Root rot, caused by either Phytophthora or Pythium, is identified by these 3 characteristics:
- A discolored root system.
- A rotting or decaying smell coming from the root zone.
- Wilted and/or unhealthy looking leaves.
These opportunistic organisms thrive in environments that are wet, warm and low in oxygen. A substrate or container that drains poorly, is over-watered, or exposed to higher temperatures (80-90F) is a breeding ground for these root diseases.
Plants that have become infected with Phytophthora or Pythium will have a hard time recovering. It’s important that the drainage and temperature issues are fixed as soon as possible. Feeding with Hydrogen Peroxide can help in combating the infection but complete eradication is difficult. High levels of hydrogen peroxide will also bring additional stress to the plant. If you’ve had root rot, everything in the growing environment should be thoroughly sterilized with bleach and water before another growing cycle is attempted.