Avocado trees whether grown from seed or purchased from a nursery will need to proper care to thrive. This is a guide about caring for an avocado tree.
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Here are questions related to Caring for an Avocado Tree.
Should I cut back my avocado? It's 2 feet tall with 9 leaves on the very top, but none anywhere else. The ones further down on the stem don't grow at all and just fall off. Should I cut it back to 6 or 8 inches and hope for the best?
By Mary Ann D
I have grown an avocado tree. I would like to know what people mean by pinching back so as to get a rounder fuller tree. Do I pinch the top off the tree or just the leaves?
Hardiness Zone: 4a
By Martha from Dexter, NY
I have a 40+ year old avocado tree. It has always done very well, but this year the avocados are smaller than usual and seemed to have stop growing. The tree looks fine. I tried to pick one to see if it would ripen, but no luck.
By Billie O
I have a mature 10 ft 8 yr old avocado tree and the leaves are turning yellow and the 30+ fruit on the tree are red skinned, but turn brown when picked and stored. It's close to another avocado tree which has the normal dark green leaves. It receives normal fertilizer annually. We are 200 meters from sea. Other avocado trees nearby in the settlement are normal. Is my tree dying or can it be saved? Thanks for any help.
By Allan M
By judy 04/05/2012
Beware fertilizing avocado trees too often. In So Cali they grow perfectly fine with very little...sometimes no fertilizer.
I read your answer in ASK, but I do not have leaves or branches on my avocado plant only 1 high stem w/leaves. Can I cut the top back or the leaves further down, or just let it keep growing taller w/o branching out? This is all new to me, please help.
Don't cut the top as that will stunt the upward growth of the plant. You can prune off the lower leaves, and that might encourage it to grow more upwards, and then hopefully start to branch. If you prune the lower leaves/branches it forces the plant to put more energy into the stuff on top.
Hope this helps!
My avocado tree has leaves that are turning brown. There is very little new growth. Please help.
By Joyce C
Is your plant inside or outside? If potted, have you checked to make sure it isn't root bound?
My avocado tree started growing brown on the leaves. How would I check if it's root bound?
The only way I know of to check if a plant is root bound is to pull the whole thing out of the pot and look.
Avocado trees are just that, trees. They prefer to be in the ground. I had one in my back yard (California coastal valley) that was about 30 feet tall and put out hundreds of avocadoes.
The older leaves do turn brown, dry up and fall off. This is natural.
My tree is about three years old and is flowering right now, but is losing leaves from the top down. I have not watered much during the wet months. Is this normal?
By Conor from Los Angeles, CA
i have grown an avocado plant from the stone in the fruit. Once I planted it, it grew really quickly for some time, and then just stopped. I moved it into a better sun position and it grew some more. It's still in the same spot, but it hasn't visibly grown for months now, not even sprouting new leaves. It still looks healthy. Its presently about a foot tall. Its an indoor plant, also. What's going on? Do I have a plant that's afraid to grow or something? =)
Why would a 7 month old avocado plant's leaves turn dark brown and fall off? Then new leaves come on and do the same. It's in a 5 gal. bucket with good drainage. What am I doing wrong?
Can you tell me if I need to feed my avocado? It is about 15 inches; high, also the leaves are drooping, but are very green.
My avocado tree is about 12 years old. It's planted in the ground, in Orlando. Each branch is turning brown and looks like the tree is slowly dying. It gets adequate water and fertilizer. I am not sure why it's dying. Is the root rotten?
By Sabrina b
I have a 5 ft tree in a pot. It has branches growing about 8 inches above the soil. It looks like where it was grafted. Are these suckers and what is the best way to get rid of them?
I have a tree which is ten year old. It is not flowering. So I assume it is not old enough for flowering. Is there anything to do for that, like pruning or something else? My place is a hilly region with a tropical climate.
By P Thomas from Trichur, Kerala, India
I currently have 5 avocado trees no taller than 1 foot. It seems, no matter how hard I try I can't keep them alive past 1 year. The leaves have fallen off all 5 plants. I only water them every 10-14 days. As we speak the soil is comfortably moist. It's so aggravating because I literally can grow anything. Perhaps I'm paying them too much attention?
By Lorelei N.
