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Avocado Leaves Turning Brown

Avacado Tree 1 Year Old

Avacado Tree 1 Year Old

Ask the Expert: What is wrong with my avocado tree?

The little thing is a year old. It did not get much sun at all this winter but now it has full southern exposure and plenty of light. I keep it inside and ensure it’s nice and warm.
When new leaves sprout from the top the older larger leaves turn brown and fall off the bottom.
I have tried giving it plenty of water and I’ve tried to dry it out.
I’ve tried a little water each day but still can’t stop what’s happening to it. Dianne

Plant Expert Reply:

It looks like you have a water stress issue.  Instead of a little water each day, water it thoroughly and when the soil starts to dry out water it thoroughly again.  At some point you will need to water it with a very diluted solution of water soluble fertilizer.  I would remove the brown leaf.  Do watch for leaf spot.  If the leaves start to get rust colored spots, you will have to treat it for leaf spot disease.  Try to give it as much light as possible.  For the summer you might want to put it outside.  Good Luck and Keep Me posted.

See More Avocado FAQs From Our Expert »


  1. Joanne,

    It looks as if it has root rot. Make sure the excess water can drain away from the plant. You might try aerating the soil to let it dry slightly. You might try spray it with a fungicide.

  2. Hi was wrong with my avocado tree is about 1 year to, any feedback will be trully apreciated.

    Attached Image: CAM00184.jpg

  3. @JamieJamisonAdams why would you use a fungicide for root rot? Seems like an unnecessary step and putting that stuff on your plant while not needed is not good for it.

    @Adrian could it be burnt spots feom water sitting on the leaves? In the picture i notice there is water droplets on the leaves. If direct sunlight shines onto the water, it can burn the leaf, casng brown spots. I also see some white dots, check the bottom of leaves for bugs, they can be very small. Spider mites can cause stippling, which can kill leaves as well.

  4. Root rot can be caused by a fungus. If a positive diagnosis of fungal root rot is present, the best case practice is to use the appropriate fungicide. I agree with you that if you can avoid the use of chemicals do so. For more information on Avocado root rot issues, you might want to visit http://www.ipm.ucdavis.edu/PMG/r8100111.html.

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