Ask a Question forum: Help for my Mango and Avocado plants please!

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Name: George
Hull, UK
Nov 28, 2015 7:48 AM CST
For the past year or two I've been growing two small fruit trees, but in the last six months, the leaves have begun to dry out one by one and drop off. My Avocado is now completely bare! I've tried moving them out of direct sunlight, watering them less or more, feeding them, not feeding them, changed pot sizes and I can't get anything to work? Now they are infested with fruit flies (which I'm in the process of getting rid of) but I've never heard of them killing off a plant? Help please?
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UK Hardiness Zone 8
Name: greene
Savannah, GA (Sunset 28) (Zone 8b)
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Nov 28, 2015 8:48 AM CST
Welcome! ZoologyStudent
Can you please take a minute to fill out the data for your location and climate; that will help us to give better answers.

It would appear you are growing these plants indoors; is that correct?
Sunset Zone 28, AHS Heat Zone 9, USDA zone 8b~"Leaf of Faith"
Name: George
Hull, UK
Nov 28, 2015 9:08 AM CST
Thanks for replying. I'm in the UK Hardiness Zone 8, and I'm in Hull in the UK. Yes, I'm growing them on a windowsill with indirect sunlight.
UK Hardiness Zone 8
Name: Ann ~Heat zn 9, Sunset
North Fl. (Zone 8b)
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Nov 28, 2015 9:46 AM CST
Both of those plants grow in full sun & that's in south FL in the US. I would say your plants are suffering from not enough light. Also both of them tend to like soil more on the acid side & very well draining. These things grow in sand in FL & nothing lasts long in sand - nothing meaning water or nutrients. They can take down to 40 degrees fahrenheit. I say put them both outdoors in the sun as long as it doesn't get below 40 degrees. When you have to bring them in because of the cold, then make sure they get the most sunlight you can give them and make sure not to overwater -- well drained soil is a key.
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[Last edited by flaflwrgrl - Nov 28, 2015 9:47 AM (+)]
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Name: Tiffany purpleinopp
Opp, AL ๐ŸŒต๐ŸŒทโš˜๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒป (Zone 8b)
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Nov 29, 2015 9:17 AM CST
Hi & welcome!

You probably have fungus gnats, vs. fruit flies. Investigate using BTi in your water to get rid of those:

In addition to probably preferring more light, the soil may need to be replaced now, or soon. Over time, the organic bits decompose into smaller bits, creating a mud that can suffocate roots because the particles are so fine and fit so closely together that roots can't get any oxygen. If you find a pancake shape of roots @ the bottom of the pot, chopping that off should make it a lot easier to remove the old soil, and often fit back into the same pot.
๐Ÿ‘€๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜‚ - SMILE! -โ˜บ๐Ÿ˜Žโ˜ปโ˜ฎ๐Ÿ‘ŒโœŒโˆžโ˜ฏ๐Ÿฃ๐Ÿฆ๐Ÿ”๐Ÿ๐Ÿฏ๐Ÿพ
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Name: Elaine
Sarasota, Fl
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Nov 29, 2015 8:48 PM CST
Both avocado and mango trees lose leaves all year 'round in my garden. So as long as the plants are growing new leaves as they lose the older ones it may not be a serious problem.

The avo losing all its leaves is more worrisome, for sure. You can check if it's still alive by scraping a tiny bit of bark off the topmost twigs with your fingernail. If there is green under the bark the tree is still alive. I agree with Tiffany that you should pull that one out of the pot and check the root ball that it hasn't compacted. You may need to replace all the potting soil around the roots.

These naturally grow to be big trees, so to grow them where you are, you really need to get them outside into the sun as soon as it's warm enough in the spring, and then feed and water them like crazy all summer. Saying they will "tolerate" down to 40deg. F is very different to trying to grow them outside when the lows are in the 40's and the highs aren't above 60. They will certainly go dormant, and may die back or die altogether. We get the odd night down into the 40's in winter here, in a normal year. The one year we had a run of very cold temperatures for a couple of weeks, a lot of people lost their mango and avocado trees. Warm sun, warm soil, warm water would be my advice.

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." โ€“Winston Churchill
Name: George
Hull, UK
Dec 12, 2015 8:53 AM CST
Thanks everyone, I'll try following your advice. This forum really is rather handy! ๐Ÿ˜๐ŸŒฟ๐ŸŒด
UK Hardiness Zone 8

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