Avocado as a Container Plant III

greenman28 NorCal 7b/8aSeptember 14, 2013

Well, another wonderful Summer is passing, and there was much progress with the Avocado. I pruned the top branches three times, possibly four, to keep the canopy as symmetrical and bushy as possible. I'm sure the plant is very root-bound by now, as it requires watering every other day. I fertilize once a week with full-strength Foliage Pro 9-3-6.

For the detailed history of this plant, from a volunteer seedling in the garden to a full-time container plant, check out the previous Threads. I apologize that the photobucket pics don't display anymore - the service has gone downhill. I'll be posting images from the computer, one at a time, from here on out. The photobucket slideshow is still available, though - Avocado seedling slideshow

Avocado converted to Houseplant (first Thread)

Avocado as a Container Plant (second Thread)

And, of course, an update pic of the Avocado :-)

Josh

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meyermike_1micha(5)

I think you have done a SUPERB job Josh...What a change in your plant since its inception...Beautiful pal!!

MIke

    Bookmark   September 17, 2013 at 9:01PM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

Thanks, Mike! :-D
I don't know how it'll do this Winter...I'm going to have a hard time finding room for it. Even with all the pruning, the tree is growing tall...and wide. Here's a shot of the canopy.

    Bookmark   September 18, 2013 at 12:28AM
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petrushka

josh,
i've been following your progress for a while now. your little tree looks great!
and i have a few questions.
so this is about 3 yr old tree? can you say how tall from soil it has grown and how wide?
as far as branching: it is rather hard to see the structure with all the healthy leaves. how many Y branchings do you have and to what level: secondary, tertiary.etc
also i saw that you put it 1st in one gallon plastic pot when you lifted it. and about a year? ago you xplanted into a clay pot. how large is that pot? and how long do you think you'll keep it in it?
i am also trying to gauge my own progress: couldn't resist sprouting a pit myself last jan: florida large variety. not that i am thinking of getting the fruit:)! but i saw that they have leathery kinda shiny pretty leaves, much sturdier then mex hass variety. also thought that since they are almost tropical, they should do better indoors in winter.

    Bookmark   September 23, 2013 at 7:58PM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

Hello!
It's about two feet tall and two feet wide, I'd guess without measuring (will do for next update). If I hadn't pruned the tree multiple times each season, it would be very, very tall indeed :-)

Right now, the tree has four main branches - which would be tertiary, I believe. It's already bigger than I want....but I knew this day was coming. I really don't know if I'll put it into a bigger pot, or do a hard chop and take it down to a stump...then re-pot into the same size container.

Josh

    Bookmark   September 23, 2013 at 10:25PM
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petrushka

oh, i went all the way back to 1st post and actually it's not 3yr, but more like 5yr! old tree, if you include 1st season in sum 09 in the ground.
that's impressive!
and it looked as if your clay pot was smaller then your blk nursery pot?! obviously you pruned the roots heavily (which i would not dare to do, i am planning to uppot mine with just a bare min of root trim).
so you are purposefully dwarfing it? am curious at what size pot it would stop growing out?
i do not have much room indoors to keep mine, so am wondering what would be the absolute min pot size to attempt? and whether i should first go up to 2 gallon nursery over next sev years and then start slowly downsizing?

    Bookmark   September 24, 2013 at 11:02AM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

Yeah, I hate re-potting avocados...or disturbing the roots at all! They always sulk for a long time and look worse before they start to look better again. This Winter, I'll just prune (even though it won't be the "right" time of year), then I'll do a hard chop next Summer as the tree really kicks into high growth. I am purposefully trying to minimize my tree, but not trying to decrease the foliage size - I do want a thick trunk, however I'm not set up to allow the tree to grow unchecked for a couple seasons then chop it down (which would be the fastest means of increasing trunk caliper).

The clay pot is about 30% larger than the black nursery pot, which was .71 gallons.

I don't think the tree will stop growing out until it is so root-bound that it is also shedding all of its older leaves and on a severe decline. If you have the room, I think a 2 gallon pot would be fine...it will allow for a lot of growth.

Josh

    Bookmark   September 25, 2013 at 11:25AM
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petrushka

I kept mine for 4 mo in water, the last 2 mo I added glass marbles to water - read that it helps to branch/strengthen the roots. it's in west window in good sun - put behind the verticals just for the pic to reduce glare.
then after 4 mo once the leaves matured and got harder i potted it up in a large yogurt container with water-wick for self-watering (mix has 50% perlite). feed liq. dyna-gro 10-5-5 with micros. some Epsom salts too.
so it has nice 6 large leaves and has been busy producing fat buds: I removed the tip bud when I potted it up and then once I had 4 buds , I removed the topmost one.
so the buds are slowly getting bigger and bigger - I should have 3 nice branches(at some point :)).
I never cut the trunk - it's at 8". but I can see nice buds all along the bottom portion.
am not sure to pot it in larger pot now or wait. I will not be trimming the roots, just increase to nursing pot 1 gal, also on the water-wick. it is wicking water quite slowly, I don't have to refill often.

This post was edited by petrushka on Tue, Oct 1, 13 at 14:17

    Bookmark   October 1, 2013 at 1:50PM
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petrushka

close-up of the buds

    Bookmark   October 1, 2013 at 2:42PM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

Very nice!
I'd keep doin' what you're doin' and pot it larger next Summer. Love the new branchlets!

Josh

    Bookmark   October 1, 2013 at 11:27PM
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mksmth zone 6b Tulsa Oklahoma(6b)

Hey Josh. I havent followed this plant very much and wow you have done great. My seedling avocado never grew very well. Now my mango seedling is about 4 feet tall and is doing great. The only issue with is that the root crown has a sharp 90 degree bend in it from the way it sprouted. doesnt effect anything but it doesnt do well supporting itself.

good job buddy

Mike

    Bookmark   October 8, 2013 at 5:42PM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

Thank you, Mike!
My avocado is putting on another flush of growth, and I really must prune it again. In my area, these plants don't pick up speed until deep into Summer.

Josh

    Bookmark   October 12, 2013 at 2:20PM
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smishgibson(7b)

Thought I would share my avocado experience so far. I read this string of threads on here about it before i started. You all have some impressive avocados indeed!!

I decided to try and grow one because I think they are an attractive plant if pruned correctly. They seem to grow fairly fast and would give me a chance to "practice" pruning to achieve a shape that I want. And I am by and large, fascinated by plants and their growth. Its been fun watching this huge seed germinate.

September 3rd, 2013. We made guacamoly, and this seed felt like the right seed. I kept it. :-) Decided to start in water, and placed it in a north window.

A week later, on the 9th, i noticed the split in the cotyledons becoming more apparent. A root was visible at the bottom about a week after this, though only maybe 1 or 2 mm out of the seed. I decided later that day to transplant to soil. I put it in an approximation of 5-1-1 that I could make with what I had on hand. A mix of 5 parts orchid mix(pine bark fines, sphagnum chunks, charcoal, and lava rock), 1 part peat moss and 1 part perlite.

It never did much of anything until October 14, when it a mater of 2 days it went from a sprout down in between the cotyledons to this!

By October 20th, the tap root was exiting the bottom of the pot. Gaining a little height. Also, i watered heavily for the first time when i saw the tap root.

And yesterday november 13th. I whacked the top off. Took off about 1/2 inch. Just enough to remote the growth tip and the first 2 leaves(they were very close together). I am hoping it just limps slowly along until summer. Can't wait to take it outside. Will probably have to get a bigger pot. It dries out very quickly as it is.

