Raising Healthy Plants: Avoiding Hydroponic Root Rot

As any home grower knows, one of the worst things you can encounter in your hydroponic system is the vexing issue of root rot. Caused by a number of reasons, a nasty case of this plant disease can quickly destroy your entire yield, completely decimating your crop. Fortunately, while root rot is an extremely serious problem, it’s also largely preventable. Identifying it early and taking steps to stop it in its tracks can help save your harvest.

What Causes Root Rot?

There is no one, singular cause for root rot. Root rot can be caused by a myriad of factors, but one of the more common one is due to introducing an already infected plant into your system. Before you bring in any new plants, carefully inspect it to help verify that the plant is healthy and its roots are in good condition. Other causes for root rot can be unsanitary conditions, bugs (specifically the type that carry the root rot spores, such as the fungus gnat), and poor circulation in your hydroponic setup.

What Does Root Rot Look Like?

Identifying root rot is fairly straightforward. A healthy plant is typically smooth looking and is often white or pale in color. A diseased root, however, looks markedly different. If your plant is suffering from root rot, then it may appear brown or discolored. It may also have taken on a slimy texture. The plant might have also have a foul odor. Please note, though, that discoloration doesn’t always mean that your plant has root rot. It may be caused by other reasons, but oftentimes discoloration associated with poor texture and a stench is a strong indicator of root rot.

Avoiding and Treating Root Rot

Preventing root rot is preferable. After all, it’s much easier to avoid it in the first place, as it can be quite challenging to try to treat it once your plants are infected. To avoid root rot, always make sure your transplants are free from infection. Make sure your system has proper aeration, too, which can help prevent this issue from occurring. Monitor temperatures closely and always make sure your hydroponic system is clean and sanitary. If you do encounter root rot, you need to shut your system down immediately. Clean and sanitize it, then remove the infected plants. If possible, prune them before returning them to your tank. If they can’t be salvaged, you may have to dispose of the infected plants. You may also need to treat the tank with probiotics, which can help prevent a recurrence.

Don’t let root rot sabotage your hydroponic system. If you’re looking to set up a hydroponic growing system in your house, we here at Grow Supply Shop are more than happy to help you plan and design a one of your own. To learn more about getting started with hydroponics, or if you have any questions for us, please don’t hesitate to drop us a line today!

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