How to Fix Root Rot

Learn How to Treat Plants Affected by 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.

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

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.

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.


This post should serve as a role model for all the vendors recently joining Growers Network.

Knowledge first. Thank you for sharing your knowledge on root rot @Hygrozyme :slight_smile:

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Thank you for your kind words @nick! We hope to continue educating The Growers Network on topics that we can contribute to!


I would also mention that Phythium is an opportunistic pathogen that usually attacks weakend plants with damaged root systems. It is typically associated with improper PH of the media.
Get the ph right and pythium will not be a problem.


Also use Growstone’s LIFT larger foam glass stones as a drainage layer.

Growstone LIFT is the ideal drainage layer for all your indoor and outdoor plants. Simply add LIFT to the bottom of your container and breathe fresh air into your roots. A high-performance drainage layer is especially important if your plants are grown in plastic containers or with saucers underneath which can trap excess moisture and create a soggy root zone.

LIFT allows air to enter the inner core of your roots helping them dry evenly and allows excess water to drain away. These highly porous large stones are lightweight, clean, and provide superior water-holding capacity and aeration to roots. The best part is they are made in the USA from 100% recycled glass!

Nothing is more important to plant growth than having an ample supply of oxygen to plant roots. Oxygen helps roots absorb nutrients faster and can considerably increase plant growth rate.

Extensive Advantages:

  • Increased drainage creates healthier roots.
  • Helps soils dry evenly.
  • Lifts roots out of standing water.
  • Lowers weight of large containers.
  • Large stones won’t fall out of the container’s drainage holes.

Optimal use of LIFT – Growstone Drainage Layer:

  1. Place a layer of LIFT on the bottom of your growing container.
  2. Then, add Growstone GS-3 Coco Mix Growstone GS-4 Coco Mix, or your favorite soil on top.
  3. For best results, place Growstone Gnat Nix Fungus Gnat Control on top of your coco or soil mix.