Are the roots rotting here?

spiritualcipherMarch 21, 2007

I was inspecting roots and found a bunch of thin, little white bugs in the soil. Are the roots in danger?

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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

Doesn't look like rotting roots to me. Just in need of some root pruning before you stick it back in the container (with some fresh medium).

    Bookmark   March 22, 2007 at 2:40PM
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Thanks alot Rhizo1. Do you think the little white bugs are dangerous? I was shocked to see them at all since the plants stay indoors year round....

    Bookmark   March 22, 2007 at 8:02PM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

Can't answer that question about the insect without knowing for sure what it is. Most fitting that description, however, are a sure sign that the plant is being kept too moist, or that it has been sitting in drainage water. Allowing the plant to dry out properly (after you re-pot's quite root bound) may help curtail the insect population.

Some soil borne insects feed on tender roots, while others feed on the organic matter in the potting soil and dead roots.

    Bookmark   March 22, 2007 at 10:58PM
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vetivert8(NI-NZ zone 9a)

Might be root mealy bugs. Best to shake or swizzle off the old bark-based potting mix and, as rhizo says, take off the matted roots at the bottom. (A swizzle in water can float off most of the pests. Sometimes it may be necessary to use a drench of pesticide but, hopefully, not often.)

When you repot - use a pot about half an inch bigger all round than the old one, make a cone of new mix and drape the roots over it. Lightly add the remainder of the mix and gently poke it between the roots using the small end of a chop stick. Give the pot some taps on the bench top to help settle the mix.

If the potting mix is a little damp but still flowing easily when you pot it should settle around the roots.

Dunk to water and leave the pot to drain for about an hour before returning it to a clean saucer.

If your mix has fertiliser added - don't feed any extra for a couple of months otherwise you'll encourage sappy growth and the arrival of hungry bugs.

    Bookmark   March 24, 2007 at 6:47PM
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Thanks so much guys.

    Bookmark   March 26, 2007 at 2:54AM
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