One of the things to watch out for in caring and growing Orchids is the rotting of roots. Rot on orchids commonly happens because of overwatering. Moreover, there are also other factors that cause the rotting of the roots and the entire plant. If you suspect your Orchid plants have root rot, know more about what root rot is and how you can save your Orchids from this type of disease.
What is Root Rot?
Root rot is a typical disease in any orchid plant. Whenever they are soaked or submerged in too much water or leftover water remained on the plant, most probably in the root and base of the plant, it leads to rotting of root. Most of the times, the Orchid plants that you buy from the flower or plant shop are already suffering from root rotting, which is why the experts suggest to inspect the plant first, from roots to tips, before taking it home. It is always important and essential to know the signs of root rot and any other diseases common in orchids.
What are the Signs of Root Rot?
There are signs that will help you identify if your Orchids are suffering from root rot.
- Black and squishy roots show that they are rotting.
- Withered and brittle roots
- Soft leaves instead of strong and tough
- Floppy leaves
- Bud blasts
- Yellow and black spots on leaves
- Green leaves turning into yellow color
If the Orchid plant is planted in a pot of ordinary garden soil, there is a higher possibility that the roots are rotting. Whenever you are buying Orchids from the stores, choose the one potted in a potting mix specifically designed for Orchids.
What are the Causes of Root Rot?
The main reason why Orchid roots rot is that they lack the oxygen they need. If the Orchid plant is planted in a pot, the roots tend to become suffocated. It is important to know that Orchids naturally live in the wild without soil and pots. They love to cling to the trunks and branches of trees so that the roots are free to breathe the air and absorb water and oxygen. In order for these Orchid plants to survive the indoor environment at home, they should have the same environment. You can only give them that habitat by allowing their roots to freely breathe.
Wrong Potting Mix
The plants you buy from the gardens and plant stores should be transferred to a potting medium suitable to them. As you do, inspect the roots and see if there are dried and rotten roots that you can remove immediately. Rotten roots invite more fungi and bacteria to attack the entire plant, and this will cause all the roots to rot.
Wrong Choice of Pots
If your Orchid plants at home are in pots with potting mix, see to it that the pot has several holes that allow the roots to breathe freely. These holes will also keep the roots dry. Wrong choice of pots will cause the roots and the entire plant to suffer. In addition to that, those pots not suitable for the Orchids will only have plenty of water sitting on the roots and its potting media, thus the accumulation of bacteria and fungi that start the rotting of roots.
Improper way of watering your Orchid plants is a cause of root rot. Most varieties of Orchids prefer regular once-a-week watering, which is done in the morning. Too much water in the potting medium components brought by improper or frequent watering will prevent the roots from absorbing air. The roots will soon dry out and wilt, and then the rotting of roots begins.
How to Treat Root Rot?
Root rot in Orchids can still be treated. You don’t have to destroy your plant right away just because the roots are rotten. Here are some of the things that you can do:
Inspect the roots.
Check the roots and see if there are still some of them that are alive. Healthy and alive roots are greenish and plump while rotten roots are dry, withered and in black color.
Remove the rotten and dead roots.
Roots that are dead and rotten should be removed to stop the spread of infection. To remove the roots, you have to use sterile blade or cutter and spread some cinnamon grounds on the cut area to help the plant heal the wound. This will also stop any infection from affecting other roots.
Repot the plant.
Repotting is essential. The old potting mix and pot used may still have the fungi and bacteria. Instead of putting back the plant to the same potting mix, it is best to use a new one with the right potting media suitable to the type of Orchids you have.
Provide improved aeration and environment.
As you help the Orchid plant to heal from root rotting, you also need to provide it with good aeration and quality environment. Make sure that the Orchids are in proper environment with temperature and humidity suitable to them. Keep them well-nourished, too by feeding them with a balanced fertilizer specifically formulated for Orchids.
It may be difficult to maintain this environment, but once you mastered it, your Orchids will grow healthy and bloom beautifully at the right time. If root rot and other diseases occur, you don’t have to worry because there are many ways to treat the plant and help them survive the diseases.