Learn How to Treat Plants Affected by Root Rot
WHAT IS ROOT ROT
Root rot can pose a serious challenge for hydroponic growers. Root rot is a fungal disease caused predominantly by Pythium spp. and is often referred to as water mold.
There are several factors that make plants more susceptible to root rot such as overwatering, lack of dissolved oxygen in the root zone, high humidity and constant warm temperatures, and lack of light in the growing environment. If root rot is left untreated, it could ultimately kill your plants or, at a minimum, could severely hinder the plant’s ability to absorb water and nutrients – resulting in poor growth and low yields.
WHAT DOES ROOT ROT LOOK LIKE?
If you notice that your plants are starting to look unhealthy with wilting or blotchy leaves, check the roots. Signs of root rot include soft dark roots instead of firm white roots.
Rotted Roots (left) vs. Clean Roots
HOW TO FIX ROOT ROT?
If your plant has root rot, it is unable to absorb water and nutrients to survive. Therefore, you need to act immediately to increase the chance of survival.
- Start by rinsing the affected roots under clean water. You will have to trim the affected roots with a pair of clean sharp scissors.
- It is also recommended to prune the deficient brown or yellow leaves. Reducing the overall size of the plant may help because your root system will no longer be strong enough to support the entire plant.
- Thoroughly clean the growing media or grow system and replace with fresh nutrient mix that includes Hygrozyme and beneficial microbes. The enzymes in Hygrozyme continually work to break down dead root matter which prevents root rot from further developing.
- Improve aeration:
o High beneficial microbe activity improves aeration within the root zone. Create an environment that allows for beneficial microbes to thrive by adding Hygrozyme to your feed. The enzymes in Hygrozyme convert dead root matter into simple sugars for beneficial microbes to consume.
o Use air pumps, air stones, or air diffusers.
o For soil, increase drainage. Do not overwater.
- Remember to check your plant for new growth development for the next few days. The brown or yellow leaves will never turn green again, but new leaves should be green and healthy. New roots should be white and firm.
HOW TO PREVENT ROOT ROT?
Since it is extremely difficult to reverse the effects of root rot for plants, preventing root rot with the use of Hygrozyme as part of your feeding regime is a smart investment.
Remember, the most important part of your crop starts with the roots. If they’re not clean and strong, your plants won’t reach their full genetic potential.