How to Get Rid of Rootknot Galls (Natural & Organic Methods) - Organic Daily Post

How to Get Rid of Rootknot Galls (Natural & Organic Methods)

By Sabrina Wilson / July 27, 2022

to a plant

Rootknot galls are caused by a handful of different root-knot nematode species, all of which are plant-parasitic. Nematodes are eel-like, cylindrical creatures that lack a skeleton. Many are free-living and beneficial, but the root-knot nematodes are parasitic, meaning they live off of other creatures, in this case, plants. Females enter plant roots, where they mature and lay eggs. The hatched larvae then migrate into the root tissue, feeding as they go. As they feed, they stimulate the plant to form galls, or clear, pinhead-sized spheres, around the nematodes. These galls cut off the flow of water and nutrients to the root, and if enough galls form, the entire plant can be killed.

Organic methods for controlling root-knot nematodes are preferable to chemical controls for a variety of reasons. First, organic methods are environmentally friendly and pose no threat to human health or the environment. Second, organic methods are more sustainable and provide long-term control of root-knot nematodes, whereas chemical controls only provide temporary relief. Third, organic methods are more affordable and often more effective than chemical controls. Finally, organic methods can be used in conjunction with cultural practices such as crop rotation to provide even more control of root-knot nematodes.

Beneficial Nematodes

If you have rootknot galls on your plants, you can use beneficial nematodes to get rid of them. First, you need to find out where the galls are located. Then, you need to purchase beneficial nematodes from a garden center or online retailer. Once you have the nematodes, you need to mix them with water according to the package directions. Next, you need to use a garden hose to apply the mixture to the affected areas. The nematodes will enter the galls and kill the rootknot larvae. You may need to reapply the mixture every few weeks to keep the galls under control.

Neem Oil

Neem oil is an effective and natural way to get rid of rootknot galls. Simply mix a small amount of neem oil with water and apply it to the affected area. The neem oil will help to kill the rootknot galls and the affected area will soon be free of them.

Insecticidal Soap

Insecticidal soap is a type of soap that is used to kill insects. It is made of soap, water, and oil. The soap breaks down the insect's exoskeleton, and the oil suffocates the insect. Insecticidal soap is safe to use around children and pets, and it is biodegradable.

To get rid of rootknot galls using insecticidal soap, mix 1-2 tablespoons of dish soap with 1 gallon of water. Apply the solution to the galls using a spray bottle, taking care to coat them thoroughly. Let the solution sit on the galls for 10-15 minutes, then rinse it off with water. Repeat this process every few days until the galls disappear.

Horticultural Oil

Insecticidal soap is made of a potassium salt of a fatty acid. The fatty acid is derived from plants, and the potassium salt is a bicarbonate. The soap is effective against a wide variety of common garden pests, including aphids, mealybugs, mites, scale, and whiteflies.

Horticultural oil is a highly effective way to get rid of rootknot galls. The oil works by suffocating the larvae of the root-knot nematode, preventing them from developing into adults. To use horticultural oil to get rid of rootknot galls, simply mix it with water according to the manufacturer's instructions, and then pour it over the affected area. The horticultural oil will need to be reapplied every few weeks to keep the root-knot nematode population under control.


1. What are rootknot galls?
Rootknot galls are growths that form on the roots of plants in response to feeding by root-knot nematodes. The galls are typically spherical or oblong, and range in size from a few millimeters to several centimeters. The outer layer of the gall is composed of plant tissue that has been stimulated to grow faster than normal, while the inner layer is composed of nematode-infected cells.

2. What causes rootknot galls to form?
Rootknot galls are caused by a type of parasitic nematode called a root-knot nematode. These nematodes invade the roots of plants and feed on the plant cells. As they feed, they release chemicals that stimulate the plant to produce the thickened, gall-like growths.

3. What types of plants are susceptible to root-knot nematodes?
Nearly all types of plants can be susceptible to root-knot nematodes, including both crops and ornamentals. However, some plants are more resistant to nematode damage than others.

4. How do root-knot nematodes invade plant roots?
Root-knot nematodes typically invade plant roots through the soil. They may be present in the soil as eggs, larvae, or adults. Once they come into contact with a suitable host plant, they burrow into the roots and begin to feed.

5. How do plants become infected with root-knot nematodes?
Plants can become infected with root-knot nematodes in a number of ways. The nematodes may be present in the soil where the plants are grown, or they may be introduced on infected plant material. They can also be spread by water, wind, and insects.

6. What are the symptoms of root-knot nematode infection?
Root-knot nematode infection can cause a variety of symptoms in plants, including yellowing of the leaves, stunted growth, and the formation of galls on the roots. In severe cases, the plant may die.

7. How do root-knot galls affect plant growth?
Root-knot galls can cause stunted growth in plants, and may also increase the plant's susceptibility to other problems, such as disease.

8. How can I tell if my plant has root-knot nematodes?
If you suspect that your plant has root-knot nematodes, you can have it examined by a professional. Nematodes can be difficult to detect, but a professional will be able to identify them using a microscope.

9. Can root-knot nematodes be controlled?
Yes, there are a number of ways to control root-knot nematodes. Cultural practices, such as crop rotation and the use of resistant plant varieties, can help to reduce nematode populations. Chemical controls are also available, but should be used with caution to avoid harming beneficial organisms.

10. What should I do if I find root-knot nematodes in my garden?
If you find root-knot nematodes in your garden, you should take steps to control them. You can start by practicing good cultural practices, such as crop rotation and the use of resistant plant varieties. You can also use chemical controls, but should be sure to use them according to the directions to avoid harming beneficial organisms.

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About the author

Sabrina Wilson

Sabrina Wilson is an author and homemaker who is passionate about a holistic approach to health. When she is not writing she can be found tooling around in her garden with the help of her appropriately named dog Digby, bicycling in the park, and occasionally rock climbing…badly. Sabrina is a staff writer for the Organic Daily Post.

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