Ask a Question forum: Avocado tree help

Views: 266, Replies: 19 » Jump to the end
Finland
sakubee
Dec 19, 2017 1:05 PM CST
Thumb of 2017-12-19/sakubee/01b862

Hi,

I am no greenthumb and I know nothing about gardening. This is probably my both first and last plant.

I maybe ask this too late, but my avocado is sick. What should I do with it? It looks almost death, should it be better for the plant to kill it, or does it have any hope left?

I don't know how well you can see my image. But at first it leaves started turning brown. I tried to cut them off, until it had only few leaf. Then they started to turning dry. I think I didn't care it enough and gave it too little water. Then the last leaves started to fell off. Now the top of the tree is also turning brown...

The seed was one of those editable avocados. On one morning while I was eating avocado, I had a phone call that my mother died. To honor her memory, I sticked toothpicks onto the avocado and put it to water glass, so that half of the avocado was under water. I think it took 2-3 month until it root was visible. After I saw the root, I put the tree to the dirt.
Then spring and summer came and gave light for the tree and it started to grow up.
On autumn it started to look sick so I thought it needs bigger pot.

I live in Finland (on northern Europe), so it won't get light much. I have bought it a daylight bulb, but it seems it doesn't help, I think. I planted the tree on january, so it is almost a year old. I have given only water, maybe too few times. Or should I give it something else too?
Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
Not all who wander are lost
Garden Sages Plant Identifier
Image
DaisyI
Dec 19, 2017 1:24 PM CST
Welcome!

As long as the stem is green, there is hope. Did you moisten the soil completely (no dry spots) when you repotted? It looks very dry. When you poke your finger into the soil, how far down until you feel moisture? You should water when the soil is dry about 3 cm down. Do you water until water flows out the bottom of the pot?

Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and proclaiming...."WOW What a Ride!!" -Mark Frost

Webmaster: osnnv.org
Finland
sakubee
Dec 19, 2017 1:49 PM CST
DaisyI said: Welcome!

As long as the stem is green, there is hope. Did you moisten the soil completely (no dry spots) when you repotted? It looks very dry. When you poke your finger into the soil, how far down until you feel moisture? You should water when the soil is dry about 3 cm down. Do you water until water flows out the bottom of the pot?

No. I have only given it water every once in a while. So I should basically drown it completely? I test tomorrow how dry the soils is.
Name: Elaine
Sarasota, Fl
The one constant in life is change
Cat Lover Master Gardener: Florida Tropicals Multi-Region Gardener Vegetable Grower Region: Florida
Herbs Orchids Birds Garden Ideas: Level 2 Garden Sages Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Image
dyzzypyxxy
Dec 19, 2017 2:05 PM CST
Once you start to water it regularly, (at least once per week, a good soak) I'll bet it puts out some new leaves from the green part of the stem. You could cut off the brown end, though. That part is dead. Cut just above where it turns brown.

This plant is a tropical fruit tree, and needs a lot of light. Your daylight bulb should be left on for at least 12 hours each day, and it needs to be quite close to the plant, maybe 30cm away, to give it enough light intensity. So putting the bulb in a light fixture on the ceiling isn't going to be enough, because the light is too far away from the leaves. Once it is sunny outside again, if you can put it in a window that gets lots of sun, it will be happy. You don't want to put it outside unless the nighttime temperatures are staying above about 12deg. C though. Again, it is a tropical plant, and although they grow outdoors here in Florida just fine, sometimes they lose all their leaves from a run of cold nights in the winter.

You also will need to give it a little bit of fertilizer regularly, but not until you start to see leaves growing. Then give it some soluble plant food at about half the rate it recommends on the package. It's just a baby and can't use full-strength fertilizer until it has lots of big, vigorous leaves growing.
Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill
Name: Will Creed
NYC
Professional indoor plant consultan
Image
WillC
Dec 19, 2017 2:05 PM CST
The upper growing tip has turned brown and died. I hate to tell you but that is almost always a fatal sign. It is hard to know what went wrong from its promising start. The pot it is in now is very large and that doesn't help. Also, this is a plant that must have lots of indoor direct sunlight year-round and the soil moisture must be monitored carefully.

