July 14th, 2007

Buffy - drive like a spaz

Fungus Takes Over Houseplants

This morning I glanced at one of the jade plants growing in our garden window, and immediately did a double-take, because there was something huge and puffy and yellow between the plant pot and the metal bowl it sits in. I looked closer, and holy crap it's two gigantic bright yellow mushrooms! Seriously, the cap of each one was probably five inches across, and they had sprung up overnight.

"Cut them up and put them on salad," my husband said. Ha ha.

Awash in paranoid thoughts about inhaling spores and contracting deadly lung disorders, I took the plant outside, dumped the soil (which, except for the top, was coated with yellow spots all over), bleached and washed the pot, and repotted the jade with fresh soil. I also vowed to myself not to water the plant so often. Fungi like it moist, and the jade, being a succulent, probably can handle dry soil.

Then later today I Googled "yellow mushroom houseplant". And...oops. No need to freak. Apparently the shrooms are harmless, cute, lovable, and probably even healthy for the soil. Sorry, mushrooms. I overreacted. Next time I'll let you stay.

This message paid for by the Fungi Special Interest Groups of America.