Root Rot in a Rubber Plant

If your rubber plant is suffering from severely rotten roots It’s nearly impossible to salvage it. The owners are scared by the possibility that their plants will be destroyed by this deadly disease.

Therefore, I conducted thorough research on the best methods to safeguard and save these animals.

Rot in rubber plants could result from overwatering or fungal infections. Get rid of infected roots, apply fungicide, decrease the frequency of watering and increase drainage are some options to resolve the issue. Propagation is a possibility in the case of serious root decay.

Rubber plants are durable and durable, which makes them ideal for novices and also helping them recover from disease. This article will teach you how to recognize the signs, treat and prevent root rot.

Symptoms of Rubber Plant Root Rot

The root rot disease usually is a root-related disease that affects the system first, and symptoms appearing much later in the progression of the disease.

In reality it is possible for the plant to be healthy in the beginning stages in the course of disease. Therefore it is important to be vigilant and watch out for warning signs as that are listed below:

Stunted Growth

Since the roots of your plant will be damaged, it’ll not be able to absorb nutrients efficiently. New leaves and shoots are expected to appear later than normal and will appear smaller than normal.

In the course of its busy season the entire plant could not flower or flower.

Swollen and Mushy Stem

When root rot is carried up to the rubber plant, it can make the plant’s stems appear swelling and soft.

This is a good sign that something is not right, and you must take action immediately. If you notice that the roots of your plant are smooth to touch, you should examine the roots immediately.

rubber plants in small grey pots

Leaf Discoloration

The reason for this is slow growth and root rot can hinder the plant’s ability to absorb nutrients.

The leaves can change color from brown to yellow and then fall off. A closer inspection will reveal that the roots are also changed color.

Rubber Plant and Leaves Wilting

If plants don’t receive enough water, they die in order to save water. If the roots of your plant die they will not be able to take in enough water to continue growing.

As time passes, you’ll be able to see that regardless of how much you give the rubber plant water the leaves will not wilt.

Shoots Dieback

Since root rot damages roots, the system becomes more challenging for the rubber plant take in nutrients needed for growth of the shoot.

The result is the shoot dying. In certain instances the fungal infection can spread onto the leaves, causing tissue damage, and similar results.

Leaves with brown spots

The brown spots on leaves are the first sign of root rot. This indicates that you have plenty of the chance to save your plant.

Be on the lookout for edges that are browning and act before the browning spreads to the entire plant.

Roots Brown and Mushy

The healthy root system is hard and white. Any discoloration or feeling soft or mushy could be a sign of root decay.

The symptom is typically caused by the multiplicity of fungal spores within the root.

If you don’t check the roots of your plant on a regularly, you might not be aware the signs of softening or becoming brown.

What Causes Rubber Plant Root Rot?

Conditions of high moisture that encourage multiplication and growth of pathogens are the most common cause for root rot.

It is typically caused by excessive watering or poorly drained containers or pots. The following causes are:

Overwatering causes root suffocation

In moist conditions fungal spores grow and are spread across the root system as well as the remainder of the plant.

The causes of rot and suffocation are brought about due to excessive water in the roots over a long duration of time.

A lack of oxygen in the root causes decay and death of cells which affects the physiology and development of the whole plant.


  • Make sure to water your rubber plant after the top 1-2 inches of soil are dry
  • Verify the dryness of your fingers by sticking them into the soil until the knuckle.
  • Make sure to water your plants from the bottom to prevent overwatering.

Poor Drainage Creates Water Logged Condition

Certain pots don’t have punched-out holes in the bottom, or holes are not positioned correctly.

In the end, they are not properly drained, which prevents air from moving into the soil as well as root. The soul is damp, which allows the fungus root rot to flourish.


  • Find a pot that has adequate drainage holes in the bottom.
  • Small stones or pebbles should be placed in the base of the container in order to keep soil particles from blocking the holes.

Poorly Drained Soil

Soggy soil that is not properly drained for a long time following irrigation, creating the perfect environment to root rot.

It can also dry into a hard block which hinders the root from aerating. If you, in turn water your plant too much, it won’t stand a chance to fight this disease.


Make sure the mix is well-drained that is ideally made up of 1-part perlite, or fine sand, instead of a standard mix of potting soil to plant your rubber.

Fungal Infection

Fungal infections are among the most frequent roots rot causes. If fungi infest your plant it, they invade its tissues and then leach nutrients from them, weakening the.

They also destroy the cell structure of the root system and then spread all over the plants.

