Money tree root rot can be concerning when you don’t know how to spot it, treat it, or what preventative measures to take. Root rot can result when wet and humid conditions develop and be as easy to treat as repotting.
We are going to compile a comprehensive list of all the major causes behind this problem along with a practical solution. Continue reading to find out how to stop future infections and save your money tree from root rot.
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- What Are the Possible Causes of Root Rot in Money Trees?
- How to Prevent Root Rot in a Money Tree
What Are the Possible Causes of Root Rot in Money Trees?
Root rot is basically caused by infectious bacteria or fungi when the right conditions are present in the soil. Overwatering the plant, using infected tools and the wrong size of pots are just some of the many reasons why your money plant might be suffering from root rot.
Root rot is primarily caused by overwatering the plant and causing water to stagnate in the soil. When you overwater a plant, the water collects in the soil, and the roots become entrapped in the liquid. These roots then end up absorbing a lot more water than they have the ability to hold.
One thing that happens is that roots start rotting consequently and easily succumb to attacks by fungal species already in the soil. Another thing that over watering the roots does is that it makes absorbing nutrients very difficult for the plant. A malnutritioned plant is no longer able to fend off attacks by rot-causing fungi and bacteria. The time of year, the type of pot, and where you place the plant in your house affect how often you should water it.
If you are watering your money plant without checking if the top four inches of the soil have dried first, then you are definitely overwatering it. Always keep a moisture meter with you to see the soil’s moisture level first and then water. The soil takes a lot more time to dry in the winter than in the summer so watering the plant with the same frequency all year round will also cause it to overwater.
– Lack of Drainage by the Pot
Root rot is often a result of both inadequate drainage and overwatering. Sometimes your watering schedule is perfect, yet the plant seems to succumb to rot every so often. In this case, you need to check the drainage hole present at the bottom of the planter. Maybe the planter did not have adequate drainage, to begin with or maybe the holes closed up over time.
These holes are made at the bottom of the pot so that the soil can drain the extra water it doesn’t need. When the extra water has nowhere to go, it will pool by the plant’s roots and gather to cause root rot. That is why you must always ensure that you have proper drainage.
The drainage of the planter also depends on the material it is made of. Pots made of clay or terracotta have microscopic pores on their surface that allow water evaporation. If you use a planter made of plastic or metal, then naturally, it will have poorer drainage and be more at risk of causing overwatering.
– Compacted Soil
Water will not drain quickly enough through compacted soil on your plant. As a result, the soil will become soggy, and the plant won’t receive any nutrients. This is basically the perfect recipe for producing rot on the plant’s root. When the soil is compacted, its topsoil tends to dry normally, which causes people to water it normally. This water then becomes collected within the deeper layers and does not drain out.
There are two ways to check if your money plant is dealing with compacted soil. One is that the collecting tray at the bottom will not fill up with adequate draining water. The second is by trying to stick a pencil in the soil. Even after it has been watered, compacted soil will be too rigid to allow the pencil to pass through.
When the plant has not been repotted for several years, this too will lead to soil compaction and consequent root rot. Organic components like peat, sphagnum moss, and compost are responsible for adding drainage to the soil. With time these constituents break down, and the soil starts becoming compacted.
– Water Collection Tray
People who do not drain the water collecting tray at the bottom of their pots also end up with root rot. Technically you are supposed to let the water drain out the pot for about 15 minutes and then get rid of this water within the next 15 minutes.
Otherwise, all this water is going to be reabsorbed back into the soil and produce wet and humid conditions in which fungal infections thrive. Think about how long you take to empty your water tray and whether this could be the reason behind your diseased money plant.
– Infected Soil and Pot
Root rot can be caused by various things, including wet soil and pathogens from previously contaminated soil. The infection would spread to your plant and cause root rot if you planted your money tree in contaminated soil. A previously healthy plant will end up being killed within weeks after repotting.
That is why experts strongly advocate that you only buy soil that has been certifiably sterilized. Another option is to sterilize the soil by yourself before planting the money plant in it. The same goes for the new pot in which you wish to repot the money plant.
If you had a plant that died of root rot earlier on then its old pot and soil needs to be treated as infectious waste. Either you need to get it properly sterilized or discard it among infectious waste categories. Recycling it for your precious plant will end up killing it instead.
