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Avatar for garryoak
May 5, 2020 10:50 AM CST
Thread OP
Champaign-Urbana, IL
So I seem to have some root rot on my poor baby aloe. I noticed some dark spots on some of the leaves and recently noticed that all the leaves were looking quite limp and sad. Took it out of the pot to inspect and lo and behold! Many roots were no longer even attached to the plant they were so rotten. After running it under some water to get a better look, it seems like there were a few new (healthy??) roots starting to grow but I am having a hard time distinguishing what is rotten and what is normal. The plant is currently air drying on my counter.

I have been doing a good amount of research on root rot but am hearing a lot of different ideas. I know that I need to remove the affected areas. Would I be better off just cutting of all the roots that are there currently and leaving just the little nub of a stem, hoping it will be able to take root? Is it a good idea to treat the area with anything to kill any remaining rot? I have read about washing it with dish soap, bleach, or hydrogen peroxide but I am ambivalent about applying such harsh substances...

As I mentioned, many of the leaves have dark spots on them and are pretty limp. Should I be doing anything to remove the dark spots themselves? Or take off those leaves all together?

Any insight on what would best serve this poor little guy is much appreciated! Hope I can save him...
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Avatar for oneeyeluke
May 6, 2020 2:26 AM CST
Name: one-eye-luke US.Vet.
Texas (Zone 8a)
Quitter's never Win
Birds Cat Lover Dog Lover Hummingbirder Organic Gardener
Stick it back in soil to reroot it. Just water the soil well one time and stick it in the soil and let the soil dry out. After a month gently pull on the plant and if its loose its not ready but if its stuck then you have new roots.
NOT A EXPERT! Just a grow worm! I never met a plant I didn’t love.✌
Avatar for SoulReaver009
May 7, 2020 4:42 PM CST
Milpitas, CA
The reason why you hear different things about root rot, is because some people see the root rotting and figure "root rot." I just learned that root rot is actually a fungal/bacterial disease. Which is rarely what people are talking about when they say root rot. When people say root rot, most of the time they are talking about roots that are brown, and mushy, due to overwatering.

That's why you see many different articles with different suggestions, some even contradicting others.

Your aloe doesn't look bad. I would take oneeyeluke's advice and try that. If it doesn't work, post an update and someone will be able to tell you what to do next.
Avatar for garryoak
May 7, 2020 5:32 PM CST
Thread OP
Champaign-Urbana, IL
Thanks for that clarification. I had been wondering about that myself, and nervous about there being a fungal/bacterial infection that I needed to somehow cleanse my plant of. Do you happen to know if there is a way to determine the difference between overwatered/dying roots and actual root rot?

I will stick it back in some new potting soil (just in case the old soil has fungus now growing in there) and see how it goes. Fingers crossed!
Avatar for SoulReaver009
May 7, 2020 7:10 PM CST
Milpitas, CA
Maybe someone can amend my post.

Root rot from overwatering causes the roots to become light brown and mushy. It only appears in parts that are waterlogged. It doesn't spread. And the plant can safely discard the rotten roots on its own, if allowed to dry, and switched to a healthier watering routine.
This, I have first hand experience with.

A quick look at google for bacterial root rot, shows a lot more forms than I heard about originally. I thought there was only one form.
Bacterial root rot, can come in different colors. They spread, because they are bacterial. Some are more noticeable than others, in that they do not look like roots (or change the shape of the roots) and, as previously stated, they spread.

I heard this from a knowledgeable person about bacterial root rot. The only thing I didn't know was that there were different forms, and colors. When I get first hand experience, I guess I will know more (hopefully not! Crossing Fingers! )

That is all I know.
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