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Avocado converted to Houseplant (pics)

Posted by greenman28 Nor Cal 7/8 (My Page) on
Mon, Nov 23, 09 at 11:08

Greetings, everyone! And Happy Thanksgiving Break!

This summer, I had five avocados sprout in my garden. I selected one of these to become a houseplant at the end of the season. I chose the shortest, stoutest avocado seedling, as I didn't want to end up with a lanky, floppy plant during the winter months.

I was encouraged, by my sister, to try an avocado. She's had two large plants for two years now, and she's successfully overwintered them both in a semi-warm laundry room. However, her plants are tall and floppy (and space consuming). So my goal is to keep my avocado short and bushy and "house friendly" with regular pinching/pruning.

In the interest of full disclosure, I'm not *sure* if this avocado will survive. I destroyed roots - primarily the long, woody taproot - when I dug it up (not to mention, half the pit fell off). I noted that the roots were quite woody, with a lack of fine root-hairs. When I snapped the taproot, I also noticed a faintly-spicy, pleasant scent. I actually dug on November 11th, but have had to wait for my photobucket limit to re-set before posting new images.

Anyhow, without further ado, here's the process of extraction and re-potting:


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Josh


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Avocado converted to Houseplant (pics)

What a nice job you've done! And what nice garden soil you have...I'm jealous of that.

I've dug up plenty of plants with less of a root system than your avocado, so keep your fingers crossed. And don't forget that you'll need to provide excellent light in order for your plant to be anything but leggy and lanky. Pinching and pruning is only part of the equation.

Let us know how it does.


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RE: Avocado converted to Houseplant (pics)

Josh:

Good luck with your avocado as a houseplant. I gave up on them years ago as mine always seemed to get leggy, lanky and generally out of control, The leaf tips always turned brown on me.

But I just made some guacamole today, and I saved one of the pits. So I guess I should never say never again!

Christopher


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RE: Avocado converted to Houseplant (pics)

Way to go Josh! The plant looks good, and its a good idea to try to make a mini green house for it. I have to admit I haven't tried to start my avacado plant yet....we'll see in the next coming month. Maybe I'll have more time. :)

Take care,
Ashley


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RE: Avocado converted to Houseplant (pics)

Thanks, Rhizo!
I'll keep my fingers crossed, and I'll provide as much light as possible. The garden certainly has the best soil on the property! There are so many worms that I have to be careful not to chop them in half when I remove plants. I collect the largest worms and I put them into my compost pile directly.

Chris,
you should try another! Put that pit in a damp paper-towel, in a cupboard, for about a week and a half. You should see a nice red sprout. Then pot it in soil. If the leaves go brown, tear them off! One of my sister's plants was almost completely defoliated - the leaves that were left hanging were blasted and brown. After some recuperation, however, new leaflets (which became branchlets) sprouted from the lower nodes, and the older leaves were discarded.

Thanks, Ashley!
I wanted to greenhouse the avocado for as long as possible, just to give it that little advantage. After I potted it, I half-buried it back in the ground, in the same position in which it had been growing. I was hoping that the ambient warmth from the soil would help with root-stimulation, while the greenhouse (water-jug) would protect the leaves while the plant's photosynthesizing ability was compromised. We'll see!

I'll definitely update once I have some new pics!
Thanks again,


Josh


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RE: Avocado converted to Houseplant (pics)

Josh, that is a GREAT job!! Thanks for taking the time to show us step by step photos...very educational! I think your Avocado will do just great. Please keep us posted on its progress!


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RE: Avocado converted to Houseplant (pics)

Thanks, Nancy!
It IS a chore to keep one's hands clean enough for picture taking, while also digging in the dirt.... ;)

I need an assistant.....

Josh


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One step closer to a Houseplant...

Thanksgiving Update! :-)


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RE: Avocado converted to Houseplant (pics)

The plant looks good, Josh. Keep updating with photos, please.

I have three avocadoes in my garden. Never thought to grow it as a houseplant, though. Too big! :-)

Xuan


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RE: Avocado converted to Houseplant (pics)

Hey, everyone!
Hi, Xuan, how are you?
Well, I'm here with another update. The avocado seems to be happy in its eastern and southern window.
I put it outside on the deck when the temperature reaches about 60F during the day. So far, so good!

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RE: Avocado converted to Houseplant (pics)

Hey Josh..did you start pits in the ground? Very nice and compact..Are you pinching?

My 'cado stands about 19"..4 leaves on top..one reason there there are so few leaves, I want the 'cado to grow tree-shape. After 'X' height, I'll pinch the top.
Reason 2 is it's in a 4" pot..soil dries super fast..when I forget to water, leaves drop..

So, do you intend growing yours bushy? Toni


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RE: Avocado converted to Houseplant (pics)

Howdy, Toni!
Thanks for stopping by!