– Infected Tools and Compost
If there is an infected plant at home then it needs to be treated with separate gardening tools. Otherwise you are going to end up spreading root rot to the rest of your plants as well. In fact, make a habit of always washing and disinfecting your tools before and after use on each plant. Be especially vigilant when lending and borrowing tools from someone.
Compost is a very common source by which infection spreads to the money plants. This problem is more common among homemade compost since store bought varieties are usually sterilized properly. Adding even a tiny infected plant in the composting bin will end up spreading rot to it. When this compost is used to fertilize money plants or other plants in the house, all of them end up getting infected.
– Large Pot for a Small Money Plant
If you use a too-big pot, extra water will collect in it. The roots will utilize water present in the center of the pot but the sides will remain wet and humid. Root rot may develop due to this water collecting in the sides . Roots need air to absorb nutrients and breathe so it’s only logical that they get choked up.
The general rule of thumb in this regard is that the pot should not be bigger than the root ball of the money plant by more than two inches. In case of a large pot, you need to shift to a smaller one otherwise there is a very high chance of getting root rot.
– Reduced Temperature
As the temperature drops, plants consume less water. This is because as temperatures drop, chemical reactions become slower and the rate of evaporation drops. Giving the plant the typical quantity of water will cause water to pool up, which can result in root rot because the plant won’t require as much water to thrive.
Here, you have two choices. You can relocate your money tree inside to a warmer location while watering it as usual. Alternatively, water your plant less regularly while maintaining the same temperature. Remember that money trees thrive best in temperatures between 65 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit.
– Watering During the Dormant Season
Plants grow slowly in the winter since there is less light and reduced temperatures. They consequently require less water during the winter. If you continue watering the money plant regularly in winter as well, the water will collect and may cause root rot.
How to Prevent Root Rot in a Money Tree
You must take quick action if your plant has root rot. You can still salvage it, depending on the stage of the root rot. You’ll need to remove the diseased roots, drain the extra water, and move your plant to different soil to save your money tree.
– Damage Control
Getting rid of unhealthy plant tissue and soil is your initial step. Root rot-causing pathogens can remain in the soil and the container. Additionally, contaminated plant tissue can propagate the disease. Take the following actions to repair the damage and prevent the infection from spreading further: As much water as possible should be drained from the soil.
Once you have drained the soil well and discarded the water, you should also throw away the soil the plant was in. This is an extremely crucial step because if you go to repot your plant in the same soil, even if it has been drained of water, any pathogens living in the soil could result in root rot.
To remove the decaying roots, use a clean, sharp knife. Roots that are infected will be squishy and brown or black in appearance. Make sure to remove all of the corroded components. The illness could spread if any contaminated roots are left behind and the cutting is done poorly.
To eradicate any lingering root rot fungus, apply a fungicide to the healthy roots that are still there. Use sterile scissors to remove any damaged leaves (also money tree leaves that turned yellow).
You must move your Money Tree into fresh, clean soil after you have repaired the harm. How best to repot your plant is as follows:
- Select a clay or terracotta pot slightly larger than your money tree and unglazed. Choose a pot with drainage holes.
- Spend 30 minutes soaking the planter in a mild bleach solution. Rinse it, then let it air dry.
- Place a layer of gravel on the bottom most part of the pot as this helps prevent loss of soil. This layer needs to be only one half to one inch thick and no more.
- Take fresh and sterilized soil and use it to fill the rest of the pot. First fill only half of the pot and then place the plant in it. Then fill the rest of the pot up with the soil as gently as you could.
- Don’t harm the roots when gently setting the Money Tree in the fresh soil. The roots are already fragile because of the rot and should not be disturbed anymore.
- Make that the planter’s drainage system is in working order. Place the pot on a saucer that will serve as a catchment for any extra water that drains from the drainage holes.
– Utilizing the Right Soil Mix
Selecting a potting mix with sufficient drainage is crucial so water may move easily through the soil. Water can only adequately drain through compacted soil, which might result in root rot.
Look for a peat-moss-containing potting mix that drains properly. Sand can be included in your potting mix to enhance drainage as well.
Consider adding a drainage layer to the pot’s bottom to enhance drainage further. The drainage layer will absorb extra water, helping keep it from collecting around the roots.
A drainage layer is always a good idea and something we always advise our readers about because it absorbs water and is antibacterial because it contains activated charcoal.
– After Repotting, Wait Before Watering Your Plant Again
Wait to water your Money Tree after repotting it. It would help if you gave the soil time to dry out to prevent root rot from happening again. Give it about a week before starting your normal watering routine again. Before you water again, ensure the top two to four inches of soil are fully dry.
