Worrying New Mould Found In Discovery Garden Plants

Woolworths Discovery Garden fans were shocked a few weeks ago when mould was found growing on the outside of some of the free plants. 

Now, some shoppers claim a new, different kind of mould is starting to appear on the pots.

Discovery Garden is Woolworth's latest giveaway promotion, where shoppers receieve mini plants after purchasing supermarket items to a certain value.

One gardener posted two photos of her Bok Choi plant to the Woolworths Little Garden/Discovery Garden group on Facebook. The pots appeared to have a Slime Mould -- or something similar -- covering the outside.

Slime Mould is known more commonly as 'dog vomit mould' because it appears to resemble dog's vomit with its lumpy consistency.

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The Bok Choi plant that appears to be covered in Slime Mould. Image: Facebook/Woolworths Little Garden / Discovery Garden.

The good news is, the Slime Mould is harmless to plants, pets and humans. The dusty pores of the mould can affect people who have allergies, asthma, or other respiratory conditions, but usually, it clears itself within a few days.

Website the Master Gardener says, "Slime molds are most often found in moist, shady areas with abundant organic matter," which could explain why some gardeners have been finding it on their mini herbs.

If Discovery Garden fans find this kind of mould on their plants and want to remove it, it's as simple as scraping it off. Once the mould dries out it will disappear and the herbs and veggies grown will be safe to eat.

"It's pretty normal, just wipe it off and put the pot in the sun if you're not ready to repot yet," one person commented regarding the mould.

"It's a harmless mold. Usually happens when they stay too wet/not enough light & air. Just wipe off what you can but either way it won't hurt them & isn't dangerous," another said.

The pots plant with what appears to be covered with mould. Image: Facebook/Woolworths Little Garden / Discovery Garden.
Newly formed 'Dog Vomit Mould'. Image: Getty Image.

In a statement obtained by 10 daily, Woolworths said it wanted to reassure growers that mould can be part of the natural plant growing process.

"Mould is found everywhere and in this case is caused by local growing conditions such as moisture and airflow," a Woolworths spokesperson told 10 daily.

"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."

The spokesperson also said the mould won't damage the plant but usually indicates that the pots are being overwatered and have poor drainage or circulation.

To control mould growth Woolworths recommends ensuring the seedlings are getting plenty of air and sun.

"Maintain proper ventilation by leaving your seedling kits near an open window or outside when weather permits ... control the amount of moisture you’re giving your seedling pot, soil should be moist but not too wet," the spokesperson recommended.

Mould discovered just two days after planting the mini herbs. Image: Facebook/ Kiah Glasson.

But this isn't the first time mould has been found in the Discovery Garden pots.

Woolies shoppers discovered a white spotty mould growing on the outside of the herb pots in the middle of September. Some shoppers reported noticing the white growth just days after planting their seedlings.

The people who posted images on social media claimed they had followed all the instructions strictly and were concerned their children would come into contact with mould.

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Some gardeners claimed removing the mould was as easy as wiping it off every few days, while others said they couldn't clean it off at all.

Others suggested that keeping the pots in the grower tray restricted airflow, which could cause mould to grow.

Woolworths SIscovery Garden plant holder.  Image: Woolworths

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"Yes the airflow in the design is poor. Just let them sit out and get some natural light to turn it back," a Discovery Gardner said on social media.

"I think the problem is the tray you have them in. No airflow. I have mine on an open dish," another person commented.

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