Thanks for reading!
-Jess

This post was edited by smishgibson on Thu, Nov 14, 13 at 8:36

    Bookmark   November 14, 2013 at 8:35AM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

Awesome, Jess!
Very nice work! If you want a fat trunk, definitely pot it up next season...otherwise, this seedling will easily grow another year in that container. Don't forget to fertilize regularly, as well, maybe 1/4 or 1/2 strength all winter long. Good job on the early pruning, too!

I pruned my Avocado exactly a month ago. Here's the before:

    Bookmark   November 14, 2013 at 11:13PM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

And the after:

    Bookmark   November 14, 2013 at 11:17PM
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smishgibson(7b)

Thanks for the update on yours josh, looking great!

I was considering potting up to lengthen watering times, however it can help put some mass on the trunk as well? I guess increasing the root mass helps encourage the trunk to expand?

Currently i am dosing with 1/4tsp of FP and 1/4tsp of pro-tekt per gallon for all our plants at least until winter is over and some real growth kicks in. I made the mistake of using 1tsp per gallon of FP when i first got it in september and got some brown tips on a few plants. :-) Once we are into summer i will start with 1/2tsp per gallon and go from there.

Happy growing!

    Bookmark   November 15, 2013 at 10:56AM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

Thanks!
One thing you'll notice is that avocados develop brown tips even without excess fertilizer/salts in the mix. Those huge leaves lose a lot of moisture, and indoors during the Winter it is nearly impossible to avoid. But don't worry, just flush the mix every once in a while, keep it moist, and fertilize consistently. And, of course, as much light as possible!

The bigger the pot, the faster the growth, the quicker the trunk develops caliper. Grow it big, chop it down, re-pot, and so on and so forth.

Josh

    Bookmark   November 15, 2013 at 12:03PM
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Pixel_Pepper(10b)

Hello,

Have you all ever heard of multiple avocado plants sprouting from the same pit? I planted several pits a few months ago and many now have multiples-- some even have 5 sprouts. I will have to separate the pits from each other soon in any case (I didn't expect so many to sprout), so do you think it would be worth trying to separate the pit-siblings from each other?

    Bookmark   November 19, 2013 at 3:16AM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

Yes, multiple stems can/will arise from a single avocado pit/seed. I see it in my garden every Summer. In general, they tend to die back to the strongest stems. I would not attempt to separate them, unless they are actually separate pits.

Josh

    Bookmark   November 19, 2013 at 12:17PM
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Pixel_Pepper(10b)

Thanks. I will just separate out the different pits, then.

    Bookmark   November 20, 2013 at 1:33AM
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bear999

I have a 6.5 feet tall avocado growing in a 5 gallon container. I started it from a pit about 6 years ago.

The poor thing has gone through a lot. Twice I had to replace the container it was in because the winds were too strong and they knocked it over and broke the pot. Then vandals came through one summer evening and they pulled it out of the pot and dragged it into the middle of the street. It has survived through all these mishaps and every year it looks better than it did the previous year.

I wish I could plant it in the ground and watch it explode, but it gets too cold in northwest Oregon. As winter rolls around every year, I bring it into the garage in the evenings and put it back outside in the mornings. I find it is getting more difficult to carry out this task on a regular basis as I get older.

In retrospect, I wish I had planted the pit in a smaller container to limit the size of the plant.

    Bookmark   November 29, 2013 at 9:21PM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

Bear, you could always chop the tree down to a more manageable size next season, and then re-grow the upper canopy from the trunk. It's never too late.

Josh

    Bookmark   November 30, 2013 at 2:33PM
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johnguy81

Not bad Josh! The tree looks a little "chlorotic" though... I would use a combination of two things to cure this. More sun light if possible and lastly Bio Flora Dry crumbles a half hand once a month. good luck

    Bookmark   December 27, 2013 at 5:46PM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

Thanks, John.
This Avocado gets as much full sun as possible, during the Summer. I think it was a bit chlorotic....lots of flushing, not enough fertilization. I'll try to be more diligent next Season. Typically, I fertilize with my Citrus....but the mix is different for the Avo - bark, pumice, and turface - doesn't hold much nutrient.

Josh

    Bookmark   December 27, 2013 at 8:45PM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

The ol' Avocado is starting to wake up....
I've taken it outdoors on warm days, and even let it get a rain-soaking a time or two.....

    Bookmark   March 12, 2014 at 12:07AM
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waterstar

Can anyone tell me where I can buy a 15 gallon Holiday Avocado tree?

    Bookmark   March 18, 2014 at 11:34AM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

The Avocado is bursting with new growth, but the growth is out of balance....and so you know what that means! I'll soon be chopping off branches. I am considering removing half of the foliage from one of the main forking branches. If that doesn't get the results I want, I'll probably whack the entire thing down to a bare trunk just a few inches tall....and start over. We'll see where the mood takes me.....

Overall, I think I've been fairly successful with this apically dominant tree. Good branching and a decently thick canopy, though not as compact as I'd like.

Josh

1 Like    Bookmark   May 21, 2014 at 10:11PM
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petrushka

it just looks so healthy! all leaves so nice and green, no spots no discoloration. how do you manage it?
i try to give mine micros and all, and feed it regularly, but this spring it developed very strange 'mosaic' like spotting.
best i could figure out -zinc? deficiency? it looks like it's withdrawing whatever from older leaves into new. the new ones are huge and healthy.
i gave it epsom salts, i added some cactus ferts with calcium. unfortunately i dont' have specific citrus/avo ferts.
have you seen anything like it?

    Bookmark   May 24, 2014 at 2:43PM
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petrushka

here's a close-up.

    Bookmark   May 24, 2014 at 2:46PM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

Petrushka, I'm so sorry that I missed your latest posts and questions. For some reason, GardenWeb is no longer notifying me of updates to my Threads....

I'm not sure what the issue is with your Avocado, but it is clearly some sort of deficiency. What do you use as a fertilizer, and what is the potting mix?

I use Osmocote and Foliage Pro for mine.

Josh

    Bookmark   June 7, 2014 at 10:19AM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

Time for an Avocado update...the tree is really growing out of balance, and getting pretty tall. A stiff wind will blow it over any day now. I will have to do some pruning very soon, but I'm still not sure how hard I'll chop it.

Josh

    Bookmark   June 7, 2014 at 10:40AM
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petrushka

oh, it's ok, i figured you're busy in spring...but sooner or later will post the update ;)
so how old is it by now?
it's nice that it is still in manageable small pot.
mine is strictly indoors - it's just an experiment, no big deal. but i am learning all kinds of stuff for the future.
i use dynagro hi-n-pro 10-5-5 with micros: calcium 2%, magnesium, molibdenum and cobalt 1/4 dosage with liq.feed continuously.
so it improved with ironite 7-6-6 sulfur, boron,iron, manganese and zinc. but still not good enough.
i looked at palm/citrus ferts 8-4-12 (that people use for avos) and they all contain much larger dosage of manganese/magnesium ..3%. which is very high.
i also read that avos do not like hi N.
i just got new osmocote plus 15-9-12 - so i will try that for this summer.
i removed about a dozen older marbled 'half-spent' leaves too.
problem is, i'd like to prune it somewhat, but since the older leaves are used to extract missing micro's for new leaves...removing new leaves seems like a wrong thing to do....

