White Fungus Balls

6 Effective Ways to Get Rid of White Fungus Balls in Soil

White Fungus Balls in the soil are not particularly pleasant to see around us, and this is because they have a way of distracting from the beautiful plants in the garden or potted plants.

These fungi masses, which can start as just a few balls scattered around your garden, can easily overrun the whole garden in no time; hence, they must be eradicated.

There are a thousand and one ways of getting rid of these pesky organisms, and most of them are using the simple household items we have around us, like dish soap, baking powder, cinnamon, vinegar, and the like.

This means you might not need to use fungicides that are not environmentally friendly to get rid of these balls.

What Are White Fungus Balls In The Soil?

Most times, those white fungus balls you find in your soil, which come in many forms, shapes, and sizes, are simply large colonies of fungi of different species.

The fact that millions of fungi species can live in the soil or around our plants makes them very annoying.

We cannot tell one type of white fungus ball apart from others by merely looking at them, but understanding the main types of fungi you expect to find in the soil that has white fungus balls around you will help you figure out what you are up against and the best way to get rid of them.

These are the most common fungi that form white fungus balls in the soil:

1. Puffballs

Fungi, which are known as puffballs, have the following characteristics

1. Their balls are the size of a golf ball.

2. Their colors vary from white to cream.

3. They are either shaped like a pear or a golf ball.

4. Others grow as big as a watermelon.

5. They don’t have a stalk or stem like you have with most fungi.

If the white fungus you find in your soil has some of these characteristics, you probably have puffballs that are firmed by more than 20 species of fungi—matured puffballs give off brown spores when punctured or when they become too dry.

The great thing about puffballs is that they are not hazardous to you, your pets, and plants but must not be ingested because they are not edible.

2. Clusters of Insect Eggs

Now, don’t imagine that every white fuzzy mass you find in your soil is fungi; sometimes, they are not. There are times when many insects lay a lot of eggs on your soil, and at first glance, you might dismiss them as fungi mass; it is only with a magnifying glass that you find out that your soil is infested with insect eggs.

Most times, slugs lay many white eggs that get easily confused for fungus balls. Other times, gnats are guilty because they lay white to yellow eggs, and within a week, these eggs hatch, and hence, the white balls disappear from your soil.

So, if you notice that the white balls on your soil tend to disappear within a few days, then chances are that they are gnat eggs.

Gnats eggs in your soil are quite dangerous because their larvae can damage most parts of your plant, especially the roots. This means you must treat your soil immediately to prevent this damage.

Secondly, gnat infestation can also lead to fungal infection, another reason you should expedite their elimination.

3. Stinkhorn

If you notice the following about the white balls in your soil:

1. The balls are round and fluffy.

2. They give off a very strong, pungent smell ( this is how they got their names)

3. The spores they produce are sticky.

These three characteristics are clear indications that what you have in your soil is stinkhorn, which is a fungi species called Phallaceae. This fungus produces fluffy round white balls, like puffball fungi, when it is immature.

These fungi are not directly harmful to you and yours, but the bad odor they give off is enough reason to get rid of them, and the fact that their presence will bring about an infestation of other plant pests means they need to go.

Why You Have White Fungus Balls In Your Soil

White Fungus Balls

The balls of fungi in your soil are not a sign that your soil is deficient in nutrients or that you are not caring for the soil. It could mean the exact opposite.

The fact that fungi live in your soil means that you have very rich soil and a very good environment for your plants to grow, which these stubborn fungi are taking advantage of.

The main reason why fungi infest a place is that the environment is conducive for them to increase, and there are four conditions of the soil which is necessary for fungi to grow optimally, including:

  • Lots Of Organic Matter
  • Increased Humidity
  • Over-watering of The Soil
  • Warm Weather and Little Sunlight.

1. Lots Of Organic Matter

In your bid to provide your plant with all the nutrients it needs to grow by incorporating a lot of organic matter in the soil, you may have created an environment that fungi in. Large organic matter content does not only serve as food for some fungi but also as a breeding ground for them.

So, if you are fond of mulching your garden, adding too much compost, or simply allowing grass clippings to remain on the soil, you are creating an environment that fungi love and infest. The more green compost materials you have, the more susceptible your soil will be to fungi infestation

2. Increased Humidity

Anything that brings about increased humidity will lead to an increase of fungi in your soil; this is because fungi require a damp environment for them to thrive. During late summer and early fall, fungi infest the soil and produce white balls, and this is because of the increased humidity at those times.

3. Over-Watering Of The Soil

An increase in humidity can also be caused by applying too much water to the soil; this is why over-watering the soil encourages the growth of fungi and molds.

