The aim of this research project was to develop sustainable prevention methods to control the growth of the flowerpot parasol, Leucocoprinus birnbaumii. Uncontrolled growth of this mushroom can cause severe economic damage during cultivation of green pot plants, succulents and orchids in greenhouses.
Laboratory tests showed that the sugar content of the substrate influences the growth of Leucocoprinus, whereas preventive applicationof oxidative and experimental biological products based on antagonistic fungi may reduce Leucocoprinus growth. Promising results were also obtained with a third experimental product. These products were subsequently tested in a greenhouse experiment with Kalanchoë an Aloë vera plants. In this experiment no effect of the host plant on Leucocoprinus growth was measured. However, good results were obtained with the third experimental product, and electrolysis water, that reduced the growth of Leucocoprinus. During this greenhouse experiment we detected no dissemination of Leucocoprinus by watering of the plants.
We demonstrated that Leucocoprinus growth reduced the water content of the substrate, reduced the growth of Kalanchoë (13-35%), and negatively affected root development (20-60%).