Aloe Vera Plant Root Rot : Causes & Solutions

Aloe vera is a luscious plant with thick, fleshy, serrated, lanceolate-shaped leaves of green-greyish color. It can grow to 60-100 centimeters (24-39 inches) tall and is known for fast reproduction as well.

The leaves are thick and fleshy, green to grey-green, with some varieties showing white flecks on their upper and lower stem surfaces. It has gained its fame as an ornamental plant, but people have found several medicinal benefits of the plant as well.

The species is eminent among the modern gardeners as a tropical, medicinal plant and for its attractive flowers, form, and succulence.

However, like other succulents, Aloe Vera is also prone to some of the dangerous diseases in the plant kingdom, one of them being the famous root rotting.

Root rot is a severe condition in which the roots of the plants start to become mushy and slowly die. It is usually caused by poor drainage of damp soil, overwatering, or a poorly functioning root system and decay.

Excess or insufficient light and fertilizer can also increase the chance of a plant developing root rot.

Below, we will discuss everything related to this dangerous disease and how you can protect your Aloe plant from it. 1. 2

What Is Aloe Vera Plant Root Rot?

Aloe vera plant root rot is an issue that technically tells us about an expansion in a specific type of fungus that steadily develops on the plant.

The signs of root rot are dark brown mushy root tips and dark leaves. You can easily refrain this root rot from spreading or appearing in the other plants by using the right potting mix and watering routine.

Root rot is a common disease for the aloe plant. It blooms during the availability of fungi and primarily affects the roots. But certain types of fungus can also harm the leaves and keep the entire plant from growing.

The most dominant cause for root rot of the aloe plant is too much water.

Other causes can be light exposure and humidity levels. Absolutely, the overwatering is going to cause you a huge loss which is the significant reason for root rot and many other diseases. 2. 3

How To Save Your Aloe Vera Plant From Root Rot?

In order to save the aloe plant from root rot, we need to get the plant out of its current environment and into a new pot. Using the same pot after cleaning can cause the plant to develop the same fungus.

The right pot should be spacious, have room to hold your aloe and be of a porous material. Porous materials, like clay pots, allow the water to drain more easily, reducing the problems of overwatering.

We should always use new soil while repotting to avoid the plant from getting exposed to the fungus again.

Aloe does the best in soil that drains easily, but it should permit some moisture retention. We should even look for soils that have sand in the mix. The sand will make the soil less dense, letting the water move and drain out.

In order to save your aloe from root rot, you need to take it out of the pot as soon as possible. We should always plump for the right pot and growing medium and plant the aloe at the same depth as it was in the old plant.

Even applying a fungicide to the plant to catch any sections with rot is necessary. We have to water the plant correctly to prevent root rot. You should only water the aloe plant once per week, but you can water the plant even less in the winter season.

Younger aloe plants require more water compared to older plants because they have to adapt to drier environments.

You may also need to water more often if your plants get more sunlight exposure than necessary. You also need to make sure that your aloe has the proper lighting and temperature to grow.

You have to keep it somewhere with direct sunlight from the west and south. Make sure to maintain the soil, whether you change the position of the plant or not.

The density should also be checked while checking the soil’s moisture level to water the plant.

The soil should be tight enough to support your plant. Basically, if you get the right density, you can prevent the water from clogging up in the soil, and consequently, you can prevent root rot. 2. 3. 4

What Does Aloe Vera Root Rot Look Like?

One of the major reasons for root rotting is overwatering and negligence. This is a lethal disease for aloe vera and other succulents and, if not treated immediately, can also lead to death.

And to detect a root rot, you need to have a keen eye.

The roots and leaves will visibly appear brown or black, mushy, and may fall off if touched. Besides, your plant might even emit a rotten smell. The growth stops or slows down.

At this point, the plant does not react to watering, and the old leaves will wither out.

There is an initiation of exposure of the aloe stem from the bottom, and it will also dry up. At the tip of the roots, it becomes extremely thin, which further leads to breaking.

The stem has a satisfactory look, but the lower leaves become soft, loose, and saturated with water. You will get a strong, pungent, unpleasant odor coming from the aloe pot.

The leaves will commence yellowing which appears as mushy, wilt, and collapse.

You will find brown spots on leaves, edges, and tips. Your aloe vera will look sickly, weak, and wilted. From this, we could easily detect the root rot in your plant. 3. 4.

Can Aloe Vera Regrow Roots?

Aloe vera can, of course, easily regrow roots. This is only possible if the parent plant still has some roots left to keep it going until new roots emerge.

We can propagate the plant and grow new roots even if it doesn’t have any roots. You can propagate your aloe from either cuttings or offshoots or both.

Due to ultra-high moisture content in succulent aloe leaves, they may be viable for propagation. They often result in shriveled rotten leaves without a feasible root system.

We have to cut the selected stem or leaf at an angle slanting downwards.

Then select a proper pot that must have drainage holes in the bottom, and these holes will let excess water percolate through the soil and out of the pot, preventing root rot.

