Q/A #56 - Fuzzy Mold on Cephalotus

March 23, 2023

Q/A #56 - Fuzzy Mold on Cephalotus

I purchased 3 Cephalotus plants last year at your open house and am hoping you can help me. I am having an issue with some white fuzzy looking mold on some of my plants. I hit the internet and found posts that looked similar and thought it might be powdery mildew so I bumped up the light and heat to my plants as was recommended online. The added heat and light didn’t seem to make much a difference so I went back on the internet to research further. I saw several posts on different websites that recommended Sulfur fungicide, I was terrified I was going to kill my plants but tried it anyway! It decreased the mildew problem a bit but it has not gone away completely and I am concerned my little plants will not be able to tolerate this much longer. Any suggestions? Should I repot them? They are growing fairly well but the mildew has caused me to lose some pitchers and leaves.

I have bought so many different plants from you guys over the years and I absolutely LOVE them so I am hoping you can help. These little guys are so cool and I waited a year to get them so losing them to this would be such a bugger!! Thank you for your time and help, I appreciate any advice you can give!
( Submitted in March 2019.)

This is a common problem with Cephalotus. Stagnant air and high humidity seem to promote it. Sulfur-based fungicides are useful (and safe to use on carnivorous plants), but they work best as a preventative measure rather than a treatment. The same is true with sunlight or UV light. In your case, I recommend using Neem. There are several ready-to-use (RTU) sprays that are in spray bottles. Drench the plant according to the directions, and repeat the application at the frequency the manufacturer recommends. It will take a bit, but if you stay on top of it, you will be able to eradicate it. Let me know after a month if this doesn't do the trick. There are some other products, but this is the best place to start.

For now, it's not necessary to repot your plants into fresh soil. Practicing proper growing methods is the best form of prevention. Make sure there is ample air circulation. Keep the humidity at a moderate level. Constant high humidity is not at all necessary but can encourage lots of mold issues. Top water your plants and allow the water to drain through. Avoid getting water on the Cephalotus, though. Water again when the top of the soil begins to lose moisture. 

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