It is great for your plant if you can figure out what caused the root rot so you can stop it from happening again.
Potential causes of root rot in your Dracaenas include the following:
- a fungus that infiltrated via the roots and delayed or hindered the growth of the plant
- Overwatering or poor water drainage that has led to fungal growth and root-system spread
- Lack of oxygen, probably as a result of overwatering, has affected the roots’ capacity to grow.
- Overfertilizing can reduce the amount of nutrients available in the soil and hinder the growth of plants.
You can get assistance determining which kind of fungus is to blame by getting in touch with a local agriculture extension agent. Additionally, it will make it easier for you to get rid of the fungus in the future.
Fungi are activated by their living environment, even though it may be a specific variety of fungus that is causing the root rot. In moist soil, fungi will flourish, and as they develop and spread, the plant’s roots will become brittle and unable to support healthy growth.
Before replanting, it is important to examine whether you have been overwatering your plant or whether your garden or pots have poor water drainage. If necessary, a new pot should be acquired. If your soil is still wet a long time after your previous watering, your plant may have been overwatered.
Wait until the top layer of soil is dry before watering your plants appropriately. Using a clay container can be an excellent alternative if you have a reputation for over-watering because the clay will help the soil to dry up more quickly. This, however, can not make up for inadequate watering.
To increase the drainage naturally, you can add Clay Pebbles to the soil or use them as a bottom layer in addition to a pot with a suitable drainage hole at the bottom. This element is crucial to the health of your plant since it might affect how much oxygen reaches the roots when there is too much water applied.
Use a raised bed to give the water room to drain out the bottom of the garden to improve drainage. Always make these adjustments to the plant’s environment before removing it from the soil, including purchasing a better pot.
Note: Because dracaenas are sensitive to fluorides, which are frequently found in tap water, they perform better when watered with rainwater.
How may a Dracaena plant with root rot be saved?
You just need to repot your Dragon Tree with new soil and make sure it has correct drainage if you’ve discovered it early enough and determined that it’s just a simple case of overwatering with no rot.
The time to cure your plant is now, though, if there are obvious signs of root rot.
Step 1: Rinse Out Your Roots
You may have already completed this step, but I’m going to go over it again because at this point you want to have complete access to the root system. Now is the moment to thoroughly rinse your roots if you simply removed a small amount of dirt to uncover a few signs of rot. This will help you locate all the rotting areas within the root mass.
This is crucial since any remaining rot can spread quickly, and you’ll need to repeat this process in a few days.
Step 2: Prune Back Rotted Roots
At this stage, you want to get rid of as many of the mushy, brown roots from the root system as you can. A pair of garden shears or sharp, clean scissors is required for this.
It is crucial to emphasize the importance of using clean tools! Ultimately, your goal is to keep your Dracaena healthy, thus using soiled utensils will only make matters worse. I take extra care to prevent fungus or decay by immersing my shears’ blades in a bleach solution that is diluted (1 part bleach to 9 parts water) and cleaning them in fresh water after each cut.
Remove any roots from your plant that are obviously rotting or that are discolored. Even though it may seem like you are cutting a lot off, it is vital to give the plant the best shot at regenerating a healthy root system because infected roots will never recover.
Step 3: Prune Back Any Rotted Stems or Leaves
You must cut back your Dracaena if you’ve seen any rot that has appeared above the soil line. You won’t commonly find rot that high because the stems are a little more resilient than other houseplants, but if you do, it can still spread to other sections of the plant, so trimming it back is your best option.
Although it can be discouraging, keep in mind that by taking such extreme measures, you might just be rescuing your plant.
Step 4: Disinfect or Replace Your Pot
You’re ready to repot your Dragon Tree into fresh soil once you’ve taken out all the suspect root, leaf, and stem material that might be harboring rot. However, you must first check that the container into which you are transplanting is spotless.
