Hello wonderful people with green thumbs! I've managed to grow an adorable avocado tree from a supermarket avocado pit. I don't know what I'm doing and I'm usually awful with plants so this was truly a miracle but I need some help please. My tree is now about 42" and is in a 10q pot.

We're located in a small apt in New York City and since the winters are too cold for my little tree, we're trying to continue in pots until I can find it a good home in a warmer climate.

I have 3 questions please; 1. I've switched to the pot it's in few months ago but now it's much taller and has bigger roots so I'm afraid to mess it up. What is the best way I can repot to keep my little tree healthy? And how deep should I place the pit? I didn't have a support stick before since it seemed sturdy but now that the top leaves are very big, it began to bow and now I have a stick as well. You can see the new pot in the picture. (On the bottom it says 25q) I'm hoping it will be enough until the winter when hopefully we'll be moved into a house so I can get a much bigger pot. 2. 4 of the leaves by the top are dried midway. The lady at homedepot advised me to cut the dried parts. Should I? What caused this? What can I do? 3. The lady gave me Nature's care organic and natural tomato, vegetable & Herb plant food. Would my little tree like this food? Or is there one better suited for its needs?

Thank you so much!! Whatever advice you can give me will be highly appreciated! Please help my tree! Ps. I dont know how to add more pics but I'll try to do it in replies. Sorry!


Hello Stormy, I am so sorry! I should have mentioned that this isnt the regular spot for my tree. It sits in a windowsill in front of a VERY bright window facing north. (I only have any windows facing north). It was originally in a 3q pot and when the leaves began to grow really big, I switched to the pot it's in now. This was in February. I cant remember which type of soil it was but it was a plant one from homedepot and I think you might be right about it having some type of fertilizer or something in it cause it suddenly grew very fast and tall. I thought it was the new pot. The leaves continued to grow very big and dark green. The top leaves curling up dry happened only couple weeks ago. And I have 2 theories as to what might have caused it; either the sudden temperature rise and long exposure to sun without enough water OR that it was caused by my stupidity when I accidentally used the same watering can I use to add treated water to my aquarium. (It is treated by a chemical mix called Prime which removes chlorine, and chloramine and detoxifies ammonia). If there was traces of it in the water maybe my tree got a tiny tiny bit. I switched to a new watering can since then (might explain why the top leaves are all normal and I have new growth coming along)

I never used any food fertilizer etc. I think I might have stuck 2 miraclegro food spikes in there once long ago. I will return the soil and fertilizer and get one that you recommend. Do you think i should continue in the pot its in? Since it grew so fast and tall I thought it would need more space to continue. However I can only keep it in the windowsill if it's in this pot. Anything bigger wont fit. I will make sure to lower the shades so it doesnt get direct sun. And if you recommend I repot then I will place it to the spot closest which is the floor by the window.

When you said cut the leaves to the next leaves.. do you mean i cut off the entire plant body from the leaves up or just trim the leaves? There are normal leaves above it and some new growth coming up. Thank you so much!!!!!


1 Answer 1


As long as you transplant into potting soil in a pot with holes you will be fine. Something else is wrong here. What happened a few months ago? Have you ever used fertilizer? Is this the normal spot for your plant? Is this the light level?

Fertilizer is NOT plant food. Necessary so the plant can do the process of converting sun energy into carbohydrates to make its own food. Fertilizer is chemicals...balanced, "less is best, more is death and none is dumb"...cute saying, huh? I don't use the word food or nutrients anymore. Too confusing and people always think a little food is good then a little more is better...not.

Your plant needs more light that is for sure. Plant your plant at the exact level it is in its original pot. Don't worry about the roots. Best to break them up a bit anyway. Do not put rocks or gravel or packing peanuts beneath the soil and above the drain hole. This actually causes over watering and very bad drainage.

That soil has water holding 'sponges' that I really don't like. Be very careful watering or even better, I would take that bag of soil back and exchange it for PLAIN potting soil; no sponges or gels to hold water and no fertilizer added. Let your plant acclimate to the new soil for a few weeks and try to move it closer to a south window. Do not put it in direct sun. No direct sun through the window, no direct sun out of doors either. A covered patio would work wonders for your plant.

I would cut that tip off all the way back to that next batch of leaves. It should then split into two tips. The dead leaves are a burden on a plant and should be cut off.

So something did happen a few months ago, you transplanted this plant! What is in that soil? Is it the same soil as this bag? I have to read questions more closely...you plant needs light, do not fertilize for awhile. Looks like your plant actually is over fertilized. Why are you transplanting it again so soon?

Potting soil with water holding sponges or gels also come with added fertilizer, sometimes, could you check? Please tell me the ingredients on the fertilizer. I have a sneaky feeling that transplanting it the last time caused the 'fast growth' and then the shriveling of those top leaves. I'll bet there is fertilizer in that soil...those leaves are TOO dark green. Lots of chlorophyll factories produced by lots of nitrogen for a plant with very little light means those factories are going to waste and causing major stress on your plant. Plants in shade need very very little fertilizer. Not enough light to even do photosynthesis much less spend energy making MORE factories...

More information please!

I added the link to pruning avocados here: pruning the apical tips of avocados

  • Hello Stormy, I am so sorry! I should have mentioned that this isnt the regular spot for my tree. It sits in a windowsill in front of a VERY bright window facing north. I want to answer all your questions but the comment wont allow me so I will edit my original post to add the info the bottom! May 25, 2018 at 0:02
  • Stormy I dont know how to add more pictures and Im not entirely sure how else to show you so I just added some pictures of my tree on my instagram. It's Mujiijum. Im sure there are easier and better solutions but it appears plant care isn't the only field I need help with :/ sorry! May 25, 2018 at 0:31
  • Excellent job, Muji. Far better environment and light. I came across this little article about pruning the apical tips of avocados. Notice the plants are on a covered patio. You could create a similar environment indoors with some artificial lighting. I am thinking there was fertilizer in the soil this plant was planted in...too dark green means too much nitrogen and the plant is more susceptible to any off chemistry, disease, insects. Check out this article on pruning and before you do anything please write back and tell me what this article is telling you to do or not do. pop quiz lol?
    – stormy
    May 25, 2018 at 23:18
  • Your deduction about the chemistry for your aquarium was brilliant. Very possible. Aquariums and the chemistry!? Gnarly. What kind of fish do you have? any pleicostumuses (SP)? I get a headache imagining Aquaponics!!
    – stormy
    May 25, 2018 at 23:21
  • And Muji, no one is born with green thumbs or even black thumbs. The fact you planted a dog gone avocado seed and have gotten this far? You are truly a gardener in the making! SO rewarding, stabilizing, right.
    – stormy
    May 25, 2018 at 23:26

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.