Are your plants wilting away, like they are underwatered? Look again! They may have a bad case of root rot. Read more to learn about this! – Gro Indoor
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Identify, Prevent & Treat Root Rot In Plants

by 09 Apr 2023

Identify, Prevent & Treat Root Rot In Plants

Root rot is a problem that every new grower faces when growing as a beginner. In fact, it may even discourage new growers from growing plants like they initially wanted to, leading to them losing interest in growing. However, there's no need to fear roots rotting because there are some great ways to get rid of it quickly. One thing that makes it difficult to diagnose root rot is that the affected plants show similar symptoms as those of underwatered plants. On the contrary, the reason for root rot is overwatering! This confusion can be a real headache for growers; especially, if you don't know the problem. Root rot can be an issue in all types of plants, but the most vulnerable ones are houseplants. So, as growers, you must think fast and come up with a solution to this problem. Let's explore our options!

What Do You Mean By Root Rot?

As discussed before, a major cause for root rot is overwatering. In other words, prolonged exposure to moist conditions can cause roots to die. From roots being flooded to them struggling to gain oxygen access, the result is the plants start to rot. Another area for concern is that this disease doesn't stay still! Root rot continues to spread to the neighboring plants as well. As the rotted roots continue to develop, they easily spread to healthier roots near them and contaminate them too. On top of that, you can't get rid of the problem by changing the soil conditions; because this disease stays even if the old conditions change. However, one of the most effective remedial steps is to grow each plant in a different container. Raising multiple plants in a raised bed can increase the spread of root rot, and tackling the rapid spread will become next to impossible.

Another major cause of root rot is the fungus present inside the soil, which can stay dormant for a long time. After you overwater your plants, the fungus will choose any time to start developing. This fungal attack can lead to the rapid death of your plant's roots.

What Are The Signs Of Root Rot?

Like any other disease of both plants and humans, root rot has some telltale symptoms, which you must look out for. The first sign of root rotting is when the plants begin to wilt and leaves start to turn yellow. Since these symptoms resemble those of an underwatered plant, you may end up overwatering your plants, making matters worse. The best countermeasure is to track your watering habits and identify if the source of the problem is root rot or underwatering. Let's look at it this way; if your soil is

soggy, underwatering is not the problem. All you have to do is check the plants' roots, and if the conditions appear black and mushy, then it's root rot.

You can further compare the affected roots with healthier ones, which are usually white and firm. However, remember to be gentle and careful when touching those roots. Keep in mind that the weakened roots will fall apart if you mishandle them even slightly. Another clear indication of root rot is the absence of white rootlets near the top of the soil. Those white rootlets are called feeder roots and are essential for providing your plant with everything it needs.

How Can You Prevent Root Rot?

As growers, it's your responsibility to take precautionary measures against root rot from the start. However, once your roots start to rot, it can become hard to stop the spread from happening. So, our advice is to take these remedial steps from the start and ensure that your plants are safe from root rot and other diseases.

Selecting The Best Possible Grow Media And Container For Your Plants

A good grower must know that preventing root rots is the first action for prosperous plant life. So, let's begin by selecting the right planting container for your plant. Here, we provide you with some features which a good container must hold to avoid root rot at all costs.
• Try to find a pot with suitable drainage holes. Keep in mind that a pot without good drainage is more vulnerable to rotted roots.
• Another element to consider is that you must make sure that your soil is well-draining. High-dense soil can increase the chances for your plants' roots to rot.
• Use products like Fox Farm Cultivation Nation 70/30 Coconut Coir & Perlite. This formula is a mixture of buffered coconut coir and perlite, blended in the classic ratio of 70:30. Coconut coir is known for its water holding capabilities, and perlite is included to provide air spaces in the media, facilitating aeration and drainage.. You can check out our blog on best garden soils for further assistance.
Another point to note is that you may find root rot after rainy weather. However, it's a problem which you can't tackle if you're growing plants outdoors. All you have to do is avoid overwatering them after rainy weather!

Acquiring Good Watering Habits

Undeniably, the most effective way to prevent root rot is to ensure that your watering habit is precise! Sometimes growers think that their plants need water all the time, which eventually leads to root rot. So, insert your finger by an inch inside the soil, and if you find that the media is dry, you can water it again. If you're having trouble understanding the best possible way to water your plants, you can check out our complete guide on how to water plants properly. However, there are several other mistakes that new growers usually make, so also check out our article on common mistakes new growers make.

How to Get Rid of Root Rot?

There are countless ways with which you can get rid of root rots. However, the methods need to be effective for providing maximum results and offering the best chance for your plants' survival.

Keeping your Plants Nicely Cleaned and Trimmed

If you see any root rot symptoms, then the first step is to remove the plant from the soil. The next step is to wash the roots and get rid of the soil, which has caught the plant disease. We mentioned that affected roots are easier to remove, so now you're only left with the healthy ones. It would be best if you also trimmed down the affected roots with a clean pair of garden scissors, further reducing the affected roots. Now that you've removed a major chunk of your infected plant, the chance of survival immediately shoots up. All you have to do is let your plant grow at its pace by providing it with the necessary support and nourishment. Be patient, and the results will be there

Clean Your Plants' Pots and Remove Your Old Soil

Be careful, and don't put the infected plant back in the same container. You must get rid of the soil and completely wash the container with a good cleaning solution. This method will remove all the remains of the contaminants, which can re-infect your plant.

Using a Fungicide for the Rotted Roots

A good grower makes sure that something like root rotting doesn't happen again! So, it's best if you dip your remaining healthy roots in a fungicide before replanting them. Remember, you don't want pathogens to spread in new plants or healthier roots. After you're done dipping it in the fungicide solution, you can re-pot them again in a clean pot with a clean soil.

The Best Fungicides for Treating Root Rot

At, we provide the best fungicides to fight root rot. These fungicides are Organocide Plant Doctor Systematic Fungicide, PureCrop1 Fungicide and Insecticide and Sierra Natural Science 244 Fungicide,

Enhance Care for Your Sick Plant

Keep in mind that your plant just got a severe treatment against a horrible disease. So, don't give up if your plant looks a bit out of shape. This is a transition stage, and you have to put extra effort into making it as good as new. And the first order of business is to place your plant in a well-lit environment and water them only during its soil becomes dry. You can also try to place them in a different location. Just make sure to pick a naturally well-drained soil location.

Final words

You must keep checking your plants for root rot as it can quickly kill off plants. Experts believe that the severe consequences of root rot can result in the complete destruction of several plants. So, it's up to you how you make sure your plants survive and thrive against this disease. If you want to learn more about dealing with root rots and other plant diseases, check out our other articles at our learning center. Visit today!

May 11th 2021
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