Why Are My Avocado Tree Leaves Turning Brown and Falling Off?

Avocado tree, leaves and flora

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Perhaps you may wonder why your avocado tree leaves are browning, and others are falling off; you need not worry. I am here to ease that anxiety.

A few leaves of your avocado tree browning and dropping off isn’t a big deal. That is because shedding some leaves is a norm for any other healthy tree.

However, if more than 10% of your avocado tree leaves turn brown and start dropping off, that signifies an issue that needs fixing.

Keep reading below to see why there is such an occurrence and how to fix the problem.

Why are my Avocado Tree Leaves Turning Brown and Falling Off?

1. Build-up of Chloride Salt in the Soil

Sodium chloride naturally occurs in water, even purified ones. When there is a lot of heat, water evaporates, leaving salt deposits in the soil.

If your avocado tree receives shallow watering instead of deep watering, sodium chloride will gradually build up in the soil.

When the roots of your avocado tree absorb the salt, it accumulates over time, leading to high toxic levels of sodium chloride that cause your avocado tree leaves to turn brownish.

2. Lack of Enough Water

Like how we as humans sweat to cool our bodies, so do avocado trees release water to cool themselves through the transpiration process.

So, if your avocado tree leaves are turning yellow and brown, feeling dry, and falling off in large quantities, it may be a sign that the plant is not getting adequate water, especially during hot weather.

3. Deficiency of Nutrients

Lack of enough nutrient uptake is another cause of avocado leaf problems of turning brown and maybe eventually falling off.

The most nutrient deficiencies in avocado trees are iron, zinc, and nitrogen.

The best way to diagnose a specific nutrient deficiency in your avocado tree is by getting a soil test through an at-home test or a qualified agronomist.

If your avocado tree lacks certain nutrients, the best remedy is to use organic options like compost or add fertilizers after conducting a soil test and finding out the deficiency.

4. Humidity Problems

When the air is overly humid, it will lead to your avocado tree absorbing too much moisture faster than its release via transpiration.

Such an occurrence causes too much build-up of water that ends up damaging the cells of your avocado plant, leading to a condition referred to as edema.

If your avocado tree develops edema, you will notice swollen veins, brown spots, and a rough texture of its leaves.

5. Frost

It is prudent to keep your avocado tree from being exposed whenever a time comes whereby temperatures fall below 25 degrees Fahrenheit.

Frost can destroy your avocado tree leaves, causing them to turn brown and even drop when it becomes extreme.

The best method of determining if it is indeed frost damaging your avocado tree leaves is observing them keenly and noting if they are gradually changing color and becoming curly.

6. Sunburn

Your avocado tree leaves can turn brown and drop off when exposed to too much sunlight, leading to sunburns.

Sunburn will lead to your avocado tree leaves becoming damaged and dropping off even before the appropriate time of dormancy.

In most instances, sunburns occur when direct hot sun comes into contact with your avocado tree leaves. However, leaf burn can also occur when the sky is cloudy and there is a warm temperature.

7. Algal Leaf Spot

Algal leaf spot is a disease prevalent in areas that grow tropical avocados. It’s frequent between the autumn and summer seasons.

It is quite easy to identify the illness when yellowish, orange, or rusty brown spots appear on a broad mass of your avocado tree leaves.

Sometimes, the disease can expand and affect your avocado tree stem turning brown and forming big spots of damaged tissue.

Solutions to Avocado Leaf Problems

  • When it comes to dehydration of the soil of your avocado tree, you should consider applying mulch with various leaves to increase water retention in the soil.

Also, avoid overwatering your avocado, and always ensure you apply deep watering to allow the moisture to get to a good level of like 2ft below the soil surface.

  • The most appropriate way of dealing with salt is the application of vinegar and deep watering. Vinegar and deep watering assist in releasing excessive salts and fertilizers.
  • A method of preventing excessive sunlight from scorching your avocado tree leaves and creating leaf burn is providing the tree with a well-drained form of irrigation.
  • If frost persists, apply ample cover to your avocado tree with sheets or get them indoors if possible.
  • For leaf spots, there is a formula for stopping the spread to new areas by shrinking affected parts and then applying the copper spray.


Your avocado tree leaves turning brown and falling off can be so demoralizing, but now that you know of workable solutions as highlighted above, you can sigh with relief!

The hardest part is diagnosing the issue, but once you get the prognosis, you can fix the issue adequately with the help of the above solutions to enjoy a healthy avocado.

Check the above content to be more knowledgeable on appropriate measures to tender your avocado tree.

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Willow Dunham

Willow Dunham

Hi, my name is Willow Dunham, and I'm an avocado tree grower. I live in Florida with my girlfriend, Jane, and we have a big yard with 5 avocado trees. Avocado has always been one of my favorite foods. I love the taste and how versatile it is.

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