Hummingbird House The Garden Helper
No-dash-here, you've found The Real Garden Helper! Gardening on the Web since 1997
vine bar
Wild Willy
 

Overwatered avocdo tree

Gardening Reference » Gardening in 2006
by Marie G on July 19, 2006 05:04 AM
I have a 25 yr. old, 7 ft. indoor avocado tree. I put it outside for the summer and it got saturated during a heavy rainstorm about one month ago. The leaves instantly wilted. I brought it back inside but it still hasn't recovered. I changed the soil and trimmed some branches. New growths are coming out, but most of them are wilting away. Is there any hope for my tree? I'm devasted!!
by Deborah L. on July 19, 2006 03:14 PM
Does the pot have drainage?

* * * *
 -
 -
by Triss on July 19, 2006 04:16 PM
One of my seedling avocados lost all of its leaves and I thought it was not going to make it. I left it and was planning on only getting rid of it once it shriveled and died but it is putting out new leaves now. It has been about 6 weeks. I hope that yours will also come around. If it is putting out new growth, I would say it still has a chance.

* * * *
 -
 -
We are all under the same stars... therefore we are never far apart.
by luis_pr on July 19, 2006 06:40 PM
Hello, Marie. Too much water that does not drain quickly can create root rot in trees like this and wilting of the leaves may be a sign of this. Luckily, wilting can be caused by other things such as moisture problems (too little). Since we cannot ask the tree to tell us if that is what is going on, here are some suggestions:

1. Maintain evenly moist soil. Water only when the soil feels dry; that will help the tree recover. If wilting persists under these conditions then the tree may have root rot and it will be up to the tree to see if it can recover.

2. Avocado trees need plenty of sun so continue making sure that it gets plenty of it: 6 hours of sun or more.

3. It sure does not need fertilizer when it is stressed like this so, when you fertilize, use Liquid Seaweed or Liquid Fish. It is always a good idea to replace chemicals fertilizers by organic ones when plants are in stress.

Once it has shown signs of recovery, you can go back to a chemical fertilizer but, I would temporarily switch from a balanced fertilizer to one with a higher level of phosphorus... that is the middle number in your NPK Ratio. Phosphorus is good for roots and blooms; I suggest it here to help the roots recover.

For example, if your current fertilizer's NPK Ratio is 5-5-5 then find one with 5-10-5. You do not have to be exact; something close to 5-10-5 will be fine, like 6-10-4. I would continue using that for two/three applications or so before returning back to the balanced fertilizer that you now use.

Wishing you success,
Luis
by Marie G on July 20, 2006 01:11 AM
quote:
Originally posted by Deborah L.:
Does the pot have drainage?
The pot is plastic, but there is a small drainage hole. Do you think it will have a better chance in a clay pot?
by Marie G on July 20, 2006 01:15 AM
quote:
Originally posted by Triss:
One of my seedling avocados lost all of its leaves and I thought it was not going to make it. I left it and was planning on only getting rid of it once it shriveled and died but it is putting out new leaves now. It has been about 6 weeks. I hope that yours will also come around. If it is putting out new growth, I would say it still has a chance.
Thank you Triss - that sounds encouraging - I'll give it a while longer! Marie
by Marie G on July 20, 2006 01:18 AM
quote:
Originally posted by luis_pr:
Hello, Marie. Too much water that does not drain quickly can create root rot in trees like this and wilting of the leaves may be a sign of this. Luckily, wilting can be caused by other things such as moisture problems (too little). Since we cannot ask the tree to tell us if that is what is going on, here are some suggestions:

1. Maintain evenly moist soil. Water only when the soil feels dry; that will help the tree recover. If wilting persists under these conditions then the tree may have root rot and it will be up to the tree to see if it can recover.

2. Avocado trees need plenty of sun so continue making sure that it gets plenty of it: 6 hours of sun or more.

3. It sure does not need fertilizer when it is stressed like this so, when you fertilize, use Liquid Seaweed or Liquid Fish. It is always a good idea to replace chemicals fertilizers by organic ones when plants are in stress.

Once it has shown signs of recovery, you can go back to a chemical fertilizer but, I would temporarily switch from a balanced fertilizer to one with a higher level of phosphorus... that is the middle number in your NPK Ratio. Phosphorus is good for roots and blooms; I suggest it here to help the roots recover.

For example, if your current fertilizer's NPK Ratio is 5-5-5 then find one with 5-10-5. You do not have to be exact; something close to 5-10-5 will be fine, like 6-10-4. I would continue using that for two/three applications or so before returning back to the balanced fertilizer that you now use.

Wishing you success,
Luis

Thank you Luis for all the great info. I will get the organic fertilizer today and hope for the best! Marie
by Deborah L. on July 20, 2006 03:16 AM
If it's sressing right now, Marie, I wouldn't change to a clay pot now. Especially if it's been happy in its usual pot all these years.
However, I wonder if the roots have clogged the drainage hole. I would tip the pot to one side and check the hole.
Use a screwdriver to clear the hole if it's blocked.
One person holds the pot to one side, one checks and clears the hole.

* * * *
 -
 -
by Deborah L. on July 20, 2006 03:24 AM
I meant that the new mud from the rain has maybe clogged up in the drainage hole with some roots.
I had this happen recently, which made me think of this this morning.
I really hope the tree makes it ! Let us know what you find, OK?

* * * *
 -
 -
by luis_pr on July 21, 2006 06:53 PM
I agree. And share your wisdom of 25 years one of these days! Make a list of lessons learned. Luis
by Deborah L. on August 04, 2006 09:27 AM
Marie, how's the avocado tree doing now?

* * * *
 -
 -
by Marie G on August 05, 2006 03:57 AM
Thanks for your concern Deborah - The tree still hasn't revived, but I'm not giving up hope! I changed the soil and switched back to a clay pot. You were right that the drainage hole had been clogged. It's hard to watch something die that you've nurtured for so long - only another plant lover would understand!
by Deborah L. on August 05, 2006 05:35 AM
Oh, no...... I was hoping it would be better by now.
You know, now I'm wondering if maybe the tree has simply lived out its life? It's 25 years old now, right?
I don't know for sure, but a potted tree at that age-does anyone know its life span?
Is there any new growth on it all?

* * * *
 -
 -
by Marie G on August 05, 2006 05:54 AM
The tree was doing incredibly well until it went outside. There's no new growth, but I'm still going to give it more time!

Active Garden Forum

Other articles you might like: