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Plant Diseases/Spider plant root rot


Hi I have a collection of spider plants ( regular , Hawaiian , and curly ) that I received rooting in water . The regular one is in soil . But I rooted the babies in water. And now I'm having trouble transitioning them to soil. All the ones in water are getter root rot. I've cleaned away the bad roots and as much rot as possible but this is where I am stuck. I move to soil but they wilt within 4 hours and I get scared and put them back in water . The Hawaiian is sending out new thick roots and it kicking back but I would like to move them all to soil . What is the best way that causes least shock and how to stop root rot?

I really appreciate your time
Thank you

Dear Christine,  Sorry for the delay in answering your question, but I was out of town.  Moving plant starts that have rooted in water is very difficult and can cause many headaches.  When the plants are moved from one environment to another that is completely different, transplant shock is bound to occur.  In addition, you now have a fungal or bacterial condition to deal with.  Here is my suggestion:  Try to transplant them again early in the day.  Begin by removing the plants from water and cleaning them of any new bad areas.  Rinse well and then you might want to apply some fungicide to the roots to help protect them against more infection.  Plant the cuttings, and then you can treat with a product called 'Thrive Alive - B1' which is supposed to help relieve transplant shock.  There are probably other products out there with B1, but that should help your problem.  After transplanting, don't move them into bright light, especially not brighter than the light they were in previously.  You might even want to keep it a bit dimmer for a day or two.  With luck, your transplants should look like they are perking up after a day or two.  Now, this might not work, but you will have given it your best shot.  Not all transplants can be moved successfully.  All transplants will begin to wilt immediately after moving into soil, but they should get better after a few hours or a day.  Unfortunately, if you keep them in the water, they will probably all die eventually, since it isn't their normal environment.  I hope this information helps you, and I sincerely wish you the best of luck.  Melissa

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Melissa Johnston


Plant diseases, landscaping, tropical plants, roses, herbs, plant care, grafting, horticulture, plant identification, anything about plants I can likely answer.


35 years experience in various plant businesses, 1984 Certified Texas Master Gardener.

Master Gardener Association of Texas charter member

none as of yet, but I have a plant q&a book I am in process of submitting.

Magna cum laude graduate of Texas A&M, 1978

Awards and Honors
Plant growing awards, highest grade for Texas Master Gardener graduates.

Past/Present Clients
Past member of and was very highly rated. Owned landscape company in the past, Almost Paradise, and was very successful despite little equipment, no help, and no advertising. Lived well for two years until 9/11.

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