root rot - Knowledgebase Question

Idyllwild, CA
Question by ceeramics
December 25, 2006
I haved a stand of several cistus that bloom every spring. Recently two of these plants are showing signs of what I believe is root rot. Is there a cure other then renoving the plants and their roots? I hate to lose this beautiful grove. If I do have to remove them how should I treat the soil before replant?


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Answer from NGA
December 25, 2006

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Cistus, or rock rose, are quite susceptible to root rot if the soil does not drain quickly. They are drought tolerant so very little water is needed, even in summer. If your plants are developing, or have developed root rot, you may not be able to save them - but I think it's worth a try. Dig the plants and clip away any dead or rotting roots; amend the soil with gravel or sand to facilitate fast drainage, then replant. You'll know in spring whether or not you were successful. If the plants do die off, you can replace them; the amended soil should provide the quick drainage they require.

Best wishes with your cistus!

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