How to Fix Root Rot in Soil and Avoid Killing Your Plant

Root rot hides from our eyes and remains undetected for a long time. When the first visible signs of the plant show, its health is almost ruined. Now is the time to act quickly. But how to fix root rot in soil?

how to fix root rot in soil
Root rot is often recognized too late

How to Detect Root Rot in Soil

It is not easy to recognize rotting roots because they are not visible to us when surrounded by the earth. But at some point this disease cannot be overlooked in the rest of the plant. The typical picture shows a wilting plant. “The plant needs water,” thinks the owner, and they water heavily. The rot remains undetected, and with more moisture it is even intensified.

With wilting parts of the plant or changes in the leaves, root rot should always be considered:

  • Dig up and inspect roots in a targeted manner
  • Look for gray, brown or black discoloration
  • Rotten roots are often mushy
  • They give off a musty smell

How to Fix Root Rot in Soil

Root rot often means the end of the plant, but sometimes it can be saved. An effective preparation is not available on the market, especially since a wide variety of pathogens are at work. Since wet soil is critical to the onset and progression of the disease, this is where the key lies.

  • Cut off rotten roots completely
  • Rinse the root ball under running water
  • Plant the plant in fresh soil
  • Use a new pot

Pro Tip:

In the following period, keep the plant as dry as possible so that its roots can recover.

Root Rot in the Garden Bed

If entire garden or certain outdoor plants are affected by root rot, rescue is more difficult. The first thing to be examined is the watering behavior. Depending on the root disease, it may also be necessary to dispose of the affected plants immediately and completely. Nevertheless, some pathogens survive in the soil and often attack the same types of plants. Therefore, pay attention to the crop rotation in the following years.

How to Prevent Root Rot

Even if the infected plant dies of root rot, it is high time for preventive measures. Other plants and new acquisitions are also at risk of developing root rot in the course of their lives. Care errors should at least be minimized as risk factors.

  • Avoid waterlogging / empty coasters
  • Use loose, well-drained substrate
  • Use plant strengtheners
  • Always observe crop rotation in the garden