Root rot is the most dangerous disease for aloe. It can make your favorite aloe vera plant die. This type of rot occurs because of low temperatures and excessive watering.
If you do not identify the disease at an early stage, the plant will definitely rot. Root rot is the most common and fatal for aloe.
Here I’ll share how to detect the disease in time. I’ll also tell you How you can save your aloe vera plant from root rot. So, keep reading!
Can aloe vera survive root rot?
The most dangerous thing about root rot is that you can not detect this disease at early stage. it does not show visible symptoms while developing.
Yes, aloe vera can survive root rot if you can treat it in a proper way. But you need to act fast as soon as you suspect that it has got the disease.
Causes of Aloe Root Rot
Bacteria and fungi are usually the culprits that cause this rot on the plant roots. Remember that aloe belongs to succulents.
In its natural environment, aloe grows in an arid and hot climate. It loves sandy, well-aerated, light soils.
If you fail to ensure the required conditions your aloe vera becomes vulnerable to this type of disease.
You should not water Aloe Vera frequently. Once a week is ideal. Before watering, make sure the soil is not moist. If it is wet, do not water.
If you water your aloe too frequently then there will be some problems. Which is very easy to avoid.
Frequent watering make the soil remain wet most of the time which is a favorable condition for root rot development.
Therefore, frequent watering and moist condition create a suffocating condition for roots. If the zoot zone immersed underwater for more than 15 minutes, it will accelerate the risk of root rot.
You may have never thought of it, If the container size is small then the roots get twisted in a tight ring.
Now, if you water the pot, the moisture inside the potting soil will remain for a while. The tight condition within the soil makes the water drainage difficult. Even if the ground looks dry from above.
As a result, there will be a shortage of oxygen in the root system. Waterlogging make the oxygen unavailable for roots. This leads to additional stress on the plant and rotting inside.
Plants can get hypothermia too! Besides if you keep your aloe vera to a cold place and water it excessively, the situation gets worse.
I have seen that succulents rot more often in autumn and winter. Because the windows are blowing strongly and the soil in the pots is cooling down.
Sometimes in warm seasons, watering with cold water is harmful to the plant. Even with moderate watering, the disease may develop due to a fungal infection.
Another important thing that you might never have thought about it! Your aloe may get infected even if you have taken care of all the precautions. But forgot to disinfect the old container before planting a new one.
If you plant aloe in the container where the diseased plant lived before it. Some disease causal agent can live for years on the walls of an old pot.
As soon as the situation is favorable for them, they can easily get into the new host.
Organic Fertilizer Application
Often, indoor gardeners, try to revive a diseased plant with fertilizer application. You don’t want to do that.
This extra fertilizer causes a surge in the development of fungi that will provoke rot. Especially, Manure or bird droppings are harmful to aloe.
When your aloe vera is infected with the disease, it is better to stop fertilizing.
How To Know If Aloe Has Root Rot
Rotting of the roots often occurs with improper care. This is a fatal disease for aloe vera and other succulents. Your aloe may end up dying from root rot.
Since the plant is in a pot, you may not notice the disease infection before its too late!
Therefore, you need to inspect your aloe vera regularly. So that you can identify alarming symptoms and take measures to fix it.
Often gardeners drag the plant out of the pot at the very last moment. They try to fertilize it or take other measures to change the situation. But this only makes it worse.
Now, I think you’ll agree that it is a very important step to detect the disease before it does further damage. So, What do rotten aloe roots look like?
Here’s how you can detect root rot in time:
- With a regular inspection of the aloe vera, you’ll notice that the growth has stopped or slowed down. At this point, the plant does not react to watering.
- You will see the withering of old leaves.
- The aloe stem starts to get exposed from the bottom.
- The stem will dry up.
- At the root neck, aloe vera becomes so thin that it can even break down.
- The appearance of the stem looks satisfactory. But the lower leaves become soft, loose as if saturated with water.
- A strong, pungent, unpleasant odor comes from the aloe pot.
- The root becomes brown or black, it will feel soft and water-soaked.
How to Save The Aloe If The Root System Is Rotted?
Now, you find out that the root system of your aloe has root rot! So, What to do at this point? An urgent plant transplant is required.
Here I’ll show you how to transplant aloe vera yourself. and walk you through the step by step process:
To prepare for this, you need to take into account the following aspects. Which have an impact on the success of the whole process, that is:
- preparing the right container for your aloe vera
- use of appropriate soil
- appropriate transplanting process
- watering after transplantation
With these steps in mind, let’s move on to choosing and preparing a pot for transplanted aloe vera.
The pot for your aloe vera is not only a decorative element. It also has another important function, which is to help you regulate moisture.
When choosing an aloe planting pot, pay attention to the size and number of drainage holes that are at the bottom of the pot.
The drainage holes will help drain out the excess water. I am intentionally talking about excess. Many beginners think that aloe, like other succulents, does not like a lot of water. Nothing could be more wrong!
Aloe likes a lot of water but only for a short time. It means that aloe just doesn’t like standing in the water.
As I said before, when the roots are in the water for a long time, the aloe is vulnerable to root rot disease.
So you should be skeptical selecting these tools for your aloe vera.
