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Why are My Hydro Plant Roots Turning Brown?

Why are My Hydro Plant Roots Turning Brown?

Q: Help! My hydroponic plant wasn't looking too good, and I got worried. So, I pulled it out of the nutrient solution to see that the roots are brown and mushy. What's happening?

A: If your hydroponic plant roots are turning a dark brown or black, the plant is probably suffering from root rot, a condition that will kill it as it suffocates due to the roots.

Root rot is caused by the build-up of bacteria, fungi, and mold on roots that lack proper oxygenation. The result is soggy, mushy roots that are unable to absorb oxygen.

The key to avoiding root rot is to have a properly aerated hydroponic system. That can be as simple as installing a hose connected to an air pump or by creating a “waterfall” for your nutrient solution, which will also aerate it.

Other ways to avoid root rot include an additive bacterium that aerates the nutrient solution as part of its regular life cycle. Since root rot develops from bacteria and mold, it’s also important to keep your grow area very clean since a dirty tool or hose can reintroduce the problem and kill off a crop of hydroponic plants.

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