How To Fix Orchid Root Rot The Easiest Way

Before you panic, learn how to fix orchid root rot in three easy steps. It is always beneficial to learn various techniques for fixing orchid problems. Whether it’s about how to save an orchid with rotten roots or how to recover an overwatered orchid, keeping these tricks in your arsenal should prevent fears when you recognize the signs of an orchid problem. 

More so, addressing the issue immediately will always have a higher rate of success. Orchids are not the easiest plants to grow because they are prone to pests and diseases. However, a trend you’ll see is that improper management practices often cause these problems. 

This doesn’t mean that you should forget your dream of having orchids. You can always use a greenhouse to maintain their ideal growing condition and give you a safety net. 

How To Fix Orchid Root Rot The Easiest Way

How To Fix Orchid Root Rot In 3 Steps  


Step #1. Prepare an ideal environment

When growing orchids, it’s no question that maintaining their ideal environment is crucial for their health. Therefore, one can conclude that plants having root rot will require these conditions more. This is why creating the perfect environment is the first step of fixing root rot, and you can do it indoors like the greenhouse. 

For this ideal environment, you want to put the orchids in high humidity to make the drying rate slower until the damaged plants recover. Gardeners also note how warm temperatures support growth and metabolism, so plants have a faster recovery chance under this condition. Lastly, subdue the orchids’ light source so that they don’t lose water further from creating sugars. 


Step #2. Add a rooting hormone 

Once you have your ideal environment for root rot recovery, you need to prepare the plant itself. You can help the plant rejuvenate its roots by using a rooting hormone as you would in division. Applying a rooting hormone is simple, but make sure to follow the instructions on the label. 

The most common method is dipping the plant in the rooting hormone. Start by filling a container with water around 80°F and creating a solution with the rooting hormone. Then, use this container to submerge the plant for an hour. 

Using a rooting hormone is fool-proof, but remember to practice sanitation using the rooting hormone to prevent spreading diseases.


Step #3. Make a rescue environment

Besides using a rooting hormone, some gardeners also prefer to try and recover some of the roots. Using damp sphagnum and a plastic bag, you can create a smaller environment to help the roots get water for the plant. Remember that misting is useless for plants experiencing root rot because their leaves are not efficient anymore. 

Therefore, sphagnum for moisture and a bag as the closed environment should provide water to the orchids with root rot. However, this technique is not flawless, and you want to avoid getting the plant in direct contact with sphagnum. Please do your research for this rescue environment beforehand, as it’s always easier to create new roots than rescuing the rotten ones. 

To give you a quick idea, you’ll add some damp sphagnum moss in one corner of the plastic bag. Place the orchid inside, making sure it’s not touching the moss before sealing the bag. Then, place it in a warm but shady area to induce a new root system ready for repotting. 


What Causes Orchid Root Rot?

More than the solution, prevention will always be the most effective way to conquer orchid root rot. Root rot itself is a fungal disease, which means management practices will be useful in preventing it. The most significant cause of orchid root rot is overwatering because this situation deprives the roots of oxygen. 

To combat overwatering, make sure that your orchid containers have good drainage, and their medium itself doesn’t create standing water. More so, check the medium’s top before watering and abide by your orchid species’ water requirements. Lastly, be conscious of the size of the pot you’re using. 

Not only does this create an excess medium that retains water, but a large container will also take longer to dry. If you don’t schedule your waterings, you have a high chance of overwatering that will support root rot. Overall, always be on the lookout for overwatering signs, and don’t panic if you suspect root rot since you can still recover them. 



Maintaining the ideal conditions and management practices is the best way to prevent root rot on orchids. But once your plant shows signs of this disease, you should know how to fix orchid root rot to address it immediately. Start by preparing the ideal environment to help the plant recover by adjusting the conditions inside a greenhouse. 

Then, remove the remaining media and dead roots of the plants before dipping them in rooting hormone. Before setting them in any new pot, you can consider creating a recovery environment using sphagnum moss and plastic bags. The combination of the greenhouse and this environment should help the plants take in water, rejuvenate themselves, and grow a new root system. 

Lastly, don’t forget to be mindful of watering your orchids. Overwatering is the leading cause of root rot, and you can prevent this by using a well-draining medium and container. 

