4 Easy Ways to Prevent Root Rot

Are your plants withered and look like they are melting into your cloner? This is most likely caused by root rot. This commonly occurs when growing in a medium that lacks proper water drainage. Root rot simply put, is the decaying of roots. The main cause, especially in hydroponics, is the continued exposure to water. Another common cause is from bacteria and fungus growth in the water and thus the roots. Since the same water is contained in the reservoir without any filtration root rot can form. Luckily, Root rot is not as common with an aeroponic system, but if it does develop it will affect all your cuttings if not treated. However, there are four easy ways to prevent this from happening with some simple procedures.   

Have a Clean Unit:  

This may seem like an obvious one but having a completely cleaned unit will give you the best chance of preventing any form of fungus or bacteria to grow in your unit. Cleaning your unit before and after every cloning cycle is critical to have high success. Read our article TK BEST Practices. Cleaning your unit.  


Use the Correct Amount of Water:  



One of the easiest ways to get root rot in an aeroponic system is by having roots dangle into the water all day. If your roots are set in the water, they are likely to begin rotting. If all your roots are hitting the water this means your cuttings are ready for transplant. Here is a chart illustrating how much water should go into each unit.    



Recommended Water 


2 Gallons 


4.5 Gallons 

Elite 96 

8.5 - 9 Gallons 

Elite 144 

12.5 - 13 Gallons 


An easy way to eyeball your water level is to put enough to cover the top of the pump.  


Mind Your Temperature:  

Warm water is not a grower's friend. Bacteria and fungus thrive in warm water and will affect your roots. We recommend keeping your temperature between 65°-75° F to prevent this. An easy way to keep the temperature down is by being aware of heat sources near the roots. Whether you are using sunlight or grow lights, they will generate heat so make sure they are not heating the unit. Heat can also be generated from the pump. If you leave the pump on 24/7 for weeks at a time, it’s bound to generate some heat. If this happens turn your unit off until the water and pump cool down.    


Keep Your Roots In the Dark:  


Unlike the foliage of your cuttings, roots grow best in a dark environment because light is a stress factor on developing roots. Making sure your lid is aligned correctly and you have all your clone collars covering the holes to prevent light from seeping in. 


How to Treat Root Rot  

If you notice that your reservoir is developing root rot, use these four steps to prevent it. Trim back your cuttings that are dipped into the water. If you notice some of your cuttings are showing more symptoms than others, remove them as they are likely to infect the others. If you notice that some of your longer roots are submerged into the water, and you are not ready to transplant the whole system, you can trim back some of the longer roots to keep them out of the water. If however, this is untreated you will need to replace the water. If your roots are brown and dying, you can put them into PH neutral water while you clean your unit. Once cleaned, add water and your nutrient solution back into your unit.  Luckily, Root rot is not as common with an aeroponic system, but if it does still happen it will affect all your cuttings if not treated quickly 

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