Avocado tree not growing new leaves is a troublesome sight for any gardener who have cultivated this tree but as it isn’t sprouting, it can be of different signs. Especially if this is happening when your tree should be growing new foliage and new fruit buds. You must be wondering if there’s a solution to this.
There are more than a few culprits you should look at, but today we’ll uncover them all and help you grow healthy and happy avocado trees, so continue reading to know all about the reasons.
- Why Isn’t The Avocado Tree Growing Leaves?
- How To Help Avocado Tree Start Growing Leaves
Why Isn’t The Avocado Tree Growing Leaves?
The avocado tree is not growing leaves because the weather may be too hot or too cold, and because of watering issues, or the soil is tough for the roots to thrive. It can also be due to lack of sunlight, or transplanting shock, lastly due to nutritional problems.
Avocado plants are a majestic addition to any garden, appreciated for the avocado fruit but they can be finicky when it comes to growing new leaves. If this is happening to you, you shouldn’t be discouraged, as different factors can contribute to this problem, including improper watering, insufficient sunlight, a lack of nutrients, and even transplant shock.
If you started a hass avocado pit in water and then transplanted it into the soil, you might notice more shock reactions than with those pits grown exclusively in soil. Don’t worry though, as there are plenty of things that you can do to mitigate this — watering the soil only when it’s dry is one of them. Compost and mulch can work wonders in giving your avocado tree nutrients and keeping the soil in good condition.
– It’s Too Hot or Cold
Avocado trees need a specific temperature range to be able to grow new leaves. For this, you must note that avocado plants’ ideal soil temperature range is between 60 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit. Anything outside this range may prevent your tree from growing new foliage. Check the soil temperature frequently, especially when the weather changes.
– There’s a Water Issue
Avocados need plenty of that water love, and showing signs of under-watered avocado trees are easy to spot, with their leaves taking a turn for the worse first. You might notice that their growth is stunted and curling or drooping. If they’re thirsty, the leaves will start to brown and drop, as if protesting the neglect.
Overwatering can lead to a slew of problems. The excess water can displace the oxygen in the soil, causing stress. Over time, this can lead to an even more serious problem — root rot. This fungal disease will find it easy to develop in waterlogged soil and eat away at the roots. If left unchecked, root rot can kill the entire tree. So, striking the right balance with watering is important to keep your avocado tree thriving.
– The Soil Is Tough
If your avocado is struggling to grow leaves, it could be due to the soil. Avocado plants need soft and moist soil. When the soil is compact, it can make it difficult for the tree to thrive.
When the soil is in such a condition, you must remember that it takes so much time for the roots to thrive and provide the right nutrients to the stem and leaves. In short, you would see that the plant is not thriving the way it must, and so it is best for the roots to grow in an enhanced way and the soil to be a safe space for the plant to start shooting leaves.
– Not Enough Sunlight
Avocado trees rely on sunlight to produce energy through photosynthesis. Without enough light, their leaves cannot produce the sugars and chlorophyll to create and sustain new growth. This results in a barren-looking tree.
You may need to rethink your location or add supplemental light if you’re growing the tree indoors. Neglecting this important aspect of tree care can lead to a weakened plant that eventually dies.
– Transplanting Shock
If you’re just developing your tree and have moved it to garden soil and it isn’t pushing any growth, it likely goes through a transplanting shock. Transplant shock happens when a plant goes through a period of stress due to being introduced to a new environment. It has to develop a new root system which renders it too weak to push out new growth.
It’s natural for your avocado tree to experience this, and it may show signs like failing to grow new avocado leaves or looking generally unhealthy. However, don’t worry too much; the plant will eventually recover with the right care and attention.
– Nutritional Problems
Over-fertilizing avocados can lead to chemical burns on roots, which stresses the tree and causes all sorts of problems. The problem almost always stems from using fast-release chemical fertilizers, as compost isn’t potent enough for gardeners. These fertilizers will make it rough for avocados to bear fruit as well, and even fruit drop will become an issue.
A lack of nutrients can also stress the tree and lead to similar symptoms such as discolored leaves and stunted growth. This issue is caused by poor soil, leaching, or improper pH levels. Nutrient leaching happens when nutrients seep too far down into the soil, where the roots cannot get to them, which can occur in soils with too much drainage.
How To Help Avocado Tree Start Growing Leaves
To help the avocado tree grow leaves, you must fix the watering schedule and increase soil compatibility. You must also increase its sunlight intake, and avoid any transplanting shock, and lastly, make sure to properly fertilize and adjust the soil’s pH.
