Root Rot Treatment Solutions for Healthy Plants

 A fungal disease named the plant root rot exists which kills plant roots causing their degeneration or turning brown and black. Root rot looks like a soft and slimy substance, when the roots rot, resulting in water and nutrients not being able to disperse properly through the plants. Causal root rot symptoms that show outwardly above-ground include wilting, yellowing and stunted growth. As the disease progresses, the entire plant may be damaged or killed.

The most common reasons for root rot are overwatering, soil with bad drainage, or fungus in the soil by the pathogens. In this blog, we’ll see some tips on how to prevent root rot. A good strategy regarding irrigation like watering the plants only when it is absolutely needed and providing drainage systems to the soil could cure the plant problems like root rot.

What causes root rot?

The most popular kinds of pathogens responsible for root rot include Thielaviopsis, Fusarium, Rhizoctonia, Pythium and Phytopthora. Pythium and Phytopthora aren’t real fungi, but instead organisms that behave similarly to fungi. This is an important consideration when evaluating root rot disease treatments.

They aren’t the only pathogens responsible for root rot. Identify the pathogen by eliminating conditions that encourage disease development and removing all affected plants for control. If an accurate diagnosis is needed, take the affected plant to a laboratory for thorough examination of the pathogen.

Contact the local cooperative extension office to find out where the proper lab for plant tissue is in your state.

 Signs/Symptoms Of Plant Root Rot

There are many signs of root rot. Many of them are frequently mistaken for nutritional shortages or extreme temperatures. While there are many fungal pathogens the root rot symptoms are remarkably alike. Plants that show signs of rot in the roots typically show signs of wilting and are unable to “bounce back” after irrigation. The plants usually appear stunted and do not show signs of growth. Leaves, especially lower ones, tend to turn yellow and drop. This is because of the plant’s inability to absorb the proper amount of the water and nutrients.

In the event that any of these signs occur, it’s essential to examine the root system. Root systems in healthy plants are typically light or white and fibrous. They also have strong networks of small and big tendrils-like appendages. Fungal pathogens turn the roots brown, typically making them “mushy,” and they may also appear to be stunted. Fungal pathogens infiltrate a plant’s feeder roots, and expand throughout the entire root system. The process may occur in just one or two days, week or more. The level of pathogens and the health of the plant soil moisture, and temperature variations influence the speed of transmission.

How To Save a Plant from Root Rot

The simple response to the question “how to treat root rot?.” In the majority of cases after you’ve observed the root rot symptoms, it’s usually too late to address it. If the first stage of the root rot were discovered, there is an early chance for root rot cure. 

The plant must be removed from the soil and into the container. Be sure to remove all soil and trim all rotting root systems as is possible. If you can, transplant it into an alternative container. If reuse of the container is your only option be sure to thoroughly disinfect it using bleach or an equivalent solution like H2O2. The ratio of 1 part bleach for 9 parts water is enough to eliminate pathogens. Submerge the entire container in the solution and let it sit for at least 30 minutes.

When replanting salvageable plant species, ensure that the plant is clear. Process soilless media with heat or pasteurization before sale to ensure it is safe for planting. For hydroponics, eliminate all water from the system and recirculate pure water with hydrogen peroxide multiple times. Ensure the soil is uncontaminated and has adequate drainage when you transplant into soil for healthy plant growth.

There are fungicides available to combat or treat root rot. In most cases, the condition occurs after root rot treatment and is an option opportunity. To use a fungicide for treatment, diagnose the pathogen thoroughly and ensure you read the label attentively. Because Pythium as well as Phytopthora are not true fungi, all fungicides are effective in  root rot controlling their growth. Likewise, the pesticides designed to combat Pythium or Phytopthera can be ineffective when used to combat Thielaviopsis, Fusarium, or Rhizoctonia.

How to Prevent It?

Prevention of root rot is a simpler and more efficient strategy than fighting it after it has taken over the plant’s root system. Overwatering is the main root rot-causing factor. The ability of soils to dry between waterings will go far in stopping fungal pathogens. Improved drainage of your soil can also benefit when it is possible. The selection of the appropriate soil medium for the type of crops or plants you plan to plant can benefit decrease the risk of root rot since the soils must have the right proportion of small and large particles that allow for the proper drainage.

The proper amount of light and air circulation is also likely to benefit to decrease the likelihood in root rot. Ensure your plants receive suitable sunlight, whether artificial or natural, and adequate air exchange to evaporate or dry excess moisture, preventing fungal insects. Do not over-saturate your plants. make plans for them to expand. You can do this by spacing them satisfyingly apart to assure they have ample air circulation or thin them out when they start growing into one another.

Trianum Shield, the root rot fungicide is a potent safeguard that deems plants free from root rot. Trichoderma harzianum, a major component of Trianum Shield, forms a symbiotic partnership with host plants, enhancing their growth and defense. This beneficial fungus colonizes plant roots, creating a protective shield against soil pathogens that usually cause root rot in plants. Trianum Shield competes with harmful fungi and boosts plant defense systems, protecting plants from root rot and other diseases effectively.

Furthermore, Trichoderma harzianum, a natural fungicide for root rot, is well known for its potential to improve soil structure and positive effect on plant growth. The bio fungicide improves root development and nutrient uptake, empowering plants to resist environmental stresses, especially root rot. Hence Trianum Shield proves to be the best fungicide for root rot.

Do not reuse soil infected by pathogens, whether fungal or other, to ensure healthy gardening practices and plant health. Use fresh soil for new plants or transplants to prevent the spread of pathogens and maintain healthy gardening. Although we sometimes reuse soil out of necessity, it’s crucial to prioritize using fresh soil for best plant health.

If soil has to be reused, please ensure that it only comes into contact with healthy plants.


  1. Amira, Maroua Ben, et al. “Beneficial effect of Trichoderma harzianum strain Ths97 in biocontrolling Fusarium solani causal agent of root rot disease in olive trees.” Biological Control 110 (2017): 70-78.
  2. Datnoff, L. E., S. Nemec, and K. Pernezny. “Biological control of Fusarium crown and root rot of tomato in Florida using Trichoderma harzianum and Glomus intraradices.” Biological control 5.3 (1995): 427-431.

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