Select a pot that has large water drainage holes and make sure they are doing their jobs.
Thanks to the drainage holes, water will be able to flow freely from the pot. Of course, assuming that you have properly prepared the soil or bought the right soil mix form market.
When choosing the right planting pot for aloe vera, remember that aloe vera likes to spread out the roots. So the ideal planting pot should be wide enough to hold the growing root system.
Since you already know which pot to choose for aloe vera, let’s move on to preparing the soil.
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Aloe Transplanting Soil
Ready soil mixtures for transplanting aloe vera are available in stores. It is okay if you want to prepare your own soil mix.
Aloe likes a well-drained soil, so it is necessary to mix it with inorganic elements. Aquarium stones are quite good for this because they are prepared as a substrate for living organisms.
This means that they are clean and free from fungus or bacteria. If you have any doubts, pour them with boiling water.
Just throw it on a sieve and pour hot water. By brewing them in this way you will remove any fungi that could be on their surface.
Remember to choose the right size of stones, because too big ones will not go well with smaller aloe vera.
If you want to spice up your composition, you can also use colored stones of different sizes.
Now let’s find out how you can mix the soil ingredients at an optimum proportion.
Best soil mix for aloe is:
- 3 parts of soil mix
- 2 parts of small and medium stones
- 1 part of expanded clay
You can use a cup or just a regular spoon to measure the proportion. You want to use the soil fro the old pot then make sure to disinfect them.
You should do it to be sure when transplanting. Yo do not want to transfer the bacteria from the previous plant to the new one. Just heat the soil to 302°F/150 °C for 30 minutes, your soil will be free from fungus or bacteria.
Let’s move on to how you should transplant the aloe vera.
Remove Aloe From The Pot
Start by removing aloe from the pot. Do it when the soil is dry, which will make your task easier.
Hold the aloe on your left hand and remove the pot from the plant with your right hand.
Loosen The Roots
Then gently loosen the soil so as not to damage the roots.
After you remove the aloe from the pot and remove the soil around the roots. Inspect the root system carefully. Determine the damage level.
Rinse it with running water. Then Use a clean, sharp knife to remove rotten roots. From my experience, it is good to leave the aloe for two or three days to let the roots dry.
I have to admit that I have never done that with my own aloe. But have had the opportunity to help my others with root rot of aloe.
Here are the final steps to transplant your root rot affected aloe:
- Gently powder the cuts with charcoal, sulfur powder to prevent infection.
- It won’t hurt aloe if you leave it for a few days so that the roots can dry out.
- I recommend using a new pot for planting. If a replacement is not possible, wash the old container thoroughly with soap and hot water.
- Make sure that the sand is draining excessive water through holes at the bottom.
- Fill in the prepared soil mixture and transplant the plant without watering or slightly moistening the substrate.
- Keep the plant in a warm, shaded place.
- Do not water your aloe vera for at least 1-2 weeks after transplant.
How to Care for Aloe Plant After Transplant
When the aloe has settled in, you can switch to the mode of moderate moistening of the soil.
Use room temperature water, cold or warm water will harm the plant.
I would recommend watering the aloe twice a month in the warm season. In autumn and winter, water it once a month. You can leave the plant without water until spring.
Make sure that the plant does not stand in the cold or in a draft. If you keep to the golden rule for aloe that dryness is better than waterlogging. Then you can enjoy the healthy appearance of Aloe for a long time.
How to Prevent and Control Aloe Root Rot
Below I have summarized the most important tips for you to prevent and control root rot in your plants:
Tip 1: Avoid Waterlogging
In general, you can prevent aloe root rot by controlling the environment. You know that Moisture and wetness promote fungal infections.
So avoid waterlogging and keep the soil or substrate loose and well aerated. Remember: the harder and wetter the soil is, the more likely root rot will occur.
Tip 2: Regular Water Schedule
You can not water aloe for the whole plant at a time. Aloe vera needs water on a regular basis depending on the season, growth stage, and the surrounding environment.
So you need to maintain a schedule for watering aloe vera. And try to maintain the schedule, you plant will be free from the risk of root rot.
Tip 3: Consider Plant Rotation
If you have root rot in your garden, you should definitely pay attention to your planting sequence next year. Often a certain pathogen only grows on a certain Plant or plant family.
So make sure your indoor garden is diversified. If your aloe root rots, avoid keeping aloe in the same pot the following year.
You should try changing soil and container when you are planting a new one. This will help prevent aloe root rot.
Tip 4: Loosen The Soil
If your soil is hard you can add sand or compost to make it lose and aerated.
Organic material promotes humus formation and water storage capacity. So you do not need to water it frequently.
Therefore your aloe will not be overpowered. The root root will not develop if there is no water logging condition.
Tip 5: Prevention Instead of Control
When you use pesticides they will not work every time as expected. Because the active ingredients of fungicides will not penetrate the soil.
But you can apply the best practices described above to inhibit aloe root rot and promote healthy plant growth.
Finally, make sure that the soil conditions of growing aloe are favorable. Preventive measures are better than control after disease infection.
Now that you have known how to save your aloe from root rot, I am curious about what preventive measures you are going to take next? Let me know by leaving a comment below.