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Signs of damage
Here are the main symptoms of root rot:
- Wilting and yellow leaves
- Wet soil (even though you haven’t watered the plant recently)
- Slow growth
- Black and mushy roots. Healthy roots are firm, pliable, and usually white. Rotten roots are black, mushy, smell bad, and fall off if you touch them.
Keep in mind that you can only diagnose your plant by looking at the roots. Other symptoms can also indicate completely different conditions.
How to prevent
It’s much easier to prevent root rot than treat it. First, you have to stick to an appropriate watering schedule for each of your plant friends. Each plant species needs a distinct amount of water. Also, check the top two inches of the soil for dryness before watering again. This way, you can avoid overwatering – the main cause of root rot. Aside from that, ensure your pot has drainage holes, and your soil mix is well-draining.
Recovering from root rot is difficult but possible.
First, remove the plant from the pot and carefully wash the roots in the water, removing all the soil and rotten roots. Then, use disinfected scissors to trim away all remaining rotten roots and damaged leaves. It is crucial to remove all signs of rot from the plant. You will have to cut up to half of the leaves and roots in many cases. If you trim a third or more of the roots, cut a third of the foliage to make a recovery easier for the plant. Disinfect the pot, and repot the plant in a new soil mix. Water moderately and don’t fertilize during the recovery period.
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