Fungi That Cause Root Rot

Root rot is caused five different fungi


  • Clean any containers or tools that could have come in contact with plant parts that are sick.
  • Make use of a fungicide containing copper to eliminate the fungus.

Too Large Pot Holds Water For A Long Time

If the pot is too large, it can retain more water over an extended period and result in conditions of water logging. This can result in an area of deadness around the plant , and eventually the root decay.


  • Make sure that your pot is at least 1 inch larger than that of your root ball’s diameter for your plant.
  • Repot in the container that is at least two inches bigger than the container currently in use.

Low Temperature Encourages Root Rot

If temperatures drop the leaves of your plant transpire less, which means they require less water. If you don’t reduce the frequency of watering, your plant could hold more water, or even avoid getting more water, which can lead to root decay.


  • Limit the quantity of irrigation that you apply in the winter months.
  • Alternately, during colder seasons, put the plant close to (but not directly next to) an electric heater.

Watering Out of Season

In winter, for instance the rubber plant, just like other plants, tend to slow down or even go into dormancy.

In this period they don’t need the same amount of water. Continuing to drink water at the same rate could cause overwatering as well as root rot.


  • Limit the quantity of irrigation that you apply in the winter months.
  • In winter it is recommended to water the plant every day or twice per month.

Impermeable Pot Material

Although some pots are not expensive, they could cause harm to the health of your plants. This is particularly true for plastics that are not porous and thus it is prone to retaining water, which can cause waterlogging.


Make use of a clay or terracotta pot to plant the rubber plant. The moisture can evaporate off on the edges of these substances since they’re porous.

How to Restore Rubber Plant from Root Rot

It is possible to treat root rot in a short time when you spot it in the early stages. Take these measures to prevent the rubber plant in check from becoming seeds and then dying:

Step 1: Stop Watering

Do not water the plants when you see any indications of root rot. Allow the soil dry completely before re-watering. Remember:

  • Make sure the drainage holes of the pot aren’t blocked.
  • Clean the tray or the saucer frequently.
  • Take any debris off any surface e.g. fallen leaves.

Step 2: Remove the Infected Leaves and Parts

Then, take out any damaged or damaged plant parts using a clean, disinfected scissors. It’s possible remove as much as 50 percent of the foliage.

Increased air circulation, less humidity, and the reduction of spreading disease are just a few advantages of this method.

It also reduces the amount of nutrients required by plants and free the roots to perform other things.

Step 3. Remove the plant from the pot.

Because root rot can affect roots first it is important to tackle the problem at its root. With a chopstick, gently remove the soil off your plant’s pot.

Rinse the roots with running water to wash away any remaining soil after the roots have been released.

Step 4: Trim the Infected Roots

Find the affected roots (they are slimy and brown) and then remove them using sterilized cutting tools. The weakest of roots might even be removed on their own. When you’re done, wash the cutting blades.

Step 5: Repot the Plant

Utilize a fungicide to eliminate any remaining fungi that remain on the healthier roots over a couple of hours. Let them sit for a whole day in a well-ventilated space to make sure the pathogens are eradicated.

Then, you can make use of a well-drained potting mix to plant the plant in a brand new ceramic or the terracotta pot.

Step 6: Water the Plant

Implement a new routine for watering following repotting to prevent getting your roots blocked by the plant. The soil that you plant in should be moist, but not submerged in water. In case the soil appears dry, do not sprinkle water on it.

Step 7: Maintain Optimum Conditions

For proper drainage ensure proper drainage, ensure that the bottom of your pot with pebbles , and then follow the watering schedule. When the plant is back to its health place it in bright sunlight and do not feed it.

Step 8: (Severe Root Rot) Propagate the Rubber Plant

In the event that root decay is serious the plant might have to be discarded. Restoring some of the cuttings and beginning from scratch with a brand new rubber plant is the best alternative. This is how:

  • Cut some healthy branches to the maximum length of between 3 and 6 inches.
  • Take off the lower third of the branch’s leaves and dispose of them.
  • Place each cut in an sterile potting mix following placing the base in a rooting hormone.
  • Place the pot and the cut pieces in a dry place and cover it by plastic wrap.
  • Mist the cuttings with water and the potting mix according to your needs.
  • After the cuttings have developed new growth, take off the plastic wrap that protects them.
  • Transfer the cuttings to the pot for planting.
  • Cut the propagated cuttings in the manner required, then water and feed them.

