Avocado Tree Dying??

northtexasgirl(z8 FTW)December 10, 2005

I brought it in the house since we were under a Winter Storm Watch and now all the leaves are falling off. Has it gone dormant or is it dying? :( It's about 18" tall and was doing great while it was outside. Thanks for your help. :)


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gcmastiffs(z10 Florida)

Leona, I find Avocado plants **very** difficult to grow. They hate any kind of change. I had a beautiful dwarf potted Wurtz 'Cado in my old dog run, ignored for about 8 months. It thrived and looked so beautiful that I moved it to the front patio. Big mistake! It promptly dropped all fruit/leaves and suffered severe limb dieback. It now is recovering in a corner of the yard, being ignored again.

I learned that they don't like plentiful water-they much prefer to be rather dry.

I have killed at least 4 different ones over the years. Some potted, some in the ground. I give up-I will buy my Avocados. I see them growing in my neighborhood and it burns my bum that I cannot keep them healthy in my yard.

I have well over 100 varieties of fruit trees, and have had the worst luck with Avocados and Key Limes. Everything else does well.

I hope someone speaks up on how to help your tree and how to grow healthy Avocados. I think letting the soil get dry, and ignoring it may get you new leaves. But don't look at the tree too often, they don't like attention(G).

I wish you luck!


    Bookmark   December 10, 2005 at 8:34PM
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The move caused shock..some recover ..some dont....and i believe it takes a male and female tree to produce most avacados.. might Google for info on that

    Bookmark   December 11, 2005 at 12:17AM
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Moving it into the house is what's caused the shock and subsequent leaf drop. Moving it to a sheltered area (unheated garage etc) rather than indoors would have been better. Time will tell if your Avacado pulls through or not.

I read with interest your trouble with Avacado and Key Lime, both of which I seem to have no trouble with. Odd really, since I'm container growing these and only move them during extremes in my PNW climate ... even then to only a slightly milder more protected spot.

Cheers, Barrie.

    Bookmark   December 11, 2005 at 2:56AM
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northtexasgirl(z8 FTW)

Thanks for the information.

Lisa, I'm glad to know that I'm not the only one having trouble with growing an avocado plant. I have heard several people say they had problems with them. I'll keep my fingers crossed that it pulls through. I know it takes years for them to fruit but I was just growing it for the plant as I like the way they look.

Barrie and Minxie, I was afraid it had gone into shock. I never even thought about putting it in the garage as it was very cold in there. I don't think it would have survived, since our temps dropped to single digits. Very unusual weather for us. Yes, time will tell.


    Bookmark   December 11, 2005 at 3:18PM
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Growing avocados from seed isn't worth the trouble unless you want a very large tree for ornamental purposes. There are lots of seedling trees all over town here, most of which don't produce a single fruit.

..grafted varieties cost next to nothing and give you a guarantee of great fruit.

I grow Steward, Bacon, Hass, and Zutano. That way, I get a nice variety of fruits. I highly recommend bacon, it's quite hardy and produces beautiful green skinned fruit that are refreshing and not too oily. Most fruited in 3 yrs

    Bookmark   December 12, 2005 at 6:42PM
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I have been given a present of a 4ft Avocado tree. I cannot see any graft. As it is gift, I would prefer to plant it in the Spring. So I have a couple of questions:
1. How soon after planting could I graft it?
2. How many years to producing fruit after grafting?
3. If it is grafted, I don´t need a 2nd tree, do I?
4. Can it be planted in a lawn?
Of course I may save alot of time by buying a small already grafted tree and planting it in place of the gifted tree?

I am sorry that I have so many questions. Any advice appreciated. Maria

    Bookmark   December 13, 2005 at 6:46AM
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Doesn't anyone here have squirrel problems? I had a 2 yr old, started from seed Avacado..and those darn squirrels upturned the pot, dug it out and ate everything, including the toxic pit. Since, I haven't been able to grow another seed from the pit..what am I doing wrong? Toni

    Bookmark   December 13, 2005 at 8:48PM
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Does your key lime fruit outdoors for you?

