Why Is My Avocado Tree Leaves Turning Brown

Why is My Avocado Tree Leaves Turning Brown

If you have an avocado tree and you’ve noticed a few leaves turning brown, you may be wondering what’s causing it. Unfortunately, the answer is not a simple one because there can be many contributing factors when a tree’s leaves start to brown. Lucky for you, we’ve compiled this article to help you better understand why your avocado tree’s leaves are turning brown and what steps you can take to prevent it.

Drought Stress

Experts agree that one of the primary reasons an avocado tree’s leaves may start to turn brown is due to lack of water, or “drought stress.” Avocado trees require a steady and consistent supply of water, especially during the summer months when temperatures can reach over 100 degrees Fahrenheit. Inadequate water can cause the avocado tree leaves to become drooping and brittle, and eventually turn brown and die off. To prevent drought stress, be sure to regularly water your avocado tree, as needed and avoid over-watering. During severe droughts, add a layer of organic mulch around the base of the tree.

Pests and Diseases

Another reason your avocado tree’s leaves may be turning brown is due to pest infestations and certain diseases. Common pests such as aphids, mealybugs and whiteflies feed off of your avocado tree’s leaves, causing them to brown and eventually die off. To prevent pest infestations, make sure to regularly inspect your avocado tree and use natural and organic methods to combat any pests. Additionally, certain fungi, viruses and bacteria may cause your avocado tree’s leaves to turn brown and drop. If you suspect that a disease is the cause of your issue, it’s important to act fast and consult an expert immediately.

Fertilizer Burn

Using too much fertilizer can also cause your avocado tree’s leaves to turn brown. This phenomenon is commonly referred to as “fertilizer burn”. Avocado trees are considered “heavy feeders”, meaning they require more fertilizer than other plants. When over-fertilized, the avocado tree’s leaves may become scorched and turn brown. To prevent this, use only the recommended amount of fertilizer for avocado trees and apply it during cooler months or right after rain.

Excessive Heat or Cold

Extreme temperatures can also cause your avocado tree’s leaves to turn brown. Depending on where you live, temperatures may reach extremes during different times of the year, causing the avocado tree’s leaves to dry up and brown. If there is a sudden drop in temperature during the warm summer months, certain avocado tree’s leaves may also turn brown. To prevent excessive heat or cold-related damage, make sure to maintain your avocado tree’s environment and make sure that it does not become too hot or cold. Additionally, make sure to protect your avocado tree from any sudden temperature drops or increases by moving it under shade if necessary.

Incorrect Pruning

Pruning your avocado tree is an essential part of providing it with good care and helping it to thrive. However, incorrect pruning can actually cause the leaves at the pruned location to turn brown and eventually die off. This is because when you prune, you are essentially stressing the tree and this stress can cause the leaves in the pruned area to become scorched and brown. To prevent incorrect pruning-related browning, make sure to prune only the dead and diseased branches, and not the healthy ones.

Insufficient Light

Not providing sufficient light to your avocado tree can also cause its leaves to become brown and eventually die off. Avocado trees generally require 6-8 hours of direct sunlight in order to thrive, and anything less can make the leaves look wilted, droopy and eventually turn brown. To make sure your avocado tree is receiving enough light, make sure to place it in a sunny location and check it regularly.


Lastly, dehydration is another common cause of avocado tree leaves turning brown. Unlike drought stress which is caused by not providing enough water, dehydration is caused by not providing enough moisture in the soil. Avocado trees are sensitive to changes in moisture and require consistent watering in order to stay healthy. To prevent dehydration-related issues, make sure the soil is consistently moist by regularly watering your avocado tree and checking the soil moisture with a moisture meter. Additionally, adding a layer of organic mulch around the base of the tree can also help keep moisture in.

Correct Watering Techniques

In order to ensure consistent water for your avocado tree, you should use a combination of deep and light watering. Lightly water your avocado tree every few days, providing the tree with an even amount of moisture. Additionally, deep watering your avocado tree every other week will help the soil to absorb moisture and avoid dehydration. Make sure not to over-water your avocado tree since this can cause root rot and cause leaves to turn brown.

Optimal Soil Conditions

The soil conditions play a large role in the health of your avocado tree and can affect the leaves turning brown. Avocado trees require soils with excellent drainage, and any soil with poor drainage can cause waterlogging, leading to root rot and leaves turning brown. Additionally, avocado trees thrive in slightly acidic soils, with a pH ranging between 6.0 to 6.5, so make sure the pH of your soil is ideal.

Provide Shade and Ventilation

Proper shading of your avocado tree during the hot summer months is important for keeping its leaves healthy. Without any shade, the heat can lead to dehydration and leaves turning brown. Make sure to provide your avocado tree with partial shade, avoiding any locations with full sun. Furthermore, it’s important to make sure that your avocado tree is in an area with sufficient ventilation, especially during cold seasons. Without proper ventilation, the leaves may become scorched and eventually turn brown.

Create a Regular Maintenance Plan

Creating a regular maintenance plan for your avocado tree is the key to keeping its leaves healthy and avoiding any leaf browning issues. Make sure to inspect your avocado tree and check for any pests, diseases or unusual looking leaves. Additionally, test the soil and make sure that the pH and moisture levels are optimal. Finally, make sure to prune dead branches, water regularly and avoid excessive heat or cold.

Pay Attention to Weather Conditions

Monitoring weather conditions is also essential for protecting your avocado tree from extreme temperatures. Pay attention to forecast temperatures and be prepared to take action if needed. If a sudden cold snap is headed your way, make sure to move your avocado tree indoors or provide extra protection. On hot days, provide some extra shade and make sure the avocado tree is well-ventilated.

Provide Nutrients

In addition to providing your avocado tree with plenty of light, moisture and ventilation, make sure it is also getting the required nutrients. While avocado trees are considered heavy feeders, using fertilizers can be dangerous, as it could lead to fertilizer burn and leaves browning. To provide the tree with the necessary nutrients, use an organic fertilizer such as compost or manure, which are safer for the tree and better for the environment.

Crop Rotation

When growing multiple avocado trees in the same location, make sure to practice crop rotation. When you rotate the different avocado trees, it helps reduce the risk of pest infestations, diseases and nutrient deficiency, which can all cause the leaves to turn brown. Additionally, it also helps keep the soil healthy, providing the avocado trees with necessary nutrients and avoiding any soil-related damage.

Gordon Wesson is an environmentalist and author who lives in the Pacific Northwest. He has been writing for many years about topics related to trees, the environment, and sustainability. In particular, he is passionate about educating people on the importance of living in harmony with the environment and preserving natural spaces. He often speaks at conferences and events around the country to share his knowledge with others. His dedication to protecting our planet makes him one of the leading voices in his field today.

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