Saturday, March 6, 2010

Concrobium: an unexpected way to deal with plant mold

I hate to be a shill for any product. But every now and then one comes along that does something unexpected. This winter, it was Concrobium.

Concrobium is an anti-mold treatment made from food grade vegetable dyes. It's non-toxic, which makes it a rarity in the realm of mold treatments. I first encountered it when writing a review for Green Living some years ago.

It does a decent job in the bathroom, though it doesn't bleach stains the way chlorine does. Of course, it also won't slowly kill you the way chlorine does.

But that's not why I'm bringing up the product now. This winter it did something unexpected.

It saved my amaryllis.

You see, I planted an amaryllis bulb in January. It went into a pot with a coconut husk soil alternative that really soaks up water. Within a week, a layer of white mold had colonized the surface. I could scrape off the top layer, but figured that probably wouldn't keep it away.

Then, one morning, I saw a bottle of Concrobium in the bathroom and remembered the time I asked the marketing director at Siamon's, its maker, about the non-toxic claims. He told me he drinks it during demonstrations. Not that I don't figure a marketing director would drink pure chlorine in order to prove it safe, but if it kills the amaryllis, that's not the end of the world. And it would raise some interesting questions about the contents of the bottle.

I gave the soil and bulb a good spray, making sure the surface was saturated.

Within a week of that one treatment, the mold was gone. The amaryllis was, as you can see from the photos, just fine.

So, looks like we've got a new application for Concrobium.