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Resolving Root Rot

Posted by MariaBBB | Added on : June 06, 2010 04:08am | Viewed 2513 times | 0 Comments | This article is also in blooms and bushel basket


While blooms and other plants sometimes suffer from neglect, all too often they also suffer from too much care. This usually comes in the form of over watering and a disastrous result can be root rot for the flower or plant. Although all plants need water to survive and grow, too much can be deadly. When a plant is over watered, the roots are unable to breathe, and eventually rot. Over watering also leads to fungal diseases and mold. Once root rot begins the plant will start to die, but if itís caught early enough, it can be saved. Signs of over watering include: wilting, yellow leaves, a few leaves falling off the plant, mushy stems, very damp soil that persists for several days and mold growth on the soil. Although it is very difficult to rescue a plant that has root rot, if you catch it early enough you can successfully save the plant. Here is how to save a plant that has root rot.


The first thing to do if you think a plant has been over watered or if you notice the signs mentioned above is to get it out of its pot immediately. Chances are the soil will be very wet. If the roots still look healthy, wrap the root ball in a thick layer of paper towels and let it sit. When the towels become saturated, replace with a dry layer. Once the second layer becomes wet you can remove it and put the plant back in its pot. Do not water it until the top inch or so of soil is completely dry.


If the roots look brown and/or mushy when the plant is taken out of its pot, it will need a little surgery. Start by rinsing all of the soil off the roots and lightly pat dry, then take a sharp knife or pair of scissors and carefully cut away any roots that are brown or mushy. (Healthy roots are usually firm and white in color). When complete, repot in fresh soil and water just enough to moisten the soil. Donít soak it. If a large portion of roots were cut away, prune back the foliage an inch or two to compensate. Wait 24 hours before watering the plant again.


To prevent over watering, get to know the needs of each individual plant. For example, a succulent like Jadeís needs are very different from Babyís Tears. Avoid buying plants you arenít familiar with if they donít have a proper tag on them. Too often commercial nurseries cut corners by using generic ďTropical FoliageĒ tags instead of plant specific ones. Invest in a good houseplant guide which will help you learn about the plants you have and their specific needs.


A moisture meter is also helpful. These devices are available at most nurseries, garden centers and home improvement stores and run between $5 and $7. Simply insert into the soil and read the dial, which usually reads from 1-10. 1 is bone dry and 10 is saturated.



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