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Even though we all absolutely love avocados, avocado trees aren’t always the joy of our gardens. Because avocado trees are so picky about the kinds of nutrients, minerals, fertilizers, and levels of salinity they recurrently fall ill.
Have you noticed that your avocado tree is dying?
Here are 9 steps on how you can save a dying avocado tree or even prevent the avocado tree from dying.
It is important to tend to the dying avocado tree as soon as possible to save it.
9 Ways to Save a Dying Avocado Tree
ROOT ROT AND FUNGAL DISEASE IS YOUR PROBLEM.
Root rot is most probably the cause of the tree dying. When soil stays moist, fungal spores spread and build-up all around the roots. Lively parts of the roots turn brown, spongy, and squishy. The tree roots are then incapable of absorbing the nutrients needed from the soil.
Signs of root rot: The little feeder roots are missing and if they are present, they are usually black and brittle compared to healthy feeder roots which are milky white.
The leaves stay small and turn pale green. They are often droopy with brown tips and fall off easily.
There are 3 types of root rot
Determining which type your tree has will help you revive it.
Rosellina Root Rot:
An avocado tree with this kind of rot will have white patches on its trunk or branches and purple germination near or on the soil. There is no going back after this rot and the plant should just be disposed of before surrounding plants become infected.
Oak Root Rot:
This is when there are large amounts of yellow or brown mushrooms around the soil.
Common Avocado Root Rot:
This kind of rot will be seen by the brown tips and wilting of leaves and potentially dead branches at the top of the tree.
Your tree can still recover from Oak Root Rot and Common Avocado Root Rot.
Dealing with root rot:
Settle on replanting your dying avocado tree. It is important to replant within a few hours so work swiftly. Clean the roots carefully under running water and cut off all the dying, brown, and soggy roots with a sharp pair of scissors and cut on the healthy root just above the infected area. Once the roots are cut sterilize the scissors to prevent the spread of fungal spores.
Root rot is common for avocado trees and it’s up to you to make sure it doesn’t happen or to at least catch it in time to save the little buddy.
2. New Soil
Soil provides the avocado tree with the nutrients and minerals that it needs. Topsoil is generally nutrient-rich.
Replacing your soil will prevent the further spread of spores and will eradicate any bacteria around the roots that may cause problems.
3. Proper Drainage
A sufficient draining system ensures warrants that the soil is properly aerated.
It reduces nutrient and mineral loss from runoff.
It also allows the avocado tree to keep growing when water or moisture is limited.
Drainage removes excess moisture which increases and boosts bacterial action in the soil.
It also allows fertilizer to become more usable.
If you are growing your avocado tree in a pot you can create a drainage layer by putting small stones at the bottom of your pot before adding soil.
4. Do not water your avocado tree too much
Typically, avocado trees only need to be watered 3 times a week and do not need more than 50 liters of water a week.
You must let the soil dry out before water the avocado tree again.
Watering an avocado tree too often will result in the soil staying moist and then fungal spores will develop again. Fungi thrive in damp and warm conditions.
Also, do not water your avocado tree in the middle of the day when it is the hottest as the water will simply evaporate and cause dry soil.
5. Check Your Water
Salinity is the amount of dissolved salt in water. This is not table salt.
Salts are compounds such as potassium nitrate. Avocado trees are one of the plants that are the most sensitive to salinity.
Test your water to make sure the salinity levels aren’t too high.
Some compounds can also be found in water that boosts the growth of fungal spores.
FUN FACT: Avocados are considered a fruit because they fit into the botanical criteria for a berry. Despite it being considered a vegetable in the USDA database based on common usage.
Mulch is a material that is spread or laid over the surface of the soil. Mulch is beneficial for your avocado tree because it helps to retain moisture.
Mulch suppresses weeds, keeps the soil cool, and prevents frost heaving in winter.
It also helps with drainage, improves the soil structure and the soil’s nutrient holding ability.
Here are a few materials you can use as mulch for your avocado tree:
- Pine needles
- Shredded leaves
- Chipped or shredded bark
- Grass clippings
Gypsum is a soft sulfate mineral that is loaded with Calcium.
There are some variations of root rot that can not survive with so much calcium in the soil.
Gypsum is not only a source of Calcium and Sulfur-packed nutrients for your avocado tree but it also improves the soil’s ability to soak up water, the structure of the soil, and the acid in the soil and it treats aluminum toxicity. It also helps reduce runoff and erosion.
Fertilizer is an organic or inorganic substance that is sprayed on the avocado tree to increase its growth and productivity.
They contain the nutrients and minerals that the plant needs like Potassium, Phosphorous, and Nitrogen.
Many fertilizers may also better the functions of the soil by helping it retain water and allowing air to flow which is good for the roots.
Avocado trees like Nitrogen and a little bit of Zinc, so you can use inorganic citrus tree fertilizers or organic fertilizers such as coffee, compost, or fish emulsion.
Fungicides are pesticides that destroy or prevent the growth of fungal spores on the roots of your avocado tree. Fungicides work in so many ways but generally, they damage fungal cell membranes or disturb the energy production within the cells.
A good fungicide for your dying avocado tree contains Potassium Phosphate – read the labels.
How to use fungicide:
- On the roots.
- Before the development of any new diseases.
- Before the rain, if you can.
- Once a week depending on the weather.
If you are experiencing wet weather, increase the number of times you spray the fungicide on your avocado tree to combat any growth of spores.
Basically, taking care of your avocado tree is simple but it must be done all year round to prevent or reduce any chances of diseases and other problems.
Remember that avocado trees also like the full sun so make sure you water the tree sufficiently.
Avocado trees really are not high maintenance plants but they do need a little bit of love and care.
Your dying avocado tree just needs a little bit extra.