These pits started in the ground. They were mixed into the garden soil with the compost - pretty deep down, too - but this Spring they popped up anyway. I selected this particular avocado because it was nice and compact, compared to the other volunteers.

I haven't started pinching it yet, but I will eventually. I want to grow this one as bushy and short as I can, since I know how tall and gangly they can become. Thankfully, they seem to respond well to pruning.

My avocado is currently in a one gallon nursery pot.

Josh


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RE: Avocado converted to Houseplant (pics)

Josh, I am having a hard time posting tonight..Still not well and had a root canal done a few hours ago...Thought I was just going to read a bit..Forget it!

I wondered where was I when you posted this? Extrodinary my friend! You certainly have a magic about you! Good work

Mike


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RE: Avocado converted to Houseplant (pics)

Hey, Mike!
A root canal?! Good grief, man, you just can't get a break, can you? ;)
Anyhow, I think I remember where you were when I posted this....you were sick!

I'm glad that the avocado didn't just crap out and die when I dug it up,
root-pruned, and re-potted it. I used Al's bark-based mix and his re-potting
method - after the trauma to the roots, I kept it covered (in the waterjug) to
avoid direct sunlight. Then, after the plant had recuperated, I introduced
it to more sunlight. This helped prevent any egregious wilting, I believe.

Thank you for the kind words! Hope you feel better!


Josh


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Avocado update

The avocado's plugging right along!

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Pruned the Avocado (pics)

Hello, everyone! Spring Break is upon us!
And it's time for updates again. Over the past few months, the Avocado has gone through several growth-spurts.
The newest leaves were quite large, so I decided to prune the plant back. I expect some considerable budding!
Gritty mix, fertilized with FP 9-3-6. Sturdy, and no pests.

Click for larger pics!

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RE: Avocado converted to Houseplant (pics)

Oh Josh, your plant is just amazing!!!

A testiment to a great fertilizer, good mix, and great cultural practices..Very proud of you. Many fail, especially on this plant, where you have succeeded..

Missed you by the way. Good to see you back..

Mike..;-)


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RE: Avocado converted to Houseplant (pics)

Thanks, Mike!
It's good to be back...Spring Break, a much needed rest.

I've been lucky to observe how others grow Avocado, and I think I've been able to avoid
some of the pit-falls (Ha!) usually associated with indoor plants. With this experiment, I'm hoping
to encourage folks who might have failed in the past.

Josh


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RE: Avocado converted to Houseplant (pics)

One being me...I have always failed this plant..

Thanks for the encouragement and possibilities..

Mike..:-)


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RE: Avocado converted to Houseplant (pics)

I've failed several times as well Mike. But seeing Josh's beautiful avocado I'm inspired to try again. That's very nice Josh!! Excellent Job!

Bo


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RE: Avocado converted to Houseplant (pics)

Several times, I have started a plant from an avocado pit, but the minute I put them outside, something starts eating the leaves. I never knew what it was, what do you think? They would decimate the plant overnight. Thanks!


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RE: Avocado converted to Houseplant (pics)

I don't know what would attack an Avocado...
earwigs, slugs, snails?

Mine grew in the ground, no protection, so my experience won't be of help to you.

I would try elevating the containers; spreading diatomacious earth; or
setting up drowning-traps (pie-tins filled with cheap beer).

Josh


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Avocado (pics)

I'm back with an update!
Nearly a month has passed since I pruned the top off my Avocado, and new growth is underway...

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RE: Avocado converted to Houseplant (pics)

Josh, Just literally cut my Avocado in half. The leaves were getting dry and crispy. I am going to put it out in my community garden plot in a few weeks for the summer and see if it survives. If not, no more Avocado(e)s!

Christopher


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RE: Avocado converted to Houseplant (pics)

Josh,
This is looking wonderful!

I have a friend wanting to start a few, and she's wondering if they grow to a tree, will they produce fruit?

I've read yes and no, so it's a little confusing.

Thanks,
JoJo


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RE: Avocado converted to Houseplant (pics)

Hey, everyone!

It's High July, and the avocado pits have sprouted in the compost piles...
which, of course, reminded me that it's time for an update!

Christopher, how is your plant doing? Have you pruned it again? Please post pics!

JoJo, the answer is Yes and No ;)
For most, just growing the pit into a tree is a challenge.
If you want to be sure, (tell your friends to) purchase a known, fruiting variety
from a nursery. If they just want the practical experience of germinating, growing,
pruning, and re-potting a gangly Avocado, then they should definitely give it a try.

Now for the update!
This is what my Avocado was looking like on June 30th:

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A few days later, I got a hankering to hack something...so I snipped the Avocado ;)
This time, the trunk seemed to thicken before my very eyes...! Here we are, new growth, this afternoon:

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Josh


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RE: Avocado converted to Houseplant (pics)

First time reading this thread. All I can say is, WOW, phenomenal!