    Bookmark   June 7, 2014 at 12:24PM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

Hello! Yes, end of the school is always busy with finals, grades, check out, et cetera.

In November, this tree will be 5 year's old...so that would make it about 4 and a half year's old right now. I prune fairly often, and I fertilize with 19-6-12 and 9-3-6 fertilizer. This tree seems happy all the time, other than discarding some older lower leaves during the late Winter.

Josh

    Bookmark   June 7, 2014 at 12:39PM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

The time has come.

This morning, I removed quite a few branches....but still left more than I should have.
I really wanted to correct the out-of-balance growth by chopping the Avocado down to a bare trunk, maybe 6-inches at most....
...but I chickened out :-)

Josh

    Bookmark   June 18, 2014 at 3:03PM
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Jay Part Shade (Zone 10B, S21, Los Angeles)

Looking good! I'm surprised the roots haven't cracked that pot yet :)

How much sun does it get? Looks like part shade -- is that all day? My avocados were in direct sun for maybe 6 hours a day but I'm noticing what appears to be sun burn. It's not bad, more like a black rash. It's hard to tell with young avocados how much light they should be getting.

    Bookmark   June 18, 2014 at 10:31PM
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smishgibson(7b)

Always great to see an Avocado update Josh! Yours looks amazing. We moved to a slightly warmer area, with slightly more humidity, and MUCH more light. I am thrilled to have a large south facing balcony and 3 large south facing windows.

Avocado is loving it, its put on 4 news leaves this month.

I am slightly concerned about one thing though, it wilts very easily in even partial sun. 2 hours of partial sun under some tomato plants and it looks sad! I have been keeping it out of all direct light for now.

I feel my pot may be desperately too small, and this guy sprouted in the darkest of windows, so i am sure it will take him some time to get used to such bright sun.

    Bookmark   June 19, 2014 at 12:20PM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

Thanks, Jay and Smish!
My Avocado was wilting in full midday sun....thankfully the deck gets blasted for a few hours only, then back to mosaic sunlight. Smish, keep your Avocado in bright shade or partial sun...no need for direct sun until later in its life. It will take some adjustment.

Jay, those black spots sound like sunburn to me, too. As the sun moves through the trees at different points in the season, some plants will take damage....feel free to pluck any ugly leaves, and new ones will grow.

Josh

    Bookmark   June 19, 2014 at 12:51PM
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calistoga_al ca 15 usda 9

I think you are rowing against the current Josh, trying to make your avocado into a nice neat central leader tree. They naturally want to grow limbs right down to the ground. In our old place on the coast we had one with no limbs within 10 feet off the ground, but it had a 12 inch diameter trunk. Here our 20 year old tree was still growing limbs to the ground. Al

    Bookmark   June 20, 2014 at 9:29AM
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Jay Part Shade (Zone 10B, S21, Los Angeles)

I think Josh is trying to do an avocado houseplant bonsai. Doing it with a hass seed is like trying to bonsai a sequoia, but it looks like it's working so far.

That said, I think it'd be awesome to let it grow out until it fruits. You'd only need a ten gal container or so to get a couple of fruit off of it. Who knows, you could have an awesome undiscovered variety :)

    Bookmark   June 20, 2014 at 10:02AM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

Hehe, thanks, Jay :-)

Yeah, I'm trying to keep this thing as low-profile as possible....but it wants to grow UP! Very apically dominant species. The issue with growing it to fruiting size is that I have no room for it indoors, and I'm certainly not going to give it the prime real estate occupied by my Citrus or my Pachira ;-)

Josh

    Bookmark   June 20, 2014 at 2:23PM
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slowjane CA/ Sunset 21

Hi all - glad to find this thread! We've been scratching our heads about our avocado grown from seed. It's about 2 years old - I potted it up to a 12" pot earlier this summer - and after I flushed it really well, the salt burn went away. Recently we noticed millions of tiny little buds all up and down the trunk.

From what I've been reading we should be pruning it - but should we really cut off all it's leaves? Or just start pinching the top leaves now? Will the buds turn into branches without topping it? Looking forward to hearing your advice!!

    Bookmark   July 9, 2014 at 7:38PM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

Hello, and welcome, Jane!

If you only pinch the very top, new growth will tend to appear at the top, close to where you pinched. Sometimes, those little buds further down the trunk will turn into new branches, but it's not guaranteed. Typically, the top of the tree takes all the energy, and those lower buds just shrivel and drop off.

That is why I prune the trunk down to the point where I want the first branching to occur. You will usually get a few branches, and then you will prune the tips off of the new branches to encourage them to branch again, and so forth. This is how to make a bushy, multi-branched canopy. Avocados have a mind of their own, though, so constant maintenance is required.

I whacked my Avocado pretty good three weeks ago, and it is bursting with new growth. I should take an update pic.

Josh

    Bookmark   July 10, 2014 at 1:12PM
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slowjane CA/ Sunset 21

okay - so it's okay to cut off all the top growth? seems like it could really stress the plant to lose all of its photosynthesizing leaves? but it's too tall for any other kind of pruning...hmmm...

just want to confirm that that will work - say if i chop it at a couple feet high - it will get new braches and recover? also, is this the right season to do so?

thanks much! look forward to an updated photo of yours.

    Bookmark   July 10, 2014 at 9:30PM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

Let me say that in *my* experience, you can chop all the leaves off of an avocado and it will shoot out new buds. Sure, it stresses the plant a bit (just as a re-potting will stress a plant), but my plant has shown incredible recovery within a few weeks when I've lopped it in the past. I've lopped other trees of mine, too, and they respond well.

After this first significant chop, you won't need to chop so hard again. I think I'd chop your tree about three or four inches below that kink in the trunk. Oh, and yes, this is the perfect season to be chopping! I've chopped in the Winter, and it takes much longer for new growth to appear. I prune several times during the Summer, until about September.

Okay, so here's an update pic....I didn't get a pic of the entire tree. I wanted to focus on the new growth, which is still difficult to see. Bear in mind, this is only one part of the top of the tree, but there are new leaves / branches bursting along the older branches.

Josh

    Bookmark   July 11, 2014 at 2:28AM
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jodik_gw

Wow... nice, Josh! :-)

    Bookmark   July 11, 2014 at 8:17AM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

Thanks, Jodi! ;-)

Josh

    Bookmark   July 11, 2014 at 12:40PM
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slowjane CA/ Sunset 21

okey dokey. now we shall see if i can muster the courage to do it. ;)

    Bookmark   July 14, 2014 at 4:34PM
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jcr89(7)

Just wanted to keep this thread alive, as I love growing things from seed. This avo was started in January, and has made leaps and bounds. I have purposely dwarfed it because it will have to go indoors for the winter....
I also have two more roughly the same size that have have received the same treatment. Always looking for a trade;)
-josh

    Bookmark   July 21, 2014 at 12:18PM
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jodik_gw

Oh, hey, Josh! Speaking of avocados...

My grandson and I saved a pit from the last one we used, and we did the toothpick and jar of water trick... hoping it would sprout, but not actually thinking it would.

Lo and behold... we have a small root coming out the bottom of the pit... and I may have jumped the gun, but I very carefully and gently potted it into a very decent medium mixture, and placed the small pot on the deck so it could get decent sunlight!

I think I might be more excited than my grandson! This is the first avocado seed in a very long time that has actually shown signs of growing!

