Common Issues

How to Prevent Root Rot

A person examining their plant's roots as they prepare to repot. They are surrounded by plants, a head-shaped pot, a green ceramic pot, and potting soil.

Root rot is a gnarly disease that will quickly kill your plants. The cause? Overwatering, of course. It can either occur when the roots "drown", or have a lack of oxygen, or when certain fungal or bacteria grow from over-moist conditions. It's the number one plant killer, so here’s what you can do to prevent it from happening to you.

A pothos leaf that is rotting from the overwatering. It is causing the stem to turn black, and the leaf to wilt.


Always choose a planter with a drainage hole, or add a layer of lava rocks at the bottom to prevent roots from sitting in pools of water.

Finger your soil.

A strict schedule can actually mess you up. Cloudy days, ACs running, or a change in location can all affect how quickly soil will dry out. Stick your finger in there to make sure it's dry before you water.

Always Underwater Club.

Overwatering is the #1 cause of plant death. If you’re not sure if it feels dry enough, wait it out. It’s better to err on the drier side than to water a plant that’s still moist.

Dump out your drainage trays.

Most plants won’t tolerate “wet feet”. If there’s still water pooling in your pot’s tray 10 minutes after watering, dump it.

Add charcoal to the mix.

Charcoal can be added to your potting mix to help prevent root rot. It lightens the soil and adds aeration, allowing for healthier root growth.

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