you’re using fungicides on plants, you need to use different variants so that the mold does not build resistance. When getting rid of mold, wipe the leaves with a cloth before spraying the fungicide. 

Baking soda is one of the most effective fungicides out there that won’t damage plants.  You could need to mix water, baking soda, vegetable oil, and dish soap. This might be the most effective way of getting rid of the mold without damaging the plant. 

You could also use milk. Any kind of milk would work with this method. 

Before you start spraying the affected leaves of the plants with the solution, you would have to test on a leaf. It if injures the leaf, it would mean that the solution is too harsh and would have to be modified. 

Cut the Afflicted Area

This should be the next thing to do. It is also very important and you should consider this option even if you’re able to treat the mold on the plants. 

If your mold problem is limited to one lower area of a plant’s leaf, cutting the tip of the leaf off would prevent its spread. Once you’ve cut the leaf with mold growth on it, you can focus on using the fungicide to prevent the mold from coming back.

Move the Afflicted Plant if Severe

If the entire part of the plant is affected by mold or just most of it, then you might want to consider getting rid of the plant to save your harvest.  The option where would be to take out the affected plant and throw it away.

You might want to spray other plants with a fungicide solution to ensure that there are no mold spores on the other plants. If any, the fungicide will get rid of them before they become a problem.

How to Prevent Mold on Hydroponic Plants

Once you have the mold in control, you will have to ensure that it never happens again. You can follow the guide below to ensure that the mold does not return. 

Regular Cleaning

Regular cleaning is a must to ensure that your plants grow properly and there won’t be a problem with mold and other pests. The right thing to do is to clean the containers right after a harvest. You need to use fungicide solutions to get a deeper clean and ensure that there are no signs of mold on them. 

Ventilate Your Hydroponics System 

Constant airflow might be problematic for mold and mildew, however, this could also give access to bugs. You might want to use a ventilation system that won’t introduce pests to the system. 

Control the Humidity

Fungi and mold require high humidity to thrive which is why you will find them very common during the late summer, or in humid greenhouses.

Plants, on the other hand, do not require high levels of humidity to thrive. Dehumidifying the room would ensure that the humidity level is under control and would not encourage the growth of fungi. 

Sticky Gnat Traps

Gant problems would result from mold on your plants. The gnats love to eat the fungi from the mold and at the same time will feed on your plants’ roots. Immediately you notice that there is a fungus, you should act on it immediately before you the tiny pests and their larvae.

If you were not fast enough then you would have to get rid of them. To do this, set up sticky traps around the hydroponics system to capture them and use natural pesticide solutions if you notice a larger infestation.

Don’t Take the Hydroponics System 

With hydroponics systems, the best benefits are enjoyed when you grow them indoors. However,  if you decide to bring them outside, you will notice many of the problems that are common with soil-based farming.

You might want to avoid bringing a hydroponics garden outside or into your soil garden. Also, avoid using tools you’ve used in your outside garden as they could contain spores which your will transfer to your hydroponics garden. 

Stop Algae From Growing

If you have algae on your plants, you should also get rid of them as well. The problem with algae is not the algae itself. With algae, you will be facing a more serious problem when it rots. When this happens, it becomes food for gnat larvae. 

There are several ways to prevent algae from building up in your plants’ containers. One of the best ways is to purchase solid colors rather than clear transparent plastic containers. This will block light from coming into the container which could encourage algae growth. Fortunately, this won’t prevent your plants from growing normally.