Yay! :-)

    Bookmark   July 21, 2014 at 12:53PM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

Pic is sideways....difficult to view.

    Bookmark   July 21, 2014 at 1:05PM
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jcr89(7)

Josh, my pic is sideways..? I didn't think it was, but I would be happy to post another

    Bookmark   July 21, 2014 at 1:56PM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

Yeah it's sideways, even when I click and it opens in a new tab.

Josh

    Bookmark   July 21, 2014 at 2:07PM
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jcr89(7)

Well here is a follow up... I hope it stays right side up...

    Bookmark   July 22, 2014 at 7:51PM
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jasdip

I love growing growing avocados from the pits. But mine inevitably get brown crispy leaves.

Josh, you have the nicest potted avo I've ever seen! Thanks to this thread I'm really wanting to try it again.
Now if the darn fruit would only come down a bit in price!

    Bookmark   July 22, 2014 at 8:09PM
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jcr89(7)

I think it just depends on the pit... When I started mine I had six and two of them got the brown crispy leaves and they all got the same treatment. Who knows

    Bookmark   July 23, 2014 at 8:47AM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

Thanks!
Yes, the pic is upright now! ;-)

Avocados are notorious for the browned leaves, especially when kept indoors over the Winter in dry, heated conditions. The key is to grow them in a free-draining mix so that fertilizer salts do not accumulate and burn the roots....and so that the root-tips don't die from sitting in saturated mucky potting mix.

My Avocado is far from pristine, but I know that new leaves will replace older ugly leaves in time, which makes it easier to yank off anything displeasing leaves.

Josh

    Bookmark   July 23, 2014 at 12:37PM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

I took an update pic earlier today....new growth is coming in fast! I will most likely have to do another tip pruning in August.

Josh

    Bookmark   July 23, 2014 at 4:26PM
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jodik_gw

Very nice, Josh!

I hope our little pit continues to push out its root, and shows us some growth from the top... I've got my fingers crossed!

The grandkids are totally stoked about the garden they helped plant, and they check it almost every day to see the changes... like the flowers on zucchini plants and cucumber vines, the baby green beans growing, the tops of the carrots, etc... I'm so glad they show an interest!

I've come to believe that somehow, gardening skips a generation... my Grandma gardened, but my Mom killed every plant she touched! I love plants and gardening, but my kids don't show an interest. And here we are, the grandkids are showing a huge interest in growing plants!

    Bookmark   July 23, 2014 at 11:15PM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

That's awesome, Jodi :-)

I'm lucky to have a grandfather and father who both appreciate gardening....my sister likes gardening (but isn't very consistent), and my brother likes the idea of gardening (but hasn't quite grasped the whole fertilizing thing - thankfully, his wife is a bit better at it!). I would say that my grandfather and I are both a little more fanatical about gardening, though, so there could be a generational thing going on.

Josh

    Bookmark   July 24, 2014 at 2:24AM
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jcr89(7)

I vouch for the generational thing!! I learned gardening from my grandparents while they were still alive, my mother on the other hand could kill a cactus lol

    Bookmark   July 24, 2014 at 7:33AM
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jcr89(7)

And Josh, your avo is beautiful... I'd let it grow if I were you. That's my plan with mine anyway, but I'm fortunate enough to have two large south facing bay windows for the winter. We shall see

    Bookmark   July 24, 2014 at 7:35AM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

Thanks!
If I let it grow, it will continue to grow upward....but if I prune selectively, I can encourage a nice full canopy at about three feet tall :-)

Josh

    Bookmark   July 24, 2014 at 12:49PM
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jcr89(7)

Yeah, you've gotta do what's best for you. There just isn't much prettier than a tree form in the house in my opinion... And it looks like your avo has what it takes to be that. But even at 3 feet, it is beautiful.:)

    Bookmark   July 25, 2014 at 5:14AM
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the_yard_guy(6A)

Josh : Very nice thread! I never checked this out before, but will be following this in the future. I've never grown avocados so reading about yours is very interesting.

Keep us updated!

TYG

    Bookmark   July 25, 2014 at 10:56AM
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jasdip

Man, I so have the urge to bite the bullet and buy a couple of avocados! Josh you are a marvel, the way yours is growing.

I'd better hurry and make up my mind and do it. Summer will be over soon, but the good thing, my apartment gets more sun in the winter, so the little guy should do well. Yep, gonna do it!

    Bookmark   July 25, 2014 at 1:22PM
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the_yard_guy(6A)

Josh : You have inspired another GW member!

TYG

    Bookmark   July 25, 2014 at 1:43PM
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musicgal

I just ate an avocado. Very tempted to try this out!

    Bookmark   July 25, 2014 at 5:50PM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

Always glad to help ;-)

And the funny thing is, I decided to grow an Avocado just so that I could give advice to my sister...who can't keep them alive indoors. Like I keep telling her, it all begins at the roots....once the mix is right, the watering and fertilizing is easy.

Pruning - now that's not quite so easy. You have to develop a hard hand, and cut harder than you think. The results are excellent.

Josh

    Bookmark   July 25, 2014 at 5:55PM
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shaukathkiani

I am a fresh member, came to know about gardenweb, while surfing to know the proper time for picking off mangoes from a tree. I have 5 mango trees at my farm. 3 young plants,2 yrs old not yet fruiting, one 3 yrs old plant gave 3 kg mangoes for the ist time and one 5 years old plant gave 28 kg mangoes this year. I picked the fruit off the tree after finding a mango fallen down from the tree. it was damaged and slightly rotten on a side. fearing that it may not happen to other mangoes i plucked them off today, however I am not sure weather i did right or wrong. I just wanted to know that what are the signs & symptoms for picking off mangoes from the tree and that what should i do know to ripen them off the tree. please see pics. of mangoes freshly removed from the tree. can we meet on facebook.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2014 at 6:24PM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

I don't know.

I don't grow mangoes....and this is a Thread about growing Avocados in containers :-)
There is a Tropical Fruit Forum at GardenWeb, and I bet you could find excellent answers there.

Josh

    Bookmark   July 25, 2014 at 7:04PM
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tcamp30144(7B N.ATLANTA)

Planted the pit and got this in two weeks wow!
Trace

    Bookmark   July 26, 2014 at 9:13PM
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jcr89(7)

Trace, beautiful. If I were you you I'd pinch on the top now. It makes it bushier

    Bookmark   July 26, 2014 at 9:23PM
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jcr89(7)

Trace, beautiful. If I were you you I'd pinch on the top now. It makes it bushier

    Bookmark   July 26, 2014 at 9:26PM
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jodik_gw

Well, Josh, it would appear that my son's large American Bulldog thinks the avocado pit is a toy... he lifted it right out of the top of the pot and I found it with a couple of tooth marks, lying on the deck. I re-potted it... the tiny root was still intact... so we'll see what happens!

LOL... dogs! What are ya gonna do...

Other than that, he's been pretty good about leaving my other plants alone... and I do have quite a few.

Yes, an excellent thread for us Avocado pit growers!

    Bookmark   July 27, 2014 at 8:52AM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

Trace, if you want, you could prune the seedling down to the second large leaf, leaving about a 1/4 inch stub above the node. Totally up to you....but the sooner you begin pruning, the sooner the plant will begin to branch.

Jodi, I bet your avocado will make it! Sounds like you discovered it in time. Interestingly, another GardenWeb member (Esox) is starting some pits, and a squirrel nabbed one of them today.

