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How To Treat Root Rot In Your Pilea

Updated: Jan 29

You have overwatered your Pilea, and now it just doesn’t seem to recover. Leaves are starting to curl and turn yellow, and the whole plant looks to get sadder and sadder, also if you have corrected the watering issue. Chances are, your plant is suffering from root rot.


1. Make Sure To Identify The Problem

The first thing to do when your Pilea looks particularly sad is to pull it out of the pot and take a look at the root system. If the roots are mushy or crumbly, the plant might be suffering from root rot.



2. Clean The Roots

Place the roots under running water to wash away as much soil and affected roots as possible. During this step, be gentle with the plant.



3. Remove Damaged Roots

At this point, it's important to prune out all the remaining affected roots.

Remove any roots that are black, brown or feel soft. You might have to cut off a significant amount of the root system if the plant is severely affected.

Keep in mind that this step is fundamental: if not removed, the rot can spread quickly to healthier roots and kill them as well, even if the soil conditions are corrected.

If possible, dip the remaining healthy roots in a fungicide solution to kill off any possible root rot fungus.



3. Flush The Plant

Water the plant from the top until the water runs out the bottom. Repeat this 4 times to remove any excess salts from the soil.

If the soil stays soggy for more than a few minutes, you might consider re-potting the plant. In this case, dispose of the soil in the pot that the plant was in. Wash the pot thoroughly with a bleach solution, and repot the plant in clean potting mix.



4. Take Special Care Of Your Pilea

In the following days, don't fertilize the plant and pay close attention to how often you water: too much is just as bad as too little.

Water only when the plant’s soil surface feels dry, and feed only when the plant appears to need it, such as when the leaves start to lighten in color.

Never leave your plant in standing water, as this will undo the work you’ve done to save it!



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