We have technically made it through the winter months, though the winter’s weather may not be finished with us just yet. We are remaining optimistic that spring weather is on the way! Either way, early spring is usually quite wet here in Camas, Washougal, and Vancouver, Washington. This wet environment can easily cause a condition in our plants called root rot. But what is root rot?
Root rot is a disease that effects the roots of plants that are growing in wet soil. The disease attacks the roots causing them to rot, obviously. This condition can affect both indoor and outdoor plants, although it is more common with indoor plants due to overwatering or lack of proper drainage. Whereas an outdoor plant’s soil can better disperse moisture, potted or indoor plants can lack that capability. Plants effected by root rot can display signs that resemble drought or stress.
Recognizing Root Rot
As stated above, plants that are suffering from root rot may displays symptoms that appear to resemble those of plants that suffer from drought, stress, or some other deficiency. That is because the roots of a plant are its lifeline; it absorbs nutrients from the soil from this pathway. If these pathways are hindered in some way, the plant will be unable to take in water and other nutrients and this will cause it to die off. Most times, a plant effected by root rot will begin to wilt, and the leaves will become discolored. If the plant is pulled from the ground the roots appear dark/brown and spongy instead of lighter and stiff.
Preventing Root Rot
There are many chemical-based fungicides that can treat root rot. However, you must know what type of fungus is actually harming the plant before knowing which fungicide to use. You can contact a professional to have the plant and fungus evaluated; they can then instruct you on which treatment will work best. The best method for overcoming root rot is prevention. The best place to start when setting out to prevent root rot is to ensure the soil that you plant in is well drained. This is true for outdoor as well as indoor plants. If you are potting plants, ensure that not only the soil is well drained but also that the pot you use is able to shed moisture as well. If you have standing water or water runoff issues in planting areas, consider backfilling those areas with healthy soil, or building raised beds to elevate them above the flooded areas. In general, also avoid overwatering your plants; only water your plants when the soil no longer feels moist.
If you suspect root rot is harming your plants, you have lost your plants to this disease, or you simply want to improve you planting conditions, Urban Eden Landscaping would love to help! Contact us today or fill our FREE estimate request form.