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Caring For An Avocado Tree

Ask the Expert: Soil for Avocado Tree
I have been growing an avocado tree from a pit and its doing very well. The leaves and root system are quite large now, and I want to pot it before the roots start to deteriorate. The only problem is, every website i go to for help gives me a different answer on the right soil to pot it in! I would really appreciate it if someone could tell me the best soil for it. Thank you!!!  Ains



If the avocado is planted in a container use a general purpose potting that is sand, bark and perlite based rather than an a heavy peat based potting soil.  This type of soil will give the plant what it needs along with the drainage it needs. It is imperative that your container drains well.  Be sure to place it in a container that has drain holes. Ceramic or natural (breathable) containers are preferred over plastic containers.  Keep it sheltered from strong winds but exposed to full sun if possible.  Water lightly during the winter months and heaver during the growing season.  It is important that the plant isn’t exposed to temperatures under 55 degrees for any length of time.

I have always wanted to start an avocado from the pit, so please keep me posted.  It might help me get the courage to try growing my own.

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  1. Haha! Good luck, Jeffery!

  2. Jeffery Corder says:

    I noticed this gradual browning on a couple leaves, I’m not sure what could be causing it, cause I haven’t been over watering and from what I understand the leave will turn yellowish if they’re overwatered, but I really hope this doesn’t mean my trees dying, it’s still got a super green stem, not of he leaves feel dry or brittle, but sorry to post so much, this is just my only source of advice.

    Attached Image: image.jpg

  3. Jeffery, are these new leaves or older ones? As long as your new leaves are healthy and disease free, your plant is probably fine and may just need more time to recover. One thing you might consider is taking one of the damaged leaves to your local nursery or garden center. (Not a chain store, one with knowledgeable plant experts) Show them your leave and ask if there is anything that we might miss from photographs. Hope this helps.

  4. Jeffery Corder says:

    So my tree has lost every leaf it has, but the trunk is still fully green and upright, there’s not sag in it at all, and there’s no brown spots, what does that mean? Do avacado trees lose their leaves in the winter?

  5. have an avocado tree in ground already about six feet tall can i replant it somewher elses

  6. Joel,

    Yes you can. Keep in mind that the plant will go through transplant shock when you move it. This will vary depending on the length of time the tree has been planted and other environmental conditions.

    If it was grown in a container and planted recently you should still be able to see the root-ball. In this case you can simply dig it up and move it. Transplant shock will be almost non-existent. If the tree has been in the ground for any length of time, you will need to get as much of the root-ball as possible. Luckily Avocado trees have a shallow rooting system. So it will be more about width than depth. Start digging at the drip-line point and follow the drip-line completely around the tree. Then dig at angle until you can easily pop the tree out of the ground. Plant the tree no deeper than it is plant now. Once you have re-plant the tree, water it in with root-stimulator to help with transplant shock.

  7. We grew our plant from seed, once it grew nicely in pot we transplanted to ground. Then we needed to move it to another area. We did and the leaves are limp. We gave it nutrition, lots and lots of water but still limp. What should we do now???

  8. Lorie,

    It is going through transplant chock. To help it through the process make sure you are not over-watering it. Many people associated wilting with lack of water which is not always the case. The soil should be moist but draining excess water away from the plant. Also, make sure the plant was not planted too deep in its new location. It should be at the same level as it was in the previous location. This means that the top of the original rootball should not be covered with new soil. Now the most important thing you should do is be patient. The plant needs time to recover — so leave it alone. Only water it when the soil starts to dry out and DO NOT give it any fertilizer. It needs to recover before it tries to actively grow therefore it doesn’t need fertilizer to stimulate growth. The only thing you should give a plant when you transplant it is Vitamin B1 or root stimulator. Good Luck and keep me posted.

  9. When I repot my avocado plant, should I still keep the pit sticking out, or should I cover it?
    The plant is about 6-7 months old and has gotten top heavy so I know it needs a larger pot, just don’t know if the pit should ever be covered. Thanks!

