Farmers and growers across the world face numerous demerits before the final product is generated. Root Rot to consider is one of the basic problems of crop cultivation.
Root Rot occurs when the condition of waterlogging dampens the root and reduces the level of oxygen. These roots, although removed, can leave behind the rot, which spreads to other plants too.
It may also occur even if you’re having a hydroponic system, and that’s why it’s important to learn how to fix root rot in hydroponics in the simplest manner.
The easiest way to fix root rot in hydroponics is to remove them. You can use a simple pair of scissors to detach the rotten part of the plant and wash the rest in cold running water.
Can root rot be reversed in hydroponics?
Hydroponics is a system of ignoring soil. It includes the usage of sand, gravel, or liquid as a supplement to the soil. But it has to be kept in mind that hydroponics also has the problem of root rot.
These systems can also cause the roots to turn brown because of the over-watering of plants or excessive warm weather. Discoloration often occurs in the roots of the plants, and it becomes mushy due to the accumulation of fungus in them.
How to fix root rot in hydroponics (6 Steps Mentioned)
Prevention is better than cure. And thus, the best way is to avoid root rot by maintaining the temperature and moisture of the plantation.
However, if such conditions occur, here are some ways to fix root rot in hydroponics.
Pruning is necessary
The problem of root rot can be essentially removed by’ pruning.’ This includes cutting down the excess bushes and trees and keeping the healthy parts. This not only gives the plant a good shape but also helps reduce the chances of root rot and the growth of fungus in the plants.
The entire system should be shut off
Whenever you notice root rot in your hydroponics, you should shut down the entire system then and there only. Hydroponics is an alternative way to grow plants, but it is not the best way.
Excessive use of nutrients in the liquid and deficiency of proper oxygen supply may also cause the roots to decay, especially in deep water cultures (DWC). And to not forget, hydroponics is all about ensuring proper temperature, which is being overlooked several times. Therefore shutting down the entire system gives you a chance to look for the malfunction in the whole process very clearly.
Removal of the rotten parts with a clean scissor
When we have damaged hair due to excessive exposure to heat or sunlight, we get a nice haircut. Just like that, plants are no different. When you notice any root rot in your vegetation, you can first take a sterile scissor to remove the parts that are browning and wilting.
The simple process will also help remove fungus gnats from the plants to ensure the remaining parts are healthy. You should sterilize the tools after every use to ensure they do not spread the rot.
Wash the healthy roots
Before consuming any vegetables, we clean them. Similarly, to fix root rot, you need to rinse them in water before cutting them. The whole process of the removal of roots follows the cleaning of it.
Before the brown rotten roots have been cut down with a sterile scissor, one should clean the roots in running water. This method ensures the removal of rotten remains from the healthier parts before any infection amongst the newer plants or soil.
Throw away the nutrient solution
If your plant already has brown, mushy roots, there is no chance to fix those roots again. But you can cut those to ensure that it does not spread to the plant’s other roots and the newly planted ones.
But it is not as simple as that. When a plant catches root rot, the fungus spreads to the entire nutrient solution leaving it harmful when reused. The infected solution can affect the healthy roots, which may have no way out. Therefore it is better to drain out the solution if any rot is detected to restrain any further spread of the fungus.
Control the temperature
Root rot is often caused due to the problem of temperature. An overly warm situation for the plants can create unnecessary moisture content.
Although in a hydroponic system, it is fundamental to supply the proper amount of moisture to the plants and check. The temperature should be such that it provides proper oxygen levels to keep plants rot-free. This is because when the temperature is warm, it reduces the oxygen levels of the plants and vice versa.
So proper temperature control will make it easy for the planters to avoid the possibility of rot from the healthy plants after removing the damaged ones.
What causes root rot in hydroponics?
For ages, traditional plant growers have faced root rot in their plants. Stunted growth in plants, browning of the roots, and curling leaves due to lack of chlorophyll are some major signs of root rot.
But with the introduction of hydroponics, the end of these scenarios was established.
And to the dismay of the farmers, that was not the case. The situation arrived due to other reasons.
The chief reason for the farmers to move to hydroponic farming is to avoid the usage of soil, which can eliminate the risk of waterlogging and root rot.
This system requires effective temperature control and proper moisture supply to the plants. But at times, due to lack of experience, the temperature becomes overly warm, increasing the moisture content and reducing the fluid’s oxygen.
Therefore phytophthora– a water-borne fungus that thrives in soaked and oxygen-deficient environments causes harmful diseases amongst the vegetation.
This fungus blocks the roots from taking in any nutrients from the source, resulting in the plants dying. The most important part of thinking about is that they are not limited to the affected plant itself but move to the healthy ones too, affecting and damaging them.
How to prevent root rot in hydroponics?
Root rot in hydroponics can be easily prevented if certain points are kept in mind. Firstly, before taking any measure, you need to know about the catalyst of root rot – Warm temperature and moisture.
Here are some takeaways from us that will help you to keep your plants on the healthier side.
- Make sure to check the temperature of your hydroponic system to prevent a lack of oxygen. Hydroponic chillers or cold shot chillers can be used to provide a proper temperature to the plants.
- Most of the time, humus is used as a plant fertilizer. Hummus- is made from the remains of dead animals, and, not forget, plants can bear the fungus named phytophthora. Therefore, it is ideal to keep the dead plants away from the newer ones to ignore the fungus spread.
- Reduce the use of pesticides and insecticides in plants as it can result in fungus gnats.
- Pruning should be done regularly to keep the plants in shape and to eliminate the possibility of spreading fungus amongst the other plants.
- All the tools used for gardening purposes should be sterilized before they are used again.
- Bacteria that can break down the chain of fungus can also be used to reduce the chances of spreading.
Frequently Asked Questions (fAQs)
Does high pH cause root rot?
Yes, a high pH can cause root rot because it decreases the number of essential nutrients like iron, magnesium, boron, copper, and zinc from the source.
Does peroxide stop root rot?
Hydrogen peroxide can be a good supplement for the planters to control root rot as it has a huge chemical similarity with the water and is useful to combat water-borne fungus when used in a lower concentration.
Does vinegar help root rot?
Vinegar itself has antifungal properties and high chemical composition. Diluted apple cider vinegar combined with water can be spread to the plants to keep the fungus away.
Does Cinnamon help root rot?
When fixing root rot in hydroponics, you first need to cut down the affected root with clean scissors. After all the fungus-affected areas are removed, you can use cinnamon powder wrapped in a wet towel to wrap around the stem of the plant. This will accelerate the growth of the roots.
Will baking soda help root rot?
Baking soda has chemical properties which can kill root rot-causing fungi and is, therefore, useful for planters.
With the advancement of technology, it is important to include their benefits in all aspects of life. Growing plants is no different. The hydroponic system is a good way to treat cultivation and reduce soil usage and the possibility of soil erosion.
Yet, this system has its demerits too. Root rot is one of them. Having proper information about the disease and its cure can easily overcome these hurdles to grow healthy vegetation.