Slime Molds

Plants Affected:

Images of This Plant Disease:

Image of slime mold on turf grass

Slime mold on turf grass

Image of slime mold on a perennial

Slime mold on a perennial

Image of slime mold on wood chips

Slime mold on wood chips


The presence of slime mold is more of a curiosity than a problem. Slime molds are primitive organisms that are considered fungi. They feed on decaying organic manner and other organisms in the thatch layer and soil.

Signs and Symptoms

Slime molds often appear after a warm summer rain. At first a slimy growth, called the plasmodium, appears. This slimy growth dries into a powdery mass of spore-bearing structures that coat grass blades. Slime molds usually last one to two weeks and often are observed in the same spot year after year. Typically 4-6 inches patches of the fungus are formed. Although there are many species of slime mold on turf, Physarum cinereum seems to be the most common.

Type of Sample Needed for Diagnosis and Confirmation

Follow mushroom collection on instruction page 2. For further information go to Mushroom Identification Sample Collection.


Control measures are not usually necessary. If desired, slime mold can be removing by raking, sweeping with a broom, spraying with stream of water, or mowing.

Further Information

See this article for more information on slime molds.