– Post-repotting Care
Because money trees are sensitive to change, following repotting, expect an adjustment period. After you repot your Money Tree, maintain all other conditions the same to reduce stress.
Keep the temperature the same, don’t adjust the lighting, and place your plant in the same location. You can gradually introduce more alterations once your plant has adjusted to its new surroundings.
You might prune some of your money tree’s top leaves to hasten its recovery. As a result, the plant can conserve energy and devote more of its resources to fighting off root rot.
It might not be possible to preserve the plant if the damage is severe. Therefore, you should choose cutting-based propagation to lower the chance of losing your money tree. This is how you do it:
For this, you will need a cutting up to 4 inches in size that has a developed structure with two leaf nodes. A rooting hormone is applied to the cuttings’ bottom edges. It is preferable to root in soil that contains a 1:1 mixture of peat/coconut substrate, perlite, and coarse sand. Sterilize the mixture before using.
To plant the cuttings, use plastic cups and containers with drainage holes. 1 inch of soil should be added to the lowest portions of the cuttings before adding water. A three-week rooting time is typical. The temperature of 68 – 71 degrees Fahrenheit when favorable conditions, such as diffused light, are present. Ensure a relative humidity of roughly 80 percent.
The cuttings can also be rooted in water. To accomplish this, put the root hormone-treated cuttings in a water-filled container. They transfer it into the soil mixture after the roots start to show. The young money tree is under a lot of stress right now.
As a result, you must create ideal conditions for the plant’s growth throughout this time. While proactively preventing root rot is the smartest choice, sometimes root rot is out of your control, and in such cases, the following advice should help you out.
– Avoid Overwatering
Root rot is primarily caused by waterlogging. Avoid overwatering your plant, and ensure water can flow freely out of the pot to prevent waterlogging. Although you might be tempted, resist watering your money tree frequently. Your plant could die from being treated kindly.
Less is more in the money trees’ world. Before watering your plant, let the top two to four inches of soil dry off. Additionally, ensure the pot has a means for any extra water to drain. If it cannot escape, the water will collect in the soil and expose the plant to root rot.
As well as elevating the pot above a saucer that may catch any excess water that drips out, make sure your pot has drainage holes at the bottom.
Your planter’s construction material can also aid in preventing waterlogging. Unglazed porcelain and terracotta are porous materials that absorb excess water, helping to keep the plant from languishing in water.
You can double-pot your plant using a fancy metal or plastic container. Here’s how to go about it:
- On the outside, choose a beautiful pot that is a little bigger.
- Put your plant inside the beautiful pot in a clay or terracotta container.
- Between the two planters, place a layer of stones to allow water to drain.
– Watering Routine
When watered deeply yet seldom, money trees thrive. Deep watering is watering until the drainage holes in the pot’s bottom are filled with water.
Remember to clear the saucer underneath any extra water to prevent the plant roots from sitting in water. Watering should be done once a week, but during the winter, you will need to cut back even more. If you want to use tap water for your Money root plant purify it first!
– Unrestrict the Soil
The soil can dry up quickly and drain more efficiently by loosening or aerating. By carefully poking tiny holes in the soil’s surface with a pencil, you can add extra air space close to the roots. Allowing more oxygen to reach the roots of the plants will aid in drying up the soil.
– Rotate Your Plants
A plant will only have one side exposed to the light when positioned against a window. In addition to causing some areas of the soil to remain wet, this may result in uneven growth. Every few months, turn your money tree so the plant faces a different direction in the sun.
– Improve Lighting
Consider moving your money tree to a room with more natural light. Your plant will consume water more quickly due to the additional light.
Remember that money trees prefer direct, bright sunlight. It is best to put your money tree by a window that faces north rather than south. If you can only place your plant next to a south-facing window, make a screen out of tissue or another thin material. Doing this will diffuse the light and keep your plant from burning.
It is always devastating to see your beautiful money plant dying of root rot but do not worry because it is easily fixable if caught on time.
- Immediately stop watering your money tree and put it in a bright spot to aid in the evaporation of water.
- To sterilize the remaining healthy roots, apply a liquid copper fungicide to them every week for the next several months.
- Transfer your money tree to a clean container with sterile, porous soil after removing the rotten parts of the roots.
You can prevent root rot on your money tree with the proper maintenance. We hope you can put the information from this article into practice.