Never thought AVOCADO could be a houseplant. Thank you Josh for sharing this fantastic experience.

Romain


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RE: Avocado converted to Houseplant (pics)

My pleasure, Romain!

Now begins the second stage of the process...
encouraging branches and bushiness.

To those with Avocados in containers, I say this:
- Prune Early, Prune Often! ;)

Josh


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RE: Avocado converted to Houseplant (pics)

What a wonderful job you have done,its beautiful :>)
Christine


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RE: Avocado converted to Houseplant (pics)

question.....i live in GA and we have red clay not dirt lived here all my live goes back to the Cherokee and i have never saw real dirt except if i buy it.

now if i root my avocado in water like you do a potato will it root then go to the pot lol that sounded funny my kid want to grow one and i know they a pain in the whoo peea to grow.

thanks all


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RE: Avocado converted to Houseplant (pics)

Water-roots and soil-roots are different.
If you put water-roots in soil, they usually break or dry up. At which point, the rooting process
has to start again. Because of this, I prefer to sprout the avocado pit in a damp paper-towel in
an open zip-lock in a cupboard for about 7 - 10 days. As soon as it shows roots, pot it in soil.

I removed all the dirt from the roots of my avocado when I re-potted it, so it shouldn't matter if
you have sand or red clay in the yard.

Josh


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RE: Avocado converted to Houseplant (pics)

earlier this summer I decided to try to grow an avocado pit,well several, the in water method didn't work so I put two in soil, and several wrapped in paper towels halfway then placed them in a ziplock baggie. this evening I'm going to plant two of the pits that have cracked in half and are growing good roots. I still do not see any stems growing, although one or two look like they won't be long in coming. I'll place my plants in my back bedroom, set up a fishtank without the fish, and add a grow light for them when I bring them inside during the fall. I'm also growing two mango seedlings.

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RE: Avocado converted to Houseplant (pics)

Hey Josh!

Glad to see your avocado is doing so well! Mine barely survived the winter with the dry heat indoors. In May I put it outside in my community garden plot, and the main stem died. To my surprise, a new stem sprang up from the pit, and now it is a smaller but healthier plant (until I have to bring it indoors.) I will try to take a photo tomorrow.

As for my mango plants, I give up, for now anyway, as the dry air in winter indoors dooms them to a slow painful death. Now I remember why I converted to succulent houseplants a few years ago!

Christopher


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RE: Avocado converted to Houseplant (pics)

Josh:

Here is my avocado, back from the dead, peaking through my lemon grass, which is thriving!

Christopher


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RE: Avocado converted to Houseplant (pics)

Hello Josh, how's your avocado plant doing? Time for updates?

Xuan


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RE: Avocado converted to Houseplant (pics)

Hello, hello!
Christopher, your plant is looking great!
Perhaps it could use some fertilizer? I have a large container of Lemon Grass, too! How fun!

Xuan,
Yes, it is time for an update! My avocado is growing like mad! At least six inches of new growth!
I will have to take a picture tomorrow! Thanks for the reminder!

Josh


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RE: Avocado converted to Houseplant (pics)

Okay, here we go!

While I was on vacation last week, I put the majority of my succulent houseplants inside.
The Avocado, however, had to stay outside since I knew it would need to be watered. So I
set it in the middle of my other outdoor plants...where the sun wouldn't superheat the container,
and where some of the trees would shade the foliage. When I returned, I was delighted
by the amount of new growth!

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Avocado update

Continuing right along....

The foliage seems a bit on the yellow side lately, so I'll be fertilizing again soon:

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RE: Avocado converted to Houseplant (pics)

Many thanks for the photos, Josh. Love your plant.

I look forward to the day when it finally sets fruits for you. My avocado outside is rather big, but I don't know when I will have fruits from it. Do you know how long it takes?

Xuan


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RE: Avocado converted to Houseplant (pics)

Hi Xuan.
I've asked Josh the same thing. :) If I remember correctly..He said about 6 yrs. He'll be along and correct me (I hope ;) ) If I am wrong.

Because of the wait, a friend and I gave up on the idea of starting one for the fruit. ;)

JoJo


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RE: Avocado converted to Houseplant (pics)

Hello, ladies!

Xuan, it's really a gamble whether they'll fruit or not.
I think that I live too far north to grow these to fruit (without a greenhouse).
Some folks have said that they take about 10 years to fruit....
others have said they'll never fruit.

Basically, I'm just growing Avocado for the plant itself.
I don't even like the flavor of Avocado... ;)

Josh


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RE: Avocado converted to Houseplant (pics)

when I move my avocado seedlings and my mango seedlings indoors this fall, I plan to hook up a fishtank to add moisture to the room my plants will be in, and add a grow light to give the plants more needed light. oh and in a few years I'll add a fan to help pollinate the plants as well, if they grow flowers.
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RE: Avocado converted to Houseplant (pics)

If you can grow an Avacado that looks that nice after all this time, then ALL plants are safe in your hands, and obviously very happy..

