Why are My Avocado Leaves Curling?

If you’ve waited for weeks for the avocado seed to grow or you’ve just received a tree from the garden, it could be a bit depressing to observe the leaves curving, turning dry, and possibly falling from the tree.

The first thought is to grab the watering container, but hold on! There are a variety of reasons the leaves of your avocado plant could be curled or wrinkling, and with a little knowledge, you’ll be able to identify the root cause and solve the issue quickly.

Underwatering and low humidity are the main causes of the avocado leaves curving. Root rot could be another reason for this problem. If there is too much water, the roots are damaged and eventually the plant sinks. The leaves do not get liquid from damaged root systems. They they curl and then fall off.

This article will walk you through this issue and other reasons for leaf curls on avocados. You’ll surely discover the solution to the problem that your plant is experiencing!

Causes of Avocado Leaves Curling

Under Watering

The most likely explanation for curly leaves on the avocado plant is a lack of water. If your leaves are curving downwards, falling down or appearing crispy it could be due to lack of water. reason.

Avocados are a subtropical plant and prefer a humid climate with lots of water and it is essential to ensure that their soil is well-drained and always moist, but not wet.

If they don’t receive enough water, the cells within their leaves start to shrink and cause curling.

But, watering too much isn’t the primary reason behind curly the leaves of avocados, so keep off until you have sprayed your avocado plant!


  • Make sure that your avocado plant is in a well-drained, rich potting medium.
  • Make sure to check your plant daily Take the pot out If it is light, the plant may need water. Also, if the top couple of inches of the soil is dry (use your fingers to test! ).
  • It is important to water thoroughly and regularly at the base, every couple of days, rather than just a small amount every day.
  • While the avocado plant is fond of water, when it comes to potted avocado plants, it’s best to stay in the direction of sub watering rather than overwatering.

Overfeeding with Fertilizer

To flourish, avocado plants require a mixture of potassium, nitrogen, magnesium and phosphorus and small quantities of various minerals.

Regularly feeding your avocado plant will ensure that it receives the nutrients it requires However, make sure you don’t feed your avocado plant excessive food!

Avocado plants that are fed too much fertilizer can develop weak growth, and limp, yellowing leaves, often with tips that are brown.

The fertilizer’s minerals are absorbed by the soil, causing root burn that hinders the roots of the plant from functioning properly, causing the problems.

It is essential to reduce the amount of plant foods according to the directions on the packet because excessive use can result in over-fertilization.

Avocado plants don’t require a specific fertilizer type and can be satisfied with the general 20-20-20 food for houseplants.


  • Take care of your avocado plants as any other plant in your home and feed it every two weeks, or throughout your growing period.
  • Utilize a 20-20-20 general-purpose fertilizer for your plants and follow the directions.
  • Don’t feed during winter, when your plant’s development slows down.

avocado tree

Temperature Stress

Avocado plants are tolerant of an environment temperature between 60 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit (15-30degC) and can exhibit signs of stress when kept in a warmer or colder environment.

In frigid temperatures, the plant’s systems aren’t functioning properly, and the plant could be dormant, or in extremely frigid temperatures, it may die.

At temperatures that are extremely hot, the plant’s ability to handle the heat on an individual level, and the cells of the plant will start to shrink in the extreme heat.

If you recently relocated the avocado plants to a different place and noticed that its leaves begin curving, you may be suffering from stress caused by temperature.

The transition from indoors to outdoor or reverse the process, or moving to a different area of the home can result in stress on the temperature.

In extreme instances it can lead to the plant to lose all of its leaves. even though the issue isn’t typically so serious, it is essential to protect against the stress caused by temperature.


  • Do not move your plant between zones with extremely different conditions.
  • The drafts of windows and the radiation heat can have a significant impact in the temp of the air surrounding your plant. Pay close attention to where you place it!
  • If you have to relocate your plant, aid it adjust to the new place by letting it adjust over the course of a few days. place the plant in the new place during daylight hours and then return it in the evening.

Lack of Nutrition

Plants with deficiencies in nutrient levels are visible in a variety of different ways. Curling leaves is just one.

Potted plants are especially susceptible to nutritional deficiencies since they have access only to only a small quantity of growth medium.

As time passes, the nutrients in soil are depleted because plants use the nutrients, and processes that are designed to replenish nutrients aren’t happening. Nitrogen is the reason for more vigorous growth of the plant’s leafy parts, such as the leaves and stems, therefore if there’s any deficiencies in this essential nutrients, the plant can show it by curving the leaves.

