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How to avoid root rot in pots?

new dehli, India

Hi,
I live in a climate where summer are very hot, April -June dry summers of temp around 80-110F then from August-October monsoon rains and very mild winters. I have planted some perennial flowing plants all in large clay pots on my rooftop garden. I use a mixture of loamy soil and decomposed leaf compost as my soil mix however i got some of my plants leaves turned black. The nursery men told me that it is due to root rot and roots are drowning and not getting enough oxygen. He told me to add perlite in soil but perlite is very expensive here. On internet i read that pumice is an alternate of perlite. I do have a cheap source of pumice stones but they are not horticulture grade i.e. they are in size range of 2-3 cm. How can i use these pumice stones to add into my existing plants to add oxygen to roots and avoid root rot?

Glendale, UT(Zone 5a)

anything that will help provide better drainage, and more little spaces between the soil particles will help with your problem

Cleveland,GA/Atlanta, GA(Zone 7b)

You can use cut up Styrofoam packing pellets or similar shredded Styrofoam material. Use a layer of mesh screen and then a layer of pellets on the bottom of the pots to keep drain holes from clogging with decomposing soil. Then use cut up pellets as you would perlite in your soil mix. Keep the Styrofoam out of the main garden since it is not biodegradable.

Poughkeepsie, NY(Zone 6a)

Try going 2 parts soil mix and 1-2 parts of the pumice. Remember you'll have to re-adjust your watering practice with the plant as it will get dry faster.

new dehli, India

Quote from tommyr2006 :
Try going 2 parts soil mix and 1-2 parts of the pumice. Remember you'll have to re-adjust your watering practice with the plant as it will get dry faster.

How small pumice particles need to be? Can i use pumice particles of around 20 mm in size ?

Poughkeepsie, NY(Zone 6a)

Quote from hubayataki :
Quote from tommyr2006 :
Try going 2 parts soil mix and 1-2 parts of the pumice. Remember you'll have to re-adjust your watering practice with the plant as it will get dry faster.

How small pumice particles need to be? Can i use pumice particles of around 20 mm in size ?


They should work, a little too big I think so I would use fewer of that size. Particle size about 1/4" is the size I use typically.

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