Avocado - Brown leaves. Is it salt build up?

Discussion in 'Tropical Gardening' started by Ademission, May 12, 2021.

  1. Ademission

    Ademission Gardener

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    Hello All,

    I'm a newbie on GC so please advise me if I have posted in the wrong place.

    I have an Avocado plant that has been growing well, but recently has developed brown leaves. I did a bit of research into possible reasons for this and it maybe a build up of salt. I have attached two pictures of the problem.

    20210512_135824 2000.jpg
    Picture 1

    20210512_135848 2000.jpg
    Picture 2

    The plant is about 12" in height and is in a 10" pot. The suggested solution on the internet is to dribble water through the soil for 24hrs to wash away the salt. Has anyone done this with any success? Should I cut off the affected leaves? As can be seen in the pictures, the plant has been topped in an attempt to make it more bushy as previous Avocados have ended up long and lanky. This was done a couple of months ago. Another possible cause is over fertilisation. I water when necessary, but often include a little Baby Bio in the water. The other non-avocado plants seem to appreciate this but maybe not this plant.

    Anyway, if we have an experienced Avocado grower on GC, then please post a reply and tell me where I am going wrong.

    Best Regards

    Ademission

    Stay safe.
     
  2. Selleri

    Selleri Koala

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    Hi @Ademission , that looks perfectly normal to me. Avocado is a large, vigorous tree and tends to put all effort in the new growth, especially at this time of the year. There are new shoots forming where you trimmed the stem so probably the plant is just focusing on that. You can cut the browning leaves off. The new growth will soon replace the lost greenery. :)

    I had a large Avocado that every year dropped a lot of old leaves when the spring growth got going. I tried to zoom into an old picture to show the dying leaves.

    Jaakko.JPG

    Jaakkodamage.jpg
     
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    • Victoria

      Victoria Lover of Exotic Flora

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      Here is mine that we did from a stone two years ago ... but I can't really comment as mine lives outside, We have planted small oval tomatoes around the base.

      Avocado 12 May 21.jpg

       
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      • 2nd_bassoon

        2nd_bassoon Super Gardener

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        Hi @Ademission , I would agree with @Selleri - our avocado is also browning and dropping lots of leaves at present, but the new shoots coming through are healthy. One thing to bear in mind is that they are incredibly thirsty plants, and also suffer for the relatively dry air inside - ours gets sprayed a couple of times a week alongside watering the soil.
         
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        • ricky101

          ricky101 Total Gardener

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          Might be mistaken, but if you overdose on fertilzers ie salts you often get a tell tale build up of a white substance on the surface of the compost.

          We use Baby Bio and by mid summer a lot of our houseplants show this, but no detrement to the plants, though generally you do not feed in winter.

          Its still a small plant in a decent sized pot so be careful you do not over water as that is the biggest killer of houseplants.
           
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          • Ademission

            Ademission Gardener

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            Many thanks to Selleri, Victoria, 2nd_bassoon and ricky101. Good advice is always appreciated.

            I'll cut off the brown leaves and see what happens. I'll report back in a month or so.
            Victoria had me fooled for a minute when she said that her avocado was kept outside. I thought that they must be hardier than I expected but then I noticed she lives in the Algarve and that explained it. I'm not seeing any build-up of white powder (salt) on the soil surface and so I will give the 24hour dribble a miss!

            Thanks to you all for taking time to help.

            Best Regards and stay safe.
             
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            • Victoria

              Victoria Lover of Exotic Flora

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              Hi, I must say ours is planted in plain old cheap compost and we don't fertilize. You will notice there are a couple of yellow leaves on ours which is normal.

              The past couple of years Algarve has started planting Avocado crops rather than Oranges and it has created quite a hoo-ha because of the comparative water requirements ... Avocados need a lot of water ... they also need a lot of sun. :smile:
               
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              • Victoria

                Victoria Lover of Exotic Flora

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                This is what I was saying, they drink copious amounts of water ... but ours put up with intensive dry heat for 5-6 months a year when we have no rain.
                 
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                • Ademission

                  Ademission Gardener

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                  Victoria, I forgot to mention humidity and spraying of the Avocado. I'll give it a try. I know that my kitchen has just a small range of Relative Humidity 35% to 50% though I haven't been monitoring it long enough to know how high it can get in the summertime. Watering of the Avocado for me seems to be a thin line between dry and Fungal Gnats.

                  I do envy you living in Portugal. Must be ideal for growing a wide variety of plants.

                  Thanks again for your input.

                  Stay safe.

                  Ademission
                   
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                  • Ademission

                    Ademission Gardener

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                    Hello to Selleri, Victoria, 2nd_bassoon and ricky101,

                    Just reporting back on the Avocado I was panicking about a few months earlier. Eventually the brown leaves dropped off and the new leaves formed. I have attached a picture showing what it looks like now. Again, thanks for all your help.

                    Avocado 2000.jpg

                    Best Regards

                    Ademission
                     
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                    • Victoria

                      Victoria Lover of Exotic Flora

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                      My, what an impressive difference two months have made. A beautiful specimen, so healthy. Well done. :star:
                       
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                      • Giri

                        Giri Gardener

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                        Hello Ademission, here in Andalucia we call them aguacarte, agua meaning water, (carte is anybody´s guess), but the helpful locals, who pass along the public footpath which goes through my garden, tell me to water them every two or three days. (And without said locals, much of my fruit would go to waste).

                        OK, we get at least 8 hours of sun a day, and my eight or nine trees are growing in soil, on a steep mountainside, so conditions are different, but I would like to see your avocado in the biggest pot you can find - (I´m talking dustbins here, it wants to be a TREE !).

                        I have an avocado in a difficult spot to water, which now has a hose of it´s own, and from the back of the house I can open a tap which floods the area round the tree in ten minutes. I aim to do that every two or three days. The tree has a promising crop.
                        You can prune them with anything from an axe to a thermo-nuclear device and they will come right back at you, I took one of mine down to zero last year, they are three now, taller than me.

                        The bigger the pot you use, the more constant an environment you can create for those roots.
                        I think there´s a lot to be said for growing roots, and letting the rest take care of itself.
                        Pop in if you´re down this way, nobody leaves without a bag of avocados.
                        IMG_0453.JPG
                         
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                        • Ademission

                          Ademission Gardener

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                          Hello Giri,

                          Thank you for all of the above useful information. I envy you living in such a nice and warm environment. It must give you many options when it comes to interesting plants.

                          I've just spent the last half hour taking Cherry pips out of stones and also Apricot seeds. They are now soaking in water ready for the paper towel and refrigerator method tomorrow. I'll see how it goes. To be honest, if I get some window ledge plants from these a bit later, I will be happy. I also checked on my Lemon seeds and they have now sprouted so that's another job for tomorrow planting them.

                          I may transfer the Avocado plant into the greenhouse and give it a larger pot. Its growing well at the moment so I may delay that move for a short while. Anyway the Chilis have priority at the moment until the autumn.

                          Thank you for the offer of a bag of Avocados. Unfortunately its likely to be quite a while before we start to travel again but that was very nice of you.

                          Best Regards

                          Ademission
                           
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