Preventing and Treating Root Rot In Your Medical Marijuana Crop

Posted by Lee G. Leissett | 22215 views
By Lee G. Leissett


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Preventing and Treating Root Rot

Preventing and treating root rot will lead to tasty buds.
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" The most common way a root zone loses oxygen in indoor soil gardening is by overwatering.  "

Pythium and phytophthora are parasitic water molds better known in Medical Marijuana grower community as root rot. These aggressive parasites can destroy crops in very short periods of time and are extremely difficult to get rid of. Root rot is anaerobic, meaning it thrives in conditions with little or limited oxygen. This is one reason it is extremely important to understand that a plant’s root system needs oxygen. Without oxygen, a plant’s roots lose their ability for cellular respiration, nutrient uptake and fighting off anaerobic pathogens.

The most common way a root zone loses oxygen in indoor soil gardening is by overwatering. If a soil container is constantly wet, the open spaces between soil particles are filled with H2O and unable to contain air. For optimal performance, it is necessary for soil containers to dry between waterings. The best method to determine if a plant needs water is to physically lift its container. You will feel a big difference between the weight of a freshly watered plant and one that needs watering. It is common for indoor soil containers to appear dry, but many times it’s just the soil surface that has dried out and the lower section of soil has plenty of moisture. Using the lifting method ensures plants will not get overwatered.

Two common reasons for loss of oxygen in hydroponic growing are warm water temperature and insufficient water circulation. Water’s dissolved oxygen content is directly related to its temperature. The warmer the water, the less dissolved oxygen it is able to hold. Most hydroponic systems require a water temperature of 65-72 degrees for optimal performance. This ensures the water can hold enough oxygen to sustain healthy root functions. Insufficient water circulation can cause nutrient solutions to become stagnant. With ample circulation, the water can restore oxygen used by the plant’s roots.

In hydroponic systems, if caught early enough, root rot can be treated with hydrogen peroxide. Hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) is water (H2O) with an additional oxygen molecule. Dunk root masses in a hydrogen peroxide dilution of 4 oz. of 3% H2O2 per gallon of water. After dunking, add 1 oz. Of 3% H2O2 per gallon of nutrient solution in the system. Add hydrogen peroxide every other day to the nutrient solution as it will lose it’s potency after 24-48 hours. In soil containers, 1 oz. of 3% H2O2 per gallon of water can be used as a one time drench to increase oxygen.

Although hydrogen peroxide can be used as a treatment, the best prescription for root rot is prevention. Allowing your soil containers to “breath” between waterings along with the proper water temperature and circulation in hydroponics can prevent this nasty pathogen from rearing its ugly head in your garden.

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