The best option is to get a new container for your plant because the old one may still be home to the same bacteria or fungus that first caused the rot. If you decide to transplant to a new pot, pick one that is the same size as the old one and check to see if it has a drainage hole.
To repot your Dracaena, you are free to continue using the old container, but you must sterilise it first. I advise immersing the container in the same diluted bleach solution you dipped your shears in to accomplish this.
Before cleaning the interior and exterior of your pot with your bleach solution, you can scrub it with soap and water first. Or, you could really soak your pot in the bleach solution for approximately 10 minutes, which is what I advise.
Although it could be a little excessive, that is the objective. Make sure any pathogen-causing microorganisms are actually dead! After removing the pot from the solution, thoroughly rinse it with fresh water.
It doesn’t matter if you use an old pot or a new one; now is the time to check that it has good drainage. It could be necessary to increase the size of an existing drainage hole or add additional to the pot’s bottom.
Step 5: Replant Your Dracaena
It’s time to replant once your pot is organized and your Dragon Tree is clear of rot. Put the old soil in the trash first! Simply throw it in the trash because it is rife with sickness.
In order to replant your Dragon Tree, use new potting soil. Increase the amount of pumice or perlite in the soil to maintain it light and airy if you don’t want poor drainage to be a future cause of root rot. You want a mixture that will hold onto moisture but won’t easily compress.
Place the Dracaena in your pot at the same depth as before, fill your pot with the fresh soil, and then pack extra soil around it to cover the remaining roots and support the stems. Making sure the pot has sufficient drainage, thoroughly water the plant.
Step 6: Don’t Forget the Aftercare!
After you’ve replanted your Dracaena and given it its right location inside your house, keep a watch on it. It has just gone through the ringer, and it will need some time to adjust to its new surroundings.
Maintain a consistent habitat for your dragon tree that is free from drafts, has lots of bright, indirect light, and is at a constant temperature. When the top two inches of soil are dry to the touch, only water. Given that the plant’s root system has been seriously damaged, you should be extremely careful with the amount of water you give it.
For the first few months, refrain from providing your plant with any fertilizer. Too much feed may hinder the delicate new roots’ ability to grow, which are now in the process of doing so. Additionally, the fresh soil in which your Dracaena was planted has a lot of nutrients to support the plant’s current needs.
Finally, practice patience. Expect your Dragon Tree to heal over several months, so don’t count on it to develop much during that period. The good news is that you just saved its life!
Is root rot reversible in plants?
Wet conditions in the plant’s soil provide toxic fungi the chance to flourish, which results in the disease known as root rot. Because roots require air to function properly and prolonged immersion in water deprives them of oxygen, the roots decay. Since it’s more difficult to regulate moisture and water might become confined, houseplants in pots are more likely to develop root rot than their planted counterparts. While other causes can also contribute to root rot, overwatering is the main cause of root rot issues. So, we’ll focus on the precise method for treating root rot brought on by excessive moisture.
Root Rot Diagnosis:
You must first confirm that the roots of your plant are indeed rotting. Navigating the best remedy for your plant will be made easier by immediately removing any further potential problems. If you want to determine if your issue is genuinely indoor plant root rot, start by observing any obvious symptoms, such as:
Remember that it’s normal for older leaves to change color and fall, so pay greater attention to those younger ones. If you observe browning, yellowing, or dead leaves, it may be a sign that the roots are also dying. Wet soil and wilting foliage are two telltale signs of root rot.
Look at the saucer of the pot; if water is still there, too much water was supplied at some time, soaking the soil and roots of your plant. Standing water should never be present because it might create waterlogging of the soil and its roots.
Assess the roots at the bottom, which will have received the most water exposure, after slipping the plant out of the pot. Check the roots to see whether they are dark brown in color, squishy or spongy, or even covered in fuzzy moldy debris. These are all warning indications of rot. All of these are symptoms of weakened roots.
