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Help! What is this gross yellow foamy/spongy stuff?

June 7, 2005

This morning when I left my house and was getting in my car, I looked at my front garden and noticed this really disgusting looking yellow foamy/spongy stuff in two spots in my garden---around the trunk of a redbud and underneath a mum. The two spots are a few feet away from each other, and there was none of this stuff in between or anywhere else in the garden (at least that I saw in my frenzy to get to work). I used a trowel to scoop it away. It's a very spongy/foamy substance that is a strong yellow in color. Does anybody have any idea what this is or what I should do about it? (I don't know if it makes any difference but it has been very humid here and we had strong thunderstorms last night so it was very wet this morning. But I haven't seen this stuff before and I didn't see it in any of my neighbors' gardens.) Thanks for any help!

Comments (45)

  • Ina Plassa_travis

    slime mold, most likely- they run the gamut from the consistency of mousse to that of a gummy bear left out in the rain for a few days- they're both gelatinous, and a bit fluffy.

    they're harmless, rare, and really kind of cool- they creep, and look like tiny rainbow versions of 'the blob' I like the orange ones best...

    but it's ok if you scooped it up and tossed it, you're not going to upset the environment or anything.

  • gabehart

    Search for dog vomit fungus. It's yucky but harmless/ just scrape it off with a shovel and pitch it. More may show up.

  • slubberdegulion

    How cool is that! Thanks for posting (and asking), I'd been wondering what that was in my mulch too. I'd assumed it was a type of slime mold (dog vomit is a great name for it). I like stepping on it when it forms spores, sort of like a flat puff ball mushroom.

  • rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

    But not rare....judging by the zillions of posts in some years! Maybe you are the first this year to spy the ubiquituous slime mold called dog vomit!

  • Stellinate

    I have some this morning also and then ran across this post. YUCK. But should I leave it there? I found some sites that said it is beneficial and others that just say it won't cause any harm.

    If it doesn't really do anything, it's out of here, but if it's doing a good job at something I can tolerate it for awhile.

    Funny though, when I saw it I wondered what the cat ate.

  • rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

    Some of us would say that it is beneficial in that it is one of the 'recycling' organisms. It's turning your mulch into the elements that can be taken up by plants. So, it has a job to do. I don't think you would upset the balance of the universe, though, if you stirred it up with a rake to make it disappear!

  • metz01_comcast_net

    I have found these patches that are kind of foamy but firmish. When you step on them a black poder pours out of it. Is this the same thing? I hit one with the hose and the poder was airborn and visible for a while. A little alarming to see and I could only imagine that it is a fungus of some sort. Very strange.

  • orangecat

    Sounds similar to what I have. And they keep coming back--especially after it rains. After they've been there a couple days and dry out a bit, they get harder. And yes, if you do try to move them dispose of them, they have a tendency to break/collapse and spread spores everywhere. So, since they apparently are harmless (and keep coming back again and again!), I gave up on that. I still haven't gotten to the accepting-it-as-a-beautiful-part-of-nature stage though--lol--and I'm sure my neighbors wonder what we're doing to that garden....

  • jlgreg

    If you want to get rid of the mold, I've used Safer garden fungicide to kill it when it started taking over my barrel planters. It crept up the side of the barrel and started drowning my dianthus.... Very yucky!

  • ROBERTnj

    I have this too so I'm glad I now know what it is.
    There are patches of it on every part of my property that is mulched.
    First year I've had the pleasure (not) to experience it.

    Is it related to the mulch I chose to use this year or would it have happened regardless?
    Reason I ask is because I used a new mulch supplier this year. It did not come from my usual source.


  • mamimo

    We had a pile of that too a few weeks ago. The first time we saw it, my four year old asked if the neighbor's dog threw up in our yard. After we discovered what it was, the kids were thrilled and went to check on it every few days to see if it would grow. But it has disappeared since and hasn't reappeared. Bummer, the kids thought it was one of the coolest thing we found in the backyard.