If you’ve owned your plant for a while, observed it grow but never fed it, odds are it would appreciate a feeding!

The yellowing and curly leaves may be an indication of a deficiencies in magnesium, potassium or phosphorus. Or nitrogen. (Source: University of Delaware)


  • Give your plant an avocado feed once every two weeks with fertilizers 20-20-20.
  • Repotting in the spring using fresh potting media will provide a boost following the winter slow.

Root Rot due to overwatering

Overwatering can be fatal to plants in the house, such as avocados. It causes symptoms that are similar to those caused by the under-watering problem, and often leads to another watering, which can exacerbate the problem.

If the roots of a plant are covered in water to block air from getting into them, they will suffocate and die.

The dead roots could be infected by root rot, which may be transmitted to healthy roots.

In the end, this will be evident on the plants’ leaves, as cells don’t get enough water through the root.

Therefore, leaves won’t get the water and nutrients they require. The leaves will curl up in order to conserve the water as well as other sources. The issue will eventually cause death if the plant is not treated.


  • Don’t overwater your avocado plant. Allow the soil to dry between waterings, and then check your compost’s top, If it’s dry, just a few inches below, you are able to sprinkle water.
  • Depending on the area you live in depending on your location, watering every week or every two days is sufficient. [1]
  • If you spot evidence of root rot, or suspect it is the case then immediately plant the plant with fresh pots, and remove dead roots all of your old compost as is possible.
  • Don’t reuse the growing medium that is infected by root rot, without first sterilizing it.

Water Quality

Tap water is a source of substances that may build up within the soil of containers, which can cause various problems, including curly leaves.

If these chemicals are present in excessive quantities, they could cause plant roots to be burned and cause lots of destruction.

This is an issue that’s particularly prevalent in areas that have hard water, which has more minerals.

The minerals in tap water accumulate within the container plant’s soil, creating similar issues to those caused by over-fertilization.

The tap water is a source of chloride and fluoride. These are designed to eliminate all types of bacteria.

It also kills the beneficial microbes in the soil. Microbes are vital in supplying nutrients to plants.

If the roots aren’t receiving enough nutrients, they may show signs of curly leaves.

Avocado plants are extremely sensitive to salts, so it is crucial to be aware of the mineral levels within your soil. (Source: University of Florida)


  • Be sure to plant your avocado plant in a new medium at least once per year, and ideally during the spring.
  • The roots should be given a warm shower to wash away any build-up prior to repotting.
  • Be aware of any crusty build-up on the surface of the soil in your containers. Re-pot them immediately if you spot any!
  • If you reside in an area that has very hard water, you should consider installing a water purifier prior to irrigation of your plant.

Too Much Direct Sunlight

The avocado plants are situated on an unlit window and you’ve noticed that the leaves are starting to curl the leaves, it’s likely that they’re being exposed to too much sunlight and is beginning to burn!

While avocados are fond of sunlight, direct light amplified through the glass of windows can be too much, particularly for plants that are young.

The intense sunlight can cause the plant to shed water rapidly from its leaves and, to guard itself the plant curls up its leaves in order to reduce the area of its surface exposed to sunlight. There are also the brown marks because of the excessive exposure to sunlight.


  • Place your plant in a place that receives lots of indirect, bright light near an east-facing window, but away of direct sunlight is ideal.
  • Young plants require more protection from sun’s radiation.
  • The avocado plants will feel much more content in warm weather. It will also be able to withstand the direct sunlight better, though it may require shade during the most scorching times of the day.

I’ve published an article about the causes and solutions to the brown marks on leaves of avocado It will provide answers to any questions you may be asking.

Lack of Light

Avocado plants require a lot of sunlight to flourish. If you notice your avocado plant growing toward the window or leaves in the most dark areas curling and dying, it is time to relocate your avocado plant!

In their natural habitat Avocado plants are young and grow in shade that is a bit different from older trees. They are most comfortable in indirect light.

As plants age and mature, their cells get stronger and better able to withstand intense direct sunlight.


  • If the plant is in a room ensure that it gets plenty of indirect, bright sunlight.
  • Indoor LED grow lights ensure that your plant receives all the light it requires.
  • It is worth considering moving the plant outdoors If you can, even if it’s only for a couple of hours per day.


Fungal infections pose the biggest problem for avocados in containers. plants.

Root rot is a kind of fungal infection that may begin to manifest itself as curly leaves that appear as if they require water.

