Can I Clean My Spider Plant Roots In Bleach

Publish Data: July 24, 2021

by Sifat Sadekin

Spider plants are maybe the most suitable indoor plants to start gardening. These indoor plants are so easy to care for and friendly that even beginner gardeners can take care of them without much hassle. These ribbon plants are also loved and tendered for in-house gardening due to their air purification capabilities and keeping the oxygen level better at your home.

As they are native to the South African region, they bear good surviving skills and only ask you to provide water and indirect sunlight. If you can give them these much, they will give your house a nice, beautiful atmosphere and outgrow any other plants without giving you any pain.

Although Spider plants are easy to care for, sometimes they might ask your attention and bother you to take some small steps. The most hatred thing about spider plants is waterlogging. As a native plant to the South African region, spider plants take a little amount of water. On the other side, they can not stand in excess water. If the plants are kept in excess water, they suffer from plant diseases especially root rot.

In case of root rot and other fungal attacks on the root, it becomes a must to bleach the roots of spider plants before repotting them.

Cleaning the roots with bleach can help the plant get rid of root rot and other diseases and help you retain the healthy roots and also the fresh and vivid look on your plant.

Spider plant root rot
Pretty in Green / YouTube

What is Root Rot?

Root rot of this loving indoor plant is primarily caused by overwatering. Overwatering compels your healthy plant to suffocate the roots and restricts oxygen flow, which results in damaged roots. Root rot is characterized by yellowing leaves and squishy roots. You can save your spider plant by repotting it, providing adequate sunlight, and allowing the soil to dry out.

Although the primary cause behind root rot is overwatering, there are still a few other reasons which you should have a proper idea about;

  • Poorly drained soil: Soil is an essential component of each plant and has a significant impact on its health. For your spider plant, you’ll need a light, aerated soil mix. A well-aerated soil mix will allow water, air, and nutrients to move freely. It will also quickly absorb water and allow for easy airflow. The thick soil mix will take a long time to dry out, will restrict oxygen flow, and will remain damp from within even though the top appears to be dry. When the soil mix is heavy and the surplus water cannot drain entirely, the plant owner may have root rot despite properly watering the plant.
  • Improper Temperature: When the temperature is unsuitable for spider plants, the plant will suffer. Any temperature below 50 degrees Fahrenheit would be unsuitable for spider plants. The spider plant will struggle if the temperature remains below 50 degrees Fahrenheit for an extended period. The water in the soil will not evaporate quickly, and the spider plant will be unable to generate energy due to a lack of light. This creates the ideal environment for root rot to thrive.
  • Poor drainage system: Plant owners frequently use pots with no drainage holes for aesthetic reasons. If you know how much water the plant needs, these pots are fine. If you overwater them, the extra water will fill the gap, making it difficult for the oxygen to stay and circulate. Even if the pot has drainage holes, pebbles or roots might block them, making it difficult for the water to soak entirely, resulting in soggy soil. The roots will weaken, which can lead to root degradation, fungal illnesses, and other problems.
  • Excessive fertilization: Because spider plants are light feeders, overfertilizing them is never a good idea. If you’re a heavy feeder who believes that eating more will result in faster and better growth, Excess fertilization of your spider plant will result in salt buildup in the soil, which will harm the roots. The roots and soil’s ability to operate will most certainly be harmed. The roots will deteriorate, creating ideal circumstances for root rot. Thus, make sure you monitor the dosage of fertilizer you use on your spider plant.
  • Insufficient Lighting: Light is critical for each plant to grow and perform required functions. Plants require adequate indirect light to convert nutrients into energy, dry off moist soil, and perform other critical processes. Spider plants require indirect light to thrive, and if you don’t meet their light requirements or water them without first inspecting them, root rot is a possibility. If you suspect the roots are deteriorating, double-check the amount of light and water your plant is getting. Because the plant isn’t getting enough light and you’re not watering it properly, the soil will saturate, creating the ideal habitat for viruses to thrive and cause root rot.

Should I Change the Soil and Pot after Bleaching the Roots?

The potting soil and the pot should be changed after cleansing the roots. This will prevent the plant from further rotten root contamination. Also changing the soil will get a plant a new life as the potting soil will contain more nourishment and freshness than the root rot affected soil and pass it to the plant. Changing the pot may also provide you with positive changes as you might select the newer pot with more spider plant suitability or a better drainage system as a result of the precious spider plant condition.

What Tools are needed to Bleach Spider Plants?

You will need some basic gardening tools to bleach your spider plant. At first, you would need to get the plant out of the pot and remove the soil. For that, you might need a gardening fork or trowel to get the plant out of the pot. You may also use something to break the pot and bring out the plant if you want to do otherwise. You will also be required to use some gardening scissors or gardening shears to cut off the affected roots and some leaves.

You will be soaking the plant in bleach after bringing the plant out. For that, you will require a bucket or a bigger pot and a 10 percent bleach solution along with some tap water. After soaking the plant, you will require to repot the plant and for that, you will be needing some fresh soil, a pot, and the tools you used while potting the point. You may also use your regular household bleach solution.

How to Bleach Spider Plant?

If you have all the required elements to bleach your spider plant, then you should get into work as a delay in work while contaminating the healthy roots and brings your entire plant to death. You should get to bleach your plant as soon as you can.

At first, separate your plant from the pot. Break the pot if your want or just simply gently pluck out the plant using a gardening fork or trowel. After getting the plant out, remove the soil completely from the roots. Firmly shake the plant while holding the base and let the soil completely get removed from the plant.

After removing the soil, get your gardening scissors or pruning sheers and get your hands on the roots. Cut off all the affected roots that are suffering from root rot. You may also cut off the leaves which are a little yellow or brown or not fresh green like before. This will help you to get rid of root rot completely.

After getting the soil out and cutting off the affected roots, you will enter into the main action. Get your 10% bleach solution into a bucket and add water. Add four times water for the same amount of bleach and create a minimum amount of mixture in which will be sufficient enough to soak the roots. If you are using household bleach, take the water nine times as bleach to dilute the bleach.

After making the blend of bleach solution and water, soak the plant into the diluted bleach solution. Keep an eye on the plant so that only the roots are soaking only and the base of the plant is above the water. Keep the roots there for a couple of hours. 5-6 hours will be enough for bleach to kill the bacteria and fungus that are causing the root rot.

After soaking, let the plant dry in the air. Air will help the roots to catch some breath and kill other types of bacteria which can not stand in the air. This way, your plant’s root will get free from almost maximum types of bacteria and fungus. Keep the plant hanging upright in the air for one entire day or less to get the job done.

After getting all the steps done, you can repot the plant in new soil and a new pot. Remember to get fresh aerated dry soil mixed will fertilizers and a little bit of perlite to maximize its suitability with spider plants while using a pot with a bigger drainage hole or great drainage system.

After repotting your plant, you are all set to get your plant its previous position.

Final words

You should get your spider plant roots cleansed in bleach as soon as you notice root rot in your plants’ rots. Cleaning roots with bleach will not harm your plant rather it will enhance the plants’ life if you can do that properly. Remember to look after the causes behind root rot and try to keep your indoor plants free from it so you might not need to take the hassle. You may look around Gardening Care Tips for more gardening tips.