Can you come back from root rot?

Answered by Phillip Nicastro

When it comes to dealing with root rot, the first step is to assess the extent of the damage. This involves carefully examining the root system of the affected plant. If the roots are already mushy and disintegrating, it is unfortunately too late to save the plant. However, if there are still some healthy roots present, there is a chance to bring the plant back to good health.

To start the recovery process, it is crucial to replant the affected plant in fresh soil with good drainage. This is because root rot is often caused by overwatering or poor drainage, so providing a suitable environment for the plant is essential. Choose a well-draining potting mix that is specifically designed for the type of plant you are dealing with.

When replanting, gently remove the plant from its current container, being careful not to damage the remaining healthy roots. Shake off any excess soil and examine the roots closely. Trim away any mushy or blackened roots using clean and sharp pruning shears. It is important to make clean cuts to avoid further damage to the plant.

After trimming the roots, select a new pot that allows for proper drainage. Ensure that the pot has drainage holes at the bottom to prevent water from pooling and causing future root rot. Add a layer of small rocks or broken pottery pieces at the bottom of the pot to further facilitate drainage.

Place the trimmed plant in the new pot, making sure that the remaining healthy roots are spread out naturally. Fill the pot with the fresh potting mix, gently pressing it down to secure the plant in place. Be careful not to bury the stem too deep, as this can lead to rotting.

Once the plant is replanted, it is important to adjust the watering regimen to prevent future root rot. Water the plant thoroughly but allow the soil to dry out slightly before watering again. It is crucial to strike a balance between not overwatering and not underwatering the plant, as both can be detrimental.

In addition to proper watering, it is also beneficial to provide adequate light and ventilation for the plant. Ensure that the plant is placed in an area with sufficient sunlight for its specific needs. Good air circulation will also help prevent moisture buildup, reducing the risk of root rot.

While replanting and adjusting care practices can give the plant a chance to recover, it is important to note that the success of revival varies depending on the severity of the root rot and the plant species. Some plants are more resilient than others, and certain types may be more prone to succumbing to root rot.

In my personal experience, I have successfully revived plants that had root rot by following these steps. However, there have been instances where the damage was too severe, and despite my efforts, the plants did not survive. It is essential to be realistic and understand that not all plants can be saved from root rot.

To summarize, if you discover root rot in a plant, assess the extent of the damage. If there are still healthy roots present, replant the plant in fresh soil with good drainage. Adjust the watering, lighting, and ventilation to provide the best possible conditions for recovery. However, keep in mind that the success of revival varies, and some plants may not be able to recover from root rot.