How to Identify & Treat Root Rot in Plants

The Basics of Root Rot – What It Is and How it Works

Root rot is a common problem in potted plants, especially tropical plants. Root rot refers to the condition where anoxic soil or potting media around the roots of a plant will eventually cause them to rot. This occurs due to the roots being wet for too long. It is found in both indoor and outdoor plants, but more common in indoor plants due to overwatering or poor drainage. The leaves of plants with root rot often turn yellow and die. If the condition is left untreated, it could be fatal.

What Causes Root Rot?

how to prevent root rot

Roots are the most important part of a plant. They are what hold the plant up and take in nutrients and water. Without roots, plants would not be able to grow or survive.

Root rotting can have two sources — one because of prolonged exposure to over-watered conditions which can starve the roots of oxygen. Plants die when they can no longer sustain themselves. The decay of a plant that died early in the growing season can take healthier plants down with it. Soil fungi can be either a source of disease or the cause in one instance. When overwatered, dormant fungi may suddenly start to flourish which can lead to root rot. Fungal spores will attack the roots, killing them and causing root rot.


What does root rot look like?

Root rot can be identified by the presence of soft, brown roots and a soggy soil. The healthy root system should be firm and white. But when plants suffer from root rot, their roots start to decompose and turn brown. As the pH level lowers, fungal spores multiply, leading to a rise in the size of fungus that directly affects the length of roots. As the fungus grows, healthier areas of roots turn brown and mushy as they die. As a result, plants are unable to absorb the nutrients they need and their foliage isn’t able to thrive. When your plants start to wilt, turn yellow, and fall off, it’s a sign they’re ailing. Conditions which are conducive to fungus growth can make them die within 10 days if you don’t act promptly. If your plant displays these symptoms, loosen the soil at the base of the plant with a trowel. Remove the plant from soil and shake off any loose dirt. Inspect its roots for signs of rot.

Root rot can be recognizable by the following symptoms:

root rot

  • Browning leaves
  • Drooping branches
  • Wilting leaves
  • Stunted growth


Root rot is a kind of plant disease caused by fungi. Root rot is most common in plants that have been weakened by drought, poor soil, or other stresses. The fungus enters the plant through the roots and spreads to the rest of the plant, which causes it to die.

The most important signs of root rot are wilted leaves and stunted growth. If you notice these signs on your plants, it might be time to take action against root rot.

Root rot is a type of plant disease that occurs when the roots of a plant become infected with an organism. Root rot can be caused by many different organisms, including bacteria, fungi, nematodes and viruses.

How to Prevent Root Rot


Root rot is a type of plant disease that can cause major damage to a plant. It’s caused by fungi and bacteria, which can live in the soil and damage the roots of plants.

To prevent root rot, it is important to water your plants regularly. If you notice that your plant has wilted leaves or drooping stems, it may be due to root rot. You should also make sure that the soil is moist enough for the roots to grow.

Root rot is a disease that can be caused by overwatering, overfertilizing and poor drainage. Disease prevention is the key to root rot prevention. Prevention is the best way to avoid root rot. Root rot is a common problem for many plants, especially those grown in containers. It can be caused by overwatering, underwatering, poor drainage or overfeeding.

root rot

To prevent root rot, there are a few things you can do:

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  • Keep your plants in pots that have good drainage holes and never let them sit in water.
  • Make sure they are not sitting in water or constantly moist soil and mist them with a spray bottle when needed.
  • Feed your plants with fertilizers high in potassium and phosphorus but low in nitrogen(such as Optic Foliar Transport), as too much nitrogen will cause the plant to grow leaves instead of roots.


How to Save a Plant From Root Rot

Root rot can be identified by the root system becoming mushy. If this has happened, it may be too late to save the plant. If some healthy, white, firm roots exist, replant the dying plant in fresh soil with good drainage.

In order to replant, gently clean the roots and remove all brown, mushy roots with a sharp pair of scissors. Cut the healthy root just above the damaged area. Cut off the dead or dying parts of the plant using 1 part bleach to 3 parts water. Wait for at least 1 hour before replanting. This will ensure you’re not spreading fungal spores and allows for roots to dry out before moving on.

Root rot can seriously affect the health of your plants but if you catch it early you have a better chance of saving them. The first indication of root rot is soggy soil, so make sure you have good drainage and there is enough distance between plants to prevent contact with water.