Large Avocado Trees in Containers

gardengliderJuly 8, 2008

I would like to ask help in redirecting the growth of avocado trees I have been keeping in containers. Given the area I am in - rough winters for these species - I believe I have to maintain them in containers to bring them inside as the cool weather starts. I have been doing this since 2004 when I first started these plants from pits. (From avocados I consumed bought in a normal supermarket).If there is a way around this, please let me know as I have much space outside around the house to plant them.

I started them thinking not all would succeed and have been faced with having to control quick and robust multiple growth. Some of them are in fact almost touching the ceiling so I need some advice on pruning and pruning seasons for their structures in a way that they are happier in their container and inside the house. I am very much at a beginner level and will follow most attentively instructions on this.

Also, I would be most thankful for advice on fertilizer and other care tips to help them overcome some diseases I show in the pics. If there is a way to help them produce fruit in these circumstances, I would love to hear about it!

I have not pruned them consistently - since I did not know how to do so, and believe some errors were made. One question we always had a debate here was whether one should crop parts of leaves when these are bad, rather than just taking the entire leaf away or leaving it to fall on its own.

I can provide more details and pics to help clarify the status of the plants.

Thank you for your time!

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    Bookmark   July 8, 2008 at 12:20AM
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Yep, put them outside.........if...The big question is... how cold does it get where you are? Perhaps you could cover them for light frosts, but considering how hard you will have to prune them to even be coverable, is another concern mainly in terms of upkeep, and reduced avocado output. And that's only if we're talking light frosts. As for keeping them out of the ground, I'd begin by considering whether or not you can realistically grow these to be any larger in your house, before you make them grow too much more!

What I would do if you chose to try growing them inside (or at least not in-ground), is to re-pot them in Al's gritty mix (do a search) or, if it's a bagged soil try either a palm and citrus mix or a cactus mix as they will provide better aeration and less sitting water (they drain well). Avocado trees dislike salts (particularly the mexican avocado varieties). All this means is that once you re-pot them, and begin to follow a regular watering schedule, each 3rd or 4th watering you will flood them with an extra gallon or two of water to leech away the salt that has built up.

When you think to prune, only worry about your ceiling in your house. So only prune the top of the tree or the tall parts which are causing trouble. Basically the gist is only prune what you must for now. They don't want to be pruned at all. Leave the leaves that are merely yellowing or showing signs of salt burns.
Good garden practice asks you remove any diseased or fungal-troubled leaves (the whole thing), so that disease cannot spread to other leaves. Use the appropriate spray for any disease or pest issues.

The first thing is the roots though, get those in the right aerated mix and don't over water. Then maybe see what the leaves do. And treat if still needed. Happy roots = happy leaves (most of the time) Have fun! Should be worth it !

-Andrew (new here)

    Bookmark   February 21, 2014 at 2:35PM
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