Great job Josh!

Mike>.:-)


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RE: Avocado converted to Houseplant (pics)

Thank you, Mike!
That is very encouraging!
Of course, I waited to try growing an Avocado until I had a pretty good game-plan.

Skayc1, that's a lot of plants you've started!
I use a humidity tray for my Avocado, as well. They really do get crispy indoors.
I just set my pot inside a larger container, which has water in the very bottom, and
a riser to elevate the Avocado pot above the actual water level. The key is to not let
the water actually come in contact with the pot.

Pluck any dried, discolored leaves as they appear. The plant always grows new leaves.

Josh


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RE: Avocado converted to Houseplant (pics)

Oh, thanks JoJo and Josh for the info re avocado fruiting.

Here in Vietnam we don't eat avocado but we often make it into a drink by crushing it in the mixer. It's delicious that way.

I will take a photo of my avocado plant to share with you tomorrow.

Xuan


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RE: Avocado converted to Houseplant (pics)

I'll try to make a humidity tray for my plants which I'll bring inside in a few weeks.
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RE: Avocado converted to Houseplant (pics)

A month later! Update time!
If any of you Avocado growers want to update, too, please do! Skayc1, have you brought your plants indoors?

First, I'll show you the recently pruned Avocado. I just fertilized, so I'll update when the nutrients begin to kick in!
Usually takes about three weeks between growth spurts.

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Second, let me share a pic of an Avocado seedling that sprouted beneath the tomatoes this year.
I get about five volunteers on average. If I needed more plants, I could easily dig them all up....

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Josh


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RE: Avocado converted to Houseplant (pics)

Just noticed this thread for the first time. I love it. First of all, I also love your garden soil and I find the soil that you potted up your Avocado plant in very interesting too. If you have a chance, I'd love to hear the story on that. Second, you've had that Avocado plant in the same pot for a year and it still looks good and is growing well. I probably would have tried to put it into a larger pot in the spring, but you didn't. I'm just wondering why?

We eat a lot of avocados at our house and I'm always feeling like I'm wasting them by not starting a plant from them. I remember trying that technique where you stick toothpicks in it and suspend it over water, but I don't remember getting results using that method. Can I start one in the house and what is the best way to get an avocado pit to sprout?

Beautiful plants!


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RE: Avocado converted to Houseplant (pics)

Thanks, Prairiemoon!

The soil I mixed is made of Orchid Bark, Pumice, and Perlite.
A little bit of Osmocote slow release fertilizer was included, as well.

I'll probably keep the Avocado in this container until I move it into something
more attractive. I want to keep the tree small, so I don't mind cramping the roots.

I don't recommend the water/toothpick method, either.
Just wrap the pit in a damp paper-towel in an open zip-lock bag, place it in a cupboard
or a drawer, and check the pit every few days. You should see activity within two weeks.
Then, plant the pit in a pot. When a couple leaves have grown, begin to lightly fertilize.

Josh


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RE: Avocado converted to Houseplant (pics)

So the paper towel will stay damp the whole time in the zip lock bag and it needs to be in the dark, I'm assuming. I am going to try it! Thanks! I'll come back and post a photo if I get anything.


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RE: Avocado converted to Houseplant (pics)

Hey Josh,

Nice progress & pix, good for you!

Pls. allow me to digress your thread long enough to ask Xuan if she'd be kind enough to share her recipe for this avocado beverage made w/ the blender?

As a child in Brazil, I recall an avocado drink made in the blender that my best friend's Mom made, just delicious. But I was a child so I have no idea how it was made or what she put in it, that's particularly what's got me curious.

Thanks in Advance to both Josh & Xuan.


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RE: Avocado converted to Houseplant (pics)

Josh, very nice 'cados, though I can't see much of the 'cado in the ground..Were both rooted the same time? If so, how much larger is the 'cado in the garden?
Sorry, didn't read all 50 threads. lol.

I did an experiment a few yrs ago..two cado's, one in soil, one in water. For some reason the 'cado in soil didn't root..it's possible I didn't keep it long enough.
I've read, when a 'cado pit is grown in soil, it's supposed to be placed in a dark room 6 wks. Don't know if this is true..if it is, perhaps that's where I went wrong.
The 'cado in water, with toothpics, was placed on a shelf in a very shady corner, adjacent a north window. The pit cracked 2-3 wks later. When roots were about 4", it was potted in soil.
I discovered time of year, 'rooting' makes a difference. Those rooted in winter took months before sprouting..the pit in soil even rooted, but slow progress.
I tried again around mid-spring..much faster results.
Wonder if it'd work planted directly in the ground, here in IL. The problem is squirrels..They ate my 2' 'cado, the rooted pit from the spring experiment, and a baby this year, lol.

