Another Avacado Seed Question

gynot(9b)April 6, 2013

Oops, just realized I posted in Houseplants. My avacados will be outside. Can someone move this? Not sure how to delete and repost.

About 9 months ago I gave the avocado "Toothpick Method" a try. I set up about 6 seeds and just waited for what seemed like forever. Eventually roots took and I waited for a sprout. Then that happened. A couple months ago I transplanted and they're still kicking. This is simply amazing for me as I can kill anything if given the chance. They now sit on the north side of my house as seen in the pics. This side is now in the shade, but summers coming and the sun will soon be in that part of my yard. They're doing great, but I'm wondering what havoc the sun will bring.

I only water when the soil gets a bit dry and planted in a Miracle Grow potting mix.

What's my next step to sucseed (intentional pun, hehe)? Fertilizer? Light? Larger pots?

Pruning? If so, which leaves and how?

One last question, I've read in several places that avocado trees produced by seeds won't fruit? Is this always true? Just doesn't sound natural.

Thanks for any suggestions,
Tony

This post was edited by gynot on Sat, Apr 6, 13 at 22:50

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tapla (mid-MI z5b-6a)

You should be fertilizing when the first set of true leaves appear, so you should have applied fertilizer before now ..... unless your potting soil came with a starter charge. Your watering strategy sounds reasonable. You should be able to water copiously, so you're flushing the soil each time you water. If you can't do that w/o risking that the soil remains wet too long, I'd say your soil is inappropriate and you can squeeze a LOT more potential out of your plants if you change to something more suitable. I think the MINIMUM standard of appropriateness for container media should pivot on whether or not it allows you to water correctly.

The upward progression in pot size depends on soil choice and how/whether you maintain the root system in such a way as to ensure your plants come as close as possible to realizing their genetic potential. You can grow very small plants in very large pots if your soil doesn't support a significant layer of soggy soil at the bottom of the container, but when you grow plants in heavy soils that tend to remain soggy, pot size can be a critical consideration. Keep in mind that small pots restrict growth. Roots need room to rum if you're looking for the best growth/vitality, and it's very difficult tro provide those kinds of conditions w/o risking root root or restriction of root function when using water-retentive soils.

Plants grown from cuttings or grafted plants retain the growth phase they were in when the cutting was taken. A good example would be a hawthorn tree. It usually takes about 25 yrs for a seedling to bloom/fruit, but a cutting taken from a tree already having reached the reproductive growth phase is capable of blooming and fruiting as soon as it gets its feet under it. Your tree from a pit is a seedling, so it will need to go through all the growth phases before it can bloom/fruit - which takes even longer in containers than it does in situ.

Al

    Bookmark   April 7, 2013 at 12:52PM
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eahamel(9a)

They will fruit, but avocado is a tall tree, and it will take years. And, chances are, you don't live in an area that's tropical enough for most store-bought avocados. I know Haas won't fruit in zone 9. There are, however, several that have been bred for cooler climates such as zone 9, so if you want fruit, you need to find one of these. They should be in your local nurseries right now. I know, zone 9 isn't a cool zone, but it's a lot cooler than the tropics where avocados are grown.

    Bookmark   April 7, 2013 at 6:01PM
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eahamel(9a)

Oh, and many types of avocados need a pollinator that's a different type, so you usually have to get two different ones. But I've seen a couple that don't need a pollinator, if you want to grow them for fruit, look for one of them. Your local agricultural extension agent can help you with that.

    Bookmark   April 7, 2013 at 6:02PM
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gynot(9b)

Al, thanks. That really helps answer my Q's and now makes a lot of sense. Would it be too late now to fertilize? If I can what should I order? I had planned on moving these to the ground when they matured enough. How would I know when the plant's mature enough for this move? My ground soil is sandy loam which I usually have to build up for other planting, is it appropriate for avocados? Does it also have to be amended? Thanks again.

eahamel, Thank-you very much for the reply. The more info the better. Yes, I'm seeing lots of avocados at several local nurseries now. Of course I'm seeing lot's of Haas which now is a bit baffling considering my zone. But then again I've seen things sold in the past that don't grow here either, i.e. blueberry's? Either way I'll look for a pollinator. Never knew of "agricultural extension agent", but I Googled it and will research.

I have an uncle that lives in Fallbrook, CA. which is 9A, not exactly the tropics, but he lives on an avocado orchard. On the other-hand I'm not sure what type of avocados they have except that they're huge, meaty and all I'm really looking for. I don't visit him that often, maybe I should and grab a few branches while I'm there. What should I look for if I do so? Can I do this most times of the year? Lastly, is 9A all that different from 9B?

    Bookmark   April 7, 2013 at 7:51PM
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