I’m a gardening pro – stop root rot by adding a kitchen item to your planters, it only costs pennies

WHEN potted houseplants die, it’s especially disheartening. How could they wither and dry up under your watchful eye?

A common culprit, root rot, is the bane of every gardener’s existence because it is so difficult to avoid.


Adding a common kitchen item to your plants can help prevent root rotCredit: Getty

A possible side effect of overwatering, root rot can occur when your plants don’t have adequate drainage.

Oxygen-deprived roots die, essentially drowning, and as these roots begin to decay, the disease spreads.

Root rot, in essence, causes your plants to smother, which you’ll know when you see falling leaves, shriveled stems, and even fungal growth on your wilted plant.

Knowing the causes and symptoms of root rot will also help you understand why a common kitchen item can help prevent it – and the solution costs less than a dollar.

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According to experts from pirate of lifedropping a few kitchen sponges in your planter before planting can prevent root rot.

“The sponge will soak up excess water in the soil,” the experts wrote.

“The holes allow aeration, preventing the roots from drowning and losing oxygen.”

Sponges can also keep your plants from drying out by slowly releasing water, which is great for distracted home gardeners.

Go to your local market or Dollar Tree to pick up a pack of sponges – the more basic the better.

“Before repotting your plant, collect a few sponges, cut them in half (or smaller, as needed) and place them at the bottom,” the experts explained.

Then cover the sponges with soil, add the plant and water.

Follow the guidelines for watering your specific plant species and watch for signs of overhydration.

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Make sure the planter always has adequate drainage and check the plants regularly to see if you need to adjust your watering schedule.

“Your plants should enjoy normal, healthy growth,” the pros wrote.

A common kitchen sponge can prevent root rot from killing your plants.


A common kitchen sponge can prevent root rot from killing your plants.Credit: Getty

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Terri S. Tomasini