Root Rot

Author: Scott   Date Posted:9 January 2018 

Root rot is part of gardening and most growers experience it. Symptoms can include:

  1. drooping leaves or wilted leaves. Because the roots are damaged the plant cannot get enough water. But too much water and not enough air/drainage is the problem - so don't water them to solve this unless they are actually dry and out of water.
  2. Yellowing of the lower leaves. The plant stores nutrients in the lower leaves. If the roots aren't supplying nutrients then the plant will translocate/move the nutrients from the older lower leaves to the new growth and/or flowers.
  3. If growing in containers, the container will may feel very heavy, as water is building up
  4. If roots are visible such as Channel NFT hydroponics or DFT, DWC, Bubbleponics, Kratky etc - the roots should be white or ivory. Rotting roots will be brown, black and/or slimy. They usually fall off when moved or touched. These systems often fail above 25 degrees due to low oxygen.

Treatment

  1. Allow the excess water to drain out or be used up before watering again. 
  2. remove dead root matter if possible as it may contain enough fungal infection to spread. This is usually pythium or phytophthora
  3. Hydroshield will santise the roots using oxygen and colloidal silver. Use every 1-3 days until symptoms improve
  4. If using micobial products like Drive, Myco, Tryco, Rhizo etc, discontinue until symptoms indicate the root rot is gone, and at lease 2 days after using any sanitant. This is because the Hydroshield uses Hydrogen peroxide and silver to kill all single celled organisms including the bad guys and the good guys in the root zone. Its very safe to use, and you can reapply the organisms very quickly in a clean root zone. The organisms in Drive will usually protect against reinfection and stimulate the roots as well.
  5. Other sanitants use Chlorine in a monochloramine form such as Pythoff. Very powerful but can drive oxgen out of the root zone and continued use is not ideal.
  6. Sometimes root rot enters the plant from a very bad infection. Systemic Fungicides work as a secondary treatment if the plant or cuttings are affected. Cuttings can be affected because the cuttings/clones were taken from an infected plant. Use as a foliar spray of Rotguard by Amgrow (replaces Fongarid) as the roots are not really functioning and we need the treatment inside the plant not at the roots.Many growers attept to apply this to the roots and while some may be absorbed the main uptake would be through the leaves. Apply Hydroshield to the roots and Rotguard to the leaves.

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