Josh, how tall a plant are you aiming for? BTW, hi. Toni


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RE: Avocado converted to Houseplant (pics)

Hey, Pirate Girl, no worries!
I'd like to know about the Avocado drink, too.

Toni, the Avocado in the container is the same one that I dug up last Autumn.
I'm still going for the same design I had in mind back then. No change in plans! ;)

The Avocado in the garden (second pic) sprouted this year. It's under a foot tall.
There are three other Avocado seedlings right beside it, too.

Thanks, all!

Josh


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Ah, no wonder it was hard to see..there's more than one 'cado.
Next spring, I'm going to sow a few 'cado pits in the garden, see if it grows. 'if squirrels don't get to them first.'
Are they hardy in CA? Toni


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RE: Avocado converted to Houseplant (pics)

They are hardy in the more southern parts of California.

Up here, even the cold-tolerant varieties of Avocado die in the cold.

Josh


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RE: Avocado converted to Houseplant (pics)

Toni, I took some pics of the Avocados in the garden.
They're not really growing all that close to eachother, although the two little sprouts
most likely originated from embryos in the same pit.

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RE: Avocado converted to Houseplant (pics)

Josh, that's fascinating..thanks for the idea. :)
Now I see what you're talking about. BTW, what type of soil do you have in the garden? It looks gritty? Or is it my eyes, once again, deceiving me?
So, you planted two pits, got two 'cados and babies to boot?
Josh, there's quite a few posts to read in this thread. Sorry I didn't start from the beginning. Hope you don't mind a couple questions.

Did you start pits in pots, (pits in pots, lol) or directly in garden?
If pots, what time of year, and were they first rooted, and if so, did you use water or soil?
If directly in garden, what month did you plant?
Are you planning on wintering these plants indoors? If so, what size pots will they go in? Together or separate?
One last question..Do squrrils not eat the plants/pits?

Sorry for all the questions, but growing a 'cado in the yard is an excellent idea.
Thought I read, 'in this thread,' you want them to stay on the small side. Are you going to cut back so they bush out? Or wait until they're tree-like then cut the top?
Do you fertilize? If so, what do you use and how often?
Didn't mean to fib about one more question, but since I found this post, I've been thinking about garden 'cados continuously. If everything is going well next spring, I will plant several. Thanks for the idea..Toni


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RE: Avocado converted to Houseplant (pics)

I've taken considerable time putting this Thread together, and I've actually answered these questions before.
So you'll forgive me if I'm reluctant to repeat the same information over and over. It's like when I write down
a page number on the classroom whiteboard and students keep asking which page to turn to in their books:
eventually, I just start pointing to the number on the board.

This was the answer to the same question last time:

"These pits started in the ground. They were mixed into the garden soil with the compost - pretty deep down, too - but this Spring they popped up anyway. I selected this particular avocado because it was nice and compact, compared to the other volunteers.

I haven't started pinching it yet, but I will eventually. I want to grow this one as bushy and short as I can, since I know how tall and gangly they can become. Thankfully, they seem to respond well to pruning."

I didn't bury these pits for any purpose other than to be compost. I was not trying to grow them.
They were/are volunteers, and I only decided to dig one up after watching it grow for a while.
This year, I don't plan on keeping any of these volunteer Avocado seedlings.

I fertilize with Foliage Pro 9-3-6, which I've also mentioned several times.
Osmocote slow released fertilizer is mixed into the container mix at the time of re-potting.

The garden soil is my native garden soil as seen in all of the pics previous.

I have pruned my Avocado many times now, and I've photo-documented nearly every cut.


Josh


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Josh:

Fantastic job... Many I know locally couldn't grow one if you paid them....Beautiful growing..I think I might finally give it a whirl with all the great info and encouragement here..

Thank you..

Mike..:-)))))


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Please Experiment!

Thank you, Mike.

Good to see you, buddy.
Everytime I look down at my floorboard, I see that Red Pumice and I think of you ;)

Josh


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RE: Avocado converted to Houseplant (pics)

Josh,lolololololol

Everytime I get a new cutting or plant, I think of you man!

Mike...:-))))


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Josh, You should have said you listed info on top..I would have gone up, reread the posts..Thanks. Toni


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RE: Avocado converted to Houseplant (pics)

You didn't read the answers last time....so I didn't really think you'd bother to read them this time.
Sorry if I grouched at you, Toni, but I felt a bit insulted that I'd answered the same question last
December...and then you "LOL" about not reading all 50 replies....

Meet me halfway, that's all I ask.


