Avocado wilts in sunlight??


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Hi,

I planted two Hass avocados last summer and for a while they were thriving, but now they are having a little bit of trouble.

For some reason, one completely wilts when it receives direct sunlight - pics attached. This was from February this year, when the sun isn't even particularly strong or high in the sky! I'm worried that when the sun gets stronger in like June that it really really damage the plant. When I close the curtain or the sun moves out of the path of the avocado, the leaves go back to normal.

I have it near the windowsill on a south facing window. I live in the UK.

I am worried that it has a drainage issue as well - how well drained should the soil be? I currently have it in generic compost, but I have a bit of soil mixed with sand somewhere that drains really well (it gets bone dry after a few days) - should I move it into this mix?

Any help would be really appreciated!!
 

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When you say 'generic compost' do you mean only organic matter (like an outdoor planting compost) or a packaged potting soil? How often do you water it? How do you determine when to water? Does water come out of the bottom?
Avocados generally like as much direct sun as you can give them, so I think something is going wrong with the roots. Is the 'soil mixed with sand' actual garden soil or more of a packaged cactus mix? Typically, actual 'soil' doesn't drain well enough for container growing unless mixed with organic matter and the plants are outside in full sun.
 
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Welcome to our forums @juliandouglas.
These are tropical plants, and although it is quite possible (as you have discovered) to grow them indoors for foliage, it is not an ideal place for them. They especially dislike the dry air within a home and central heating doesn`t help.
It is usual for these to get weedy and problematic under such conditions, and they would do better in the UK if grown in a heated glasshouse. In such a place, it is good to grow them to a short height and then prune them off to encourage bushy growth.
This is a good plant to grow to keep kids amused and educated - but not really a long term project in my opinion.
 
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My avocado did exactly this when it suffered root damage. I grew it from seed, and it did not like being uprooted in the container during a sudden thunderstorm.
At the time, I hypothesized that the root damage disrupted healthy water flow in the afternoon sunshine, and took a risk and decided to plant it in a slightly shady spot outdoors in the garden. It then lost all its leaves except for a small, light group in the growing tip. I braced myself for its seemingly inevitable death, but after months, it started recovering and growing new leaves! Hope is not lost!
 

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