Avocado and Pomegranate

crazytboneFebruary 15, 2011


I've got two questions. Firstly, a couple of years ago, I sprouted an avocado pit, and managed to keep the plant alive. After seeing some other threads displaying lush and vibrant avocados, I started to get a bit jealous.

As you can see, my plant has 3 leaves, and looks rather sickly. It's growing in something close to Al's gritty mix. Should I cut it back?

Also, last year I decided to see if I could grow pomegranate seeds. Let me tell you, these must be weeds where they come from. I planted 60 seeds hoping for a 10% germination rate. I got a 100% germination rate (though despite my best effort to give them away, many have gone to the great beyond). I've got two left. One looks good, the other.....you don't want to know. The good looking one has these strange wiggly leaves. I took the best pictures I could today. What do you think?

I marked them as best as I could. I have time release fertilizer in it as well, if that makes a difference.

Thanks in advance for your input.

- Al

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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

Hey, Al!

Let me ask first about the Avocado: are you fertilizing at all? If so, what are you using?

Secondly, is that a Pepper I see in the second pic (to the left)?

Pomegranate I don't know much about...other than that I enjoy them.


    Bookmark   February 15, 2011 at 7:25PM
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Hi Josh,

I put some time release fertilizer in it a while back (some months). And yes, it is a pepper plant, and it has given me some cherry tomato-sized peppers already. I hope to keep it alive until spring when I can plant it in my new garden.

The only really useful thing I've learned about pomegranate is that it is NOT drought tolerant....at least the leaves aren't. If you cut it back, it grows with FURY.


    Bookmark   February 15, 2011 at 8:00PM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

How long was the time-release fertilizer rated (4-month, 8-month)?
In porous, gritty mixes that are frequently watered, those controlled-release fertilizers
don't typically last as long as the packaging indicates.

I use Osmocote 4-month slow-release, and I also fertilize with Foliage Pro 9-3-6 when I water.
For both my Avocado and my Pachira, I add a capful of white vinegar to a gallon of water.


    Bookmark   February 15, 2011 at 8:39PM
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It was rated 8 months. I'm not thrilled with its performance (though it may be keeping my plants from becoming totally nutrient deprived).

Why do you use the vinegar? I've heard of doing this, but I'm reluctant to do anything that I don't understand, like using coffee grounds for fertilizer.

I think I'm going to go out tonight and get more MG.

    Bookmark   February 16, 2011 at 11:43AM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

Good evening!
Yes, get yourself some liquid fertilizer.

The vinegar does a couple things: first, it acidifies the irrigation water, which helps to prevent
the slightly alkaline creep of most tap-water. Al (Tapla) recommends that you find out what the pH
of your tap-water is and then add white vinegar until the pH is brought down to about 5.8 (if I recall).
Then, simply add that amount of white vinegar to a gallon of irrigation water each time you water.

Secondly, the white vinegar helps to keep soil flushed of excess salts, which helps insure that nutrients
are always available to your plants. Al (Tapla) mentioned in the Pachira Thread that your plants can still
suffer from nutrient deficiencies even when the nutrients are present in the soil (but inaccessible because
of the high level of salts).

Lastly, let me encourage you to avoid coffee grounds for your container plants.
Coffee grounds are too weak (nitrogen or acidity) to do any good....but they often have
salts that will accumulate in your soil, which can cause harm to your plants. In addition,
coffee grounds break down rapidly, which will clog drainage and lead to overly wet mix.

In the yard, coffee grounds are a fine addition to mulch or compost. In fact, I dump a lot of
coffee grounds around the yard...but never in containers.


    Bookmark   February 16, 2011 at 9:33PM
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I got MG 24-8-16, and applied it. I made sure it included minerals, such as iron. I didn't notice any drastic improvements after 1 day, but keeping houseplants is not a hobby for those who need instant gratification :)

I'll post new pics in a couple of weeks.

    Bookmark   February 18, 2011 at 4:25PM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

Excellent! That MG is in the proper ratio, indeed.
Give the plant two weeks, compare pics. I think you'll notice a change for sure.
Can't wait for the update!


    Bookmark   February 18, 2011 at 9:12PM
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Avocado update!

As soon as I started fertilizing again, new growth exploded out the top of my plant. The old leaves still look pretty crappy though. What can I do to make my tree make lots of leaves, and maybe even a branch? Should I chop it?

By the way, the sculpture is a Duck-Billed Platybadger.

    Bookmark   March 9, 2011 at 9:48PM
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tapla (mid-MI z5b-6a)

After it grows a few more healthy leaves, you can pinch out the growing tip of the trunk. That will stop it from extending and force new leaves and branches behind where you pinched.


    Bookmark   March 10, 2011 at 3:27PM
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