Root rots, as the name suggests attack plants from the ground via their roots. This can lead to wilting and plant death. These rots may also affect the trunk and stems causing splits or rots above ground. Rots may also affect young plants such as seedlings.

There are two causes of root rot, overwatering and/or the presence of fungal-like pathogens. Overwatering depletes oxygen in the soil, and this causes the roots to stop functioning, become softened and die. Pathogens can also invade plants that are affected by inconsistent or overwatering. The range of pathogens that cause root rots affects many different plants. If a root-rot pathogen is present, it may spread through the soil, carried by soil water, to affect nearby plants.

Control measures include planting in well-drained soils including raised beds, planting resistant varieties (such as plants grafted onto resistant rootstock), or selecting plants that naturally cope well with wet or heavy clay soil. Ask staff at your local nursery or hardware store for advice. Where root rot occurs, remove affected plants. Some fungal treatments are available to treat soils.

Always improve the soil well before planting by incorporating your own compost and organic matter and/or Seasol Super Compost. It is a premium compost mix specially formulated to revitalise soils for healthy growth. Also, look at incorporating Seasol Biochar with Zeolite into the soil to help rejuvenate it, promote microbial activity, and increase soil fertility.

Articles you may be interested in