With roots being so important to a hydroponic plants health, it is critical to do everything you can to ensure they stay healthy and happy. Roots are, hands down, the most important part of the plant, and should be treated as such. Roots are made of very tough tissue and can take quite a beating. However, they are not invincible.
A healthy root area is where the root mass is constantly growing and where old root parts die off and give way for new growth. If your roots are an off-white color, or even tan, then you know your roots are happy. But if they are brown or darker, then you probably have root rot.
There are some simple steps you can take to ensure your plants have strong healthy roots:
Always make sure you hydroponic systems reservoir water solution is properly balanced in both pH and PPM. If these levels are not balanced, then they could lead to root damage. It is always good to check the levels in your water daily.
Clean your system on regular basic. Most root problems in a hydroponic system are caused by not cleaning out the system often enough. It is recommended to do this approximately every three to four weeks. When cleaning your system, make sure you clean out the irrigation tubing as well. Disease spores can be found in tiny cracks so all components must be cleaned carefully and thoroughly.
You could also rinse your roots with straight water every three to five weeks. Doing this will knock off any nutrient build up and also give them a fresh feeding without adding any extra hydroponic nutrients.
Another way to ensure a healthy environment for your roots is to take care of the reservoir water as best you can. Check for any light leaks into your reservoir where your roots are. Light leaks can cause algae and other ailments to develop in your reservoir and can quickly infest your roots becoming a big problem. Fix any light leaks accordingly with reflective tape or any other product suitable for sealing them up. It doesnt really matter how you stop the leak as long as it is stopped.
Proper air exchange throughout your root system is also imperative to maintaining nice, healthy roots. In a hydroponic grow, air is supplied to the roots in one way or another. For instance, a deep water culture system has an air stone which produces air bubbles which, in turn, deliver the oxygen to the roots. Always make sure that oxygen is reaching the roots at an appropriate rate and amount, even if you have to add an extra air stone to achieve this. Sometimes, some hydroponic systems only barely meet the requirements for a healthy oxygen exchange – make sure your plants have an adequate supply.
In a hydroponic grow, there is no more important part of the plant than the roots and, with this information, you are now in a great position to keep them white, healthy and happy.