Root rot is a fungal disease that manifests in over-watered plants. It is treated by cutting affected roots and repotting in clean soil.
my fingernails have dirt under them
from repotting my peace lily, gently
teasing its twisted roots,
mixing up a well-draining soil
and giving it some space to grow. I placed it
back on my windowsill between the tradescantia
and the succulents. My mother
taught me about plants, first. How
spider-plants thrive on neglect
and how to take cuttings from them.
Her spider-plant was slightly too neglected –
I cut away the blackened roots
and hoped it would survive the rot.
It took me a while to learn
that mum doesn’t know everything.
I feel like she should.
Sometimes I think
my mother must have grown me like a plant,
made me a comfortable home
to support my roots, and watered
me with love. If only she understood
root-rot a little better, maybe
I wouldn’t need repotting
quite so much.
Graphic courtesy of Isabel Armitage