Josh


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RE: Avocado converted to Houseplant (pics)

Josh, Nice tree you have created...awesome! I started my tree kinda the same way you did...by the pit germinating by accident. I kept it in a pot for 6 months then put it in the ground on Nov 3rd 2005. Now it looks like this (35+ft tall) and I am now praying for some fruit!!:

Avocado Tree from seedling 2005


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RE: Avocado converted to Houseplant (pics)

That is an amazing pic!
It's wonderful to see what one of these trees should look like! ;)
I think fruit is just around the corner!

Josh


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RE: Avocado converted to Houseplant (pics)

Another month gone, and time for an update!

I turned the Avocado in this pic so you can see the gangly plant it has become...despite three prunings.
I'm happy with the growth and the health of the foliage, but I'll have to prune it hard now that Winter approaches.

I think I'll chop it all the way back down to the first cut - just above the smaller, original sets of leaves.

What do you think?

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RE: Avocado converted to Houseplant (pics)

I have no idea about where to cut it Josh. But I thinks you know what you are doing for sure..

Man, you have such a nice gift for growing these plants..Amazing...Thanks for the update..

I am looking forward to see what you do to it..:-)

Oh my God Marinfla! I pray and wish everyday I could live where you do..My yard would even have papaya and mango trees! All kinds of palms and lot's of citrus..You luck person you..Let us know the day you get fruit..I think Josh will get there some day..:-)Great incentaive..

Mike


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RE: Avocado converted to Houseplant (pics)

Hey, Mike! This pic is for you especially!
Now that the cold weather is fast approaching, I've brought my Avocado to the back deck.
It's easier to bring in and out of the house through the back door, and it's much sunnier during the day.
I haven't pruned it down yet...but I will as soon as it comes indoors for the winter.

I tried to include a little bit of my Blood Orange, too....

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RE: Avocado converted to Houseplant (pics)

Just found this thread today and enjoyed reading it and seeing the photos. I'm quite jealous of you guys that can grow avocado outside. I would definitely grow them for fruit if I could. I love avocado slices on plain ol' saltine crackers, simple and addictive.
I have two that I started with the toothpick/jar of water method. I used pits from giant Florida avocados. I searched on the web trying to find out if some avocado types have larger leaves than others but couldn't find anything.

The first one I started is potted and about 18 inches tall now. I glad you posted info about pinching. I've been scared to do that.
The second one is still in a jar of water and just started sprouting. It wants to be a shrub! They're are three sprouts coming up from the pit. I don't know if that's unusual but I'm glad it's doing that. It should be easier to keep it bushy.


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RE: Avocado converted to Houseplant (pics)

Awww, thanks Josh!

Here I sit at work and all I see is a box that reads
"photbucket"..:-( ..It is so sad to have to bring them indoors at times..

Can't wait to get home to see the picture..Thanks man!

Have a great day.

Mike


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RE: Avocado converted to Houseplant (pics)

Wow Josh..

Thank you so much for the follow ups...If I start to grow one, can you mentor me? I love that plant, and along with all the other healthy beautiful ones...Love that Moro!

It stinks having to bring them in...I get to put my plants out again next week.

Beautiful Josh. Great job

Mike


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RE: Avocado converted to Houseplant (pics)

Hello, Christie! Hello, Mike! ;)

Well, I've been threatening to do it...and I finally did!
Let this encourage you (who grow Avocado) to prune!
Mike, I'd be happy to mentor you, my friend.

I chopped mine down to just above the first cut.

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32


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Josh


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RE: Avocado converted to Houseplant (pics)

Josh, I know you intended to grow this avocado plant as houseplant. But I'm still curious... why do you keep chopping it down? To keep it small?

But anyway, I like what you did :-)

Thanks for the photos.

Xuan


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RE: Avocado converted to Houseplant (pics)

Thanks, Xuan!
Yes, I must keep it chopped down so that I can fit it into my house and provide light for all the leaves.
If I allow it to grow too large, only parts of the plant will receive light....and then it will start discarding
it's older, unsustainable leaves.

Plus, I want the Avocado to make branches down low. They always seem to grow tall and floppy, and then branch.
So I want to force some low branching. Then I'll start developing the canopy from those branches.

I think the chopping is helping to thicken the trunk, as well.


Josh


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RE: Avocado converted to Houseplant (pics)

Josh...

I see your point...Wow..I think it would look nice just as tall and bushy as your Moro tree..

Thank you for saying yes..

How do I begin?
Do I soak the pit after I have eaten the Avacado?
Do I let the seed dry? Is there a certain avavcado that I buy since there is 4 different kinds at my store?

Thank a lot man..

Mike


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RE: Avocado converted to Houseplant (pics)

Howdy, Mike!

Use whichever type of Avocado you like.

Clean the pit, then place it in a damp paper towel in an open zip-lock bag in a cupboard or drawer.
Check it every few days to make sure the paper towel is still just a little damp.

The pit should germinate within 2 weeks, though I find it happens around the 10 day mark.

