Green Mold on Mushrooms known as Trichoderma

How to Prevent Green Mold on Mushrooms – Trichoderma  

Trichoderma, commonly referred to as “green mold” is a fungal pathogen that poses a significant threat to mushroom cultivation. As a mycologist, it’s crucial to understand the growth patterns and causes of Trichoderma and preventive measures to protect your mushroom crops. 

What is Trichoderma / Green Mold?

Trichoderma is a filamentous fungus found in soil and decaying organic matter worldwide. It starts out white and quickly spreads, growing into the green mold that wreaks havoc on mushroom crops.  While Trichoderma is a natural decomposer of organic material, it becomes problematic when it invades mushroom-growing environments, leading to severe losses and major frustration. 

Conditions Favoring Trichoderma Growth:

Understanding the environmental conditions that promote Trichoderma growth will help you prevent its contamination. “To infest a mushroom crop, Trichoderma first must have its spores introduced. The spores can adhere themselves to employees and their clothing, as well as to equipment and plastic surfaces around a mushroom farm, flies or on mites.” Excerpt from American Mushroom

The following factors contribute to the growth of Trichoderma / Green Mold:

Suboptimal sanitation:

Trichoderma spores can persist in growing areas, tools, equipment, and on you or your clothing. Not properly sterilizing surfaces or reusing contaminated substrates, you risk facilitating its establishment.  We have an article on the sterilizing process you can read here  Be sure to wear clean clothes and shoes so you don’t carry in any contaminants. Cleanliness is key for a successful indoor grow.

Organic matter presence:

Trichoderma feeds on organic materials as mentioned. The presence of uncomposted substrates or contaminated compost can serve as a nutrient source, enabling Trichoderma colonization. Read more about preparing your substrates here

Close up photo of trichoderma mushroom cultivation
Close up of Trichoderma on rice in isolation

Preventive Measures to Control Trichoderma / Green Mold:

Don’t skip the essential steps in preparing your mushroom-growing environment. Every part of the process is critical to ensure you have sterile conditions to prevent green mold and any other contamination from destroying your mushroom crop.

Isolation and quarantine:

 If you spot green mold, isolate contaminated mushroom beds or trays immediately! This will prevent the spread of Trichoderma to unaffected areas. Promptly remove and destroy infected material. Act fast, green mold grows quickly once established.

Proper sanitation protocols:

Ensure thorough cleaning and disinfection of growing areas, equipment, and tools using suitable fungicides. Regularly replace or sterilize reusable materials to prevent spore buildup.


Hygienic cultivation practices:

Use pasteurized substrates and compost with proper heat treatment to eliminate potential contaminants. Avoid using uncomposted organic matter in the growing process. Invest in high-quality substrates.


Green Mold on Mushrooms known as Trichoderma

Trichoderma poses a significant threat to even the best of mushroom farmers. 

By understanding its growth conditions and implementing preventive measures, you can mitigate the risk of green mold contamination. If you have any experience with green mold, leave us a comment on what worked for you, or what didn’t.

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