Adeniums forum: Desert Rose problems

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Virginia
Spy2679
Oct 9, 2018 2:51 PM CST
Is it a good idea to put cinnamon and sulfer on a desert rose to cure root rot? Also how long does it need to be pulled out of soil. Thanks
Name: Bill
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BigBill
Oct 9, 2018 3:46 PM CST
You can't cure root rot. All you can is to try and prevent it spreading. Cut off all spots that are rotten and pray.
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Name: Daisy I
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DaisyI
Oct 9, 2018 4:09 PM CST
Sprinkle the cuts with cinnamon to help prevent further root rot (after you cut off the rotten roots). Like Sulfur, Cinnamon is a natural fungicide and smells so much better. I would leave it out of the soil for at least a few days, then go easy on the water.
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ctcarol
Oct 9, 2018 4:10 PM CST
We have an Adenium forum where you might get better info, but a picture would help. https://garden.org/forums/view...
Name: Will Creed
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WillC
Oct 9, 2018 5:31 PM CST
"Root rot" is a misnomer. In most instances, it is really the suffocation of roots because they surrounding soil is so dense or so saturated that there is no oxygen available to the roots. It is not a disease or fungus. Removing dead roots has no effect one way or the other.

The only possible cure is to allow the soil to dry out sufficiently for oxygen to penetrate around the roots regularly. Roots need regular doses of oxygen as much as they need water.

Sometimes, plants don't show significant symptoms until the roots are already seriously compromised. At that point, even allowing the soil to dry out may be too late to salvage the roots and the plant.
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Name: Baja
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Baja_Costero
Oct 9, 2018 5:44 PM CST
In the case of Adenium and other plants with succulent roots, root rot is not a misnomer. It is a real possibility and a likely outcome of overwatering... if the affected areas are discolored (brownish/yellowish), soft, and spread through the plant. You want to excise the rotten parts to prevent the spread of the disease. It will inevitably spread to the above-ground parts of the plant if left unchecked.

Do you have any experience with Adeniums, Will? Root rot is an actual disease that spreads and can be stopped by surgery. The sulfur and cinnamon would help keep rot from reappearing in the healthy part after resection. But I do not generally use either, preferring to let good air flow and discipline with the watering can speed the healing process.

Spy, you can leave your plant out of the soil for a week or so to heal if you leave it in bright shade (no direct sun) with good air flow. More time for more damage, less time for less damage. When you pot it up, wait a week or so to water.

Also consider revising the care you have been giving your plant, so as to prevent rot in the the future. Be extra careful not to overwater during the late fall and winter when the plant is dormant or nearly so.
[Last edited by Baja_Costero - Oct 9, 2018 5:59 PM (+)]
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Name: Will Creed
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WillC
Oct 11, 2018 2:02 PM CST
Baja - I agree that various fungal and bacterial infections can cause what is commonly called root rot. There is no specific disease called "root rot." However, most so-called root rot for indoor potted plants is a result of soil being kept too moist and suffocating the roots by depriving them of moisture. If overwatering is the cause, then fungicides will not help. The best cure for root suffocation is prevention and subsequent drying out. If a plant has a root disease, then that is another matter and calls for more specific treatments.

Fungal and bacterial infections are relatively uncommon for plants that kept indoors. Outdoors is a different matter.
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Name: Daisy I
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DaisyI
Oct 11, 2018 2:33 PM CST
WillC, You are playing a game of semantics. Cactus and succulents are very prone to root rot (and then stem rot) when they are overwatered. No matter what you choose not to call it, it will kill the plant. It really doesn't matter how much oxygen is/isn't in the soil - the soil is too wet. It really doesn't matter if its a disease or a fungus, ... the roots have rotted.

Most people say their plant has root rot (used as a noun), not the roots have rotted (a verb) but the meaning is the same. Dead roots that have to be cut out and allowed to scab/heal before the plant is repotted. Ignoring the rot and letting the soil dry without taking the plant out of the pot may work for other house plants but it will not work for a cactus or succulent.
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and proclaiming...."WOW What a Ride!!" -Mark Frost

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Name: Baja
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Baja_Costero
Oct 11, 2018 2:43 PM CST
I agree. If it's discolored, soft, and spreads, it's some kind of rot. I would not begin to know the specific organisms involved. Rotten succulent tissue often smells a little off, which is another pretty obvious clue.

There are 2 main ways that succulents lose their roots, in my experience. They may rot out (the progression defined by the 3 characteristics listed above), often because of overwatering. Or they may die off because of desiccation (lack of moisture in the soil to keep them alive and healthy). So paradoxically a succulent may lose its roots from either too much water or too little water.

Whether the first route proceeds based on a lack of air in the soil or too much moisture in the soil is sort of a moot question to me because those are flip sides of the same coin. Where there is more water, there is less air. And vice versa. Using a fast draining mix more or less ensures there will be more air and less water in the soil, and that's a key (necessary) adaptation for growing Adenium and other succulents which enjoy a lot of water during their active season of growth.
Name: Will Creed
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WillC
Oct 12, 2018 9:00 AM CST
I realize I am an outlier in my use of root "suffocation" terminology. I am not trying to be a smart-ass nor just playing games with words. I will make a final attempt to explain my reasoning, although I don't expect anyone to adopt my terminology.

Overwatering deprives roots of essential oxygen because the pores in the soil are constantly filled with water. I prefer to call this root suffocation because it implies a lack of oxygen, much like a person who is submerged in water for too long. It is important to understand this dynamic to avoid the problem initially and treat it appropriately when it does occur.

My objection to root "rot" is that it implies that there is a fungal or a bacterial infection causing the roots to die. That certainly can happen, especially in nurseries and with plants that are kept outdoors. If indeed there is a bacterial or fungal infection, it is important to identify it specifically in order to tear it effectively, usually chemically.
Will Creed
Horticultural Help, NYC
www.HorticulturalHelp.com
Contact me directly at [email protected]
I now have a book available on indoor plant care
Name: Baja
Baja California (Zone 11b)
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Baja_Costero
Oct 12, 2018 12:10 PM CST
WillC said:IMy objection to root "rot" is that it implies that there is a fungal or a bacterial infection causing the roots to die.


That is exactly what happens to Adenium roots when they go soft and die. And surgery is generally the only answer.

Do you have any experience with Adeniums, Will?

Helpful info page here on Adenium cultivation (including some info on avoiding rot) by a master grower....

http://adenium.tucsoncactus.or...
[Last edited by Baja_Costero - Oct 12, 2018 4:25 PM (+)]
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