spider plant

Treat And Prevent Spider Plant Root Rot

Last Updated on February 15, 2022 by Real Men Sow

Spider plants are a joy for those who love them, and taking care of this plant is easy. However, root rot can be fatal if it is not treated. Here are the steps to properly treat root rot:

How To Treat Root Rot In Spider Plant

  • Remove the entire plant from the container
  • Rinse the entire root system with clean water.
  • If the roots appear brown or soft, then root rot is present.
  • Use a disinfected scissor to remove infected roots
  • Use a hydrogen peroxide solution to disinfect the entire root system
  • Repot the plant with a new container and soil

Problems With Root Rot In Spider Plant

Roots are damaged by overwatering because they become suffocated and reduce the oxygen flow. Root rot can be seen in yellowing leaves and mushy roots. Your spider plant can be saved by proper lighting, repotting, and soil drying. Root rot can occur in spider plants and is quite common. However, it can be difficult to spot. It may not be obvious that root rot is occurring beneath the soil surface.

Identify Spider Plant Root Rot

The roots can be identified by looking at the leaves. These symptoms should be considered as a concern.

  • The yellowing of leaves.
  • Brown spots appearing on leaves
  • Some leaves may start to fall out.
  • The plant is showing signs of wilting.
  • Stunted growth.
  • Reluctant blooming, or the absence of offshoots.
  • Even after fertilization, the plant may still droop.

Factors That Affect Root Rot

Other factors could also cause the symptoms, including pests and extreme weather. It is important to rule out other causes of spider plant root rot. The following tests can help you determine if root rot is present:

  • Take the plant out of the soil or pot and examine the roots.
  • Determine if the roots are mushy by feeling them
  • Rotting roots can fall off if touched.
  • The roots may be either pale brown or pliable.
  • Foul-smelling roots.

Healthy spider plants’ roots should be more firm (shouldn’t fall) and spread out better. You can have black roots or white roots, depending on the plant. However, they shouldn’t be pale. Due to inability of absorbing nutrients, the plant may wilt and eventually die within two weeks.

Causes of Spider Plant Root Rot

1. Overwatering

This causes the roots of the spider plant to rot, and that would make the root unable to provide water and nutrients for the whole plant. Your precious plant will soon die if you don’t fix the problem.

  • Remove the plant gently from its pot and let it drain the excess water.
  • Adjust your watering frequency – a minimum of once per week is a good rule of thumb for the first year.
  • Before watering, check the moisture levels by pushing your finger to the soil at least one inch deep. You can water moderately if it feels dry.
  • Make sure your saucer drains water properly – the drainage holes at its base help in drenching.
  • It is important that the soil not become soggy as it can be a breeding ground for fungus.
  • Instead of drinking tap water, use distilled water or rainwater. The latter can cause root rot and contains chemicals.
  • Winter is the worst time to water your plants.

2. Poor Drainage

The spider plant is planted in a container that cannot drain excess moisture because it causes waterlogging. The soil composition also influences drainage. Make sure that there are enough drainage holes in the base of the planter to drain excess water. You can also try these other remedies:

  • Before watering, let the soil dry completely.
  • Avoid planting in clay-heavy areas.
  • Water when soil feels dry but not moist.
  • Place your plants in a smaller container because larger pots tend to hold more water

3. Pathogenic Infections

Pathogenic infections are the leading cause of spider plant roots rot. Overwatering and too much soil encourages fungal growth. There are many remedies for pathogenic infections, including:

  • Reduce watering frequency
  • Avoid planting in regular soil.
  • If the condition is more serious, you can repaint it.

4. Inappropriate Environment (soil)

Spider plants are unique, and they don’t thrive in any soil. Each house plant is able to thrive in a particular soil. It’s best to grow the spider plant from peat moss soil. This is because garden soil is a breeding ground of bugs, mildew and fungus.

5. Larger or Smaller Pots

When your spider plant isn’t thriving because it’s pot-bound. Growing them in larger pots allows its roots to spread wider and would need more water. On the other hand, smaller pots limit its growth due to waterlogging. That’s why it’s important to have the right pot before planting it.

6. Extreme Temperatures

Extreme temperatures can increase the vulnerability of spider plants to root rot. Because water can clog soil pores that can form frost which facilitates fungal growth. The spider plant can thrive in temperatures between 60 and 75°F / 15-25°C. These tips will help prevent damage from extreme temperatures.

