How to effectively stop root rot before its too late


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Hi all!

Thanks to this forum my previous issue with my avocados was fully solved! Now I'm hoping another person with a thumb greener than me can fix my current issue.

For 3 years I've been watering my avocado effectively. Recently I've been watering it a bit more often (it's summer and there's a lot of new growth so I thought it smart).
This is proven not to be smart (duh).

Of all the new growth, it's now coming out smaller and the leaves have much less strength. They feel almost weak. One at the top has gone slightly dark and curled but all other ones mostly look healthy.

I checked on the roots and sure enough I think I found my problem. There were a lot of dark and brown roots. Not all though! Some had bits of brown but a lot of white! So not all is lost.

My question is: What is the most effective way of ridding the plant of the perceived root rot fully and keeping him alive?

This is what I've done for it today:
  • Let the root ball dry out for 10 minutes
  • Repotted it into a large terracotta pot (was in plastic originally)
  • Used Cacti/Succulent soil in the new pot for better drainage.
  • Cut as many dark roots as I could that were on the outside of the ball after fiddling with it with my hands.
  • Watered the plant.

Should I have FULLY taken all the old soil out of the ball? I was afraid to severely damage the plant. I know there were more brown roots in there deep within.
I heard phosphate fungicide will really help me. If anyone has any to recommend I'll buy it ASAP. Hopefully this is good?

Here's a picture of the avocado for your judgement. (the bronze leaves are from a previous bout of sunburn no worries (I must be having a pest problem recently as he's getting bug holes recently))
 

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Hi Evan. :) I have a feeling this isn't about root rot but starvation. From what I can see from your third picture the pot is on the small side in comparison to the size of your tree. Nutrients in soil or compost used for potted plants only lasts for approximately six weeks and with the extra watering of late I think the nutrients have been washed out. My suggestion would be to feed on a regular basis with something like blood, fish and bone. This is a good all round fertiliser. Don't worry about the roots or removing all the old soil completely, it will recover with feeding I suspect. A weakened plant will also be susceptible to attack from pests.
 
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FBB is always good advice.

We used to think our Grandma was a shaman of some sort because she would bury zinc coated coffee cans under her pecan trees. Turns out pecans need zinc and she was Great Depression thrifty but we did not know it. Your avocado is weird like that too. A little zinc is a big deal. Also check out a citrus fertilizer which also can be used.

A zinc coated pot of some sort might look cool. I bet silver colored coatings helps from hot roots.
 

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