Compact soils, which are wet and muddy with poor drainage, can easily increase the humidity when they receive too much water, be it from precipitation or water from a hose, hence the proliferation of white fungus balls in such soil.

Dry and porous soils, like sandy soils, are less prone to fungi infestation because of their low water retention, even when over-watered.

It is best to apply water to easily muddy soil only when the soil surface is dry because fungi grow in wet and hot soil.

4. Warm Weather And Little Sunlight

While you cannot control the amount of sunlight your garden receives or the atmospheric temperature, you can maximize the amount of the sun that gets to your soil by removing things that shade your soil from sunlight.

The presence of many trees around your garden reduces the number of sun rays that heat your soil, which leads to an increase in humidity, and we know that fungi thrive in humid environments.

Your best option for growing certain plants is to grow them in pots where you can easily control the temperature and sunlight they receive by moving them to where they can get the optimum amount of the sun that will deter the growth of fungi.

6 Effective Ways to Get Rid of White Fungus Balls in Soil

Fungi are all around us, and it can be quite difficult getting rid of them, not because they are tough, but because their spores can easily be carried to any place, and there they will grow and re-infest the soil.

So, the best option is to modify the environment so that it stops being conducive for them to grow.

This can be done by reducing the area’s humidity, preventing over-watering of the soil, and cutting down every form of shade around the garden, be it trees, shrubs, or any other structure. Reducing the amount of organic matter in the soil, their food source, and breeding is equally helpful.

However, if your soil is already infested with white fungus balls, then you can adopt these simple remedies to take care of them:

  • Baking Soda
  • Cinnamon Powder
  • White Vinegar
  • Garlic Powder or Garlic Juice Garlic Paste
  • Liquid Dish wash mixed with Vegetable Oil.
  • Turmeric Powder.

1. Baking Powder

Doesn’t it sound awkward that a leavening agent, baking powder used in making pastries, can effectively eliminate fungi, but it does work? Baking powder in its powdery form or when mixed with water has antifungal effects.

To make the baking powder mixture that you spray on soils, mix 1 or 2 tablespoons of baking soda with 1 gallon of clean water, and then add a teaspoon of vegetable oil so that the mixture can stick to the plants and soil.

Then mix it properly before spraying it on fungi-infested soil once every couple of days, and you will notice that the white fungus balls will disappear.

2. Cinnamon Powder

Cinnamon is another pantry ingredient with an antifungal effect and can be used as a fungicide in taking care of white fungus balls in the soil.

The cinnamon powder should be sprinkled once every week on the infested areas, and after a few applications, you will notice that the fungi will die.

3. White Vinegar

This is another organic fungicide in your kitchen, which means it’s cost-effective and within reach. A solution of vinegar sprayed in the affected area is effective against fungi.

To make this vinegar solution, mix 1 part white vinegar with three parts water and then spray it generously on the areas with the white fungus balls.

4. Garlic Powder or Garlic Juice

The antifungal effects of garlic juice and garlic powder effectively remove white fungus balls in your soil while preventing them from reoccurring after getting rid of them.

You can simply sprinkle garlic powder over the infested area to kill the fungi. If the soil is not infested with these fungi and you want to prevent them from invading the soil, sprinkle the ginger powder on the soil to prevent fungi growth.

If you don’t want to use garlic powder, you can opt for garlic juice, which is equally effective against most fungi. A teaspoon of garlic powder and juice, when mixed in one gallon of water, makes a very effective organic fungicide.

5. Liquid dish wash Liquid Mixed With Vegetable Oil

It sounds incredulous that something as common as dish soap or any other liquid soap can get rid of fungi, but indeed it can.

Dish soap kills the spores of the fungi, which are like the seeds from which fungi are ground, and if these spores are killed, it will stop the white fungus ball infestation.

To use dish soap to get rid of fungi spores, mix two tablespoons of dish wash liquid into 1 cup of vegetable oil, and then sprinkle liquid over the areas where you notice those white fungus balls and spores, and in a matter of days, they will die.

6. Tumeric Powder

To get turmeric powder, grind the turmeric roots, and you will get a powder with antifungal properties. To use this powder against fungi, add one tablespoon of turmeric powder to a gallon of warm water.

Turmeric powder, made from grinding turmeric root, is another fungus-fighting substance readily available in grocery stores.

It can also kill fungus on contact. To use it as a fungicide, mix one tablespoon of turmeric powder with 1 gallon of warm water and pour the mixture over fungus-infested plants.


White fungus balls are very common sights in most gardens, and this is because their spores can easily be carried and deposited in any soil.

Still, the goodness is that there are simple home remedies like baking powder and cinnamon that work wonders against these fungi.

Your best bet against white fungus balls is to ensure that you don’t have a damp and humid environment where they can thrive.

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