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The climatic conditions in this country will hardly elicit fruit from an avocado. However, the plant is always an ornament and is therefore often cultivated. When you reach for the watering can, their origin from rather dry areas is often forgotten. This takes revenge with root rot.

Too much water damages the avocado

Root rot on avocado plants

Root rot, as the name suggests, mainly affects the root system of avocado trees.

  • Fine roots turn black
  • they become brittle

The roots of the avocado are in the ground to provide the plant with important nutrients and water. But this circumstance also keeps them hidden from our eyes, so that we do not perceive the root changes described above.

Visible Symptoms

Since the damaged roots are less and less able to supply the above-ground parts of the plant, it is inevitable that visible changes will eventually also appear on the leaves:

  • light green to yellow discoloration
  • partly with brown tips and edges

Advanced root rot causes the leaves to wilt and fall off altogether. The top branches also die off because they are the worst cared for.

In their homeland of origin, the fruits would now be at the mercy of the sun without protection. In this country, this problem is just as rare as the said fruits.

recognize causes

The root rot culprits are fungi that like warm or waterlogged soil. In the case of avocados that have to grow in pots, care mistakes are usually responsible for an environment that is too wet.

  • it is watered too often and too much
  • Water stays in the coaster
  • drainage holes and/or a drainage layer may be missing
  • waterlogging can easily occur

Injured roots are an open entry point for the pathogens and also increase the risk of disease.

Control of root rot

Since this infection remains invisible for a long time, it often ends fatally for the avocado. In any case, no pesticides are approved for private use, so there is little that can be done for the avocado in the early stages.

  • Cut diseased roots generously
  • also affected parts above ground
  • Plant avocados in new soil
  • Use pot with drainage holes
  • create a drainage layer of coarse material


Dispose of all cut plant parts and the old soil with the household waste and disinfect the cutting tool used to prevent the spread of the fungal pathogen.

Further care and prevention

The newly potted avocado needs to be properly watered from now on to prevent the scenario from repeating itself. In general, prevention is the best way to protect an avocado from root rot:

  • water depending on the weather
  • the substrate may always be slightly damp
  • the avocado must never stand wet
  • rather short dry periods are tolerated

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