What is Root Rot?

Root rot is a condition found in both indoor and outdoor plants with poor drainage. As the name states, the  roots of the plant rot . Usually, this is a result of overwatering.  The excess water makes it very difficult for the roots to get the air that they need causing them to decay. To avoid root rot it is best to only water plants when the soil becomes dry.

Once root rot is identified you must determine if the plant can be saved.  If the entire root system has already become mushy, it is too late to save the plant.  However, if some healthy, white, firm roots exist, try to bring the plant back to good health by replanting in fresh soil with good drainage (for house plants).  Root rot spreads through the soil so the only root rot remedy for garden plants is often to remove and destroy the plant. However, you can try these corrective measures if you want to attempt to save a particularly valuable plant:

  • Keep the soil as dry as possible.
  • Don’t irrigate the plant unless the soil is almost completely dry.
  • Pull back the soil to allow moisture to evaporate from the soil.

When it comes to identifying root rot, look at the plants. Plants with root rot can’t absorb moisture and nourishment from the soil properly. The plants often resemble those suffering from drought and stress and mineral deficiencies.  Signs of root rot in garden plants include stunting, wilting and discolored leaves. Foliage and shoots die back and the entire plant soon dies. If you pull up a plant with root rot, you will see that the roots are brown and soft instead of firm and white.

The best root rot remedy for garden plants is prevention. Prevent root rot by filling in low parts of the garden and improving the soil with organic matter so that it drains freely. If you can’t improve the drainage, use raised beds where plant roots sit above the soil and don’t over water.  Even when all of the precautions are taken in the garden, root rot may still occasionally become an issue. However, if you pay attention to the signs of root rot in garden plants, you’ll have a better chance of saving them.

If you think you might be seeing root rot, or would like a Free Estimate for our Tree & Shrub care, please call our office today!