Keeping Roots Healthy, Root Rot & Pythium

Video Transcript:

Hi I’m Chris from Aqua Gardening

In this frequently asked questions video, I’m going to discuss the most common root diseases we come across. In all types of gardening it is important to keep your roots healthy and strong. Doing this in hydroponics is even more vital considering that your plants roots are generally more exposed as they are not compacted within soil. The benefit to this however is being able to monitor your plants roots more closely, and to act on infections faster than in the case of soil when you can only observe changes to the top of the plant. The most common root issues we come across in hydroponic and aquaponics are pythium and root rot.

Pythium is type of pathogen and comes in the form of fungi. It is present everywhere, but is harmless until the right conditions present themselves. It will cause sickness and do damage to your plants, potentially ruining your harvest completely. To prevent an attack, dose your water with Oxy Plus or microbial which act as disinfectants for the water and boosters for your plants.

Pythium commonly takes hold when plants are not looked after carefully enough, and mistakes are made to their water.

When the plants are stressed, they emit a stress hormone called ethylene. Pathogens such as pythium can recognise ethylene and will read it as a sign that the plant is weak and susceptible to attack. This is because pythium is an opportunistic invader.

Root rot is harder to treat and is even more dangerous for your plant. As a waterborne disease, root rot is easily transferred to all plants in a hydroponic system if only one plant is infected. It will cause roots to go sticky and brown, and eventually die off drastically reducing yields and causing crop failure.

While treating your system early can sometimes help, it does not always work and even if it does, you will experience a reduced yield. Some of the symptoms include drooping yellow leaves, plants consuming less water than usual and a browning smelly root system.

Like all diseases, the best cure is prevention, and in the case of pythium and root rot keeping a healthy root system will ensure pythium doesn’t occur.

Use root tonics and water conditioner on a regular basis, and you will also be amazed at how well Mycorrhiza products keep the root zone. Find links to our recommendations below the video.

In our Expert Tips Guide we will discuss the causes of pythium, and show you how to prevent and cure both of these diseases.

I’m Chris from Aqua Gardening, and thanks for watching.