If you want to do an autopsy, I am quite a sure you will find few if any healthy roots remaining.

I'm sorry. Sad
Will Creed
Horticultural Help, NYC
www.HorticulturalHelp.com
I now have a book available on indoor plant care
Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
Not all who wander are lost
Garden Sages Plant Identifier
Image
DaisyI
Dec 19, 2017 3:51 PM CST
WillC said:The upper growing tip has turned brown and died. I hate to tell you but that is almost always a fatal sign. Sad


What? Wait? Don't tell the avocado tree that! It has plenty of leaf nodes (also growth tips) to sprout from. As a potted house plant, you were going to have to cut it off at some point to force branching anyway.

Water when the soil is dry at 3cm down. Water enough so that water comes out the bottom of the pot but don't let it sit in a saucer of water. Your tree has an excellent chance of survival.


Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and proclaiming...."WOW What a Ride!!" -Mark Frost

Webmaster: osnnv.org
Name: Sue
SF Bay Area, CA (Zone 9b)
Container Gardener Canning and food preservation Dog Lover
Image
Zuni
Dec 19, 2017 10:54 PM CST
Yep, I'd cut it down to where there are just a few leaf nodes. I don't like plastic pots, so I'd repot it again into a terra cotta pot.

Then, I'd get some liquid fertilizer, like Miracle Grow, and follow the directions for a watered-down constant feeding. It's something like 1/8 teaspoon per gallon of water (check your directions). Then, every time you water it, it gets a small amount of fertilizer.

Then, I'd water it whenever the top gets dry or it starts to look the slightest bit droopy. Put it in the sink or bathtub/shower and water it until the water runs out the bottom. When you put it into a plant saucer, don't let water sit in the saucer, where the roots could stay wet.

And with the daylight bulb, it should have enough light. Make sure it's full-spectrum. And if it's old, you might need a new one.

I've grown tomatoes indoors under daylight fluorescent bulbs with great success, but my understanding is that after the bulbs get older, they don't have the full spectrum anymore.

And just so you know - avocados are really hard to keep alive and grow as house plants! So, having trouble with one, is not a reflection on your future ability as a gardener. I've had terrible luck with them, so I just don't even try them anymore. But, I can work wonders with other types of plants. You just need to learn what you're good at. And what will grow well with your environment, and your style as far as how often you like to water, your weather, how warm your house is, etc. I'm sure if it became my life's mission to learn how to grow gorgeous avocado plants in my home, I'd figure it out and make it work. But, they weren't that important to me, and I chose to just stick with what worked easily for me.

But, you should find that constant watered-down feeding, and keeping it moist, with enough light - will work wonders. This is how I watered my indoor tomatoes that produced like crazy on my dresser under the light - I watered every time with a watered-down liquid fertilizer. They were amazing. I bet you can bring this guy back to life, too. But, if not, what was your mother's favorite flower or plant? Maybe you could try growing one of those in her memory. I bet she'd forgive the date it was planted :-)
Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
Not all who wander are lost
Garden Sages Plant Identifier
Image
DaisyI
Dec 19, 2017 11:43 PM CST
Zuni, a curiosity question. Why do you keep giving advice and then saying 'but I've never been able to keep ... alive"? Just asking...

Don't fertilize or repot a plant in distress. The avocado has already been transplanted. Now it needs recovery time. AFTER it starts growing leaves again, then you can fertilize with 1/4 strength ferilizer formulated for avocados.

For now, concentrate on good watering practices and giving enough light.
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and proclaiming...."WOW What a Ride!!" -Mark Frost

Webmaster: osnnv.org
Name: Sue
SF Bay Area, CA (Zone 9b)
Container Gardener Canning and food preservation Dog Lover
Image
Zuni
Dec 20, 2017 12:49 AM CST
DaisyI said:Zuni, a curiosity question. Why do you keep giving advice and then saying 'but I've never been able to keep ... alive"? Just asking...