Organic and Chemical Treatment

There are other treatments for root rot that are different from the ones mentioned in the previous paragraphs, for example:

Applying Chemical Fungicides

If you don’t know the exact the pathogen that is causing Rubber Plant Root Rot, applying chemical treatments to treat it is a risk. Eliminating the healthy fungi that are fighting the disease-causing fungus could be disastrous.

Therefore, you should consult with an expert prior to investing in an fungicide for your plants. Visit the local nursery to determine whether they can help determine the fungus.

If you’ve got a right diagnosis after which you’ll be able identify the right fungicide and then apply it properly.

Hydrogen Peroxide

To fight root rot you can create your own fungicides with hydrogen peroxide. This can be done using these easy steps:

Step 1: Take one ounce of your homemade remedy and mix it into one quarter of a quart of water. This is step one.

Step 2: Once you have finished you can pour the mixture into the spray bottle, and shake vigorously to mix it.

Step 3. Spray the solution onto the leaves and stems.

Step 4 Spray the soil using the mix you made in step three.

Activated Charcoal

To stop root rot, make use of the potting mix with activated charcoal. It’s porous and absorbs excess water.

The additional advantages of using activated charcoal in comparison to other options are its ability to cut down the growth of mold and odors and its capability to eliminate dirt from the soil and deter insects.

To apply, lay a thin layer of it over the top of the pot prior to adding the pot soil.


Many gardeners recommend the natural antifungal properties of cinnamon since it’s non-toxic and won’t cause harm to their plants. It is effective in repelling soil gnats and prevents root rot.

To use it, take out the ill areas of the plant, and then sprinkle some cinnamon on the roots and any other problematic areas. It can also be incorporated in the soil, by adding tiny amount to the soil.


When used as a liquid, it has the same effect as cinnamon. The rot of the roots in young trees can be controlled with this natural fungicide and microbial substance.

How to Prevent and Control Rubber Plant Root Rot

Root rot could cause serious damage if it is not treated. Preventing is always the most effective treatment and here are some methods to prevent the rubber plant you have becoming dying.

Avoid Waterlogging

The first step to prevent root rot is the rubber plant not being watered in any way. Make sure your finger is up to the point of your first knuckle into the mix of potting material prior to you water.

To prevent drowning, water the plant when it appears dry. Don’t water if the soil is still moist.

Using Appropriate Soil Mix

Even even if you water your plant properly but if the soil is not properly drained, your efforts will go to waste. A well-drained potting mix can ensure that your rubber plant’s roots remain well-nourished and clear of decay. The most effective mix is:

  • 1-part pine bark
  • 1-part peat
  • 1-part perlite/coarse Sand

Loosen Soil

To aid in the drainage of your soil more efficiently, add coarse perlite or sand to it. If you apply this method the soil inside the pot will drain faster and the water won’t swell in the bottom.

Pebbles of small size can line the base of the pot to stop soil from blocking drain holes.

Watering Schedule

The amount of water required by a rubber plant will vary based on the current season. In summer , the most active growth period, it is recommended to keep the soil damp (not damp) and then mist or clean the leaves using a an damp cloth.

It is only necessary to water the plant twice or once a month in the dormant time of the year.

Rubber Plant Care Requirements

The ideal conditions for the growth of rubber plants will result in healthy and healthy rubber plants that are disease-free. Here are some things to consider regarding maintenance:

  • The rubber plant should be watered only after the soil is dry. With your fingers, test the soil to determine whether it’s damp.
  • Pick a spot in which your plant will get direct, bright sunlight. To prevent scorching plants, keep them out of direct sunlight.
  • Maintain your plant’s healthy foliage by trimming it and misting it often.
  • Maintain the temperature and humidity at a level that is comfortable. In the winter months spray your plants with mist and consider an air humidifier.
  • Find the rubber plant you want to keep in ventilated space. Make sure it is not in close proximity to the other plant species and shift it every often to increase circulation.
  • Feed your plants once a month with a fertilizer rich in nutrients dilute according to the directions given.

It’s very difficult to eliminate root rot in rubber plants once it has established itself, particularly when it’s spreading to foliage.

A fungicide drench may help however, it only works when you are aware of the fungus that causes root decay.

However, there are some ways you can take at home to ensure that your plant is healthy and stop it from sown.

Make sure the soil is well-drained as well as the plants properly aerated by observing an established watering schedule.



Went from a bad gardener to a half-decent one over 10+ years. Super happy to share my tips and tricks with you :)