Author Topic: Root rot cure  (Read 1578 times)

Vlad

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Root rot cure
« on: February 07, 2023, 10:50:43 PM »
I have had problems with root rot and have never been able to successfully deal with it. I have tried removing the old soil mix with fresh mix and/or soaking roots with dilute hydrogen peroxide but that did not work.
Have any of you had success treating root rot?
(I am not looking for how to prevent root rot. I want to know how to cure it.)
N.B.: I am careful not to over water. I have had root rot in gritty mix (equal parts fir bark, Turface MVP, Gran-I-Grit) and 5:1:1 mix of pine bark fines, Perlite peat moss).
« Last Edit: February 11, 2023, 09:23:43 PM by Vlad »

poncirsguy

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Re: Root rot cure
« Reply #1 on: February 07, 2023, 11:13:24 PM »
I am using Sour orange and Flying dragon and those are resistant to root rot.

pagnr

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Re: Root rot cure
« Reply #2 on: February 08, 2023, 04:01:58 AM »
Most root rot organisms favour low oxygen environments.
You can ward them off by growing in high air content mixes.
You can measure this as air filled porosity.
A gritty mix should in theory have more air space, but fine particles can also fill the pore space.
If you dump a kilo of sugar into a box of cornflakes, the sugar could fill the spaces between the cornflakes ( pore space ) and not overflow the box, so same volume less air.
Gritty components of pot mix, could also end up dense in the final mix.
https://www.sungro.com/air-porosity-and-water-holding-ability-of-media-components/

I have not found Fungicides reliable to cure plants, more so it seemed to finish them off.
I have got plants back by repotting into taller pots ( more drainage and air space ). Often it seems better to elevate without repotting the root ball.
Increasing biological activity with organic fertilisers also seems to help recovery.

Till

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Re: Root rot cure
« Reply #3 on: February 09, 2023, 05:54:09 PM »
Vlad, I am also frustrated by these root problems. Sour oranges were in my personal experience the most susceptible citrus plants for root rod although literature says the opposite. I had a number of well rooted cuttings and also some bought plants on sour orange. All died not matter what I tried. They couldn't deal with cool and moist conditions during winter. I finally gave up and regrafted them all or threw them away.

At the moment, I use Swingle 5 Star, C35 and Swingle Citrumelo as rootstocks. They seem to be resistant. Poncirus also does well but not all Poncirus seedlings. Some had bad roots most had good roots. Calamondin also seems to be resistant against root rod and can deal with loamy dense earth. But even the resistant rootstocks have problems sometimes. Their roots do not rod when those of other varieties rod but sometimes they do not grow either. I have the impression that worm humous is a problem. It is too fine I think and makes the earth too dense. I had plants that wunderfully grew in compost for one year but grew misterable in the next year after the worms had eaten up the organic material and left their dung.

Interestingly, the same earth (somewhat loamy garden soil) is very problematic for potted plants but works very well for the same citrus variety when it is grown inground. I have not fully understood that.

I would also be glad for tips. My standpoint up to now is just that I am unable to grow certain varieties without adequate rootstocks. When I have problems with roots I exchange the earth. That usually works for at least a year - which is not very long I think.

fruitnut1944

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Re: Root rot cure
« Reply #4 on: February 09, 2023, 09:11:20 PM »
Interestingly, the same earth (somewhat loamy garden soil) is very problematic for potted plants but works very well for the same citrus variety when it is grown inground. I have not fully understood that.

The above is true because soil in pots has much poorer drainage than in the garden. It's the old perched water table issue that plagues potted plants. If your garden had a permanent water table at 12 inches you'd have the same issues outdoors.

The cure is soil that drains much better. I use a lot of medium to coarse pine bark mulch in mine.

Another option that can help is to drain out the perched water. For instance a wick in the bottom of the pot that can drain down into the soil below.

You need media that doesn't break down very rapidly. Earthworms and such are good at breaking down organic matter into fine material that may not drain well.
« Last Edit: February 10, 2023, 09:59:38 AM by fruitnut1944 »

pagnr

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Re: Root rot cure
« Reply #5 on: February 10, 2023, 05:58:52 AM »
Many plant nurseries are growing on short term cycles ( weeks or months ) for sale and using fungicides to get the plants to sale in very fine pot mixes.
Most growers are growing in pots for several years or more. The requirements are different.
Pot media will break down over time via the "composting" process into finer particles. This will reduce air capacity and drainage.
Bigger particle sizes slow this down, but must be balanced with water holding capacity.
Soils in pots have no structure or vary fine structure. Soils in the ground are not confined in a container and the earth below acts as a buffer.
Raised soil garden beds, bottomless drums or pots of soil or mounds and furrows or terraces in a field all work well, where soil is raised but not fully confined.
Soil in pots works for some plants, usually those that thrive on neglect.

1rainman

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Re: Root rot cure
« Reply #6 on: February 10, 2023, 07:31:27 PM »
For potted plants poke bigger holes in the bottom of the pot. Fill the lower 10% of the pot, the bottom with rocks. Medium and big rocks all different sizes. It will make the pot heavier to move but keeps it from sogging out. Put potting soil on the top 90%. Let the plant get plenty of light which helps it breathe and release water. Let the dirt dry out between watering because citrus doesn't like soggy roots as you can see.