Cactus soil is the best one for the growth of aloe plants.

The cuttings should stick into the soil mixed with the cut side facing down. The soil should remain consistently moist for the first four weeks.

We always must try to pick the right offshoots, and that should be at least ⅕ the size of the parent plant.

The offshoots must be removed from the main plant and planted with chunks of bark, lava rock, perlite, and a few pebbles. 2. 4

Disease Of Aloe Vera

Aloe Vera is an herbaceous perennial species. What is an herbaceous perennial? These are the plants whose growth will slow down, but it’s roots are still alive.

When aloe Vera is suffering from phakopsora pachyrhizi, its color becomes a pale yellow spot on leaves and turns brown in color.

Another one is Colletotrichum gloeosporioides. If it suffers from then, its symptoms are that it becomes a small round spot to oval, and as the day passes, the spot becomes reddish-brown to brown in color.

This disease is due to wet and warm weather. It is a fungus and can be cured by fungicide.

Pectobacterium chrysanthemi is caused by bacteria, and its symptoms are decaying leaves which are darker in color, wilting of adolescent leaves, and gas formation is inside the leaves that cause the leaves to bulge.

It can be cured by not giving excess water to the plant.

Sometimes it is also affected by the Pests.

They are aphids (aloephagus myersi). Aloe vera aphid damages the plants.

In both adults and young, it damages the end of the leaves and can be prevented by using insecticidal soap. 4. 5

Benefits Of Aloe vera

Aloe vera is also called a medicinal plant, and it is used for various health conditions.

It has 96% of water present inside it. We can also use the aloe vera directly from the plant or buy gel from the market.

It can be applied to the skin, and we can eat it and use it for personal use also but after consulting with a doctor. It is totally safe. It also cures diabetes, dysentery, diarrhea, and piles.

Properties

Aloe Vera has antibacterial, antiviral properties, which are used to heal burns. Due to its cooling and moisturizing properties, it can be used in many proposals. It reduces arthritic swelling, gum infection, and many more.

Aloe vera has side-effects also like kidney issues, blood in the urine, low potassium, diarrhea, electrolyte imbalance.

Aloe vera is a medicinal plant traditionally used since 1500 BC in many countries such as Greece, China, and Mexico.

It also has been used for centuries as a traditional medicine for various diseases and skin lesions. Aloe vera is an indigenous plant from tropical Madagascar, Saudi Arabia, and Iran.

The Egyptian queens Nefertiti and Cleopatra used Aloe vera as part of their regular beauty regime. So far, 75 known compounds have been identified in Aloe vera containing 20 minerals, 20 amino acids, vitamins, and water.

Scientific studies have shown that the gel can increase flexibility and reduce the fragility of the skin since 99% of the gel is water.

Additionally, mucopolysaccharides along with amino acids and zinc present in Aloe vera can lead to skin integrity, moisture retention, erythema reduction and helps to prevent skin ulcers.

Several studies have shown the positive effects of Aloe vera to treat wounds such as psoriasis, mouth sores, ulcers, diabetes, herpes, bedsores, and burn wounds.

Aloe vera is known for its anti-tumor, anti-inflammatory, skin protection, anti-diabetic, antibacterial, antiviral, antiseptic, and wound healing properties.

The causing agents of root rot disease on Ligusticum chuanxiong belong to Fusarium solani, Fusarium oxysporum, Plectosphaerella cucumerina, and Phoma glomerata. 4. 5


Reference

  1. Report on causes of root rot in Aloe Vera: https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Ajay-Gautam-15/publication/323320545_Isolation_and_Characterization_of_Fusarium_species_causing_leaf_spot_and_root_rot_diseases_on_Aloe_vera/links/5a8dab64458515eb85ac75e8/Isolation-and-Characterization-of-Fusarium-species-causing-leaf-spot-and-root-rot-diseases-on-Aloe-vera.pdf
  2. Root rot infection in Aloe due to Bacteria: https://www.cabdirect.org/cabdirect/abstract/20198657279
  3. Effect of temperature and humidity on aloe vera: https://web.b.ebscohost.com/abstract?direct=true&profile=ehost&scope=site&authtype=crawler&jrnl=09702539&AN=114185804&h=XneOjV0ygT3eMJBASL66QHmVKavHNSuOTWaFDstZ8fR1%2fV6o00%2fdXbuAacGW6a3vlB4QzDekp1mvP4q6%2fzcghw%3d%3d&crl=c&resultNs=AdminWebAuth&resultLocal=ErrCrlNotAuth&crlhashurl=login.aspx%3fdirect%3dtrue%26profile%3dehost%26scope%3dsite%26authtype%3dcrawler%26jrnl%3d09702539%26AN%3d114185804
  4. Fusarium xylarioides causing root rot in aloe vera: https://apsjournals.apsnet.org/doi/full/10.1094/PDIS-07-20-1514-PDN
  5. Study on root rot disease: https://www.cabdirect.org/cabdirect/abstract/20093087718