If Mushrooms Are Growing in Your Lawn, This Is What It Means

Updated: Jun. 16, 2024

Gardening expert Melinda Myers explains why mushrooms sprout on your lawn and trees and what to do about them.

How to Get Rid of Mushrooms Growing in Your Lawn

Dorothy Clark of Culver, Oregon writes: “Toadstools are growing in the open soil and under plant leaves in my flower bed. The soil isn’t too damp, so I don’t know why these intruders are showing up. I pull out and dispose of the mushrooms in my lawn, but they reappear. How do I get rid of them?”

mushrooms in lawn trees

Melinda Myers: Toadstools, or mushrooms, are the fruiting body of fungi. The underground portion of the fungus feeds on decaying wood, like old tree roots, a stump (above) or lumber accidentally buried during construction. Once the fungi have decomposed the wood, their food source is gone and the mushrooms in your lawn will disappear.

Rake to break up or remove the toadstools if you’re worried about kids or pets eating them. Otherwise, wait for drier weather and watch them disappear until the next rainy spell.

Pro tip: Mushrooms and toadstools could potentially be poisonous and dangerous. Never eat anything in the wild or your backyard without checking with a professional.

Why Do Mushrooms Grow In Random Places?

mushrooms in lawn

“Why do mushrooms pop up in random places, and are they harmful to other plants?” writes Harmony Gayle of Portsmouth, Virginia.

Myers: Mushroom fungi feed on and decompose old tree roots, stumps, leaves and other organic matter. Some species of Armillaria mushrooms are the fruiting body of a root rot fungal disease that attacks susceptible trees and shrubs. Clusters of honey-colored mushrooms may appear at the base of an infected plant.

Mushroom Growing in Potted Plant

14 Nancytibbits Bbas21

“What’s sticking out of the bottom of my hanging plant [above]?” writes Nancy Tibbitts of Parrott, Virginia.

Myers: This could be a mushroom. Your potting mix may contain bark, a potential food source for the fungi. It won’t hurt your plant, but you could see new mushrooms sporadically appear when the weather conditions are right.