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Seramis is often used as a clay granulate for plants such as orchids whose substrate needs to be well aerated. Rarely does mold develop unexpectedly when using the substrate.

Detect mold on Seramis

If the plant granulate suddenly has a visible coating, many plant lovers wonder if it is moldy. In fact, one shift can have multiple causes. Limescale is the most common at this point, because hard water promotes deposits that form a white, hard layer on the granulate beads. At the same time, crystallizations can occur that disintegrate when touched or moved. Sometimes they resemble cotton candy. However, these are not mold deposits, but at first glance they can be confused with them. Moldy substrate can be recognized by the following characteristics:

  • Furry or cottony surface
  • greasy
  • wet
  • musty
  • can be rubbed between fingers
  • characteristic smell of mold

Mold formation usually occurs locally at individual points on the top substrate layer. Only in severe cases, such as severe root rot, can the entire first layer be completely covered and go deeper down from that point. Various causes can be the trigger for the mold infestation, because it is not the granules themselves, as they are fired clay balls:

  • root rot
  • organic foreign bodies
  • permanent moisture
  • unfavorable location
  • lack of fresh air
  • wrong watering
  • high humidity

Due to these causes, mold can quickly develop, even if everything was fine a few days before. It is important to get rid of the mold, because it can seriously damage the plant and your health. The spores will continue to disperse, which should not be disregarded.

Notice: Once the deposit is lime, you don't need to do anything as it won't negatively affect your or the crop's health. You can easily replace the top layer of granules if you don't like the look.

Seramis Clay Granules: Eliminate mold

Once you have spotted mold on Seramis, you have several options available to eliminate it. Fortunately, the structure and material of the granules allow them to be reused once the moldy coating has been removed. Of course you can dispose of the affected clay granules, but in most cases that would be a waste, since the balls themselves don't go moldy. They are only the carrier for the moldy substances, such as water. However, since the mold can get to the plant from the Seramis surface, you must remove it. How much of the granules are removed depends on the size of the infestation:

  • local attack: upper layer
  • top layer affected: entire plant granulate

It is important that you examine the plant for moldy or rotten spots after removing it. You must then cut these off to prevent the mold from growing again in the new or cleaned Seramis. The bucket must also be cleaned and disinfected, as it can contain excess spores. If you do not dispose of the plant granules, there are a variety of home remedies that can be used to remove the mold. This means you can continue to use the balls and do not have to invest in new substrate. The following are suitable for this:

  • vinegar essence
  • lemon juice
  • heat

If you decide to use the vinegar essence or citric acid, dilute the remedies and soak the seramis in the resulting solution. The 2:1 ratio is recommended for this purpose. After a few hours, strain the plant substrate and rinse it thoroughly with clear water. Then let it dry well so that there is no excess moisture before further use, otherwise it will mold again. You can also heat the plant granules in the oven at 150°C for about an hour to remove the mold and spores. Before you put the granules in the oven, you should first clean them with a cloth to remove the mold layer. After these measures, the clay granules can be used again.


If you don't want mold to grow again, you need to prevent it. Seramis requires little maintenance and can be protected against mold without much effort. It is particularly important that you keep the clay granules dry, since permanent moisture supports the formation of mold. Already when planting the plants in the Seramis, they have to be prepared so that no sources of rot can develop:

  • cut off dead, diseased and rotten roots
  • Completely remove the remaining substrate
  • choose the best location
  • regulate humidity
Aerial roots of an orchid

It is important to allow the beads to dry before watering again. If you have problems with the right water supply, you should provide the pot with a watering indicator from the manufacturer. Depending on the size, these cost between two and three euros and make it easier for you to water the granulate. As soon as the watering indicator is red, you have to water more. The typical amount of water for the plant granules is a quarter of the bucket. As long as the indicator is blue, there is no need to water. Also, keep collecting organic material from the granulate, as this will mold over time.

Tip: If the granulate becomes moldy, even spores in the room air can be responsible. If there is a suspicion that the level of mold is too high, you should have the air checked to be on the safe side.

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