I have an avocado cutting which showed some promising growth, but now is dying as the top of the stem is turning black, with some white powdery stuff on it.

The plant that this cutting was from also has the same issue, although it isn't as bad.

All the branch nodes are also turning brown and drying up.

There are no roots, and the plant doesn't drink a lot, but I've kept the water level consistent, and it should cover enough of the stem (the stem is sitting in water).

It is in a spot that gets direct sunlight for the mornings, but bright indirect sunlight after that. it is also fairly warm, because I have it on a heating mat.

The plant is doing better, it has some branches, and is kept in the same place. The only major difference is that it is in soil, which I let dry out a bit between waterings.

The plant also had this issue before, but I cut that off shortly before taking the cutting.

They both had no issues for about around 3 weeks, but then the issue came up.


So I followed davidgo's advice and cut the plants below the last affected node. Then, I cauterized the wound, and applied some copper fungicide.

I did some research and it could be panicle blight, although this normally affects flowers.

I also cut open one of the infected stems, and found a bunch of yellow balls, but I don't know if these are just infecting the dead material, or actually causing the infection (see images below) enter image description here enter image description here

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1 Answer 1


That does not look good.

For cuttings, you want to keep the soil wet all the time as their is very little root system, so the plant needs as much water as it can get. You would also normally leave a couple of leaves on the plant.

I would cut the plants off immediately above the last node which is not brown - and if you are lucky maybe the nodes below this point will thrive.

  • Yeah, the cutting was more of an experiment because the branch had already lost all of its leaves. It would be nice it it took though, so I'll try moving it to soil. I tried cutting off the black parts before, which worked for a bit, but then it came back unfortunately. I also saw some people with vaguely similar issues using copper fungicide so I might try that, after I cut off the black part of course. Commented Apr 2 at 23:55

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