Natural Fungicides for Houseplants

Since you don’t want to be spraying harsh chemicals in the home environment, you need some good natural fungicides for your houseplants

Natural fungicides for houseplants are a must, unless of course you prefer to have aerosolized chemical poisons contaminating your home’s air supply. The only other option is not to have houseplants at all, which is almost as bad. Houseplants offer an excellent way to keep the air clean and oxygen-rich.

So where do you turn? Basically, to your kitchen. Some of the best mild fungicides in nature can be found in your spice rack: specifically, cinnamon and chamomile. Garlic also makes a good fungicide, but it’s too rough for common indoor use, and who wants a house that reeks of garlic anyway?

Let’s take a closer look at our natural fungicide options.

Chamomile

Chamomile is rich in calcium, potassium, and sulfur. It’s the latter element which makes it a good fungicide, because sulfur deters fungal growth. (This is also why garlic, which has a much higher sulfur content, is an effective strong fungicide).

Weak chamomile tea works best for your fungicidal needs; you can brew it from actual chamomile flowers or from teabags, whichever you prefer. Once it’s cooled off, load it into a spray bottle and spray it directly on the plants themselves.

Chamomile works best for seedlings, especially to beat the disease known as damping off; but can help prevent fungal problems in adult plants, too.

Cinnamon

Dusting powdered cinnamon over the surface of a potted plant’s growing medium is also a well-known method for knocking out damping off, but like chamomile tea, it also works for other fungal problems in plants of all ages. It’s not going to hurt the plant either way.

It seems that cinnamon–yes, even that ground stuff in the cabinet–contains several volatile chemicals with anti-microbial properties: specifically, the compounds cinnamaldehyde, cinnamyl acetate, and cinnamyl alcohol.

Incidentally, if you want to get creative, you can also concoct cinnamon-based poultices for application directly to plant wounds to prevent fungal attacks, or mix it with water or alcohol to create foliar sprays. It’s all there on the ‘Net.

Lagniappe

Okay, so if cinnamon and chamomile tea aren’t tough enough for your houseplant fungal problems, you can make a garlic fungicide easily enough. But don’t say we didn’t warn you about the smell.

Here’s the easy way: combine finely-chopped garlic with water, and either boil it or let it steep for a few days. Then filter it through cheesecloth, and mix the resulting liquid with water at a rate of about a teaspoon per quart. (You may need to experiment with this recipe.) Spray it directly on the affected areas.

Go for it! Not only are these three natural fungicides for houseplants dirt cheap, you’ll never have to worry about using chemical fungicides indoors again!