Josh

    Bookmark   July 27, 2014 at 8:39PM
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tcamp30144(7B N.ATLANTA)

Hmmm thanks all I will ponder it for a sec.
Trace

    Bookmark   July 28, 2014 at 12:54AM
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the_yard_guy(6A)

Wow between squirrels and dogs its a wonder anyone can grow avocado plants lol.

TYG

    Bookmark   July 28, 2014 at 7:26AM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

Tip: start them indoors....above dog level ;-)

Josh

    Bookmark   July 28, 2014 at 10:02AM
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jodik_gw

LOL, Josh! I thought it was out of his reach... silly me!

Because of space and weather issues, I'm currently keeping all of my smaller pots grouped in wooden fruit crates and other short-sided boxes... for ease of moving them indoors in case of a storm and whatnot... and the crates are lined up on a built-in deck bench, where they get the most sun.

I've relocated that particular pot to the back of a box where it's not in plain sight for Dewey, the curious Bulldog!

He has nibbled on a leaf or two, here and there... but a firm "NO!" and a little nose flick have taught him well that those are not his toys. He's been really good lately, about leaving my plants alone.

Apparently, he thought the pit was his because it looks rather like a small ball...

    Bookmark   July 28, 2014 at 10:19AM
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smittenwithkitten(8)

I was just researching about growing an indoor avocado tree a few months back and my husband insisted I was crazy because of how huge they get! We have to move every few years so I thought an indoor plant would be perfect! I

Your tree looks great! Silly question, but will it ever bare any fruit? I read it takes 7 years to get any from the tree.

    Bookmark   September 15, 2014 at 5:36PM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

Welcome!
My tree probably won't ever bear fruit, due to how I prune it and the fact that I don't have a greenhouse. I've heard that the trees take 10 - 20 years sometimes.....and some simply never fruit.

Your husband is right, though, that they get huge. This weekend, my tree kept blowing over in the wind.....so I finally chopped it down as I've been threatening. I think it'll survive because it was so lush and vital, and such a vigorous tree to begin with.....but you never know with this severe a chop. It's amazing how much more room there is on the deck now ;-)

Anyhow, I did take pics before removing three feet of beautiful foliage....which the deer got to eat last night. Soda can for size reference.

Josh

    Bookmark   September 15, 2014 at 10:01PM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

...and the after. This is how one maintains an avocado as a houseplant. Keep your fingers crossed. I should be posting a new growth update in the next two to three weeks.....or writing an obituary ;-)

Josh

    Bookmark   September 15, 2014 at 10:04PM
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angnic22

Noooo!! It can't end here! I've been reading all about this great avocado plant of yours Josh and I really want to know what happened after the massive pruning. Can you provide an update?

    Bookmark   September 25, 2014 at 12:45AM
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angnic22

By the way, this thread is amazing. So awesome to read the experiences of others.

The toothpick/water method has worked for me once, however, the ziplock/wet paper towel has worked 99% of the time.

We finally moved to Georgia and settled in last August so my 5 trees vary in age of a year or less. I kept one outside for several months (to acclimate to the sun) before planting it in the ground around some other trees for partial cover. (Georgia sun is harsh.) Those trees are old and aren't doing well so they will eventually be removed providing my avocado room to dominate in the future. He still looks a bit sad; droopy but no discoloring or leaf loss.

I have the others indoors and every one has lost it's lower leaves due to browning. I think it may be salt accumulation. I haven't been fertilizing much, as I'm not sure what to do but I have given it some water with fish emulsion from time to time. I also have citrus mix which I have done maybe twice. Since I need to repot soon I wasn't going to worry about leaching the soil. Hopefully I can get the soil right on my own. It's too bad they don't sell something good for avocados.

It's currently in basic potting soil with added perilite and peat moss. I think I need better draining soil. Not equipped to try your gritty mix, but will indeed add a layer of sand and more perilite and bark to the soil. They all need to be repotted which I expect to do this weekend.

I love taking a seed and watching it come alive. Actually started my first pineapple, believe it or not. Took forever to start seeing roots but now there are tons. I'll have to surf the internet and find the right soil mix. As you said, Josh, it all starts with the soil.

Thank you for keeping us up to date on your avocado plant. It is encouraging :)

Have a great day!

~Angie

    Bookmark   September 25, 2014 at 12:59AM
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angnic22

By the way, this thread is amazing. So awesome to read the experiences of others.

The toothpick/water method has worked for me once, however, the ziplock/wet paper towel has worked 99% of the time.

We finally moved to Georgia and settled in last August so my 5 trees vary in age of a year or less. I kept one outside for several months (to acclimate to the sun) before planting it in the ground around some other trees for partial cover. (Georgia sun is harsh.) Those trees are old and aren't doing well so they will eventually be removed providing my avocado room to dominate in the future. He still looks a bit sad; droopy but no discoloring or leaf loss.

I have the others indoors and every one has lost it's lower leaves due to browning. I think it may be salt accumulation. I haven't been fertilizing much, as I'm not sure what to do but I have given it some water with fish emulsion from time to time. I also have citrus mix which I have done maybe twice. Since I need to repot soon I wasn't going to worry about leaching the soil. Hopefully I can get the soil right on my own. It's too bad they don't sell something good for avocados.

It's currently in basic potting soil with added perilite and peat moss. I think I need better draining soil. Not equipped to try your gritty mix, but will indeed add a layer of sand and more perilite and bark to the soil. They all need to be repotted which I expect to do this weekend.

I love taking a seed and watching it come alive. Actually started my first pineapple, believe it or not. Took forever to start seeing roots but now there are tons. I'll have to surf the internet and find the right soil mix. As you said, Josh, it all starts with the soil.

Thank you for keeping us up to date on your avocado plant. It is encouraging :)

Have a great day!

~Angie

    Bookmark   September 25, 2014 at 9:20AM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

Thanks, Angie :-)
Don't worry, I don't think it will end here. In another week or two, hopefully I have an update on some growth.

Josh

    Bookmark   September 25, 2014 at 8:03PM
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jasdip

Josh......nooooooo! Did you prune your gorgeous tree to THAT level???? Oh you are the bravest person I know!

I sprouted 5 pits wrapped in wet paper towel in a baggie, kept in a drawer. They've all rooted, so now are in pots. I have 4 pits in one pot and will separate once they start growing, or keep them in one pot, and see how they do once I start pruning.

I'm going to do my best to prevent the dry, browning leaves that I habitually get. That's why I get discouraged growing avos, but Josh you are the MAN! You're our idol and mentor.

Fingers crossed that your baby starts sprouting soon. Maybe your avo doesn't know it's going to be 'winter'/off-season even in California and will grow vigorously.

    Bookmark   September 25, 2014 at 8:22PM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

Hey, thanks, Jas!
Yep, I whacked it down pretty short this time....after all these years of threatening. I'm pretty excited about the extra room I'll have indoors this Winter. Another week or so and there should be sprouts of new growth from the trunk. Honestly, I was tempted to chop even lower....

Josh

    Bookmark   September 25, 2014 at 10:57PM
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jodik_gw

I think it will be fine, Josh... plants are amazing at survival.

Good news on my own little potted avocado seed... it's splitting in half, and I can see a sprout growing! First one I've had germinate in forever! :-)

    Bookmark   September 30, 2014 at 10:57AM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

Ya, Jodi! Don't let the dog get it! ;-)

There is a bud appearing on the trunk already, but I'll wait to take a pic until it is a bit more apparent.

