Q. How do I prevent the leaves of my avocado plant from withering and falling off?
Avocado (Persea americana) trees may lose leaves as they become older. Older plants shed their leaves from the bottom up, and new growth shrivels and dies. These symptoms indicate insufficient light. Remove damaged foliage and move the plant closer to the light of a window. Water your avocado plant regularly; it must be kept moist at all times. Spraying it daily in the daylight hours is helpful.
Early on: An avocado growing from seed should be cut back from the start. This is the best way to achieve a many-branched, well-shaped tree. When your new plant is 6 or 7 inches high, cut the stem at a point midway between its top and bottom, using scissors. The remaining stem should be no shorter than 3 inches high. The plant will take about a week or two to start growing again but it will then grow into a nice, small bush.
Regular pruning: A mature plant should also be pruned regularly. Cutting back keeps the plant in an attractive shape. Cut back both the growing tip and any side branches that have become too long. All branch cuts should be made close to the trunk or branch. Do not be afraid of cutting back too much; the plant will eventually recover.
Hope this helps.
For tips on a variety of gardening topics, see our Plant Information Guides.
- Courtesy of NYBG Plant Information Service