LEAVES/AVOCADO TREE - Knowledgebase Question

FOSTER CITY, Ca
Question by michael_h_st
November 28, 2009
I PLANTED AN AVOCADO SEED. IT IS NOW 15 INCHES TALL. I KNOW ALL ABOUT YELLOW LEAVES AND BROWN LEAVES. THIS AVOCADO TREE STARTED WITH YELLOW LEAVES. THEY GET BIG AND THEN DIE. THEN GET BIG AGAIN AND DIE. THIS HAS HAPPEND 3 TIMES. I HAVE ALSO CREATED BRANCHES THAT DO THE SAME. THE SEED WAS GROWN ON ITS SIDE. HOW DO I GET THIS TO STOP? SHOULD I START OVER?

THANK YOU..


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Answer from NGA
November 28, 2009

0

Yellow leaves usually indicate a cultural problem. Lack of nitrogen; insufficent sunlight; overwatering are all common causes. I'm not sure that you can correct the problem so I think I would start all over with a fresh avocado pit. Plant the wide end down and the pointy end up (or stick toothpicks into it and sit it halfway immersed in water). When you pot it up, use a container with lots of drainage holes on the bottom and keep the potting soil moist but not soggy wet. I water mine thoroughly and then allow the top half inch of soil to dry out before watering again.

I know it sounds barbaric, but pinching out the very tip of the stem will cause your plant to branch out. If you don't pinch, it will eventually branch out on its own, but it is liable to look rather thin and gaunt for quite some time before it develops branches. I've grown lots of avocado plants from seed. Wait until the stem develops two sets of leaves and then pinch the very tip of the growing point back with your fingernails (or use small scissors). The plant will then produce two new stems at the point where it was pinched. You don't need to actually cut the stem back, just pinch the point of the stem out. Best wishes with your avocado!

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