  • janie_2007

    I have this orange foamy/spongy stuff oozing between the lanolium and outer wall of my bath room. It looks like a sponge that would be found in the ocean. I won't be so worried if it's the same thing. But I would like to know; "How do I get rid of it and why is it growing in my bath room?"

  • rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

    You'd have to post a good picture, janie.

  • binidpz_gmail_com

    I got the fright of my life this morning when I woke up and found this yellowish spongy mold growing on the edges of my stoop! We bought this house a few months ago and have basically rebuilt the whole house from scratch! We are levelling the front garden so there is just sand everywhere, and this is where this mold seems to be growing! I assumed it could make us sick so I pored jik on it and scooped it away, but after I moved it I noticed it had a verry "bloody" base! Freaky!!! I wonder if it is the same thing you guys are talking about?

  • elliander

    While having my master bedroom refinished a very slow roof leak was discovered. I had to have it sealed on the outside and on the inside in the attic was this very large yellow sponge like structure. I thought it was mold at first so pulled it all out and threw it away. After I did my research though and learned that it eats mold and bacteria and is not really a mold itself I realized that it actually protected my house from mold and was part of the reason why some of the water damage was minimized. It apparently crawled in through the tiny hole when a tree hit the house more than 2 years ago and I only found the leak today which should emphasize just how much of a benefit it was to have around. Then I learned that they move and have animal like intelligence despite lacking a nervous system so I decided to dig it out of the trash, give it a bowl to live in, and make a pet out of it.

    Doesn't look that pretty right now, but I plan to document how it develops.

    Here is a link that might be useful: {{gwi:1057920}}

  • sherryd0049

    I also have this strange looking yellow stuff growing in my yard (grass). It starts out like bright yellow slime with a spider web attached to the grass and then it starts growing, looking like yellow cauliflower. It grows real fast and on the 2nd day or so, it turns white and it you step on it, black powder explodes out of it. It looks to me like black spores maybe. Is this like anyone else;s grass or garden? I have never seen any thing like this before. Yucky, like out of a horror movie.

  • lisanti07028

    sherryd0049, you need to post a picture of it, and your best results would come from starting your own thread, preferably in the Name That Plants forum here on Gardenweb, rather than adding to a very old thread. I hope to see you and a picture in Name That Plant soon!

  • sherryd0049

    here is what it looks like

  • sherryd0049

    here is what it looks like


  • sherryd0049

    here is another

  • sherryd0049

    these are different ones growing in my front yard

  • sherryd0049

    these are different ones growing in my front yard


  • Gary Whitfield

    I have this stuff too. I've noticed too that if you mowe over it, it will leave a big black mark in the lawn. Is there any way to get rid of it? It may not be harmful but it looks horrible. Thank You

  • bifflauren

    I live in Granbury Texas. I also have this in my yard. I've lived here for 32 years and have never seen this before. My question is the same as everyone else. WHAT IS IT? Is it harmful ?

  • gardengal48 (PNW Z8/9)

    Did you read any of the previous posts? If it matches the photos and/or descriptions, it is one of the slime molds, a fungal organism, and it is harmless.

  • Basia Leja-Verdin

    So do I keep it or clean it up and throw out ASAP? Yellow spunge mold stuff. Worried it could spread closer to our home?!!!

  • mcpisces34

    yes I checked my garden in morning and all was good, came home late afternoon and went out only to see this same white gob frightening. I poked it only to find big black bean. Last night it is now in the back bed on the ground not on plants. It has black powdery dust coming out if you tap it.

  • jenealy

    Mine looks slightly different and is growing out of an old evergreen stump. It has doubled in size since yesterday.

  • esm48

    Wow - this is exactly what has been appearing on my mulch, especially after a heavy rain - thought it was some strange animal poop - looks creepy - glad it's harmless! (Though it would freak me out if I saw it in my house!)

