How To Identify And Treat Cannabis Root Problems
Cannabis root problems are usually called as root rot. Problems in the roots can be caused by different organisms such as bacterias, fungi, and parasites and although the symptoms are similar, they don’t always look exactly the same.
1. What Is Root Rot?
Root rot is a condition that can ultimately kill plants. This condition affects roots when they are not in an optimal environment and affects them when they’re more vulnerable, especially when they are already stressed or shocked.
Organisms as bacterias, algae, and fungi (among others) will attack the roots, making them into brown slime. This brown slime is unable to absorb nutrients and water and in most cases is impossible to fix them.
2. Root Rot Symptoms
Because the first symptoms of root rot occur under the medium, growers are often not aware of the problem until it is more serious.
Cannabis root rot can cause leaf symptoms that can look like any deficiency: cannabis leaves get burnt edges or tips; yellow or brown spots, nutrient deficiencies, and curled edges among others.
When plants start showing the consequences of root rot, such as yellow leaves or stunted growth it may be already too late.
3. What Causes Root Rot?
Root rot occurs when the roots are affected by a bad organism after they are already stressed. Root stress can be caused by any of the following things:
• Excessive Heat
Roots in a hotter medium have a tendency to develop problems associated with fungi and bacterias.
• Excessive Cold
Cold roots are unhappy roots, low temperatures in the medium can shock the roots and can cause wilting among other problems, resulting in root rot.
Too much water tends to attract some type of bugs that reproduce in wet mediums and may drown your roots, both of these problems will result in damaging the roots.
• Thick Medium
If your medium is too thick, it may prevent the roots from being able to get oxygen.
• Big plant in a small container
When your plant has overgrown the pot it is in (meaning the pot is too small for your plant to develop properly) you increase the chances of developing root rot. If you reach a point where the roots need to grow more but they can’t due to not having space, they will start to rot.
Root problems are common in hydroponics, this happens when you don’t use an air rock to oxygenate the water. Depending on your setup oxygenating the water is required, not doing it will ultimately kill the plant.
4. How To Prevent Root Rot?
Preventing root rot is relatively easy. By solely providing an optimal medium for them to grow, you will prevent any possible problems they can have.
An optimal medium for roots to grow means providing the proper temperature, humidity, water, oxygen, and size of the pot.
If you take care of these, there won’t be a problem. If you failed to provide these and your plants are already suffering from root rot, there’s not much you can do.
5. How To Treat Root Rot?
The first step to treat root rot is to identify what is causing it, as said above, root rot is caused by not providing an optimal environment for your roots.
Because root rot is caused by different organisms, a solution that works for some growers may not work for others.
You should start by checking the environmental factors, such as humidity, temperature, watering frequency, and drainage of the medium. Adjusting the environment is more of a long-term solution, after you adjusted whatever was wrong with it, it’s time to combat the root rot with a short-term solution.
To combat root rot immediately, some growers use a mix with 100ml of bleach or hydrogen peroxide with 1L of water.
Using hydrogen peroxide will kill the organisms causing root rot but can be bad if you’re growing organically because it can kill good bacterias too. In such low concentrations, bleach shouldn’t be harmful but this is a cheaper alternative and may be harmful to the bacterias in some cases.
The best way to treat root rot if you are willing to send a little bit more is to use root supplements. This products are mixed into the water and provide everything a root need to grow healthy and also combat root rot. There are a variety of root supplements out there and the one you choose should be based on what you can afford and what will work in your case.
5. In Conclusion
Root rot is a really serious condition, most experienced growers opt to remove the plant from the growing space in fear the condition can infect the other plants, especially in hydroponic setups.
When dealing with this condition, the best thing to do is to maintain an optimal environment for your plant and roots because you’ll only notice something’s wrong after a couple of weeks when the conditions start to affect your plant’s leaves and branches, and at this stage, it is very hard to treat it, and even if you manage to save your plant, it will be left with serious growing deficiencies.
Cannabis root problems are usually called as root rot. Problems in the roots can be caused by different organisms such as bacterias, fungi, and parasites and al