Root Rot

What is Root Rot?

  • Root rot can have two sources. One is prolonged exposure to overwatered conditions that could cause some of the roots to die back due to a lack of oxygen. As they die, they can start to decay or rot away. The rot can then spread to healthier roots and kill them as well, even if the soil conditions are corrected.  The other source can be from a fungus in the soil. The fungus may lay dormant indefintely and then may suddenly flourish when the plant is overwated once or twice. Also fungus gnats larvae feed off the roots of the plant which can cause the root rot to start.

What does Root Rot look like?

  • If you are unsure whether your plant has root rot, you may be wondering what does root rot look like? If the plant is slowly wilting and the leaves are turning yellow for seemingly a unknown reason, you will want to check the roots. Remove the plant from the soil and feel the root. The roots affected by root rot will look black and will feel mushy. also when the plant has root rot is will have a bad odor. Remember healthy  roots may be black or pale, but they will feel firm and pliable.

Treating Root Rot

  • Whether the problem is prolonged overwatering or single overwatering that caused a root rot fungus flare up, you must act quickly. Treating the root rot ASAP will give your plant the chance to survive.
  • Prune decayed roots and provide proper soil drainage. Do not reuse infected soil. pots should be disifected by soaking in 10% bleach solution (1 part bleach to 9 parts of water) for 30 minutes. Drenching the soil with a fungicide such as thiophante-methyl can help control some species of fungi. Feeding H2o2 to the plants will kill the fungi.