Or if no rocks add about 10% sand. But if you do both a lot of the sand will eventually settle at the bottom cancelling out some of the good from rocks but would still work but one or the other might be the best use of resources.

Tropicaltoba

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Re: Root rot cure
« Reply #7 on: February 10, 2023, 08:20:56 PM »
I used to have a big problem with rot and seedlings, but Ive got a system figured out for my situation. I use a 100% organic mix (cedar bark, promix, and then 10% mix of alfalfa meal vermicompost and bokashi). I use standard shaped 15-35 gallon  pots and drill large (2) holes in the side (4 total, only
2 in the 15gallon), not the bottom. If plants/soil seems dry they sit in a saucer as deep as the holes. If they are prone to rot they sit above. I also use tall pots. I find early on after reporting they like it dry and as the pots fill Up with roots they can soak up the extra water and like it much wetter.


Vlad

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Re: Root rot cure
« Reply #8 on: February 10, 2023, 09:31:54 PM »
I see no holes.

Tropicaltoba

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Re: Root rot cure
« Reply #9 on: February 10, 2023, 10:46:43 PM »
Lol down at the bottom. The white things are pot lifters, the holes are right beside them. I have the pot sitting 1 out of a 2 saucer. Ill try to send better pics tomorrow.

Tropicaltoba

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Re: Root rot cure
« Reply #10 on: February 11, 2023, 04:30:42 PM »
This is my passion fruit pot, same setup as my citrus 35 gallon. The hole is actually 1.5. The pot lifters are 3D printed.


poncirsguy

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Re: Root rot cure
« Reply #11 on: February 11, 2023, 06:56:37 PM »

Tropicaltoba

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Re: Root rot cure
« Reply #12 on: February 12, 2023, 09:26:26 AM »
poncirsguy, when do u do this? Does that pot have a single hole in the bottom?

poncirsguy

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Re: Root rot cure
« Reply #13 on: February 12, 2023, 09:45:42 AM »
I will soak my trees in deep water for an hour or 2 then let it drip dry and follow up with the vacuuming for about 30 seconds.  My bucket pots have a 50+  small 1/8 inch diameter holes.  The larger pots have enough holes to work well.

1rainman

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Re: Root rot cure
« Reply #14 on: February 12, 2023, 06:54:22 PM »
I forgot that. If my pots seem too soggy holes on the side as well as bottom help.

Till

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Re: Root rot cure
« Reply #15 on: March 02, 2023, 05:10:53 PM »
I shall try pine bark I think. Its quite cheap, tends to react sour and can keep water.

My problem in the past was that when I mixed a soil with good drainage the earth tended to became too dry. And when I tried to water dry earth it could not keep the water. It ran straight through the earth and it remained dry. Then when I placed the pots at a sunny position the earth got dry within one day at the sunny side and it got too hot. So I first realized that roots should be in a shadowy position while leaves in a sunny position or pots should at least be white and not black. But the earth problem remained. I also tried stones at the bottom of the pots but was not very successful with them because earth tended to get too dry. I think I just did not have the right soil for potted citrus. I shall now try pine bark, perhaps in combination with a little bit organic matter and lava.

Diving the pots into water does work well according to my experience. But my problem was the work that it requires because I had so many pots. The idea with a vaccum chamber is cool.  :D But I have not the time. Too many plants. Now I have most inground where they grow well. For the rest I shall pick up your ideas.

1rainman

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Re: Root rot cure
« Reply #16 on: March 03, 2023, 12:00:23 PM »
This is why I mix a small amount of clay. Portions of dirt with clay retain water for a long time. A lot of times clay may ball up you may not see it. Not too much clay maybe 5% just enough to keep it from drying out too bad.

At the same time I have good drainage. Miracle grow plus a little sand maybe 5%. The miracle grow is mostly peat moss and perlite with good drainage and good water retention already but this improved the two. Though in the summer they need watered almost every day. Mulch on top of my grapes also keeps it from drying. Can be used on citron if you know it will dry out enough.

Till

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Re: Root rot cure
« Reply #17 on: March 03, 2023, 04:48:07 PM »
I shall try that. I have moss (the common type from the lawn), loamy soil, perlite, and pine bark.

To sum up: The ideal citrus earth has a lot in common with orchid medium. The difference is that orchids are not so tender  :). They are content with bark and moss.

pagnr

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Re: Root rot cure
« Reply #18 on: March 04, 2023, 04:05:03 AM »
I shall try that. I have moss (the common type from the lawn),

Do you mean the moss that grows on rocks or damp places ?
Peat moss refers to bog peat, harvested from a wetland area, usually produced by the breakdown of reeds and sedges ( marsh plants ) underwater.

Millet

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Re: Root rot cure
« Reply #19 on: March 04, 2023, 12:58:00 PM »
Actually, it is just two ingredients that causes root rot-----lack of oxygen and fungal infections.  Over watering and soil compaction eliminates oxygen from a medium.  Especially when a compacted soil is  over watered.

Till

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Re: Root rot cure
« Reply #20 on: March 06, 2023, 06:05:12 PM »
Pagnr, yes I meant the common moss. Is it so different from peat moss? I mean is peat moss really better?

Millet, you will be right. And it sounds simple. But in practise its so complex. Almost all of our native plants grow in the earth and grow well in which citrus plants suffer or die. That had made me feel so helpless sometimes.

 

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