Don't fertilize or repot a plant in distress. The avocado has already been transplanted. Now it needs recovery time. AFTER it starts growing leaves again, then you can fertilize with 1/4 strength ferilizer formulated for avocados.

For now, concentrate on good watering practices and giving enough light.


Oh dear, have I stepped on your toes? I'm joining a friendly conversation and giving my opinion, in as honest a fashion as possible. I don't believe I ever said I wasn't able to keep anything alive - just that they did not thrive for me.

And then I shared what I've learned since then, on how to get fruiting plants to thrive indoors.

You didn't share your personal experience with growing an avocado from seed indoors. Maybe I can learn something from you. What did you do to make yours thrive? Did you have any problems with it, and how did you solve them? Do you still have it? May we see a photo?

In the meantime, shall we agree to disagree? There are many ways to skin a cat, as well as grow a garden. Repotting and fertilizing to stimulate growth has worked well for me. But, it may not work well for everyone. I don't claim to be the expert. All I can do is share my personal experience and what has worked, and not worked, for me.

[Last edited by Zuni - Dec 20, 2017 1:37 AM (+)]
Give a thumbs up | Quote | Post #1605629 (9)
Name: Philip Becker
Fresno California (Zone 8a)
Image
Philipwonel
Dec 20, 2017 9:25 AM CST
@sakubee. I tip my hat to you.
The problem with to big of a pot, the top soil will get dry, but soil at bottom of pot will be soaking wet.
That causes root rot.
She needs to be in a 1 gallon pot, Terra cotta.
A friend gave me one, that he grew from a seed. It was one year old, three and a half feet tall, in a one gallon pot. When I took it out of pot to plant it, it wasn't root bound, most of soil, fell from roots.
Get her out of pot, cut any rotten roots off, and apply cinnamon to them, for fungus.
Use well draining soil mix, that will run out of bottom, in 30 seconds or less.
Water from top.
Lose that, what looks to be a self-watering gizmo.
Do it now !!!
If she's got root rot , now is the only chance she has. Root rot isn't going to wait.
After finished re potting her, I'd cut her off close to a healthy bud.
Oh ! For soil mix. Use equal parts of, Catus soil mix, and perlite.
Let us know what you find. πŸ‘πŸ˜€
Philip 😎😎😎







Anything i say, could be misrepresented, or wrong.
Finland
sakubee
Dec 22, 2017 12:24 PM CST
Sorry that I haven't replied earlierr. The christmas has kept me busy...

Thumb of 2017-12-22/sakubee/ad7c3b
I think I gave it too much water... πŸ˜…
I gave the water two days ago and the soil is stilll super wet. Should I do something with that or leave it be?

Zuni said:what was your mother's favorite flower or plant?

I'm not sure to be honest. I was never a flower/plant person. I think she liked viola, atleast purple was her favourite color.
So, I should cut the dead part off and give fertilizer after (if) it has new leaves? Finland is no good for tropical plants. There will be above 12 celcius at nightime on May, 5 months left...

Philipwonel said:@sakubee. I tip my hat to you.
The problem with to big of a pot, the top soil will get dry, but soil at bottom of pot will be soaking wet.
That causes root rot.
She needs to be in a 1 gallon pot, Terra cotta.

So it needs smaller pot? She started dying when sh was still in her earlier pot, I thought the bigger one would help. Because she is a tree after all, and trees has big roots.
Thumb of 2017-12-22/sakubee/4779f3
That is her older pot. Should I put her back to it? When it should relocate her back to bigger pot?

Atleast the winter solstice is past and days will be longer day by day. Length of the day is still about 6 hours or less...