– Fix Watering
To ensure the health and growth of your avocado tree, it’s essential to water it properly. One of the best ways to do this is to water it only when the top soil is dry, which helps prevent both over and under-watering.
To provide your tree with optimal nutrition, add 2 inches of compost. Not only does this provide valuable nutrients, but it also helps to feed the soil and improve its richness. Even a minuscule increase in soil richness or organic matter can boost the soil’s water retention by thousands of gallons per acre.
Another helpful thing is to add six to 12 inches of mulch around the tree base. This might sound like a lot, but avocado trees are naturally understory plants when growing in forest environments. The fallen leaves and branches provide a natural mulch that maintains soil moisture and nutrients. Mulch also helps to reduce soil evaporation, regulate soil temperature, and provides nutrients as it breaks down.
– Increase Soil Compatibility
You need to shake up the soil around the roots, especially during the growing season, when the soil feels compact. Loosening of the soil is easily done using a shovel or a fork. Adding compost can also help to soften things up.
One option to fight this is to add a heat mat to provide warmth to the soil. By using a heat mat, you can help the soil temperature reach the minimum threshold needed for new growth. With the right soil temperature, your avocado tree will be well on its way to producing healthy new leaves.
– Increase Sunlight
To ensure your avocado tree is soaking up as much sunlight as possible, plant it facing south, or ace it north if you’re in the southern-hemisphere. For an extra boost, position the tree near a south-facing wall, which reflects sunlight and heat onto the tree, even in the late afternoon hours. Make sure your tree gets at least six hours of direct sunlight each day to keep it satisfied and bursting with growth.
If any trees cast a shadow on your avocado, prune them back to allow more sunlight to reach its canopy. You can prune the avocado tree itself — thin out the outer branches and let more light reach the mid and lower tree parts. This will help the tree produce more leaves and increase airflow and reduce the risk of disease.
– Avoiding Transplant Shock
Transplanting avocado trees can be a challenging process. The recovery time alone can take up to a year! However, if it’s necessary, there are ways to minimize transplant shock.
First, make sure to have the new spot prepared before removing the tree. Be careful not to damage the roots when removing them from the previous habitat. Then, lightly wiggle the base of the tree trunk and scoop up the root ball, and place the whole thing in the new spot.
Add two inches of compost and mulch the soil to give your tree the best chance of survival. Be sure to water generously and add more soil as needed. It’s worth noting that sprouting avocado pits in water is a popular practice, but it’s not the best method.
These pits grow water roots, not soil roots, so once they’re planted in soil, they need to grow entirely new roots and adjust to the new soil environment. So, it’s best to avoid water development altogether.
– Adjust the Fertilization and Soil Acidity
Fertilizing your avocado tree can be done with either fertilizer or compost. Aim for a nitrogen-rich content if you’re buying fertilizer. Chemical fertilizers can short-circuit the nutrient exchange over the long run. Fresh and quality compost is a great alternative that provides sufficient nutrients, promotes healthy soils, and increases water retention.
Avocado plants love slightly acidic soil with a pH of 5.0 to 7.0. If the soil is too alkaline, the tree won’t be getting enough nutrients, and the acidic soil makes it easier for roots to absorb food. Adjust the alkaline soil by adding acidic amendments like coffee grounds, sand, and peat moss.
If your soil is too acidic, add alkaline materials like wood ash, charcoal, or lime to help balance things out. Nutrient absorption will come with difficulty if the soil is too cold or wet, in which case trying to repair pH won’t work. So make sure to keep an eye on the weather and adjust your watering accordingly.
Avocado trees not bearing any leaves isn’t a great thing to have, especially if you think you’ve done it all for your tree, remember the points we covered:
- Avocado trees will aim for environments similar to those they can naturally be found in the rainforests — where there’s plenty of heat, light, and moisture.
- You can optimize your tree care to some extent to help your avocados push out growth.
- Optimizing your watering, fixing light conditions, and performing proper fertilization.
- These trees like plenty of mulch and compost too. But all of this won’t do you much good if you’re trying to transplant a water-developed tree into the garden soil.
Now that you know the ins and outs of avocado growing, so now you feel confident about getting those leaves to flush in the spring.
- 25 Kalanchoe Types and Colorful Varieties for Your Garden - October 3, 2023
- 17 Hawaiian Flowers That Grow and Thrive in the Hot Summer - October 2, 2023
- Watering a Poinsettia and How is it Done Correctly? - September 30, 2023