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Possible Root decay on an otherwise healthy plant. Help and suggestions appreciated


New Member
Hey everyone, first I am going to give a little back story into our issue here. When we began growing this guy he was simply in an Aerogarden with NO pump as the back arm was broken and the connectors were shot. So we needed to wait from 1-15 through 1-28 before it was getting the air pump benefits. During this time we were hand watering using the VERY OLD (expired in 2008) nutrient tablets from the Aerogarden using a turkey baster to feed our seedlings every one to two hours. No fans were going at this point as we live in a loft apartment and being in the North East ...IT'S COLD and we felt the wind would be to much for them. As things adapted (Aerogarden pump and also put in another air pump, also upgraded to General Hydroponics 3 STEP Nutrients, Fan going on them 6 hours on 6 off) our little guy has grown into a very strong looking plant ... with the exception of the base of its stalk. Any ideas what this could be? First time growers (obviously - but hey we're having fun and excited and doing alot more research now) but wanted some opinions and any help would be appreciated. Thanks all ... and Keep Growin!






New Member
Re: Possible Root decay on an otherwise healthy plant... help and suggestions appreci

Using really old nutes is not a good idea in general.

While your plants look good, and they seem to be making it, the root decay is a sign that things aren't going well - and that you might need to make some changes.

Sometimes, the leaves start to get dull and turn yellow and the whole plant seems to be on a slippery slope towards death. You try to correct the watering issue but nothing seems to help. Chances are, your plant is suffering from root rot.

What is root rot?

Root rot can have two sources, one is a prolonged exposure to overwatered conditions can cause some of the roots to die back due to a lack of oxygen. As they die, they can start to decay or rot away. The rot can then spread to healthier roots and kill them as well, even if the soil conditions are corrected..

The other source can be from a fungus in the soil. The fungus may lay dormant in soil indefinitely and then may suddenly flourish when the plant is overwatered once or twice. The root rot fungus attacks the roots and causes them to die and rot away.

What does root rot look like

If you are unsure whether your plant has root rot, you may be wondering what does root rot look like? If the plant is slowly wilting and the leaves are turning yellow for seemingly unknown reasons, you will want to check the roots. Remove the plant from the soil and feel the roots. The roots affected by root rot will look black and will feel mushy. Affected roots may literally fall off the plant when you touch them. Healthy roots may be black or pale, but they will feel firm and pliable.

Treating root rot

Whether the problem is prolonged overwatering or a single overwatering that caused a root rot fungus flare up, you must act quickly. Treating root rot ASAP will give you plant the best chance to survive.

Start to treat root rot by removing the plant from the soil and washing the roots under running water. Wash away as much soil and affected roots as possible while being gentle with the plant.

Next use a sharp, clean pair of shears or scissors to trim away all of the remaining affected roots. When you treat root rot, you may have to remove a significant amount of the root system if the plant is badly affected. If this is the case, clean the shears or scissor with rubbing alcohol and prune back a 1/3 to a 1/2 of the leaves on the plant. This will give the plant a better chance to regrow the roots as it will not need to support as many leaves.
Continue treating root rot by disposing of the soil in the pot that the plant was in. Wash the pot thoroughly with a bleach solution.

If possible, dip the remaining healthy roots in a fungicide solution to kill off any possible root rot fungus. After treating root rot in the plant, repot the plant in clean potting mix.

Make sure the container has good drainage and only water the plant when the top of the soil is dry. While the plant is regrowing its roots, do not fertilize the plant, as this may stress it. You do not want to have to treat root rot again in the plant. Hopefully now the plant will recover and you will get your beautiful house plant back.


New Member
Re: Possible Root decay on an otherwise healthy plant... help and suggestions appreci

Thank you so much for this info - it was VERY informative and very true - but we are a completely hydroponic grow - there is no soil! That's what made me so nervous - I had seen root rot in soil grows but not in Hydro grows - but being as we just started out in Hydro I didn't know if its the same thing. One thing my girlfriend suggested was that it may possibly be from the paper toppers on the Aerogarden - from the plants growing and rubbing against the paper. We still aren't sure but our babies are looking SO healthy now ... I'm not to worried ... take a look see!



Active Member
Re: Possible Root decay on an otherwise healthy plant... help and suggestions appreci

root rot can easily be an issue in hydro. warm reservoir temperatures and lack of oxygen for the roots can be a cause. hydrogen peroxide mixed in with the nutrients (no no with organics) will take care of the rot if it's not too serious.

can you get pictures of the roots?


New Member
Re: Possible Root decay on an otherwise healthy plant. Help and suggestions appreciat

if you have the money for it just remember _your roots can never have to much air_ think about adding an extra air pump -giving the roots an air bath at every res change is also a good idea,,have you read -------s guide yet?
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