Root rot is a problem that can occur when plants are overwatered. Overwatering can cause root rot because the soil becomes wet and shaded, inhibiting healthy roots’ growth. This condition is often caused by a lack of understanding of how much water plants need or by simply giving plants too much water at once. Root rot typically develops in the deeper parts of the root system, leading to dieback and loss of plant vigor. Most of the time, you have to remove sick plants and replace them with new ones or add something to the soil to help the plants get better.

After figuring out the plant has root rot, you must decide if you can save it. If the whole root system has gone soft before you notice the problem, it is too late to save the plant. 

In this article, I will show you how to repot snake plants to revive them from root rot.

Root rot’s signs and what causes it

Root rot's signs and what causes it

Most of the time, snake plant roots rot because the soil doesn’t drain quickly enough. When the soil keeps too much water for too long, this happens. Too much fertilizer can also hurt the quality of the soil.  

Several signs indicate that root rot is present:

  • Yellowing or wilting of the roots.
  • Slimy surfaces on the roots.
  • Cracked or brittle root. 
  • Brown rot (a sign of rotting root tissue).
  • Wilted, soft, or wrinkled leaves.
  • Wet spots on your plant.
  • Dark, soft spots near the base or stem.

How to repot a snake plant that has root rot and how to treat it

How to repot a snake plant that has root rot and how to treat it

Some plants can grow back after root rot, but it depends on how much of the root system was hurt. If you have a root, some still look light in color and are thick enough to take some pressure to stand. It might be possible to save them. You can do a few things to try and solve the problem. The following tips will help you to fix rot problems. 

  1. Take your plant out and replace the soil immediately to stop the problem from worsening.
  2. Suppose you notice any yellowing or wilting of the roots. In that case, it’s probably time to prune them away and get rid of any unhealthy growth. When cutting away damaged roots, you should only use clean tools. Cut off any roots or leaves that are brown and soft, and then repot the healthy rhizomes in the new mix. If you can’t save the rhizomes, remove them. Save a few healthy leaves and use them to make more snake plants. 
  3. Fill a new pot half-full of fresh soil and spread it out over the root area of the snake plant. Make sure there is plenty of space around the roots to expand again once they re-grow.
  4. Make sure your plants don’t get too much water. Choose a good potting mix and a pot with holes in the bottom for drainage. Don’t plant them in places that are always wet or soaked. If you water these areas often, the soil will stay moist but not soaked, which is important for healthy roots.
  5. Add organic matter to the soil. This can be compost or other natural materials to help improve drainage and make the soil more fertile. Over time, adding organic matter will help break down residues and create better conditions for plant growth and root health. You can also add some mulch to the soil to help keep it moist and reduce the need for watering. Mulching will soak up over time and release water slowly, keeping the soil moist without watering.
  6. Apply a fungicide or other treatment if necessary. A fungicide can help inhibit the growth of fungus, a common cause of root rot. If the rot is resistant to other treatments, you may need to consider using a fungicide.
  7. Check your irrigation system regularly and adjust as needed. If your plant is getting too much water, it may be trying to save water by sending it down to the roots instead of letting it flow through the foliage. If this is the case, you may need to adjust your irrigation schedule or install a water-conserving irrigation system.
  8. Keep the area clean and dry by raking up leaves and other debris regularly, watering it only when it needs it, and fertilizing it only when it needs it.

Frequently asked questions (FAQ)

Can root rot resolve itself?

Root rot will sometimes go away on its own. In other cases, the disease gets so bad that the plant can no longer take in water and nutrients, which kills it.

How long does it take for root rot to heal?

If you correctly found and treated the root rot hurting your plants, they should be healthy again in about five to seven days.

Can you reuse soil that has root rot?

You can reuse soil with root rot if it is sterilized first. This will ensure that no diseases or fungi are growing in the soil while the roots are rotting. The soil should be mixed with new potting soil, 50/50, and then put back in the container.

Can hydrogen peroxide treat root rot?

Most of the time, poor soil drainage or too much watering are to blame for root rot. Mix one part 3% hydrogen peroxide with two parts water, and carefully pour it over the plant’s roots with a watering can or spray bottle. This will kill the bacteria that cause root rot.


In conclusion, if your snake plant has root rot, the best way to treat it is to repot it into fresh soil with fresh roots. Make sure you water the plant well and fertilize it when necessary. Be patient; root rot can take some time to heal.