Thanks so far for the tips! I haven't lose hope for her yet πŸ€—
I just hope she will get things she needs to survive.
Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
Not all who wander are lost
Garden Sages Plant Identifier
Image
DaisyI
Dec 22, 2017 1:16 PM CST
Don't repot. You've done that.
Watch your watering. Give as much light as possible. Maybe add a daylight bulb for added light.
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and proclaiming...."WOW What a Ride!!" -Mark Frost

Webmaster: osnnv.org
Name: Elaine
Sarasota, Fl
The one constant in life is change
Cat Lover Master Gardener: Florida Tropicals Multi-Region Gardener Vegetable Grower Region: Florida
Herbs Orchids Birds Garden Ideas: Level 2 Garden Sages Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Image
dyzzypyxxy
Dec 22, 2017 1:37 PM CST
Another daylight bulb couldn't hurt, and the extra light will be good for you too. I used to live in British Columbia, similar short days to what you have there, and it sure did get depressingly dark in the winter months.

Don't spend money on it yet, though. See if the plant responds, or if it continues to die. I agree with Daisy, don't disturb it by re-potting again. That won't help at this point.

But you could try to wick some of the extra water away from the bottom of the pot, by removing it from the saucer and setting it on an old towel or something else really absorbent. Bad drainage might have been what caused the plant's decline.
Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill
Finland
sakubee
Dec 28, 2017 1:16 AM CST

Thumb of 2017-12-28/sakubee/cea925
I wanted to share this with you. Appearantly she started to grow her first branch! 😍😍
So I guess not giving her up was a good choice after all, now I just have to pay more attention to her πŸ˜‹
Name: Elaine
Sarasota, Fl
The one constant in life is change
Cat Lover Master Gardener: Florida Tropicals Multi-Region Gardener Vegetable Grower Region: Florida
Herbs Orchids Birds Garden Ideas: Level 2 Garden Sages Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Image
dyzzypyxxy
Dec 28, 2017 8:20 AM CST
Hurray! Put a reminder into your phone to water at least once a week.

That's how I manage to remember lots of things . . .
Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill
Name: Philip Becker
Fresno California (Zone 8a)
Image
Philipwonel
Dec 28, 2017 10:36 AM CST
Good for you Thumbs up πŸ˜€πŸ˜€πŸ˜€
Elaine's ideal, to remember is good.
What I do , is write it on my wall calendar. I have a few cati. If I over water them ownce. I've 😭 , just signed there death sentence.

A little stress, don't kill plants. Most, at least veges, do better.
Now, overwatering, equals, Root Rot.
Your avocado may need watering, more or less than every 7 days, depending on temps. Allways check soil first. After a while you will learn by feel of soil.
Then, at any sign of stress. You know soil got a little to dry. Why ? Because you felt soil.πŸ‘
Hurray! Hurray! Hurray!
Ta Ta ! 😎😎😎



Anything i say, could be misrepresented, or wrong.
Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
Not all who wander are lost
Garden Sages Plant Identifier
Image
DaisyI
Dec 28, 2017 11:50 AM CST
YEAH! Thumbs up
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and proclaiming...."WOW What a Ride!!" -Mark Frost

Webmaster: osnnv.org
Name: Joanna
North Central Massachusetts (N (Zone 5b)
Life & gardens: make them beautiful
Million Pollinator Garden Challenge Vermiculture
Image
joannakat
Dec 28, 2017 1:03 PM CST
DaisyI said:YEAH! Thumbs up


I second that!

And Daisy, I love your quote.
AKA Joey.
Name: Karen
NM (Zone 7b)
Region: New Mexico Region: Arizona Greenhouse Cactus and Succulents Adeniums Sempervivums
Salvias Million Pollinator Garden Challenge Garden Art Plumerias Seller of Garden Stuff Bookworm
Image
plantmanager
Dec 28, 2017 1:09 PM CST
I agree Wonderful quote, Daisy!
Handcrafted Coastal Inspired Art SeaMosaics!
Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
Not all who wander are lost
Garden Sages Plant Identifier
Image
DaisyI
Dec 28, 2017 1:12 PM CST
Thanks! Smiling
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and proclaiming...."WOW What a Ride!!" -Mark Frost

Webmaster: osnnv.org

« Garden.org Homepage
« Back to the top
« Forums List
« Ask a Question forum
Only the members of the Members group may reply to this thread.

Member Login:

Username:

Password:

[ Join now ]

Today's site banner is by dirtdorphins and is called "fivelips"