Mold on a non-living surface such as fiberglass or concrete is easy to handle – just use bleach or vinegar to kill it. Using them to kill mold on a living surface such as a plant leaf can cause serious harm to the plant. Instead, use sulfur fumigation to kill mold.
Fungal infections can strike all different kinds of plants, including indoor plants. If you spot fuzzy white mold on your plants' leaves, then you have a powdery mildew infection. Other forms of mold and mildew can also infect plants, especially in humid climates. While these fungal infections rarely kill plants, they are unsightly. Severe infections can stunt flowers and cause plants to drop leaves early, leading to a failure to thrive.
Sulfur prevents mold spores from germinating, so it brings a fungal infection under control by stopping its spread and gradually killing it. For sulfur fumigation, you'll need a device called a sulfur burner. It vaporizes sulfur and creates a cloud that engulfs plants, coating them and the mold. Sulfur fumigation works best in greenhouses or conservatory rooms because walls prevent the sulfur cloud from dissipating in the wind.
Take care when using sulfur fumigation to kill mold. The vaporized sulfur cloud won't hurt plants, but can hurt people who are exposed in the wrong way. The cloud can cause intense eye and respiratory inflammation. It can also cause skin irritation. Before using a sulfur burner, warn everyone to stay away from it, especially during the first hour of burn when the most sulfur is in the air. Wear long sleeves and a mask while operating the burner.
The first time you use the sulfur burner, let it run for about 10 hours. This ensures strong, extensive fumigation of mold infected plants. It's usually easiest run it over night. Wait a week, and if you still see mold on your plants, run the burner again for between two and four hours. Run it every five days until the fungal infection clears. Each time you run it, keep the door to the room closed and make sure that pets and children stay away.
Kay Wagers is a copywriter in Arizona and has worked for over five years for clients in a wide variety of industries. Wagers has contributed pieces to several fiction magazines and holds Bachelor of Arts degrees in English and in history from the University of Arizona.