Hoya plants are popular evergreen houseplants that you probably saw growing in your grandmother’s kitchen. The chances are she called them “wax plants,” due to their thick waxy foliage. They are easy to take care of and with proper maintenance can live for years. However, they do experience common problems associated with plants like root rot.
To prevent hoya root rot, make sure you always check any plants you purchase for wilted leaves or stems – sure signs of fungi infection. Additionally, you need to choose a pot that provides proper drainage. Likewise, you need to make sure you don’t overwater your plants.
This article will discuss the steps necessary to ensure your hoya plants do not develop root rot. Additionally, we will briefly cover other considerations impacting their overall plant health.
Inspect Plants for Fungi Infection Before Purchase
Several types of fungi are known to create root rot in plants to include Alternaria, Botrytis, Pythium, Rhizoctonia, and Sclerotinia. On a positive note, fungi contamination is rarely a problem with indoor plants since fungi spread primarily through the airborne distribution of their spores.
However, you may purchase or acquire plants that are already contaminated. The best way to prevent this from happening is to visually inspect any plants you bring into your home. In specific, you need to check for leaves and stems that exhibit noticeable wilt, a sure sign of root rot.
Additionally, if you aren’t sure about a plant, carefully inspect its roots for any sign of fungi infection. Roots that are dark brown or black or are soft to the touch have root rot.
Treatment to Prevent Future Spread
If you end up with an infected plant, you can quickly treat them by trimming any affected roots. All you need to do is remove the roots using a pair of clippers. Taking note of where the root rot begins, cut the roots slightly above that point where they are firm and light-colored or white.
Gonicc’s 8-Inch Professional Bypass Pruning Shears are ideal for trimming root rot from your hoya plants. However, after you finish pruning the roots, make sure you sterilize them using a solution of one part bleach to three parts water to avoid spreading any spores to your other plants.
Then, make sure you use sterilized pots and soil for any plants you suspect were infected with fungi. Additionally, you might consider purchasing a fungicide.
These actions are imperative as infected plants can contaminate your plant’s soil. If that happens, fungi can be spread to other plants if you accidentally transfer any of that soil through normal handling. Additionally, any splashing water is another method of transference from one plant to another.
If you decide to use a fungicide, Bonide’s Neem Oil 3-in-1 Fungicide, Miticide, and Insecticide is an excellent product for getting rid of fungi, mites, and other pests. Additionally, it is an excellent dormant spray for preventing infestation leading to root rot in the first place. And best of all, it is naturally derived from neem seed and is safe to use around children and pets.
Choosing a Pot with Proper Drainage
One of the leading causes of root rot in plants is the use of pots that lack sufficient drainage. Having a container with a hole at the bottom is essential to plant health and the avoidance of root rot.
Having a hole ensures that your plant’s roots are not sitting in stagnant water, and it also provides adequate airflow, which is necessary for healthy roots.
If you have a decorative pot you can’t part with that doesn’t have a hole in it, you can usually use a drill to create one. But first, you should take your plant to a sink and gently lay it on its side to allow any excess water to drain before using a drill. (Cordless drills are great for this task, and the Black & Decker 20V MAX Cordless Drill is a popular product with customers.)
There are a variety of different types of pots that provide adequate drainage that you can purchase online for your plants. A couple of standard types include self-watering pots and double pots.
Self-watering pots use a variety of methods to allow plants to draw water from a reservoir located at the bottom of the container. For example, HBServices USA’s Deep Reservoir Round Planter Pot uses hollow legs that reach down into the reservoir to allow the soil to draw water naturally as needed to the soil surrounding the plant’s roots.
Additionally, its patented design provides optimal drainage and is self-aerating to prevent root rot and the risk of contamination by fungi and mold. Best of all, it’s easy to refill with its clip-on watering attachment. And its water supply lasts about two weeks.
Double potting plants is another great way to prevent root rot in your houseplants. Double pots incorporate a double-layer design. There is a smaller, inner liner that holds the plant and the soil that fits inside a larger, outer container that contains a reservoir for self-watering.
Using this system allows you to remove the inner liner without disturbing your plant’s roots whenever you add water. However, you need to take note of the level of the water in the reservoir to make sure the pot liner is never sitting in water. Best of all, these pots provide ample drainage for your plants.
On the negative side, although these pots tend to be attractive, their double-layer design doesn’t offer as much air circulation as other systems that have a gap between the reservoir and the container.
If you opt for this kind of pot, the Mkano Self-Watering Planter is an attractive option with its white outer container and black inner sleeve. It is available in three sizes, and customers praised its sturdiness and value for the money.
Don’t Overwater Your Hoya Plants
Watering your hoya plant is a simple task, particularly if you use a pot with proper drainage. If you don’t use a self-watering pot, you need to water them about once a week during the spring and summer months. Likewise, during autumn and winter, you can back off to watering them about once every couple of weeks.
However, like all plants, hoyas are prone to developing root rot if overwatered. For that reason, it is better to underwater your hoya plant than to overwater it.
Testing systems are available to measure soil moisture. However, they are cost-prohibitive and not very practical for use with indoor plants. However, there are a few ways you can check to see if you are overwatering your plants.
For example, if your plant has wilted leaves or stems, you are probably overwatering it. You can also push a finger into your plant’s soil a few days after watering it, and if it comes up wet, you have a problem.
An examination of its roots will confirm their condition if you have any doubts. If you detect soft or rotten roots that are dark brown or black, then you need to trim them from your plant before placing it back in the pot (as detailed above).
There are a few ways you can prevent hoya root rot caused by overwatering to include:
- Using a strict watering schedule, making sure you take the season into account.
- Testing the level of moisture in your soil weekly using a finger.
- Inspecting your plant weekly for wilted leaves or stems.
- Making sure you have a pot with proper drainage and a tray or reservoir large enough to capture any excess water.
- Using a self-watering system instead of a conventional flower pot.
We covered a lot of information today regarding how to prevent hoya root rot. We began by talking about the importance of choosing.
Hoyas are hardy houseplants and easy to maintain. However, they are prone to root rot. By following our detailed suggestions, you will decrease the chances of experiencing this problem.