Josh

    Bookmark   September 30, 2014 at 1:01PM
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Jay Part Shade (Zone 10B, S21, Los Angeles)

Hey Josh, a little update on my 5-1-1 avocado orchard. I discovered I was seriously under watering. I left for 3 days and put my 15 gal pots on a 1 gal dripper running 45 mins twice a day. When I got back, 2 of my 4 avocados had put out serious new growth, tons of leaves all over the branches. I guess it's true about avocados loving water and hating wet roots -- 5-1-1 would seem like a solid mix. Lesson learned, now I'll be watering maybe 3 times a day.

    Bookmark   September 30, 2014 at 10:08PM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

Jay, you could use a drip-tray, such as I was using and filling up every other day. With so much leaf surface, these trees really do draw a LOT of moisture.

Now that my tree has no leaves, I've removed it from the drip-tray and water every two days to keep the mix moist.

Josh

    Bookmark   September 30, 2014 at 11:05PM
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Jay Part Shade (Zone 10B, S21, Los Angeles)

Is the drip tray you're talking about the one that goes under the pot? Or something that sits on top of the soil? I worry about having a tray underneath because of how avocados get root rot so easily.

    Bookmark   October 1, 2014 at 12:19AM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

Yes, the tray under the pot, Jay. When the plant is actively growing, the water in the tray shouldn't pose a root-rot threat, especially if the pot itself is slightly elevated within the tray (on shims, corks, et cetera). During the Winter indoors, I make sure the tray is dry, though.

Right on schedule, two weeks after the pruning, new growth appearing up and down the trunk, on all sides. Now I'll wait and see which growth-points are dominant.

Josh

    Bookmark   October 5, 2014 at 2:43PM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

In order to get the most out of the end of the growing season, I've brought the Avocado indoors for the night to keep the roots warmer, and then put it out for the day to soak up this wonderful Autumn sunshine. It's coming right along. This is why one should never fear hard-pruning a healthy Avocado. You determine where the branching will occur.

Time to fertilize :-)

Josh

This post was edited by greenman28 on Sun, Oct 26, 14 at 14:04

    Bookmark   October 19, 2014 at 1:40PM
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jodik_gw

Nice, Josh!

My little sprout is now a few inches tall, pushing out leaves... we're back south, packing more stuff and closing up some loopholes, so I have no access to a camera so I can get a photo up... but as soon as I can, I'll try.

    Bookmark   October 20, 2014 at 7:16AM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

Thanks, Jodi, I'm looking forward to your update pic :-)
Are you fertilizing the seedling yet? Oh, and good luck with the remainder of the move!

Josh

    Bookmark   October 20, 2014 at 12:38PM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

Cooler days and nights have slowed the growth, but the Avocado is still growing well. It was definitely late in the season to be pruning.

Josh

    Bookmark   October 26, 2014 at 2:01PM
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jasdip

Wow, Josh. I've never seen new growth come out of the stem like that before. Anytime I've cut avocados down, they just get a new leader resulting in a wonky looking tall gangly thing.

YOU are the reason I've started pits and hopefully more avocados. I've never heard of anyone having such a beautiful indoor tree as you, Josh. We're all bowing to you, you know :-)

    Bookmark   October 26, 2014 at 2:12PM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

Man, you're going to make my head too big! ;-)

If I let this Avocado grow as it wants, the top branches will take off and the lower buds will eventually fail. This is why it is important to nip the upper branches frequently to keep energy directed to lower growth. It is a constant struggle....

If I were really serious about preserving the low growth, I would actually remove the top two branches right now.

Josh

    Bookmark   October 26, 2014 at 2:30PM
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LadySudan

Josh, I've reading now for hours. I'm new to the forum & have to admit I am more excited about growing my Avocado'now than when I first started in late Spring! I have 13 ready to pot as soon as I get a ride to purchase what I'll need to try your crunchy looking mix. I'll then have 10 more with beginning roots & starting tops to move to the windowsill next. Lastly, I have about 6/7 just starting to show the start of roots! I began all this late Spring to keep myself occupied as I have Multiple Sclerosis, recently widowed & unable to drive. Just myself & my Toy Poodle, Bella. I consume several Cado's weekly for health reasons. Normally type in all CAPS as I'm totally blind in left eye with vision problems in the right eye as well. Hoping to be accepted into the group. Unfortunately I make a lot of Typo's.

    Bookmark   November 2, 2014 at 1:39AM
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LadySudan

Sorry, I forgot to mention that I live in Northeast Ohio. Last winter was historical for us as the temp dropped down to 38º below zero.
Josh, your tree is amazing. I look forward to learning as much as possible, especially getting accustomed to pruning without fear! Luckily last summer I had a wrap around deck built so once Summer returns I'll have room outdoors for them. I imagine I'll be sharing with many. Physically I'm unable to walk in the yard, the deck should be perfect !

    Bookmark   November 2, 2014 at 2:08AM
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LadySudan

Sorry, I forgot to mention that I live in Northeast Ohio. Last winter was historical for us as the temp dropped down to 38º below zero.
Josh, your tree is amazing. I look forward to learning as much as possible, especially getting accustomed to pruning without fear! Luckily last summer I had a wrap around deck built so once Summer returns I'll have room outdoors for them. I imagine I'll be sharing with many. Physically I'm unable to walk in the yard, the deck should be perfect !

    Bookmark   November 2, 2014 at 2:28AM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

Welcome to the forum, lady Sudan! So glad to have you here, and to hear your story.
I think you're going to derive quite a bit of enjoyment from growing, tending, pruning, shaping, and sharing your Avocados.

It's almost time to bring my Avocado is for the Winter....as our temps are dipping into the high 30F's at night. During the day, however, we're still enjoying northern California's golden high Autumn sunshine.....

I was just on the back deck with the plants, and I took this picture :-) A pruned Avocado is so much more ruly and easy to deal with....

Josh

    Bookmark   November 2, 2014 at 12:32PM
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smishgibson(7b)

Josh,

Just had to drop in and say how impressed i am with the back budding. Looks like a bonsai at this stage. I know those leaves will get bigger and it will lose that look, but for now it looks very cool. Should give you a really stout bushy form if 3 or more of those turn into real leaders with active growth.

My avocado is doing well, had a big set back in mid summer. It was too hot here and the plant was weakened. It got infested with saddle back caterpillars which stripped many of the leaves it put out over the spring. I will get it through winter and prune off the damaged leaves when we get back into a growing season.

    Bookmark   November 6, 2014 at 3:55PM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

Thanks, Smish! I love this "bonsai" stage, too!
A good reason to prune regularly. I think I'm going to trim the tips of the top two branches and see if I can encourage the lower buds to continue to develop. We'll see....

Good luck with your Avo! It will be fine I'm sure.

Josh

    Bookmark   November 6, 2014 at 7:44PM
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jodik_gw

Very neat, Josh! I like that bonsai look, too!

I just made the first "pinch" to my own Avocado plant, which actually finally cracked the seed in two and grew several inches! I made a soft pinch to the tiny, newer leaves in the center, and am hoping that will help keep it from turning into a too tall broomstick-telephone pole of a plant!

Once it gets some age to it, and I'm sure it has a healthy root system... like next spring... I might try to pinch or cut it more to encourage branching. I don't want it to turn into a lanky thing with no shape.

Actually, I'm still kind of in shock that it rooted and grew! :-)

Good job with yours, Josh! Can't wait to see how it progresses!

