Homegrown 101: Preventing Root Rot in Your Cannabis Plants

Homegrown 101: Preventing Root Rot in Your Cannabis Plants
May 7, 2019 Noa

Homegrown 101: Preventing Root Rot in Your Cannabis Plants


Root rot is a disease that affects many types of plants including cannabis. Once root rot sets in, it can rapidly kill a plant and is very difficult to recover from. Root rot is caused by fungus that attacks plants when the conditions are right. This fungus can survive many years in soil and dead plant matter.

Root rot is fostered by warm, wet conditions and can be a result of overwatering and poor soil drainage. Excessive nutrients, nitrogen in particular, also create a welcome environment for the fungus to thrive.

Symptoms of Root Rot

Once root rot has attacked the plant growth will decline rapidly and leaves will begin to yellow and wilt. Brown spots will appear on the leaves and stems as the disease progresses and they’ll quickly die. One sign of root rot is dramatic wilting without recovery. Often this leads the cultivator to water more, compounding the problem. Upon inspecting the roots, you’ll notice they’re yellow or brown in appearance and emit a mildew-like, foul odor.

Root Rot Recovery

It’s better to focus on prevention rather than recovery from a root rot problem. The affected leaves, roots and stems will never recover. They must all be removed, and the soil and water treated. If left untreated, root rot can kill a healthy plant in about a week.

Root Rot Prevention

Using air pots to give roots plenty of air and keep the soil well-drained are a worthwhile investment for the new home grower. You can also add perlite to the soil to help drainage. Not overwatering or overfeeding are keys to preventing root rot, so maintain a schedule and keep things stable to avoid undue plant stress. Still, it’s better to see a plant begin to wilt than to overwater! Keep your soil healthy. You can purchase beneficial microbes and bacteria as soil additives as well. 

Have you battled root rot in your plants? Share any treatment or prevention tips below!

Do you have questions about cannabis cultivation? Stop by our garden department and speak with one of our experienced staff members. They can help you select quality seeds or clones, provide helpful advice and get you started with your first grow!

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