Overwatering is the number one cause of root rot in houseplants and sadly, root rot is a condition that, if left untreated, will kill your houseplants. Healthy roots = a healthy houseplant. Damaged, sick, or rotting roots = a sickly or dead houseplant.
Good News! In today’s post, I’m going going to teach you about root rot, how to identify root rot, and how to save a plant that has root rot. Yep, that’s right! A houseplant with root rot might not be a goner!
This easy-to-read post is all about how to detect and defeat root rot!
Root Rot Is Your Houseplant’s Worst Enemy: How do you identify root rot and treat root rot in house plants?
What is Root Rot?
What are the signs and symptoms of root rot?
Many symptoms of root rot mirror the signs of a pest infestation, which makes properly diagnosing it more difficult. Possible, signs and symptoms of root rot:
- Significant yellow leaves, not just one or two, which is normal
- Significant leaf drop, not just one leaf falling off, which is normal
- Smaller-than-usual and pale leaves
- Brown splotches on the leaves
- Significant wilting
- Stunted growth
- The rapid decline of the health of your plant
- Unhealthy, black or brown, mushy roots (instead of white and firm roots) that might even fall off to the touch
How do you get rid of root rot?
If the root rot has been detected, you must decide whether the plant can be saved. If the whole root system is still mushy, it is most likely too late to save the plant.
If you are aiming to save your plant, you will need to carefully remove it from its planter, and its roots should be washed off and examined for indications of rotting.
A healthy plant has numerous white roots that appear fibrous. A diseased plant’s roots will show various degrees of water-soaking and will usually be some shade of brown or black. If there are any safe, white, strong roots, aim to get the plant back to good health by replanting in fresh soil with good drainage.
You can get rid of root rot and revive your plant in 4 steps:
- Prepare the plants for replanting by carefully brushing the roots under running water and scraping all the brown, mushy roots with a sharp pair of clean scissors.
- Cut off the good root just above the affected region. Work rapidly to replant within a couple of hours.
- When all roots have been pruned, sterilize the scissors and the pot with a solution of 1 part bleach to 3 parts water to prevent the transmission of fungal spores to other plants or dirt.
- Make sure you have a well-draining planter and repot your plant in new soil with plenty of fresh perlite. My magic ratio is 80% soil, 20% perlite.
Did you find this post helpful? I sure hope so!! Want more houseplant care tips? These posts might be just what you’re looking for:
- Houseplant Winter Survival Guide
- Overwatering Your Houseplants? Stop Killing Them With Kindness
- Monstera Houseplant Guide: How to Get the Prettiest Splits