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Certain plants like Azaleas and Rhododendrons, like moisture, but they don’t like long standing water. There is a delicate balance between keeping plants adequately hydrated and drowning their roots, which can lead to disease. But you can prevent root rot and keep your plants moist longer – all you need is a couple of sponges.
What is root rot?
Root rot is a disease that affects the roots of a plant when they become overwatered or when excess water cannot drain from the pot. As Elite tree care explains: “Soaked conditions prevent the roots from taking in all of the oxygen they need to live. When the deoxygenated roots die off and rot, their rot can spread to healthier roots. ”
Once the plant is no longer receiving oxygen from the roots, you will see withered leaves, stunted growth, and early leaf drop. And in some cases, suffocated roots can produce soil fungus that infest the roots.
How to prevent root rot
The best way to prevent root rot is to buy it real pot. Plants that love moisture are best in Plastic or glazed ceramic pots to hold back water, but they need drainage holes to drain the excess. Water only when needed and stick to the recommended amount for your particular plant.
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Test the moisture by sticking a finger on it two inches into the ground-If your finger comes out with dirt or something wet, the soil is damp and you can water another day (depending on the type of plant).
How sponges can help
One way to keep the water level in your houseplants in balance is to Sponges in the bottom of the pot. Before potting your plant, collect a few sponges, cut them in half (or smaller, as needed), and place them in the ground. Cover with soil and plant and water as usual.
The sponge soaks up the excess water in the soil and the holes allow ventilation, which prevents the roots from drowning and losing oxygen. Sponges also slowly release water and keep moisture levels constant. As a result, you don’t have to water as often and your plants should enjoy normal, healthy growth.