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How To Treat Root Rot In Soil. 2 Best Solutions

If you want to how to treat root rot in soil, you have two solutions to help your plants survive. This article will also discuss how you can determine root rot to solve the problem as quickly as possible. However, remember fungi typically cause root rot, so other preventative practices are crucial for your plants. 

If the environment is unstable, it can encourage the growth of organisms like fungi. Perhaps this is why growing in the greenhouse can be advantageous in avoiding such problems. More so, Improper practices such as watering can also keep the plant roots in standing water, leading to this disease.


How To Treat Root Rot In Soil. 2 Best Solutions

How To Fix Root Rot In Soil


Solution #1. Replant

The first solution you can also consider as the first step to treat root rot in the soil is replanting your plants. This should always be your first option to determine if you can still save your plant. Remember that the entire root system is already damaged in some cases, and there’s no point in keeping the plant. 

More so, removing the affected plants in the area will help you control the spread of root rot. Some plants that have withered completely will also just compete with the healthier ones, so it’s best to uproot them. Afterward, compost the holes to prevent the fungus from spreading.  


Check for healthy roots

A healthy root system still has firm and white roots, but a fully damaged one is mushy and dark. Upon digging out the plant, check its roots to see if you can still save it by replanting. If there are still viable roots, replanting it in new soil with good drainage can help recover it. 


Clean the root system and remove damaged roots

Before planting, you want to run the roots under clean water to get rid of the soil. Remove those that are damaged by root rot and use sterile and sharp scissors to prevent them from contacting the healthy roots. However, the emphasis is necessary on using well-draining soil for replanting because fungus thrives in a wet environment. 

Your plant will have a hard time recovering if the soil is not ideal for its health. And if the ground is too dry, it would also cause drawbacks to developing a healthy root system. Lastly, don’t forget to sterilize your tools because fungal spores can spread to the new environment or other plants. 


Solution #2. Rejuvenate plants

The second solution or step after uprooting and replanting your plants is to ensure that the practices and conditions support their recovery. For starters, keep your plants from getting stressed due to fluctuating climates. You can grow them in the greenhouse until the outdoor conditions stabilize, and they have grown vigorous enough to handle climate changes. 



Ideal site

When replanting, you want to have the plants at the same depth as their previous location. This way, the plant can recover faster from root rot because the roots can dry out and not stay mushy. Some gardeners also do scuffling in between rows to help the new root growth contact with the soil. 

Should you use fungicides? Overwatering and fungi are the culprits of root rot, so one can assume that treating the soil with fungicides can help treat this condition. However, there are many kinds of fungicides, and using them blindly will only damage the plants. 

You also don’t want to contaminate the soil from using too much product as this can make the plant more susceptible to root rot. If the fungicide doesn’t properly make contact with plant roots, the chemical will only be ineffective. Get your plants tested for the fungus causing root rot and use fungicides only when it’s the last course of action suitable. 


Fertilizing and watering

Fertilizing your plants will help them recover and encourage root development. Experienced gardeners cultivate nitrogen between the rows at a rate suitable for the area. Remember that nitrogen supports root growth, and you can choose from potassium nitrate, ammonium nitrate, or ammonium sulfate. 

Overwatering and soggy soil support root rot and fungal growth, confusing you with how to water plants that are recovering from that condition. However, root rot typically starts at the plant’s crown, so you want to water around the plant instead of targeting the base. This way, the plant still has access to water to rejuvenate itself, but the crown doesn’t get overwatered. 


Signs Of Root Rot

You also need to be familiar with root rot symptoms to address the problem as quickly as possible. Of course, the best way to do this is to check for mushy and black roots with a strong decomposing odor. However, the plant can also exhibit yellowing leaves and foliage that stops growing. 

This is because the plant can’t absorb nutrients as efficiently due to the damaged roots. In turn, the foliage wilt, and flowering plants can even delay blooming. Over time, the plant can die after ten days.



Once you notice yellowing leaves and slow-growing foliage, it might be a telltale sign of root rot. But before you fret, you can learn how to treat root rot in soil using two steps. Start by uprooting the plant and removing the damaged mushy roots. 

If the entire root system is damaged, it’s best to dispose of the plant as it’s unlikely that it will recover. Otherwise, replant in a well-draining site at a depth similar to the plant’s last hole and feed with nitrogen. You can also water around the plant, but only consider using fungicides as the last resort. 


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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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