The effects of watering regimes of 35.7, 28.6, 14.3 and 7.1mm water wk-1 on the seedling growth of avocado cvs. MP4 and CRIN P were investigated for 22 weeks. The aim was to determine the critical water requirement of avocado seedlings to guide dry season irrigation of juvenile avocado plants, and to verify if there were varietal differences in soil moisture sensitivity of avocado. Except with regards to height, growth attributes of height, canopy diameter, number of leaves, stem girth and leaf area of seedlings at both 35.7 and 28.6mm of water wk-1 significantly. Application of 7.1mm water wk-1 significantly decreased all these growths attributes, caused seedling die-back and ultimately 50% seedling mortality. Application of 14.3mm water wk-1 was considered critical to growth of avocado seedlings during the dry season.