Damping off

Asked May 13, 2020, 3:03 AM EDT

Do I have to throw the soil away when I have damping off,fungus and gnats? Can I remove all soil and repot Shriveling plants in new potting soil. I have lost over ten seedlings. Thank you. Kathy Garrett

Hennepin County Minnesota

4 Responses

Thank you for writing.
Discard the soil into a bag and into the trash. Fungus spores are very difficult to destroy.

I thank you for such a quick response. Can I remove the healthy seedlings, rinse all the dirt off and transplant into new bagged potting soil? Or does the fungus stay on the plant and roots?

I did sterilize everything that had fungus.


I think I brought it in the house when I reused potting soil from last year’s flower pots. I used 100% bagged soil for my veggie seeds.

Do the gnats come with the fungus? Do they lay their eggs in it?

Thanks for your help!

I thank you for such a quick response. Can I remove the healthy seedlings, rinse all the dirt off and transplant into new bagged potting soil? Or does the fungus stay on the plant and roots?

I did sterilize everything that had fungus.


I think I brought it in the house when I reused potting soil from last year’s flower pots. I used 100% bagged soil for my veggie seeds.

Do the gnats come with the fungus? Do they lay their eggs in it?

Thanks for your help!

The gnats are probably fungus gnats. They thrive in dead plant material and wet soil. https://extension.umn.edu/product-and-houseplant-pests/fungus-gnats. . Yes, you can transplant your healthy seedlings. Make sure you also sterilize your growing containers. You may find, in addition to fresh soil, a fan on low speed for part of the day will help keep the surface of your soil dryer. As you have learned, do not reuse potting soil and do not overwater..