Stinkhorn Fungus in Mulch


Gardeners use mulch to improve plant drainage, insulate roots from the weather and control weed problems. Mulch also protects plants from dangerous microorganisms that can cause plant diseases, but it can also foster the growth of stinkhorn fungi.


  • Stinkhorn fungi vary in color and size. The University of California Statewide Integrated Pest Management Program describes them as resembling a giant finger. Several varieties include the Clathrus columnatus or stinky squid stinkhorn, the Mutinus caninus or dog stinkhorn, and the Dictyophora duplicata or veiled stinkhorn. The upper end of the stinkhorn fungus is covered in a foul-smelling, slimy material that attracts spore-spreading insects.


  • In nature, stinkhorn fungi decompose organic matter in the soil and convert the nutrients into a form that plants can use, so they often grow on organic materials like mulch. Aside from attracting flies, stinkhorn fungi do not harm plants or lawns.


  • The Ohio State University Extension recommends purchasing mulch products that have low amounts of wood, choosing coarse wood products over finely-ground material and keeping the mulch depth to 2 inches or less. Soaking mulch after application also helps control fungal growth.

Related Searches


Promoted By Zergnet


You May Also Like

  • Orange Fungus Growing in Mulch

    If you notice orange fungus growing in your mulch, it's likely a stinkhorn, also known as Mutinus elegans. Stinkhorns are very easy...

  • Tubular Red Fungus in a Garden

    Plants, shrubs and trees in the landscape often develop fungal diseases. Certain types of fungus is considered nuisance fungi, such as stinkhorn...

  • How to Grow Hen of the Woods Mushrooms

    Large, rich hen-of-the-woods mushrooms (also know as maitake mushrooms) are commonly found in the summer and fall around the base of oak...

  • How to Get Rid of Mushrooms in Mulch

    Mulch is used to improve soil and plant health, and to control weeds. In addition, mulch can improve the aesthetics of an...

  • How to Kill an Elegant Stinkhorn

    Gardeners are often surprised to see the elegant stinkhorn in their gardens, and tend to be offended by the smell it gives...

Related Searches

Check It Out

How to Make a Vertical Clay Pot Garden

Is DIY in your DNA? Become part of our maker community.
Submit Your Work!