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A yellow slime mold is not a lawn disease, because the fungus can appear anywhere, but its smell and consistency are unpleasant. With sustainable lawn care, the fungus will disappear in a short time.

In a nutshell

  • yellow slime molds are non-toxic and not dangerous to lawns
  • The cause is a warm, humid climate and dead organic material as a basis for life
  • Cut out affected areas generously with a spade and dispose of
  • Slime mold is insensitive to fungicides
  • Regular lawn care and a dry environment will prevent slime mold from forming


The class of slime molds includes over 1000 species worldwide and new species are constantly being discovered. The yellow slime mold, which is also known under the name yellow tan flower or witch's butter, is distributed worldwide. It prefers to settle in dead wood, but can occasionally also be found in lawns.

Wiki: 5snake5, Yellow Tan Flower - Fuligo septica 01, edited by Plantopedia, CC BY-SA 4.0


  • Scientific name: Fuligo septica
  • irregular shape
  • similar to small cushions up to 3 cm high
  • Color spectrum: white to light yellow; in later stages of development also red and brown tones or greenish coloring
  • spreads creeping
  • dead parts leave a trail of slime

The yellow tan flower has the advantage that it is not poisonous. In some countries it is even considered a delicious edible mushroom.

Notice: You should refrain from consuming yellow slime molds unless they are 100% identifiable. In addition, the ideal harvest time is difficult to identify and overaged mushrooms can cause gastrointestinal problems.


A yellow slime mold can appear all year round if the weather is right. A warm, humid climate is ideal, which promotes growth and spread. One reason why the yellow tan blossom gets into the garden is through the introduction of bark mulch.
Bark mulch is often found as a cover in purchased potted or tub plants. However, the fungal spores can be airborne. Therefore, the cause does not necessarily have to be in your own garden, the spores can also come from the neighbors, for example.

Acid environment preferred

A yellow slime mold can spread across the lawn starting from a bed area with bark mulch. If you don't have bark mulch in your garden, you should mainly check the areas under the trees. Because of their fondness for rotting wood, they also prefer areas of the garden with more acidic soil. In addition, there are small branches that they use as a basis for life.
The following factors must be present for a yellow slime mold to settle and spread:

  • constant humidity
  • partial or full shade
  • at least slightly acidic soil
  • suitable climatic conditions (distribution mainly from June to September)

Notice: The yellow tan flower spends the first time underground. Only when she is ready to spread her spores does she come to the surface.

Control by ablation

A yellow slime mold is unappetizing at first glance and slime molds are not perceived as mushrooms at first glance. But are similar to fight other fungi.
The only tool you need is a spade. With this you dig out the affected area in the lawn at least to the depth of the spade. Pay close attention to slime tracks, because the fungus was already there and there may still be residue left in the soil. You should not throw the soil on the compost, but dispose of it in the organic waste bin.

Notice: If the slime mold is also in areas other than the lawn, you should also remove and dispose of the material there to prevent it from spreading again.

The slime mold prefers to settle in damp places, so you shouldn't simply fill up the excavated area with soil, but create a drainage system so that the water can run off easily.
Follow these steps to fill up:

  • bottom layer: fill in roughly 10 cm of coarse stones and gravel
  • middle layer: add approx. 5 cm of fine gravel
  • Top layer: the top layer is a mixture of 1/3 sand and 2/3 garden soil

Once the hole is filled, you can reseed the lawn. In the beginning, make sure that you water evenly, but not too much, to prevent reinfection of the fungus.

Fungicides unnecessary

Once the slime mold has cleared away, it rarely spreads back into the garden, especially if all the spots have been completely removed. You can do without fungicides, regardless of whether they are commercially available or home remedies. The slime mold is usually only active for a few days and then disappears again.
Slime mold and, among other things, the yellow tan blossom is extremely insensitive to fungicides. She handles toxins very well and breaks them down quickly without taking much damage herself. You often even harm the organisms that feed on the slime mold with fungicides. These include, for example, moss mold beetles (Latridiidae), which feed on these slime molds and other types of fungi.

Differences to lawn mold

Mushrooms in the lawn that do not have a typical fungal shape are often referred to as lawn mold. Lawn mold or snow mold is also a type of fungus, but from the Typhula genus. Compared to slime mold, lawn mold attacks the grass and can also cause lasting damage.
The slime mold, on the other hand, does not see the grass as a source of food. The fungus feeds mainly on dead organic material. In addition to dead wood, dead grass remains are also sufficient.

lawn mold (Typhula)

prevent reinfection

A yellow slime mold often goes completely unnoticed in the garden, because as quickly as it comes, it also disappears. Only when it spreads over a large area does it usually attract attention. If you take care of the lawn regularly, you also prevent slime mold or other fungi from settling in it.
Lawns that are affected by a lot of shade and therefore also moisture require a lot of care. Here it is even advisable to remove the lawn once and create a drainage underneath.
However, regular maintenance of the lawn is particularly important:

  • Scarify the lawn regularly and remove dead material
  • Do not mulch the lawn if there is a risk of slime mold
  • Check the pH regularly and adjust if necessary
  • Remove organic material (leaves, small twigs) promptly

The greatest risk of yellow slime mold settling on lawns is in late summer or early fall. As soon as the first leaves fall, the weather is ideal for the fungus. Little attention is paid to the first leaves that fall to the ground, but if you remove them quickly, you can prevent the slime mold from finding a suitable basis for life from the start.

Regular raking of leaves prevents fungal infections.

frequently asked Questions

Is yellow slime mold dangerous for pets?

No, it is not poisonous to humans or animals.

Does a changed pH help prevent reinfection?

A basic soil is unsuitable for slime mold. When changing the pH value, however, it should always be between 5.5 and 7.5 so that the lawn can develop well.

How can the pH value be changed with home remedies?

If you want to increase the pH value in the short term to combat slime mold, a small amount of salt or vinegar in the irrigation water can be helpful. In the long term, however, you should bring the value to a constant level with liming.

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