Do you have ugly black spots on your house siding? Over the years, I have notice more and more black spots. Not matter how hard I try, those darn spots won’t come off. Guess what is causing them? Your mulch. Read on how to prevent them.
What are these black spots on your house siding?
According to Dr. Donald D. Davis of Penn State:
“The artillery fungus is a white-rotting, wood-decay fungus that likes to live on moist landscape mulch. It is in the genus Sphaerobolus (Greek for “sphere thrower”) and is very common across the USA, especially in the East, as well as many other parts of the world.”
Those darn spores love the northern side of a home and light color siding. (My siding is a creme color.) Those spores are impossible to get off.
Most people buy shredded mulch which retains moisture. It created a fertile ground for the fungus.
Dr. Davis’ FAQ, fellow fungus-ridden homeowners suggestion how to remove the spores. Some of the suggestions included minted mouthwash and Mr. Clean Magic Eraser.
Oh, and I am dreading trying to remove these spores.
How to avoid the fungus
In a study conducted by Dr. Davis, 27 mulches were studied as to the amount of spores they produced. The team concluded that large bark pine nuggets, cypress mulch or 100% mushroom substrate supported less artillery fungus. But despite these finding, the team further concluded ALL mulches within a three to four year period would become susceptible to the fungus.
In laboratory studies, licorice root inhibited the fungus. The authors of the study further noted that the fungus may not grow on fresh pine straw.
Get rid of your mulch and replace it with landscape fabric and stone. Alternatively, use low-growing plant groundcovers as underplantings for foundation shrubs such as liriope, pachysandra, sweet woodruff and hardy ginger in the shade. For sunnier spots, use creeping sedum, leadwort, vinca and liriope in sunnier spots. Be sure to use plants that are deer resistant in your area otherwise, you will be creating another headache for yourself.
We tried the old elbow grease method and it didn’t work. Next step is the old minted mouth wash idea.
Join the Conversation
- Do you have those dreaded black spots on your siding?
- Do you have a way to get rid of them?