Avocado troubles

Asked May 23, 2013, 12:48 PM EDT

My avocado tree (potted in a 35 galloon container) is loosing its leaves rapidly. I have it in my greenhouse, could it be getting too hot for it or something else? I'm open for suggestions...it's about 5 feet tall.

Lampasas County Texas avocado tree

3 Responses

I will start the answer by warning you, avocado trees grow very large, to produce a crop. But what fun to try one in a greenhouse. You should find a way to move the tree in and out of the greenhouse. Grow the avocado tree outdoors during the summer and only move it indoors if the temperature is going to drop below 60 degrees. Leaves will fall off container grown trees if the greenhouse stays too hot, the soil becomes too salty (from fertilizer or from well water), or you have an insect problem like aphids, whiteflies or spider mites. Aphids produce honeydew which is a sticky sugary substance the aphid’s bodies exude because they suck out more carbohydrates than their bodies can use. You will find the aphids on the under sides of the leaves, leaf petioles, and stems. The honeydew is found on the top of leaves below the aphid leaves or on the ground or benches. Spider mites are very tiny arachnids. They also suck out the carbohydrates and other fluid causing the leaves to become crunchy and fall. If you touch the tree and tiny white insects fly, these are whiteflies. Again a sucking insect. For control, move the tree outdoors and allow natural beneficial insects to be the control. Or knock the insects off with a strong stream or water. Spray the underside of the leaves with soap to smother the remaining insects and insect eggs. May require several spraying for control.

Thank you, I've moved it outside behind the greenhouse on the north side for fused sunlight. I will move it back inside this fall. Yes, I believe it was a combo of high temps in the greenhouse and city water. I've got a rain collection and it's outside now. (no insects that I've noticed.)

Super. Eventually move it into full sun!