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Carnivorous Plants/Mushroom spec. in Sphagnum Moss


Mushroom in Life Sphagnum
Mushroom in Life Sphag  

Mushroom in Life Sphagnum 1
Mushroom in Life Sphag  
Dear Jeff,

I hope you have had a great vacation! Sarracenias are blooming, pitchers going high, flytraps opening, it is wonderful!!!

However, I noticed that in my mini bogs I have a kind of mushroom growing. About 1 inch tall, light brown and kind of cute. It will especially grow where sphagnum moss grows well and is often wet, I attached some photos of it. Shoud I remove it? What is your opinion?

Further more, in your latest podcast, Jacob mentionned the Neem Oil against pests. I use a "full system" pesticide which is absorbed by the plants tissues and prevents pests attacks for a longer term. What was your reason to use Neem Oil, and does it make any difference for the plants if using a chemical or biological pesticide?

Thanks a tons and have a good day!


Hi JP,

Those little mushrooms are most likely from a harmless fungi living on the dead moss.  If the sphagnum is growing well, just leave them alone.  Even if you pull them out, you've only removed the fruiting body of the fungi.  The mycelium is still alive and well under the soil.  Many of the fungi that produce mushroom are from beneficial mycorrhizal fungi.

Jacob wanted to give a recommendation that was quick and easy to find, and effective for dealing with aphids specifically.  Neem is a good all around choice since it's effective, organic certified. It also has some fungicidal activity which is good for folks in very humid climates in preventing fungal problems.  Systemics are without a doubt more effective (we use acephate/orthene as our "go-to" insecticide).  We are going to go into much more detail on insecticides in our updated insecticide podcast soon.

Here in the US there's also some problems with recommending systemic insecticides for general use.  The acephate we use is currently only available as an agricultural chemical.  You have to special order it, and it's not found in garden centers.  The neonicitinoids like imidacloprid found in the Bayer products is very close to being banned because of its implication in bee decline.  It's really bad to us it when plants are in bloom.

Good Growing!

Jeff Dallas
Sarracenia Northwest

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If your carnivorous plant is showing poor growth, discoloration, abnormal leaves or possible infestation, the expert growers at Sarracenia Northwest can help! They have a great depth of experience dealing with diseases, pathogens, and abnormal growth in carnivorous plants.

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