Root Rot Rx:
Firm roots and light colour are characteristics of healthy plants that are not rotting (usually either beige, green, or tan). The soil must be adequately moistened and the leaves must be in good condition. Once you’ve determined that your houseplant’s problem is actually root rot, it’s time to create a treatment strategy. Priorities first
1. Let the dirt dry out.
Allow the soil to air out if you’ve recently seen some standing water or a change in leaf color and are unsure whether it’s root rot yet. Allow the soil around the plant to dry out for 3-5 days. For plants that aren’t yet damaged, this technique occasionally works. Drying the soil is beneficial since plant roots require oxygen to function properly. However, if the roots of your plant are severely decomposing, go to the instructions below right away because it’s probably too late to dry the soil.
2. Get rid of all the browned leaves.
Attempting to remove any dead leaves is the first step in this process. As close to the plant’s root as you can, make sure to remove them from it.
3. Get rid of old soil.
The next step will be to repot. To do this, you must first dig the plant out of its present soil. As you take the plant out of the pot, carefully scoop out as much soil as you can. Brush off wet or clumpy soil being careful not to overly damage the root system.
4. Remove rotting and dead roots.
Trimming off rotten roots will be done carefully while the plant is still in its pot. Attempt to preserve as much as you can by removing dead roots and preserving good ones.
5. Replant in fresh soil.
Repot your plant next using sterile potting soil (one that is appropriate with your specific plant). Fresh soil will help ensure that any bacteria or fungi that may have developed have been largely eliminated. Additionally, it will provide nutrients that may have been lacking in the previous soil and aid in the plant’s recovery.
Remember that the plant is probably already susceptible and under stress from the root rot. And depending on how severe the damage is, repotting could make your plant much more stressed or even kill it. But given that the plant is already declining, it’s definitely worth a chance. Also, it’s actually your only opportunity. Allowing the root rot to continue in its current condition of decomposition will eventually kill the entire plant because root rot cannot be reversed and spreads swiftly.
Always, prevention is the best course of action. So make an effort to develop a watering schedule that works for the particular indoor plant you have. Simple procedures like these can help prevent root rot in the future.
- Use pots that have a drainage hole.
- Use appropriate soil, and periodically check to make sure the water is draining properly.
- The plant roots must have access to some air, as was previously said, in order to survive. The plant will be able to absorb oxygen and avoid probable root rot if the soil is allowed to somewhat dry out (only the top layer). The finger test—in which you wiggle your finger a few inches deep into the soil to gauge the moisture level—works well for determining whether to water many tropical houseplants. Its presence indicates that the soil’s bottom is noticeably moist. Therefore, you won’t water again until the top layer is mostly dried.
- Again, don’t let extra water build up and remain in the bottom dish of the pot.
- Depending on the season, you’ll also need to change how much water your plant receives. Plants typically require less water during the colder, drier months.
- Keep an eye on your plant. Knowing when the plant needs less or more will help you stay in the moment.
Since root rot affects the part of the plant that cannot be seen, it is frequently not discovered until major harm has already been done. Your houseplant may be saved if you swiftly follow the survival instructions. However, if your plant simply won’t survive, we strongly advise taking some cuttings to reproduce it. In this manner, some of the plant survives and everything is not lost!
How may Overwatered Dracena be saved?
Even though you’ve done everything in your power to maintain the health of your dracaena, it still seems exhausted and wilted.
Does it slump and droop rather than rising up? Do the leaves appear limp and soft, and you are unable to determine what is wrong?
There is such a thing as too much of a good thing when it comes to planting care. Overwatering is a regular issue with newly acquired dracaenas.
Your dracaena’s roots won’t be able to absorb oxygen, nutrition, and other crucial minerals if the soil is very damp.
A dracaena with much water will have soft brown leaves and a mushy trunk. Remove your overwatered dracaena and check for root rot if you want to salvage it. Remove any infected roots, spray on a fungicide, and then transplant in new potting soil if root rot is present. In desperate situations, the plant must be propagated in order to survive.