Bad looking roots



I just wanted share an experience I learned a lot from and hope it may help someone else along the way. In March I started my first grow ever. After reviewing a lot of things I decided to go with hydroponics. After 4 weeks I had some really nice looking plants one day only to have 2 dead and 2 very sick puppies a couple of days later. I transferred the 2 plants to soil. I have since harvested 1 plant and am still trying to get the second co cola up and make some buds. That plant’s life story is set out in a separate thread (Pot gone to pot.Pot gone to pot? Is this a Hermie?) The killer was root rot due to and stemming from inexperience.

I’ve since started 4 more plants in hydro. They were germinated starting on June 19 in potting soil on a window sill and set into hydro on July 9 and I started them using Fox Farms nutes where as I had used ILGM nutes on the first grow. From the get go there were some discolored leaves which was hard to figure out as I had learned too much about over nutes with the first grow and kept everything consrvative with the seedlings at about 2/3 of the lower recommended PPM counts for the Fox Farm nutes. The yellowed leaves were getting worse rather than better; I had trouble with solution temps rising overnight; and, pH levels climbed overnight as well. Being as I had to pull 1 or 2 of the plants every morning (the plants formed very nice root systems early on) I notice the roots browning and starting to get slick and somewhat slimey.

The above pics were taken on Aug 6 with the roots browned and completly clogged. I immediately changed water and found the aerator tubing to be coated with brown goop as well. Apply H2O2 in order to help claen the plant roots revealed the majority the crap felt gritty so I gave the root a thorough cleaning with pH neutral 0 ppm water and washed all “in the bucket equipment” and the reservoir thoroughly with Farmer’s bleach and refilled. As I started to add nutes to the solution I realized the Fox Farms Grow Big (containing worm cast) was brownish and gritty as hell. For the remix I switched to the ILGM nutes and began with a 600 PPM mix. The next pics show the root systems of the same plants as of yesterday 8/10 or 4 days later:

The next 4 pics will show the plants for comparison. The first 2 are from 8/6 and the bottom 2 are from 8/10

And here’s the roots as of the 10th.

The goop from the Fox Farms nutes had effectively sealed off the root systems and was blocking nute pick up. Also the reservoir temp is now averaging 74F instead 77F in the mornings and pH is holding steady a 5.8 instead of being on average 7.3 in the AM. Yellowing leaves have also been significantly decreasing as those already damaged drop off.

I hope this post will help someone experiencing similar problems or before giving up on some plants that can be easily given a second chance.

Peace! And toke on,


That helps me tremendously as I was just about to start my first ever DWC gro and was debating using my fox farms that I already have or buying something different like GH 3 part. With all your info I’m definetly going to buy the GH, thank you for all the info


GH 3 part is a great way to start. Follow the directions on the bottle, and you will do fine.


I guess this is going to be somewhat of a post mortem for this plant. The pics above show the root system of a Jamaican Pearl plant that now dying out. So although I think it is still immature I’m going to flush out and harvest.

My questions are these: 1) Is this root system excessive? If it is what should I do about such in future? All the white roots have come on in the past week, why would that happen? If you remember from another post MacG thought too much light was getting to the root system from the other 3 holes in the lid of the DWC bucket that were just plugged with netty pots. The white roots have come on since I blacked out the other three holes in the bucket. Unfortunately the plant is not recovering. As you can see pretty well all the fan leaves have already shed after yellowing. I have a theory that what occurred is a bad case of over-feeding. Since many moons ago the plant has had this huge “beard” with a dense mat right at the bottom of the netty pot. As I preped to flush before harvesting it caught my attention more than ever before. In fact it looked very much like a big wad of mud. But along with noticing that there was a goodly number of new white roots shooting out of the sides of the cup and around the questionable wad. Thinking just to wash the root system out hoping for a better flush the wad started to come apart. The more I worked at it, the more it came apart leaving a lot of very thick mostly white roots along with what appeared to be mud.

I had mentioned before that even after solution changes I kept getting very high TDS readings and that the PPMs climbed overnight. My theory is that the wad of crap was collected residual nutrients and that is what was causing the high PPMs and continually dying leaves. Not having more to lose at this stage I lopped off the lower plainly necrotic roots. After that I disassembled the wad of crud until all that was left was whitish healthier looking roots and rootlets under and around the base of the netty pot.

So we shall see. Perhaps the plant is already too far gone to respond after the trauma it received today, perhaps not. Mostly this is something I wanted to share and see if anyone else has had this experience. Above all else it might be something helpful for other growers especially with all the threads about yellowing leaves I’m seeing recently. The pics below with give a peek at the condition of the plant and the butcher job to the root “beard”.


I have the same thing happen on each grow. I am following a feeding schedule from the Canadian company i bought my grow box. The first grow was the best. I have started adding extra water because the ppm is thru the roof. Is there anything else I can do to make my roots stay white?


what’s the product line you are using? ppm and res temps?
honestly if you want help details matter


Hello I am using a planlife product, Future harvest and BC Northern Lights feeding schedule. The ppm 1170 and res temp 80 near end of the day. I am in week 6 flower the plan calls for a ppm of 820.
The water amount is 23 liters.
138ml Flower
92ml Common
Super B+, Carbo Blast, Bud Boom 46ml each
I have 4 12" air stones
I am still very new to hydro.


@Dbud if you put the @ symbol in front of say @Donaldj he would see your question faster he’s no ignoring you I wish I knew more about the system to help you but he is definitely the right man for the job


until a grow mentor shows up a few more questions @Dbud

what type water do you use, well water, municipal water, RO water, rain water…what is the ppm of just the water?
when you mix the nutrients, is the ppm 820 to start then rises?
are you needing to adjust pH often? pH adjustments will raise ppm.
the ppm for the plants stage, 1170, week six of flower, isn’t unreasonable…for most grows the 820 ppm the plan calls for seems low.

what color are the roots, is there any odor to the water/roots?..maybe post a photo of the roots?

the water temperature is too high, 68F-72F is the target temp…room temps need to be lowered or ice blocks could be added to the reservoir.


I will show up but am getting ready to leave in the next 40 min for a week of fishing I think @peachfuzz or @kabongster may be able to help with this I am better it’s res temps related myself :wink:


@Dbud I would recommend you copy and paste your posting into a new thread. Piggy backing off an old thread just convolutes the two issues.

Upper right corner click + New Topic

Looking forward to helping you there!


I just pulled a plant doing the same thing. Mine was a build up of heavy foods, fox farms foods, and didn’t flush out system. Root sat in gunk in bottom of bucket. Fish with ph’d water. In my system there were 2 now 1 and flushing with water will help along with water changes daily for a week.
When I used to bread corals the more frequent the water changes the corals did better and I’m now back to doing water changes every other day on my small systems to keep it fresh.


My plants are doing the same thing. I don’t have a root pic but here’s the tops, still in veg.

Here are the nutrients I started with