    Bookmark   November 7, 2014 at 10:05AM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

Hey, Jodi!
Right on! I'm sure you'll get into pinching a few times per season, with a hard chop every couple years or so....who knows, maybe even more often. Gone are the days of the "broomstick" Avocado....you will be the one to determine how your plant grows henceforth!

Josh

    Bookmark   November 7, 2014 at 11:15AM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

Left the tree outside last night....leaves were a bit wilty this morning, but I think it'll be alright. Probably just slow the growth a bit further.

Josh

    Bookmark   November 8, 2014 at 3:57PM
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jodik_gw

Looking good, in spite of any cold, Josh!

Beyond the pinch, I don't think there's much I can do for this little guy before next spring. He's still in the small pot he began in, a 3" opaque plastic pot... but he is in good medium, so he should be okay as long as he gets some light over winter. I may have to set up a shop light for a few of my plants... there isn't a lot of window space available that isn't over a heat vent or too near a door.

The good news is, as soon as spring arrives, they get the nice dappled sun of the deck area, which they all seem to love.

Next up, hibernation! Stay warm, everyone!

    Bookmark   November 13, 2014 at 9:11AM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

Hello! Jodi, how is your sprout doing? Leaves growing larger?

After a week or two indoors, the warm temps have helped with leaf development. I've only been watering once a week, but I do intend to fertilize today. I took the plant outside for the picture only.

Josh

    Bookmark   November 23, 2014 at 3:16PM
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Jay Part Shade (Zone 10B, S21, Los Angeles)

Hey Josh, looks great! Amazing how hard an avocado can be pruned.

On the other end of the potted avocado spectrum, I recently repotted two of my avocados into 45 gallon root pouches, acting more like mini raised beds. I've given up on trying to do complete container culture with avocados trying to fruit. Sharwil on the left, new Sir Prize on the right:

    Bookmark   December 3, 2014 at 3:32PM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

They look great, Jay, and I think they'll be quite content in those large pouches.

Josh

    Bookmark   December 3, 2014 at 8:13PM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

A little update :-)

Josh

    Bookmark   December 6, 2014 at 8:27PM
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andra_yellowpenguin(9a)

Hi,
I've been following this adventture for a while now, after stumbling on it when looking to see how to pot my avocados. Love this threads, i think i spent an afternoon back in october reading everything since you first started your avocado to the last post this year. Took a few notes on potting and care and used them and my avocados did great after potting. But now the oldest one is unhappy and has browning leaves. I'd love some advice... Here's the storry.
So, this august i put 3 avocado pits in water as an experiment. I didn't really expect them to grow. I live in Grenoble, France, and we have a sort of mediteranean climate, only in winter it gets colder, -5 and sometimes -10 celcius at night. Rosemary and lavander thrive here, they're all over the city as decoration, but it's too cold for avocados. However, since august here is hot and sunny, 2 of my experiments took off and sprouted roots. The third cracked but did nothing and at the end of november it got algae and smelled funny so i threw it out.
In september it got colder at night so i started bringing the avocados in at night and taking them out during the day to enjoy the sun. One of them started a stem and a really long root. In the first half of october i got them in and set them in sunny spots. The second avocado started putting out a long root and a very wide crack.
By november, the first avo to sprout wasat least 20cm tall, had 6 huge leaves and 4 huge roots. It clearly needed planting. The second one had about an inch of root and had 7 little trunks in its huge crack. They were all about half an inch tall.
After reading a lot here i removed the top bud from the first avo and started preparing planting. I got some assorted gritty gravel from the river side (couldn't find pummice anywhere), and bough citrus soil, orchid soil and clay pearls and attempted to make something as close to the gritty mix as possible. I also found Osmocote slow release fertilizer for citrus and mediteranean plants and mixed it in with thesoil. It seemed to work, as both trees thrived after potting. As an afterthought, and since the outer pots had an inch of empty inner platform, i used a self wattering system and i filled the part under the inner pot with water.
Then, as they were now in 2 galon containers i had to find space for them. I have a very small apt, 16 square meters, facing west i think, or SW, and all the front wall is the balcony doors. So it was a bit hard to find 2 well lit spots that were also out of the draft. I ended up putting the smaller tree on the table in the best lit area, and the tall leafy one on a chair next to the other end of the glass wall from the balcony door. This was also close to the radiator, and i think it might be part of the problem...
So, a month after potting all was great. The small avocado had grown as big as its brother, with only one trunk really taking off. I removed the top bud and it sprouted some more leaves. It had 5 leaves, not really broad ones, more like the leaves on a cherry tree, but it looked happy and healthy. The situation with this tree is the same now, it seems to be happy.
The older tree, with the big leaves, seemed happy too the first month. Leaves were great deep green, no dried up edges, all looked well.
Then, about a week before Christmas i noticed the tip of a leaf was broun. After another week all leaves had brown tips. And by last monday they all had brown edge! The brown edges are getting larger and they are brittle and dry. I don't know what to do... I decided to move the tree away from the radiator, though this means less light for it. Can you please help? I don't think it will die, but if it loses its leaves before march, when the warm weather kicks in, i don't think it can live that long leafless... What do you think? Do you have any advice? I will try to add a few pictures but i don't know how yet...

    Bookmark   January 11, 2015 at 3:23AM
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andra_yellowpenguin(9a)

Ok, here are some pictures :
Older avocado now... You can clearly see the leaves are really unhappy.
This was last week, before moved it today. In the end i moved it next to the balcony door with my other plants...

    Bookmark   January 11, 2015 at 3:41AM
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andra_yellowpenguin(9a)

I only seem to be able to attach one image per post... Here it is again today, one week after the other photo, after the move next to my other plants.

    Bookmark   January 11, 2015 at 3:46AM
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andra_yellowpenguin(9a)

The brown sides to the leaves got bigger, and it lost its smallest leaf. It was all dry and brittle. :( Please help!

    Bookmark   January 11, 2015 at 3:49AM
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andra_yellowpenguin(9a)

This is the other tree, still doing great, looking happy...
I looked up the hardiness zones, i think Grenoble would be in 9a. The map places it in 8, alongside Lyon, but there is a big difference, Grenoble is warmer and has milder climate in winter because it is in a closed valey. Normally winter is -5 at night. There are maybe a few days with -9. It rains a lot, but it only snows one to 5 days a year, and the snow usually melts on the same day.

This post was edited by andra_yellowpenguin on Sun, Jan 11, 15 at 4:05

    Bookmark   January 11, 2015 at 3:52AM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

Hello, thanks so much for reading through all these Threads!

I am not sure exactly why you're seedlings are suffering, but Winter indoors is always tough on an Avocado. I would poke a wooden skewer into the potting mix and use that to tell when the potting mix is drying out.

Josh

    Bookmark   January 11, 2015 at 1:44PM
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andra_yellowpenguin(9a)

Thank you Josh! I'll monitor it and hopefully come back with good news. Already it looks a bit happyer after being moved far away from the radiator. It seems to have liven up a bit, lifted the leaves a bit.
I also wanted to say i repotted my 7yo pachira aquatica in the mix you made and it's very happy there. I was shocked to see it had nobroots when i repotted it. It was starting to look really sad and i was afraid the trunk was dying. So i repotted it for the first time (i know, it was really long overdue but it hadn't grown much in the 7 years and i had no space for a bigger container) and then i saw the trunk was a bit drying and it had no roots whatsoever. I thought it would die for sure but to my surprise after repotting it started putting up fresh growth and lifted up its head! Thanks for all the good advice on these threads, they saved my plants. :D

    Bookmark   January 11, 2015 at 2:42PM
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j_l_s

I think my Avocado needs branches trimmed, and should I remove some of the brown leaves ?
(I drew a yellow line on the photo to better show the stem)The tree is about 7 years old and has been an indoor plant, until 2 months ago ... Thanks jls

    Bookmark   February 16, 2015 at 7:01PM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

Hello!