  • Keep the plant out of direct sunlight, drafty doors, and cooling units.
  • Make sure to inspect the plant’s location and keep it away from heat-producing sources such as fireplaces, radiators and vents.
  • Avoid planting in direct sunlight.

Exposed to extreme temperatures, spider plants’ leaves can become yellowish, brown, or black and begin to droop.

7. Watering During Dormant Periods

The winter season when spider plants require less water is called a dormant period. This could mean that the plant is not actively growing, but it is dormant. Root rot can be caused by watering the spider plants during their dormancy. If the soil feels dry, it is best to check. You can water your plants in the morning if you feel they are in need, but only with moderation.

Other Spider Plant Root Causes

Fungal root rots are the main problem with spider plants. However, these are some of the other issues you might experience with this gorgeous plant:

  • Exposition to extreme temperatures
  • Growing in soils that are constantly waterlogged.
  • Clay-based gardening:
  • Too much watering.
  • Container planting with no or fewer drainage holes
  • Whiteflies, spider mites and scales are all common bugs

How to Treat Spider Plant Root Rot

It is possible to save a spider plant’s root if it rots. These are the best ways to restore your plant’s health.

1. Repotting

Repotting refers to the act of moving a plant to a new container in order to allow it to continue to thrive. To get the best results, make sure to use fresh soil and a new pot for repotting your spider plant. If repotting is the only option, follow this procedure:

  1. Hold the stems or leaves gently and then slide the plant out using the base of the planter.
  2. Remove any unhealthy roots and loosen the plant. Do not touch thicker, healthier roots.
  3. To separate the roots, use a shovel or knife.
  4. If you wish to remove fungus from the planter, or if you are looking for a new one, clean it.
  5. You should ensure that drainage holes are provided for your new planter. To layer the base, you can use gravel or rocks.
  6. Mix the soil with some of the old soil, as it contains nutrients that may aid growth.
  7. Mix the soil and place some in the new container.
  8. Transfer the spider plant from the old planter to the new one. Secure the spider plant in its center by securing it with soil.
  9. Do not pack too much soil in your planter. It can hinder breathing and reduce the availability of nutrients.

Repotting should be done every two to three years. When the spider plant is nearing spring, it’s the best time to repot it.

2. Using Appropriate Soil Mix

Spider plant root rot can be caused by any type of soil. If you want your spider plant to thrive, it is important that you choose the right soil. Before planting, it is a good idea to research the best type of soil. You want the soil to be even, it should not be too dry or too moist. Keep in mind that general-purpose soil containing perlite or pumice is good for houseplants.

3. Watering After Repotting

Two days prior to repotting the spider plant, water it. This will ensure that the spider plant is well hydrated and reduces the chance of it dying. After five to seven days, let the plant recover then proceed to watering it again.

4. Care After Repotting

The spider plant should be allowed to grow and recover then proceed to do the following:

  • Do not touch the plant for the first two weeks.
  • After a week, water the soil and make it a habit. You must be careful not to make the soil too wet.
  • The roots could die, that’s why it’s best to avoid injuring the plant and them.
  • Fertilize your plant every other week during the spring and summer seasons.

5. Avoid Waterlogging

The spider plant can become clogged if it’s watered regularly, that’s why you should wait for the soil to dry out before watering. The soil that has become waterlogged can form frost which encourages the growth of fungus and causes roots to rot. To save your spider plant from waterlogging, follow these steps:

  • Gently take your plant out of its pot.
  • Gently wash the roots in running water.
  • Prune unhealthy roots.
  • Use a fungicide to treat the roots.
  • Allow the plant to grow in new soil.

6. Watering Schedule

First-time gardeners of spider plants should be aware that watering can pose a serious problem. You should water your spider plant regularly in the first few weeks after it is planted. However, before watering, push your finger down to determine if the skin is dry or moist. It’s also best to avoid watering in the dormant period, winter.

7. Avoid Excess Fertilizer Application

Excessive fertilizer can harm the spider plant or it can kill it, just like any other plant. It is because soil toxicity causes soil damage. Remember that you’ll only need to fertilize once every 3 months. The following are remedies for excess fertilizing:

  • If you suspect that spider plant roots are rotting, stop fertilizing.
  • Use running water to flush the soil and then replace it with new soil.
  • Use a dilute fertilizer to fertilize your plants.
  • Winter is the best time to fertilize because your plant will grow too fast.
  • Instead of using artificial fertilizers, use organic fertilizers.
  • Fertilize three times per year

9. Bacteria, Fungus, Pests and Diseases

The rotting of spider plant roots can be caused by a variety of diseases and pests, as well as bacteria and fungus. The presence of black spots on the leaves is a common sign. It is important to check the stems for signs of infection and then dispose off the plant as it will die. The infection could spread to other houseplants if you don’t remove the affected stems.