  10. Andrea,

    So about the delay in my reply – some how your question was overlooked. Always keep your plant at the same level as the original pot. Sometimes you can go deeper, but those are very rare instances. If you would feel better about it, send me a picture and I’ll see if this is one of those cases.

  11. Amanda Jane Finnegan says:

    My advocado tree is about 5 1/2 ft tall with plenty of leaves and looks pretty healthy.However the pot it is in doesn’t look big enough. Can iI plant it inthe ground now (it’s probably 2 years old) as it’s been outside most of the Summer. Or should I bring it in and repot it next year?? Thank you

  12. Amanda,

    It depends on where you live. Avocados need a frost free climate. The only places in the United States safe for avocados are California, Texas, Florida and Hawaii.

  13. Hi,
    I recently purchased this avocado tree at a local store and while it did not look perfectly healthy when I got it, it seems to be getting worse. Many of the leaf tips are getting dark brown and the leaves are turning yellow and falling off. Some of the leaves are getting this red or rust coloring on them. I am in Southern California, we have had some wind and recently a lot of rain. I have fed it a little plant food recently but the plant seemed to just be getting worse from the day I received it. Please help!

    Attached Image: image.jpg

  14. Jesse,

    Not sure what is going on with your plant. Could be a multitude of things. First check the roots to make sure they are not in the throws of root rot. Another problem could be related to a fungus. If possible remove all the leaves showing signs of distress. At the same time, take a magnifying glass and look for insects. If you see no insects and the roots are ok, then it is most likely a fungal issue. Removing the leaves can help eliminate the fungus from the plant. Once the leaves are removed give the plant a wait and see approach for a few days. If the newly emerging leaves look ok then the plant should recover and do well.

  15. Hi ,Last year I planted the pit of what was the last bloom of my mothers avocado tree. She is in my yard at the home I am presently renting. Question; Want to move , can I transplant this tree in a container? If so how wide? She is beautiful about 5 feet now with large deep green leaves. P.S moving from Miami to Tampa,Fl. Thanks

  16. Rose,

    I would select a pot that is slightly bigger width wise than what the rootball will be when you dig the plant up. An easy way to determine how wide you would need would be to drawn a circle around the drip line of the tree then measure from the trunk to the edge of the drip line. Take that number and double it. This will give you the width that you will need. Select a pot that has that width and is at least that depth.

  17. I have a two year old avacado tree I started from seed. Problem is it’s almost 8′ tall and in a pot in my living room. It is still skinny and I have to prop it against the wall so it won’t fall over as it has now decided to send out ‘limbs’. Can I transplant it from this pot to another? Should I trim it somehow so it gets a thicker trunk? I tried this once when it was only about 4′ tall and it just kept growing. thanks

  18. Lynn,

    You can trim it and re-pot it. Keep in mind this is a tree and may not be suited to living indoors for the long term.

  19. Hi, I live in South Florida and had a healthy 7 ft avocado tree growing in my backyard until I had to dig it up and throw it in a pot so I can relocate it. I tried my hardest not to break the roots but while picking it up, half of the roots fell apart. It’s now in the pot and looking extremely droopy. Its been raining a lot as well. Its kept in the same place it was before however in a big plastic pot with drain holes. Do these trees come back from root damage easily? How long will the tree be in transplant shock? Should I water it more than usual or less than usual while it goes through the shock? Would it be better off being planted or let it come back in the pot? Thanks!

  20. Nik,

    The plant will be in distress for quite sometime. Best practice would be to keep the moisture the same as you did previously. I recommend planting the tree in the ground as long as it will be in it permanent spot. If not leave it in the pot until you can plant it in its permanent home.

  21. I bought 5 avocado trees 3 have small fruit on them. The leaves are brown at the tips should I give them a little food? or will it hurt the fruit if I do?

  22. Leondra,

    Need to determine first what is causing the brown tips before adding fertilizer. Check you watering practices and adjust if need be, then when the plant has come out of the water shock issue you can give it fertilizer. However, I would read both information from both of these sites first http://www.ipm.ucdavis.edu/PMG/C008/m008bpdisease.html http://aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu/archives/parsons/fruit/avocado2.html

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