Just curious,



    Bookmark   December 17, 2005 at 3:28PM
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Mine does Greg...hand pollinated

    Bookmark   December 18, 2005 at 11:03AM
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I had a Haas pit that I was successful in germinating and potting. It was about 12" tall and I decided to replant it in the yard. I put some avocado and citrus fertilizer in the ground before I planted it. It has been in the ground for about 2 months now and it just sits there. It hasnt died and yet it hasnt grown even the tiniest bit. It seems almost as if it is deciding whether to live or die. Any tips to get it to grow? (this is in SW Florida by the way)

    Bookmark   September 11, 2006 at 9:46PM
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Most likely your tree is not dying, just simply undergoing a bit of stress due to less than ideal growing conditions. When your Avocado is happy, you will know it from the thriving healthy green leaves, lush new growth and then at some point during the year, an abundance of blooms and fruit. The role that humidity, mositure, heat, wind, sunlight, seasonal temperature variations, along with nutrients, pests and diseasess all play on the state of a planted or potted avocado tree is an enormous one. A healthy tree will deviate from its ideal state as cyclical changes in the above variables take place, throughout the year. Often times when a plant starts to loose its luster, due to these cyclical changes, a common reaction is to overwater which can perhap make matters even worse. Another common mistake is to unnessarily resort to harsh chemicals if a pest or disease is suspected. Many times chemicals can actually have a negative impact by killing off the good insects and creatures that keep the bad ones in check, resulting in perhaps more of an infestation than you origionally had. If you are planting, find a place in your yard that is protected from harsh winds and that gets an adequate amount of sun. Also, good drainage is a must. Follow a recommended feeding schedule. If you must baby your tree, try spraying the foliage occasionally with an organic seaweed nutritional spray. Also, my recommendation is to follow Lisa's advise in the second post. Find a place for your tree and forget about it for a while. Realize that fluctuations in the overall appearance and apparant health of the tree are normal. Do not be alarmed if the leaves start turning brown around the edges and fall off in large numbers. When the conditions are right, your tree will shine and continue to grow a healthy root structure and canopy. Depending on your region, an avocado tree, whether planted or potted can take several years to reach fruit production stage. Have a little patience during the process and you will enjoy the beauty of your tree and fruit for many years.

    Bookmark   December 3, 2006 at 11:16PM
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i started a avocado from a seed. i put it outside and it grew nicely for several months. for the winter, i placed the tree in side my home. Since then, it has not grown at all, and the leaves are begining to turn brown. what should i do?


    Bookmark   November 30, 2008 at 7:27PM
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i grew a 3ft avocado tree from a pit. it was doing great while i lives in california then i moved out to nebraska and within days all the leaves fell off and died and now the tree just sits there looking like a skeleton. when i 1st got to nebraska it was below freezing so i kept it in the garage, then it looked like it died now the temp is up and iwater it and it gets tons of sun everyday and still nothing. and also all over the tree, like on the branch times there is some sort of white powdery stuff. what is that? did my tree die? or isthere something i can do for it???

    Bookmark   April 23, 2009 at 1:15AM
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I have two avocado trees that i have grown from seeds, and the younger one is green and still has its leaves, and the older one has recently turned a brownish color, almost tree colored, and lost all of its leaves recently as well. Does anyone know if this is normal for an avocado tree to do, or could it have died??? Its in a huge pot with tons of soil, with good light and water, and so far it have thrived in these conditions, and now all of the sudden the small tree has turned brownish colored and i can not tell if it died or if it is supposed to do this. If anyone knows, i really appreciate your thoughts!! Thanks so much!

    Bookmark   April 11, 2010 at 3:43AM
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I've got a little avocado plant, about 12 inches. Do avocado plants lose their leaves in autumn? Mine has lost them all and now the tip is turning brown. It keeps starting tiny buds and they turn brown too. Is it the cold? Should I cut of the brown tip? I was so proud to have got it this far and now its looking very sad.

    Bookmark   December 21, 2010 at 4:29AM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

The dry, indoor air is surely the culprit behind crispy leaves, brown leaves, and/or leaf-loss.
My sister and I have been growing them for a couple years, and Winter is always a rough time for them.
It's too cold in my zone to keep them outdoors, so they must be treated as a houseplant from Nov - May.

I've had success using a very porous soil, and watering frequently.


    Bookmark   December 21, 2010 at 9:48AM
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I have had my avacado tree now for 4 years and it was doing great inside until it just stopped growing one year and it has been the same since. It is slowly losing all of its leaves in fact it only has 14 left and they are browning. I am currently warming it with blankets and a heat lamp plus giving it fresh soil but still nothing. It looks like a skeleton...what should i do??