Yes, remove any leaves that are 60% brown (or more).

But don't prune just yet. What I think you'll notice is that there will be a ton of back-budding along those branches and even down the trunk. Not all growth will survive, of course, but a lot of it will. Once you see that solid new growth, then think about where to trim back.

The pot is also far too small for that tree :)

Josh

    Bookmark   February 17, 2015 at 1:37PM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

After hard-pruning my Avocado in the Fall, the Winter growth came in without blemish. It's nearly time to begin pruning and shaping again.

Josh

1 Like    Bookmark   February 17, 2015 at 1:46PM
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j_l_s

Thanks Josh
Did as you recommended removed some leaves and will wait to see about pruning ...

1 Like    Bookmark   February 17, 2015 at 2:25PM
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twelch2300

I'm very new to the plant growing and have a avocado seed i started in a jar, I think it is time to move in into a pot, any recommendations on pot size and potting soil i should get? I will post pics and more info such as root size when i get home so you are able to better suggest.

    Bookmark   March 5, 2015 at 9:01AM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

Oh, yeah, TONS of recommendations on potting mix and containers in this Thread.

You will have no problem growing your avocado.

Josh

    Bookmark   March 5, 2015 at 9:09AM
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twelch2300
Here an update on my plant it's currently 9" tall it's only been in a mason jar with fresh water and I've never trimmed it. If you can't tell idk what time doing I just wanted to see if I could make something grow with not a single green thumb lol. What should my nxt plan of action be and what size and brand stuff should I get if I should transfer it.

Thanks in advance
Tyler
    Bookmark   March 6, 2015 at 7:20PM
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Cao Lỗ

Hi Josh, I've read everything in this thread and the previous two with fascination. This is my first time growing anything and I'd love to emulate your success.

Anyway, this is a particular sunny winter here in Hanoi and my 4-month-old avocado got serious sunburn (I think) due to my inexperience. I had to prune off 4 or 5 lower leaves while the upper ones are still turning brown. Here is the picture of the tree today:

close-up of the leaves

ATM I'm using a off-the-shelf mix which based on coconut coir from local gardening shop as you can see in the picture. I remember you said somewhere that it is to heavy for potting avocado. So I'd like to make a potting mix similar to yours for another avocado. Problem with making the mix is that your ingredients (turface MVP, Red Pumice, perlite and what not) is nowhere to be found here in Hanoi and I don't know what the subtitutions might be. Anyway following the 5-1-1 mix as close as I can with what I can get, I will try following:

* 5 fir bark

* 1 coconut coir based potting mix.

* 1 keramzyt (the shop owner said it has the same function as perlite)

I might throw in some 16-12-12 slow release firtilizer as well.

Can keramzyt really be use in place of perlite? Do you think something like that will work? If there is some modifications what your recommendation migh be?

Thao.

1 Like    Bookmark   March 6, 2015 at 9:26PM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

Hey, Thao! I'm so glad to see you growing an avocado!

I don't know why the leaves are discolored on your seedling, but I think it might be caused by something other than sunlight. I almost always assume that the soil is the problem. Perhaps a high level of salts?

Regardless, I think the avocado will outgrow the problem, especially if repotted in the early Summer.

I don't know what keramzyt is, but if it functions like perlite, then I think your mix will be great. The slow release is a great idea, but you'll also want another fertilizer to apply.

Josh

    Bookmark   March 6, 2015 at 11:54PM
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Cao Lỗ

Hey Josh, Thank you for the advice. If the problem is really excess of salts. What can I do to mitigate it until it's ready to be repotted?

I've done some research on keramzyt, it means "expanded clay" in Russian. It is manufactured by heat clay and other mineral so that it rapidly expands; the main use is in construction. It's quite hard and keeps water well, and inert to bacteria mold, fungus and other pests. It looks like this:

1 Like    Bookmark   March 7, 2015 at 3:57AM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

Thank you for the pic, now I know exactly what this product is. Here, we call these Leca stones, Hydroton, or expanded clay. Are these the 1/4 inch clay balls? They will not function exactly like Perlite, but they can be used to make a good avocado mix.

To mitigate the salts, thoroughly flush the potting mix with water. Do you know the pH of your water? If the pH is 7.0 or higher, I would add white vinegar to the water before flushing.

Josh

    Bookmark   March 7, 2015 at 8:54AM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

Avocado out sunning today....

Josh

    Bookmark   March 8, 2015 at 2:45PM
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halocline(5b)

Just went back to your initial post, (couldn't help noticing there was catnip growing next to the Avocado) and figured, the tree is about 51/2 years old? Looks really healthy!!

Talking about tap roots.:-)

Rob

1 Like    Bookmark   March 8, 2015 at 10:09PM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

Yep, dug this one up in November of 2009 :-)

There's lots more catnip in the garden these days....my cats love it!

Josh

    Bookmark   March 9, 2015 at 12:01AM
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halocline(5b)

So does mine.

Rob

;-)

1 Like    Bookmark   March 9, 2015 at 12:17AM
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Cao Lỗ

Hey Rob, your cat is magnificent. Too bad catnip cannot grow in my country.

Josh, I've flushed the soil a few times with water as you recommend. I'm pretty sure the pH is 7 so I added a bottle cap of white vinegar to every half a liter. I also decided to repot another seedling to the new mix. This one has lost all of if leaves and are sprouting new branches.

The root system looks surprisingly well developed to me. There was very few roots when I planted it to the soil from the water cup just 2-3 months ago.

Hope the little guy will thrive in the new home.

1 Like    Bookmark   March 9, 2015 at 4:19AM
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halocline(5b)

I'm no expert Cao, but I would probably remove that top leaf.

Let the plant put it's energy into the new growth, rather than fighting whatever has befallen that leaf.

Rob

    Bookmark   March 9, 2015 at 2:37PM
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twelch2300

Is it possible to start you plant off in to big of a pot? Just curious before i go purchase a pot to transfer my avocado into... if so whats a good size pot to start off with there's a couple pics of my current plant a few comments up.
Thanks for any and all advice
Tyler

    Bookmark   March 9, 2015 at 3:10PM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

Hello!

Rob, your cat is indeed magnificent! Solid black! I have two grey sister cats, Cinder and Ash. They are my gardening buddies....fierce little murderesses.

Cao, the roots and the new growth look very nice! Once potted, be sure to keep the mix moist. Avocados do not like to dry out when the roots are disturbed. But be sure to keep the drainage excellent, as well, or else the leaves will look terrible.

Tyler, a container approximately the size of that mason jar will suffice for a season. It *is* possible to use too large a container, especially if you're growing indoors. Outdoors in a warm zone with lots of sunlight, you could use a 20-gallon container without problems. For us, though, it's best to incrementally pot up/re-pot every two years or so. If you are using plastic pots, a #1 nursery container would be great.

Josh

    Bookmark   March 9, 2015 at 8:52PM
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