Woolworths shoppers have been warned of a new strain of mould resembling dog vomit that has affected the popular Discovery Gardens plants.
Pots and seedlings in the range of mini promotional plants given out with purchases over $30 have been struck by the unsightly slime mould.
A customer tipped off shoppers in the Woolworths Little Garden/ Discovery Garden Facebook page after she found spots of Slime Mould on her plants.
‘This looks like white mould. White mould is dangerous to plants and is a disease. But it also looks like slime mould, which is not dangerous to plants,’ she wrote.
‘So I do not know which one it is. But i will try my luck by repotting these on their own and hopefully, they will grow still.’
Slime Mould or ‘Dog Vomit Mould’ resembles a canines’ stomach contents due to its thick consistency.
Although many people being grossed out by the bright yellow, white or orange mould, it is relatively harmless to humans.
However, plant website Master Gardener warns that the ‘dusty spores can irritate people with allergies, asthma, or other respiratory conditions.’
Growers of edible plants, such as Discovery Garden herbs and vegetables, are advised to remove all slime.
‘There is generally no need to control these odd organisms, but if it is really bothering someone, an aethalium can be raked out or scraped off, or broken up and allowed to dry out to make it less noticeable,’ the gardening website advises.
‘Stirring up the mulch will help break up any plasmodia as well as dry out the area to make it less hospitable for slime mold growth.
‘Using something other than hardwood bark for mulch (such as gravel, pine bark, cedar bark, or pine straw) and reducing excessive watering will reduce the likelihood of the slime mold showing up, but won’t eliminate it.’
A Woolworths spokesman said that mould can be a natural part of the process when it comes to growing natural products.
‘If you see mould appearing, we suggest gently wiping it off with a tissue or cloth. If in doubt, you may wish to dispose of the plant as a precaution,’ he said.
‘Although the mould doesn’t damage the plant, it is unsightly and usually indicates that the pots are being overwatered and have poor drainage or circulation.’
This isn’t the first time the supermarket giant’s Discovery Garden plants have been prone to unsightly mould outbreaks.
Last month shoppers noticed large clumps of white mould growing in the soil of their plants.
On the Discovery Garden website, it says the mould is caused by the moisture in the air and suggests ‘you can wipe it away with a tissue’.
While some people endeavoured to try this remedy they said the mould simply grew back after a time.