As soon as the pit germinates, plant it in your usual mix - with half of the pit above the soil.


Josh


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RE: Avocado converted to Houseplant (pics)

Ok..I will do so..I am going to the store this week and I will fill you in..

I just hope the pit doesn't turn black on me like the fruit does if it hasn't been eaten in one day or two..

Thanks Josh..I can't wait to start..

Never had success, and now I am surely to do better than before I knew you..:-)

Thank you

Mike


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RE: Avocado converted to Houseplant (pics)

sprinkle it with a little lemon Juice to keep it from turning black. ;)

Josh,
You keep whacking that tree off, and it's gonna think it's a bonsai in training. ;) You do have priors. lol..

It looks great, and I do thing the trunk is a little thicker. Always look forward to more updates. ;)

JoJo


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RE: Avocado converted to Houseplant (pics)

Hey, JoJo! I don't know how I missed this post, but thanks for checking in on the Avocado.
I don't have any updates on my containerized tree, but I did get a pic of a massive seedling that I just
discovered in the garden today. It was hidden beneath the front row of tomatoes. Unfortunately, I don't have
room for another tree.

Photobucket

And for Christopher, I took a pic of my Lemon Grass in a container in the front yard.
Soon, when the real cold temperatures hit, I'll whack this clump down and I'll drag it into the garage.

Lemon grass


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RE: Avocado converted to Houseplant (pics)

Hey Josh,

Coming along so nicely; (yours is the only avocado plant I've ever liked, 'cause all the others are so tall & splindly).

What will you do w/ the top portion that you cut off the avocado? Toss it, or is there a way to root that too (just curious)?

Mike,

Yes, lemon juice will prevent an avocado from discoloring as suggested above (yes Jojo, great minds think alike).

So will leaving the pit inside the uneaten portion of the fruit. (If you don't know, one hard whack into the pit w/ a heavy knife will dislodge the pit from the flesh, then one can just plop the pit back in to an uneaten half or quarter of the avocado.)

I eat some almost every day (good for high cholesterol; full of heart healty fats, etc.); yummy w/ lemon or lime juice, &/or olive oil. I've even been mixing it in w/ mild salsa, for some veggies if I'm too lazy to cook (delish on crackers or in pita bread).


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RE: Avocado converted to Houseplant (pics)

Jojo: I missed your post too..:-(

Thank you for that advice..I actually have some avacado riping as we speak. Lemon juice

Josh: Wow...You were brave to cut the top off...You remind me of a Bonsai friend that has no quarms chopping his trees down to almost nothing to shape them..I was suprised at how much and how he cuts them..His trees are so beautiful and I can see yours doing the same.
It is a shame you have to leave that one in the ground..It looks so healthy.

Pirate_Girl: My friend that works out 7 days a week, eats these like they are going out of style..He says they are very healthy for you too..He buys 10 or more at a time 3 times a week. I found this out when we went to "Whole Foods Harvest" this past weekend.
I think it is time to start eating them more often since they are quite delicious.
Your idea's sound very yummy..I think I will give that a try.

I was wondering if anyone has ever known if anyone ever grew fruit on them growing them in and outdoors? I have seen Papaya grow to maturity on trees up here in pots..

Mike


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RE: Avocado converted to Houseplant (pics)

Hey, Karen, I am committed to keeping this tree manageable!
Avocados really do lose their charm once they grow too tall and the leaves start to crisp and brown.

I did toss the top growth after I chopped it, but it certainly could have been rooted as a cutting.

Heya, Mike, I've never seen a containerized Avocado produce fruit, but I haven't seen many.
I think it takes about 10 years from what I've heard...just rumors, of course.


Josh


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RE: Avocado converted to Houseplant (pics)

Hi Josh!
I guess I can allow you to miss me once or twice. LOL!
And you know I love seeing what your up to. :)

Your yard is full of awsome color right now! WOW!
Bout the only thing around here changing color are the jades. lol!

Now how did you miss a seedling? :) Looks like it was just growing right along.

Mike, and others wanting to try this...
I did some searching awhile back when I talk to Josh about growing these..
And found it's 7-10 yrs. before getting fruit.. and the fruit may not be the same as the seed you plant. Cross polination.

Good luck to all who decide to try this. It's a great looking plant.

JoJo


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RE: Avocado converted to Houseplant (pics)

Hey Josh!

I have to say, my lemon grass was flourishing better than yours before I dug it up and chopped it up! I froze most of it to use over the winter, before the frost killed the plant. I did save one stalk with roots to try to overwinter in the house.

I dug up my puny little avocado as well, but it hasn't done much in the house. I also dug up one of my big jalapeno pepper plants (I had, like, 36 of them) and whacked it a la bonsai. Waiting for new growth!

Christopher


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RE: Avocado converted to Houseplant (pics)

Good job, Chris!