  • bmahal1625

    I have the same stuff in my yard. I have a dog and I am afraid if he eats it might hurt him. It looks yuk. I do not know what to do or whom to call to take care of this.

  • Basia Leja-Verdin

    Since my original post... the mold has gone away on its own. It didn't rain for about a week straight and each day it got smaller and smaller and hasn't returned, at least not yet! I have a small dog that i let out and she wasn't even interested in getting close to it :)

  • cathiclose4
    Is this the same thing? I'm not sure. Help!

  • HU-472317

    In Australia, here is my overnight grown slime mold

  • Brittany Martin

    Ok, so I walked out this morning to clean out our baby chickens cage and went to get them some water and almost had a heart attack when I saw this stuff growing on the hose. I wouldn't pick it up. My first thought was that some sick animal had puked in my yard and my immediate second thought was what if they were ill or had rabies? ! I panicked and went back in and washed my hands thoroughly and then went to take these picks to send to my husband. Then I Googled it and found this forum and I PRAY that this is what this stuff is. We use the hose daily, and walked the path up to our steps daily where this is, so i am certain that no part of this was there yesterday, and we were outside until dusk. Here's the pics, let me know what you think, or give me some advice as to who I could maybe call about it. Thank you!

  • Erin Paez

    Omg! I am so glad I found this thread! I live in middle Tennessee and have a container garden in my back yard. 2 days ago I went outside and found this On my cantaloupe plant. I removed it and cut the plant back to about an inch about the soil. It wasn't anywhere near or on the other plants in the container and hasn't come back on that plant. But then the next day (yesterday) evening, I went back out, and found more growing in a different container on one of my bell pepper plants (just one stalk - even though there was another stalk right next to it that was untouched) and one of my edamame plants. So I scooped it off the soil and cleaned both plants with a towel. This morning it had grown back on the bell pepper plant so I recleaned it. Then again this afternoon, I saw some growing in a totally different container, on my cabbage!! It's nasty looking and I've been stressing about it cause I don't want it to ruin my garden. So I'm relieved to know that it's harmless. I still feel like I should clean it though. Hopefully we won't get too much more rain.

  • mlfung001

    I found similar, like a mango wedge between my blinds and window ledge...it is inside the house!! Yellow like mango!

  • rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

    Anyone really wanting an identification needs to include pictures.

  • lstnwl

    Not sure if this is the same stuff everyone is discussing - what we have in our yard does not look like the other photos. Should I be concerned? I have never seen this before. It wasn't here this morning

  • fallivel

    Thank you everyone for your posts. I thought for sure it was deer vomit. I feel better now I know it is harmless.

  • Ahmed Doshan

    I live in Thailand and found this by the pool. Seemed to have what looked like eggs?

  • Libby Flores
    We cleaned it once and it's back! Ugh!

  • Carol Wheaton

    I woke up to this being in my yard this morning. It's really disgusting looking.

  • Michael Peterson

    Central West Washington, this morning I found this!? Really weird looking yellow foamy stuff growing on top of a chip pile we created last year from many different trees. Pretty cool to look at but "is it dangerous"?

  • ponyxp67

    I had this appear around my bird feeder but there was no mulch involved but there is birdseed scraps on the ground. I scooped it up and trashed it because I wasn't sure if it would hurt the birds. I have never seen this before. I live in the Mid-Atlantic region and we had an extreme winter and a very wet spring. The pollen was so heavy it coated cars. The perennials have been in overdrive this spring and the Rhododendrons are the fullest I've seen them in years. Does the weather have anything to do with the growth of this slime mold? Thank you all for the information you have provided. :)

  • erinmenard88

    THANK YOU SOOO MUCH for this question and answer!! I was ABOUT to call my dogs vet because this kept happening BUT this morning, we saw new "dog vomit fungus" pop up and the dogs were not outside during this time period so I knew I had to check into this!! Thank goodness for the internet and people like you who share information!! Many thanks!! Now how can I get rid of this HORRIBLE SLIME VOMIT!!!

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