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Avocado as a Container Plant III

Posted by greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a (My Page) on
Sat, Sep 14, 13 at 17:53

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


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Avocado as a Container Plant III

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

MIke


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RE: Avocado as a Container Plant III

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.


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RE: Avocado as a Container Plant III

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.


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RE: Avocado as a Container Plant III

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


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RE: Avocado as a Container Plant III

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?


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RE: Avocado as a Container Plant III

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


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RE: Avocado as a Container Plant III

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


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RE: Avocado as a Container Plant III

close-up of the buds


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RE: Avocado as a Container Plant III

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

Josh


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RE: Avocado as a Container Plant III

  • Posted by mksmth oklahoma 7a (My Page) on
    Tue, Oct 8, 13 at 17:42

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


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RE: Avocado as a Container Plant III

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


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RE: Avocado as a Container Plant III

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


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RE: Avocado as a Container Plant III

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:


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RE: Avocado as a Container Plant III

And the after:


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RE: Avocado as a Container Plant III

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!


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RE: Avocado as a Container Plant III

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


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RE: Avocado as a Container Plant III

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?


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RE: Avocado as a Container Plant III

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


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RE: Avocado as a Container Plant III

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


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RE: Avocado as a Container Plant III

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.


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RE: Avocado as a Container Plant III

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


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RE: Avocado as a Container Plant III

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


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RE: Avocado as a Container Plant III

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


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RE: Avocado as a Container Plant III

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.....


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RE: Avocado as a Container Plant III

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


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