Many individuals enjoy saving the avocado pits, left over from making salads or guacamole, to grow into new plants. Even though garden centers and nurseries offer mature avocado plants for sell to the public, growing these small trees from salvaged pits offers a fun and inexpensive alternative. Although these plants grow quickly and profusely in ideal conditions, various disorders can cause illness and poor growth. Recognizing and correcting the causes of undesirable conditions ensures the healthy growth and maturity of your avocado plant.
Notice any small leaves appearing on your avocado plant. Mature leaves normally grow about four inches long on healthy plants. Small or sparse leaves indicate a nutritional deficiency in the soil. This often occurs in mature plants that require transplanting or fertilization to replace depleted nutrients. To correct this problem, add a little fertilizer indicated for use on fruits and vegetables or transplant the avocado into a larger pot with fresh potting soil.
Look for shedding leaves on your avocado plant. They often indicate too much water, especially during the winter months when avocados require less. Allow the soil to dry out slightly between watering to correct this situation.
Examine your avocado plant for signs of damage caused by pests. Use a magnifying glass to look at the plant's leaves, stems and soil. Small webs indicate the presence of minuscule mites--these webs often appear on the undersides of leaves. Notice any small insect eggs, which look like small white, brown or black clusters of dots on the plant. Look at the surface of the soil for crawling bugs and small worms. Remove pests with an application of pesticide; apply according to the manufacturer's instructions.
Inspect your avocado plant for any maturing fruit for rotten spots. Look for dead patches on the trunks and stems. These signs indicate the presence of a destructive type of fungus called canker. Another type of disease, triggered by a fungus, causes infected plants to develop yellow leaves. These leaves eventually drop from the plant, creating large, bare sections. Fungal diseases often appear on avocado plants because of poor drainage and damp conditions. Cut back on the amount and the frequency of watering when these symptoms appear.