Both soil and hydroponic gardeners encounter root decay problems at some point, but as we all know – happy root systems make happy plants.
There are many products on the market to help gardeners with root issues, but perhaps the two most common ones are Canna’s Cannazym and World Garden LTD’s Hygrozyme.
Cannazym is a blend of 12 different enzymes that break down dead root material and convert it into a mixture of glucose and minerals. This product also contains easily absorbable vitamins and desert plant extracts that can heal the root zone and promote new growth.
Hygrozyme is an enzyme-based product used to help clean systems and growing media. This product is a bacteria-free, OMRI certified blend of enzymes and amino acids.
Naturally, we did a showdown!
Cannazym’s recommended application rate is 9mL/gallon of water.
Hygrozyme’s recommended application rate is 8-10mL/gallon of water.
To test enzymatic/break-down activity, we used yellow paper and dead root material (courtesy of our in-store garden). The yellow papers were cut to the exact same size, and the root material samples were divided to be as close in weight and size as possible. All glasses were kept in the same location and kept covered to avoid contamination.
We diluted both Cannazym and Hygrozyme to an application rate of 9mL/gallon of water and put both of these up against our “control group” of just plain water. We put paper in one set of glasses and roots in the other.
We also filled separate glasses with concentrated (2tsp) Cannazym and concentrated (2tsp) Hygrozyme. To the concentrate, we added both roots and paper.
The Cannazym concentrate definitely wins in the breakdown of the paper and root material. Although not pictured, the Cannazym solution with root material also showed signs of break-down on day 3 of our test. This can be seen on the surface of the water. Hygrozyme lagged a couple of days behind the Cannazym and displayed a similar break-down pattern on day 5. Even on the last day, day 19, one can tell that the Cannazym has a little more of this break-down than the Hygrozyme.
In all, Cannazym is the clear winner when it comes to breaking down substances. Hygrozyme may keep systems running cleaner (as they advertise), but this test seems to show that it does not compare when a gardener needs a product to eat away dead root material to promote healthy new growth.
This final picture of Hygrozyme, left, and Cannazym right is interesting to see the build up of broken down root material on the surface of the solution.