Plant rot is a dreaded disease for all gardening hobbyists. There are various types of plant rot, the most common being root rot and blossom end rot. In root rot, the roots of the plant gradually start rotting, leaving the plant weak and slowly unable to take nutrients. Blossom end rot affects all vegetable plants and lead to vegetables which are half-rotten and inedible.
Growing any plant means that you have to keep in consideration a very large number of factors, including soil quality, insects, and proper care method. A change in any one of thee may have a detrimental effect on your plant. So if your plants are suddenly suffering from root rot, you have to keep these things in consideration.
Let’s look at a common form of plant rot, the blossom rot.
Blossom rot is not caused neither by pests, nor by bad weather or season change. It is caused by a lack of calcium in the soil. It begins as a “water soaked” looking spot on the blossom end of the fruit (the end opposite the stem, while the fruit is still green. Eventually, when the fruit grows, the spot becomes larger. It takes on a dark brown, decomposed appearance. It can cover up to half of the fruit or vegetable, destroying it completely.
Blossom Rot and What To Do About It
Blossom rot is caused by the lack of calcium in the soil; i.e. when calcium uptake is less than that required. The lack of calcium may be due to avoidance of replenishment when planting the tree, or because the calcium that has been replenished has been washed away by heavy rains.
Additionally, if the soil is too rich in nitrogen compounds or phosphorus compounds, this can also affect the plants ability to absorb optimal
Prevention is the best cure for blossom rot. To prevent blossom rot from ever occurring, you can take the following steps:
1. Replenish the soil with calcium before planting:
Put in a bed of organic calcium fertilizer before you plant any vegetables. This will ensure that you won’t have to blossom rot.
2. Use egg shells:
Ground egg shells are a great source of calcium. Use it with vegetable plants to remove the threat of blossom rot.
3. Reduce nitrogen content. Try not to overload on nitrogen. It will make your plants grow fast, but can hinder calcium absorption.
Egg Shells and Tea Leaves
If you already have blossom rot, there is nothing much you can do about it. It takes a while to cure blossom rot; prevention is the best cure. You can try using egg shells and tea leaves which often have a relatively quick effect.
Salts of magnesium also seem to help with quicker carbon uptake. Try removing fruits with blossom rot immediately as they appear in order to relieve stress on the plant.
Root rot is another danger to plants. Root rot occurs due to waterlogging of roots. Plants often need to be watered deeply, but this doesn’t mean that they like stagnant water. If the water isn’t seeping down it soon becomes stagnant. Bacteria start to multiply in the water, and this soon leads to root rot.
Common bacteria that can cause root rot are Pythium, Verticillium, and Phytophthora, and Fusarium.
They thrive in stagnant, warm water. In systems where irrigation is shared, this can be a big threat, as the bacteria can soon spread to all plants. Common sources of infection include unsterilized garden tools and unfiltered water, and dead roots left behind from previous plants.
Symptoms of Root Rot
Symptoms of root rot include droopy yellow leaves, an increasing soil pH, reduced water and nutrient consumption, and brown colored roots. At advanced state, the roots become swollen and black, and start emitting a rotting odor.
To prevent root rot, you should make a practice of using disinfected gardening tools. Water with filtered water, and never water too much.
There are some cures available for root rots, but again, prevention is the best medicine. Some popular and effective root rot treatments are:
Hydrogen peroxide dunks: the brown outer root layers infected by pythium are burnt off when the roots are dunked in strong hydrogen peroxide solution. Pot back in new soil. This treatment is very harsh, and plants may not survive it but desperate times call for desperate measures.
Plant rot is a very pesky disease, and it is best to go the extra mile to make sure it never happens to your plants than to have to try and eradicate it later.
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