    Bookmark   January 8, 2011 at 6:06PM
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I'm a new plant fanatic. I bought a house in 06 and It just so happen to have many tropical plants including an Avocado. Every year I have gotten fruits from my tree. In watching it over the past years I notice the cycle. In the cool months around the ending of October the leaves begin to yellow and drop. This occurs after the bearing of fruits. My tree sits in the middle of my back yard subjected to winds, rains and much sun. I get plenty of fruit enough to share with my teacher friends and neighbors.
This year prior to spring right after the frost I trimmed it, shaped it and cut major branches that were old. I think this is the cause of the heavy yield and new growth that I am currently experiencing. I guess the squirrels will be happy with abundant fruits and the blue jays with the growth of new branches to perch.
Well anyway Epsom salt does well as a fertilizer though I didn't do it this year. It for the most part is neglected.

    Bookmark   May 23, 2011 at 9:00AM
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We've just planted a grafted avacodo tree (Hass) but it looks terrible with all it's leaves turning brown. So I checked the soil around it this morning and it was very moist about 6 inches down. Decided not to water it every other day like I have been doing, now I hope the leaves return to green once more. Our nice always cool breeze has
changed to a hot drying wind for the last few months is the reason I was watering so often.

    Bookmark   August 12, 2011 at 1:30PM
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My baby avocado trees leaves turn brown and fall off as soon as they come out. It is hot so I am watering every other day. I wish I could show a picture but cannot figure out how to do this on this web-site. I just planted it in the ground in April 2011. Help !!!

    Bookmark   August 30, 2011 at 3:45PM
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I'm having issues with my two as well. They looked great a couple weeks ago and now my biggest one, that's a several years old is looking horrible and the smaller one is nothing but a stick. I moved them across country a couple years ago, and i will cry some serious tears if i loose both of them. Particularly the bigger one. I've had it the longest and damn near lost it three times. I can't think of what has happened to them...the weather has been out of sorts, but I've since moved them to my kitchen. I'm still hopeful, but concerned nonetheless. Good luck to you.

    Bookmark   March 5, 2012 at 5:33PM
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Maybe I can help.

Let me start by saying if you cant get them in the ground and grow them outdoors in your zone, it's kind of a waste. At some point, its going to outgrow pots and what is reasonable for most people indoors. They require alot of care for the first 3 years.

What size pot are yours in? I place mine in 5 gal buckets in a 60/40 blend of organic soil / perelite mixture. Mine are in a local soil blend with no ferts added. They dont tolerate high nitrogen so stay away from miracle grow organic. When was your last repot? Do you have access to quality organic soil? You want something without any fertilizers, chemical or organic. The only thing I add to mine are Dolomite lime and Azomite. The lime is to keep the PH at around 6.5 as well as add Magnesium and the Azomite is a mineral supplement. Many important minerals are mobile and will wash out with regular watering. More quickly if you overwater with lots of runoff.

Every part of an Avocado above ground is photosynthetic including the stems and trunk. Mine have lost all of their leaves before and they come back. They dont like change and they are best grown in one spot outdoors with lots and lots of shade. As little direct sun as possible. Any direct sunlight will roast the leaves. A southwest corner along the fence works best as its easy to put a 2x4 across the corner and drape shade cloth.

Do you know your tree's watering routine? I let mine go dry until I start to see the leaves droop a bit. They can go dry for weeks sometimes. They dont like wet feet and are susceptible to root rot.

Make sure you let the water you use sit for at least a day so the chlorine can evaporate.

Moving them when they become stressed can sometimes be a bad idea. It is probably reacting to changes in humidity which can be very low indoors. If you are getting big temperature and humidity changes, than can trigger it too. Do you know what kind of Avocado it is? I found the Mexican kind to be the easiest and most hardy. They are fairly frost tolerant as well.

Dont give up on them. Especially the young ones. I watched seedlings regenerate an entire trunk after severe frost damage. I have two in my garden area that are absolute survivors that I had written off. There is alot of energy stored in that massive seed.

Hopefully yours will pull through and adjust. Dont overthink it or mess with it too much.

    Bookmark   March 22, 2012 at 3:46AM
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