Sad avocado tree

Asked September 12, 2014, 6:58 AM EDT

I have a small avocado tree grown from a seed of a fruit. It's 20 cm high, I first planted the seed directly in the garden in April this year and when it grew 15-18 cm I transplant it in a small pot in September this year because the winter in my country is cold, below 0 degrees celsius, and I will have to keep it at home. Now my avocado tree is still outside but the problem is that no matter what I do the leaves are tilted, look like drooping but they still have green color. I will send you a picture from my avocado to see the condition.The first picture was taken the first day since I planted it from my garden in a pot and that was a month аgo. Тhe second and third picture was taken today and It looks like that for 2-3 weeks. I will appreciate if you give me some advice for my little tree. Thanks for the help.

Outside United States container gardening avocados

3 Responses

Dear Gardener,

The leaves may be curled slightly, but they appear to be healthy. However, I can see a couple of potential problems. First, it appears that two plants sprouted. One should be removed to allow the nutrients and space for the other. I suggest you keep the one with the most leaves.

Secondly, the potting soil looks as though it may be overly moist. If so, this can kill your plant. Make sure there is drainage below the pot (not inside the pot) by setting it up on a few stones. This way the excess water can flow freely away from the soil. Let the top of the soil dry slightly between watering. When you re-pot, choose a pot at least 10 to 12 inches in diameter.

Feed your tree occasionally with a balanced houseplant fertilizer, however do not feed it immediately after potting or when the plant is in stress. When it gets to be about 8 to 10 inches tall, pinch off the top few leaves to force the foliage to create new side growth. Be sure to bring it indoors before temperatures get too cold.

I removed one of the plants and I hope that now it will be better. But I have a question about the fertilizer. What kind of fertilizer should I buy for this plant, and when and how often to use it.

Hello again,

Balanced fertilizers are those where the label shows the content to be roughly equal. The 3 numbers always indicate NPK: nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium, in that order. A balanced fertilizer will say something like 20-20-20 or 10-10-10. Mix it with water according to the directions on the label. Apply it at the intervals suggested. Some fertilizers suggest using a greater dilution that is used each time you water. (I prefer this method.)

If salts begin to accumulate on the rim of the pot, there is too much fertilizer in the soil. In that case, flush the pot with clear water, allowing it to run out the bottom.

Note that avocados require full sun and warm temperatures. If the growth slows because it is too cool, you should cut back on the fertilizer. You will probably not get fruit from your plant, and if you do the fruit will not be like the parent. But it is a fun project. Good luck...