When the roots begin to decay, they are unable to move water through the plant, causing signs of dehydration.

Other types of fungal diseases like powdery mildew may also affect avocado plants, with severe cases that cause leaves to curl and then die.

Avocado trees may also suffer from cankers that result in’sores’ on wood of the trees, and sunblotch is a type of disease that causes discolored and distorted growth.


  • Do not let your avocado plant get soaked as this can encourage root decay.
  • Do not keep your plant too moist as this could cause powdery mildew.
  • Make sure that your potting medium’s surface clear of any debris, such as fallen leaves.
  • Check your plant each day for any signs of illness.
  • Utilize a fungicide to eliminate the fungus that is invading, but without doing anything to improve the situation of the plant, it won’t do significantly.

Insect Infestation

The avocado plants that are outdoors are more likely be a victim of insect infestation than those that are kept inside.

Avocados can fall prey to several plant predators including:

  • Tree Borers.
  • Mites.
  • Lace bugs.
  • Thrips.
  • Scale.
  • Caterpillars.

They cause harm to plants by securing themselves to leaves or sucking the juices from the leaves. Insects such as scales and mites chew through leaves like caterpillars do.


  • A mild solution consisting of water and dish soap spray on the plant can help to eliminate many insects that invade.
  • It is also possible to rub alcohol to get rid of the soft skinned insects such as Aphids and thrips, but this can be quite brutal and can harm the plant.
  • Other methods of combating insect problems are specific oils for horticulture that are applied to plants as well as pesticides and insects.

Low Humidity

The most unlikely reason for leaf curl, and it is one of the reasons that are frequent causes for avocado plants that are housebound!

In the absence of moisture, the air basically dehydrates the plants, sucking the water from them. The leaves begin to curl, then turn brown before falling off.

Plants can die from low humidity rapidly, so it is crucial to act as quickly as you can!

Avocado plants prefer an average humidity of 70-80 percent, however, they can tolerate levels as low as to 45%..


  • The humidity of the home you live in to minimum 45percent.
  • Make humidifier trays and Place pebbles in trays filled with liquid, making certain that the water doesn’t completely cover the pebbles. Place plant pots over the pebbles, and the plant will be able to enjoy the local humidity, without getting roots that are soaked with water. Make sure to keep the trays filled with water!
  • Improve the local humidity by having many plants within the area and keeping them in close proximity.

Avocado Plant Leaves Curling After Repotting

Sometimes, repotting a plant can go wrong. Perhaps you dropped the plant or accidentally smashed off a few of the roots or perhaps you chose the incorrect medium for potting.

If you notice your leaves on the avocado plant are curled after repottering, consider the way the plant was repotted.

If the plant suffered an injury like losing roots, this can be seen as falling leaves.

The positive side is that, unless the shock was severe the plant is likely to be able to recover if it is treated with care.

If your plant didn’t get an injury during repotting, consider the pot and the potting media you’ve employed.

If the pot is too heavy or wet, or compacted, it may be causing your plant to have problems. If the pot is too large, it can promote root decay.


  • Be cautious when you are repotting avocado plants! While they’re not the most delicate plants, their roots are fragile and easily damaged.
  • Be sure to select the right potting medium
  • The pot’s size should be increased slowly – just a few inches at a time is enough.

How To Prevent Avocado Leaves Curling?

  • Check to see if your plant is receiving the proper amount of water.
  • Feed your plant throughout the season of growth.
  • Place your plant in a location that has a steady temperature.
  • Make sure your plant receives plenty of indirect, bright sunlight.
  • Be on the lookout for invaders and illnesses.
  • Increase the humidity in your home.
  • Take care when you are repotting.
  • Choose a suitable pot and potting medium.

Key Takeaways

  • Avocado leaves can curly due to a deficiency of water or excessive water. If the soil is at least 1-2 inches dry, you should water it.Avocado leaves will curl when temperatures drop abruptly and then a scorching sun. If it’s cold outside do not bring the plant outdoors.
  • Curling leaves can be caused by various pests and illnesses. Apply a fungicide or horticultural oil on the avocado when required.
  • If there’s not enough light the avocado leaves will turn dull and curly. Be sure to have enough sunlight.
  • When the avocado plant gets moved to another location, the root structure could be damaged, causing the leaves to curled. Transfer the avocado gently and then keep it in the shade for some time.


Went from a bad gardener to a half-decent one over 10+ years. Super happy to share my tips and tricks with you :)