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How To Prevent Root Rot In Hydroponics: 3 Useful Tips

If you’re a newbie gardener who’s looking to find ways to hone your skills, you’d want to learn how to prevent root rot in hydroponics even before this problem affects your plants.

Hydroponics can be advantageous to crops in more ways than one. However, it also comes with risks of diseases, such as root rot, which can be destructive or even lethal to your plants.

Unfortunately, there are no effective methods to recover the wilted parts that were affected by the root rot once it hits your plants. The only thing you can do if you do not want this catastrophe to befall your crops is to prevent it before it happens. Read on to learn more about this subject.


What is Root Rot?

Root rot is a disease that attacks the plant roots and causes them to suffer decay. This usually happens when a lack of oxygen supply occurs in the substrate.

To give you an idea, think about plant roots that are submerged in water that only has a little oxygen in it. Over time, the plant suffocates and dies.

Aside from rot and decay, this disease also leads to the proliferation of fungi that are naturally present in the soil. These include Rhizoctonia, Alternaria, Pythium, Botrytis, Fusarium, or Phytophthora. As soon as fungi colonies start to grow, they tend to target the weakened roots and infect your precious plant babies.

Once the plant becomes infected, they won’t be able to take in what they need to grow – water, oxygen, and other nutrients. When this happens, it won’t be long before the plant dies.


What is Hydroponics?

In case you’re not aware, the term hydroponic is derived from a Latin word that means “working water”. To put it simply, hydroponics is an art that involves growing various types of plants without soil. If you’re like most people, the first thing that comes to mind when somebody talks about hydroponics would be a picture of plants with roots suspended into the water without using any type of growing medium.


Avoiding Root Rot in Hydroponic Systems

Detecting and identifying root rot can be tricky. When your plants get infected, their leaves and roots gradually wither until the whole crop itself dies from the lack of nutrients, which is a common symptom of many diseases.


What causes root rot in hydroponics?

One of the requirements in hydroponics systems is oxygen. Without it, your plants are basically on the road to death. On the other hand, lack of such is one of the major triggers for root rot, and it must be avoided at all costs.

Just like when planting in soil, you loosen up the ground so that your plants’ roots can have their required intake of oxygen. That is the case for crops grown in aqueous solutions as well. If they cannot breathe, they would not be able to grow.

Another agent for root rot is the temperature. The last thing you would want in your system are parasites that leech nutrients intended for your plants and infect the water during the process. In common terms, these fungi are called molds.

One of the best breeding grounds for these is warm and moist areas. For this reason, if the water temperature inside your reservoir is high, then you are susceptible to it. Something as minor as letting the solutions exposed to sunlight can already be a risk factor.


3 Useful Tips on How to prevent root rot in hydroponics

There is good news! Root rot in hydroponics can be prevented! Just follow these tips:

Tip#1: Use the right air pump

If you do not want root rot to affect your plants, you merely have to avoid its causes. If you need oxygen, keep the water bubbling by providing an air pump of appropriate size, and also give importance to proper ventilation in the room.


Tip #2: Maintain the temperature

The temperature should be maintained within the 70 to 80 degrees F range. Get rid of any materials that can make your system vulnerable to infections, and make sure not to disturb your crops while they are trying to grow.


Tip #3: Get rid of the rotten parts

However, if you failed in preventing the disease, then the rotten parts should be removed immediately. Cut them off as there is no chance of reviving them, and focus on the potential new growth instead. Fix your hydroponics system and eliminate the risks.


Why Give Greenhouse Gardening a Try?

Greenhouse gardening offers numerous benefits to greens aficionados who dare to take their gardening experience to the next level. Aside from acting as a shield against the effects of inclement weather, a mini, hobby, or semi-pro greenhouse can also serve as a protective layer that keeps harmful bugs and critters at bay.

What’s more, its enclosed structure allows you to control your plants’ growing conditions including the temperature, light, moisture, and ventilation of the greenhouse’s internal environment. With a controlled environment, you’ll be able to extend growing seasons and grow plants that aren’t native to your area.



No matter how well-informed you are about how to prevent root rot in hydroponics, you cannot completely eradicate the risks. Therefore, to avoid the worst-case scenario, you should be prepared to sacrifice the infected for the sake of others. While you’re at it, consider trying your hand at greenhouse gardening as well.


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