I have no idea how old the male tree is, but it is well over 30 feet. I live in Orlando Florida and the tree gets plenty of water and sunlight. It has been very healthy till about 3 weeks ago. Now the leaves are turning brown. We did have a frost in January and some cold weeks with temps around 45 for lows, but other than that nothing has changed. My female is still green and very healthy. What can I do for the male?
By Teri H. from Orlando, FL
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Hardiness Zone: 8b
Janell from Aloha Oregon
Avocados are self thinning and if not pruned regularly, they can grow tall and spindly as house plants. If your plant is still losing leaves, too much water or not enough sun are the two most common culprits. I've never grown an avocado plant, but theoretically, pruning a mature avocado plant should encourage branches to sprout from below the cut. This should create a stronger, bushier, more compact plant. If you don't want to cut back the main stem, partially cut back a few branches higher up to encourage new growth further down the trunk. Keep in mind that by cutting back main branches, you will stimulate growth all over and can expect to see several new stems emerge below the cuts. You may want to let these emerging stems grow out a bit and then periodically pinch or prune some of them back in order to reshape your plant. Avoid pruning in late summer or early fall.
This is a tough one, as I would hate to see anything slow down a 9 ft. tall avocado tree. I'm not sure how a 9 ft. tall avocado will respond to being pruned. Is it tall and spindly or have you pruned it back before to encourage branching from below? I'm going to assume since it has grown so tall in just two years time that you may have never pruned it before. If you have a fair number of strong, leafy side branches I wouldn't worry about cutting it back far enough to fit it indoors.
If the plant consists primarily of one stem, you might want to let the top bend at the ceiling and cut a few of the side branches back to try to encourage more branching. If new branches start to emerge, you can safely cut back the top. You don't say what zone you're in, but if you live in 9b or above you probably won't have to keep it indoors long enough to worry about causing a permanent change in its appearance. As long as there are enough leaves left on the plant to maintain food production and the plant is in good overall health, I wouldn't worry too much about cutting it back. Clearly you have a knack for growing avocado plants. If something should happen to this one as a result of you cutting it back, you might consider keeping any future plants to ceiling height with regular pruning.
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The idea is to keep the plant warm, but not in darkness. It gets it's health from the leaves, so they will be the final determination if you are able to save the plant. Whatever you do, use caution that you do not set up a fire hazard for yourself and the plant.
It takes several years before it will produce fruit, I understand, but I'd encourage you to use Sea Kelp, if it were mine, for this season. It should keep it healthy throughout the year. If you know of anyone who'd let you borrow a space in their greenhouse, that would be the ideal.
I sort of believe that unless there are branches and leaves well below the 6 foot height, you might actually kill the tree by cutting it back since you may also bring it inside, which causes plants to suffer some degree of shock. (I have so little sunlight that I know I'd kill one. )
If it's pot is really deep, perhaps you could gain a foot and a little more by transplanting gently to a less deep pot, and lightly trim it's roots, "very gently" with scissors?
If no one has a greenhouse, look for a friend with a higher ceiling, although I have visions of the plant getting scorched by the heat that rises naturally to the ceiling.
This is a tough call for you, having raised it from seed, as I once did as a young girl, then somehow did something wrong and lost it years ago. Most likely I forgot to water it back then.
As I say this, there is one more possibility that sounds strange, but might work. Is the plant flexible enough to try bending it over towards an east or south window, just for the winter? (We get many months of growing season here in Texas, so it might not work if your season is short there). I thought I'd help you exhaust all options. I'm not an expert, only gardened inside/out for best of 35 years and also lived in Hawaii for three years, a plant's paradise. God bless you in your efforts. (09/28/2006)
If you wish to own a tree that bears fruit go to Home Depot and for the low price of $23.95 buy a Hass avocado. These trees will usually bear fruit within a year. The trees are about 2 years old and will start fruit soon enough. Your trees do not fruit, because they are not grafted from the the original parent plants. So to answer all questions, feel free to cut and shape your tree as much as you want. (07/29/2009)
It is still winter here, but "Avogadro" knows spring is coming. There is new growth on all three branches as well as significant growth on the top. How do I prune this guy back or is it too late?
Hardiness Zone: 6a
By M.B. from Ann Arbor, MI