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Root rot | How to Identify, Causes and How to Control

Root rot is one of common disease that attacks the plant roots that grow in moist or moist soil. This decaying disease can shorten the life of almost any kind of plant and has symptoms similar to those of other diseases and insect pests, such as weak growth, withered leaves, early leaf fall, dead branches, and eventually death.


Root rot is mainly harmful to seedlings, and can also occur in the adult stage. In the early stage of the disease, only individual roots and fibrous roots are susceptible and gradually expand to the main root. After the primary root is ill, the early plants do not show symptoms, and as the degree of root rot increases, the function of absorbing water and nutrients gradually weakens.

Because the nutrient supply is in short supply, the new leaves first turn yellow. When the light is strong, and the evaporation is large before, and afternoon, the upper leaves of the plants appear to be wilting, but they can recover at night. When the condition is serious, the wilting condition cannot be restored at night, and the whole leaves are yellow and withered. At this time, the root bark became brown and separated from the pith, and finally, the entire plant died.

Root rot has two sources—one is prolonged exposure to overwatered conditions that can cause some of the roots to die back due to a lack of oxygen. As they die, they can start to decay or rot away. The rot can then spread to healthier roots and kill them as well, even if the soil conditions are corrected.

The other source can be from a fungus in the soil. The fungus may lay dormant in the soil indefinitely and then may suddenly flourish when the plants are overwatered once or twice. The root rot fungus attacks the roots and causes them to die and rot away.

If you are unsure whether your plant has root rot, you may be wondering what does root rot look like? If the plant is slowly wilting and the leaves are turning yellow for seemingly unknown reasons, you will want to check the roots. Remove the plant from the soil an feel the roots. The roots affected by root rot will look black and will feel mushy. Affected roots may fall off the plant when you touch them. Healthy roots may be black or pale, but they will feel firm and pliable.

Causes of Root Rot

Root rot is a fungal disease. The low temperature and high humidity of the seedbed and insufficient light are the main environmental conditions that cause the disease. The soil in the nursery field is sticky, easy to form, and poorly ventilated, which causes the growth and development of the root system to be blocked and is also prone to disease. Besides, after underground pests and nematodes damage the roots, there are many wounds, which are beneficial to the invasion of pathogenic bacteria.

Root rot can be caused by various pathogens such as Pythium, Fusarium, and Phytophthora. The pathogens overwinter in the soil or on the diseased body, becoming the primary source of initial infection in the next year. The pathogen invades from the root or root wound and spreads and spreads through rainwater or irrigation water.

How to Fix Root Rot

1. Selected seeds: select and refine the nursery plot. Select high-quality varieties.

2. Seedbed soil disinfection, soil disinfection can be carried out using low-toxic chemical agents.

3. Intensive cultivation of fine land, the careful cultivation of healthy seedlings, try not to damage the roots during transplantation, carefully organize, to ensure that no water is accumulated, and the base fertilizer is applied.

4. After planting, according to the temperature change, watering should be timely and appropriate to prevent evaporation of water on the ground, transpiration of seedlings, and isolation of viral infection.

5. Spraying phosphate fertilizer in the flower bud stage, young fruit stage, and fruit expansion stage respectively, enhancing the nutrient matching function of the plant, making the fruit stalk thicker, promoting the healthy growth of the plant, and enhancing the disease resistance.

6. Microbial prevention
Such as bacillus subtilis, it’s used exclusively on the soil. It can fix nitrogen, dissolve phosphorus, and dissolve potassium. It can make full use of nitrogen in the air and produce corresponding enzymes and acids through the growth and metabolism of beneficial bacteria. It can be used for the poorly soluble phosphorus in the soil. Potassium is decomposed to facilitate plant absorption. Plants are “strong” to enhance disease resistance and have a significant effect on preventing vegetable root rot.

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