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I can't seem to find out what this is. It was growing on soil that's why I didn't make a huge deal of it but now it started growing in the thyme plants and I'm wondering if I should discard the entire plant. The pictures attached are of a 3 gallon fabric grow pot. A cluster's size is no larger than a quarter inches. It populates relatively large & visible brown cloud of spores when contacted with water.

It starts as blue or pink (I have seen both) dots on the surface then converts into little spikes.

Location: Memphis/TN, grow zone 7

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    If the soil in your pots contains fragments of uncomposted wood, that's why this is present in the soil, but I'm guessing its now spread to the material of the 'fabric' grow pot. I'd repot whatever you're growing in the fabric pots into ordinary plastic pots using new potting soil instead and don't keep the soil too wet. – Bamboo Aug 27 '19 at 0:33
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    Likely not to you, although you might get the occasional faceful of spores, but possibly to the plants in the pots. This mould has evolved to break down damp wood, but there is also a slight risk it will devour your plants, since they are in a pot that contains the roots as well as the mould. And once it reaches the sporangium stage, it will disseminate a lot of spores far and wide. I suspect the 'fabric' pots themselves may have some wood content, and that if you move the plants into plastic, ceramic or terracotta pots the problem will disappear.As for the soil, it should have been sterile – Bamboo Aug 27 '19 at 17:42
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    Sorry, ran out of character space - that potting soil should have been sterile at point of purchase, and whilst still contained in the bag, so this has come in either in that soil, or maybe you've got the spores in the air locally. Most potting soils contain composted material which may be woody, but its usually produced using a very hot, anaerobic method, which kills of this sort of thing prior to sale. – Bamboo Aug 27 '19 at 17:45
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    I too doubt those products would be effective, plus I'm not sure I'd want to eat food from a plant that's been in contact with those products. I forgot to say dispose of the fabric pots - if you are allowed to burn stuff, do that, or leave them out of the way somewhere to completely dry out, then dispose of them. Slime moulds need lots of moisture to survive, though the spores can hang on indefinitely for the right conditions and likely won't be killed by treatments. Don't keep the plants overly wet if you repot, and ensure there's free drainage from holes in the base of the pots. – Bamboo Aug 27 '19 at 18:22
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    95% of all plant roots reside within the top 4 to 6 inches of soil. Way too much soil for any plant and then the water that needs to be taken up by roots actually causes roots to rot. – stormy Aug 29 '19 at 7:28
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Apparently this is Chocolate-Tube Slime Mold and it's formerly classified as fungus but no longer. It seems to not be a health hazard. Although I can observe this destructing the plants. Info: https://www.messiah.edu/Oakes/fungi_on_wood/club%20and%20coral/species%20pages/Stemonitis.htm

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    Fascinating - thanks for posting such an interesting question and answer! Never seen this other than once on a dead log in the woods... – Bamboo Aug 27 '19 at 0:38
  • Yay, Return Table! Spent a lot of time on the internet but never got this close, I believe you are right! – stormy Aug 28 '19 at 21:06
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    Bamboo, why would anyone dispose of the fabric pots? Easy peasy to disinfect and they cost a bit of moola. These 'fabrics' are oh so organic yet to burn them causes me to hesitate. They are petroleum products, yes? What are the gases released when this fabric is burned? – stormy Aug 28 '19 at 21:09
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    I'm not throwing my fiber pots away...they are great for potted plants! Just dunk in a tub of chlorine (not chloramine) and rinse and ta da...a new sterilized pot ready for sterilized potting soil! Glad we are on the same page with that! – stormy Aug 28 '19 at 21:13

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