If the stems have not become infected, you can trim the unhealthy root or you could also try neem oils. If you follow the manufacturer’s directions, insecticide soap may also be helpful.

Hydrogen peroxide can also be used to kill bacteria and fungus. It helps the plant absorb nutrients and keeps it healthy. This is how to use hydrogen peroxide for spider root rot:

  • Take 3% of the solution, and then add one tablespoon to each cup of water.
  • Spray the base of the plant, but don’t water it.
  • Let the soil soak in the solution.

10. Pruning

Your spider plant will grow if you overwater it or fertilize it. It is best to trim it by cutting its foliage and removing any brown tips or damaged leaves. This is a short guide to pruning:

  • Use sharp, sterilized scissors to trim any areas that look unhealthy.
  • Take a sharp angle and you will see the tips.
  • If you want to replant, trim the plantlets.

Please keep your plants trimmed regularly to prevent overwatering.

11. Propagation

If you are unable to save the spider plants from root rot through repotting it, it is best to consider propagation. Replanting an old spider plant can be done to make several new ones to beautify your home.

Practical Hacks that Will Revive Your Dying Spider Plant

The following steps can be taken to save your spider plant’s life:

  1. Remove any dead or weak parts.
  2. Do not touch the stem. It is essential for repotting.
  3. Water the wilting plants or move them to a more humid environment
  4. Get rid of excess water from a plant that has been overwatered.
  5. Fertilizing can add nutrients.
  6. If pests are present, apply an insecticide.

How to Prevent and Control Spider Plant Root Rot

Root rot is a common problem in spider plant gardening. Here are some ways to prevent it:

  • Only water soil that feels dry to the touch
  • Avoid watering during winter and dormant times.
  • Place the pot in a way that it can drain well.
  • Fertilize your plants every three months, or once a year during spring.
  • When watering your plants, use rainwater or distilled water.
  • Low humidity levels should be avoided.
  • Drain the pot gently if you suspect waterlogging.
  • To get rid of pests and bacteria, use fungicides such as hydrogen peroxide.
  • Avoid extreme temperatures (60 to 75 degF/15-25 degC).
  • Place the plant in the best lighting possible, it shouldn’t get too bright or too dim.
  • Make sure you choose the right soil. If you are planting in the garden, loose, loamy soil works best.
  • Use organic fertilizers instead.
  • Water two days before repotting

Controlling Spider Plant Root Rot

Root rot can be controlled and prevented from spreading to the entire spider plant. The following steps can be taken if you suspect root rot:

  • Avoid fertilizing and watering too often.
  • Before watering, prune the plant often.
  • Repot or replant during spring. After repotting, allow the plant to recuperate.
  • If stems are damaged, it is best to dispose of them rather than repotting.

FAQS On Spider Plant Root Rot 

Why is my Spider Plant dying?

Your spider plant may be dying because you are either drowning it or overwatering it. Too much moisture can cause the leaves of the spider plant to turn black or darken. However, underwatering can cause the leaves to turn yellow and eventually die.

Does Hydrogen Peroxide Kill Root Rot?

Hydrogen peroxide is the best solution to rotting roots. It is a rich source of oxygen molecules that aerates soil and promotes its growth. It is best to use a dilute solution as too much can cause the death of the roots. Follow the manufacturer’s directions.

Can Plants Recover From Overwatering?

Waterlogging is a common problem that houseplant gardeners have to deal with. Within a week, you will notice a difference. These tips will help you save a plant from drowning due to excess water.

  • To reduce water loss, the pot should be placed in front of a light source. Avoid exposing the pot to too much sunlight as it can cause damage and even death.
  • To drain excess water, place the plant in a pot that has drainage holes.
  • Place the plant in a container and gently remove it from the pot.
  • Fertilizing the plant can make the situation worse.
  • Repotting is a better option than letting the plant die.

Root rot is something gardeners often have to deal. However, it is best to treat root rot as soon as you can. If the fungus continues spreading, a plant with rotting roots is at risk of death.

You don’t want to lose your spider plant. Make sure it has a drainage channel. It is important to keep it healthy and free of fungus.

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