The Lemon Grass wasn't as vital this Summer...second year in that pot and soil.
Next Spring, I'll do a proper re-potting and I'll give it some nutrients.
How large was your Lemon Grass? Mine's about 2 feet tall in a 2-3 gallon container.

When did you whack the Jalapeño?
There should be new growth within two weeks at the most....
At the two-week point, I begin to lightly fertilize my potted peppers.
This year, I dug up two Chocolate Habañeros and my Hungarian Wax pepper.

Do you ever visit the Hot Pepper Forum, by chance?


Josh


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RE: Avocado converted to Houseplant (pics)

Josh, you say I should have seen new growth within two weeks? It's been a lot longer than that. Maybe my Jalapeno is deceased, though I still see green on the nubs of branches I left...I never have good luck transplanting garden plants into the house to over winter.

I have visited the Hot Pepper Forum. Some real fanatics over there, I know. I mean that it a good way, of course!

Christopher


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RE: Avocado converted to Houseplant (pics)

Well, if there's green....don't give up hope quite yet...
I have to remember that I'm at least two zones warmer than you are, and that makes a difference.

Container size? Light source?

Chile Heads are definitely fanatics.... ;)


Josh


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The Darkest Days are Behind Us....

Another month passes!
But we've made it through the darkest days of Winter yet again...!
And with the slight increase in light, growth has finally recommenced on the Avocado.
I'm eager to re-pot this plant - but I'll wait until it's growing more robustly.
For now, just an update pic...

34


Josh


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RE: Avocado converted to Houseplant (pics)

Josh, I've never noted this until now, but goodness you have awesome garden soil. Does your region have that kind of soil naturally or did you work over time to make it that good?


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RE: Avocado converted to Houseplant (pics)

Thanks!
I'm blessed to have pretty good soil, but I do mulch and compost every year...
and I sorted a lot of small rocks out of the garden area.

I use the "lasagna" mulching technique - I spread leaves and compost, add several
layers of newspaper (soy-based inks only), then add bark and other mulch to hold the
newspaper in place. The Winter rains aid the process, and the worms come up to help
digest everything properly. I don't till the soil.

The soil looks best when it's moist in the Fall.

During the Summer, it looks hard-baked.


Josh


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RE: Avocado converted to Houseplant (pics)

Hi Josh,

How on earth does one find out the content of the ink in one's newspaper? I hadn't heard that before, much less that soy based inks even exist. As a former textile designer I'd worked w/ dye chemistry & learned about inks, pigments, etc., so that's why I find it interesting I guess. TIA


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RE: Avocado converted to Houseplant (pics)

Hey, Karen!
Soy inks are something I learned about from a local gardening program (radio).
That's also where I learned the "lasagna" method of mulching. Here's a basic link:

Soy Ink

Apparently there's a "soy symbol" on newspapers that use soy ink,
but I opted to simply call down to the local paper instead.


Josh


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RE: Avocado converted to Houseplant (pics)

Hi Josh!
The new growth looks great and the plant is coming right along!

Soy ink! Wow! Never would have guessed that one. It's interesting, I took a look at the link you gave.

Years ago, I heard that colored in in newsprint acted as a growth inhibitor and not to use it for mulch.

Anyone else ever hear of this.?

Now I'm curious to hear what type of ink is used on our paper.

JoJo


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RE: Avocado converted to Houseplant (pics)

Hey, JoJo! Thanks!

Call your paper, and they should be able to tell you.

The Auburn Journal uses only soy-based inks - partly to be "green,"
and partly by mandate from the meddlesome bureaucrats in California.
The Journal has been totally soy-based for ten years now.
40% of The Journal is recycled paper, too.


Josh


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RE: Avocado converted to Houseplant (pics)

Hi Gang,

Happy New Year & thanks for the link Josh, I too just looked at it, will come back for more another time, interesting reading for me as well. Just as JoJo suggests, wow, who knew!!


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RE: Avocado converted to Houseplant (pics)

Josh, when you say you're going to repot, is your Avo going in a container or the ground?

Years ago, before we met, my dh started an Avo in a coffee can..No drainage..lol..The plant grew 6'+ tall. He has a pic. Its trunk thickened. He pinched the top about 4' from the base, so it looked liks a standard. When he went in the army, his mother 'took over,' but killed it. lol.

Winter was what, two weeks ago??? Your days are getting longer, so soon? Seems like 5 min difference here. lol.


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RE: Avocado converted to Houseplant (pics)

Hey, Toni!

1. I'm going to re-pot the Avocado in the same container, but with a root-pruning and new potting mix.

2. The day after the Winter Solstice, the day is technically longer ;)
One week after the Solstice, the sun sets five minutes later than on the Solstice itself.
So a little more than 5 minutes, yes, but not much! I was mostly being playful,
positive, and grateful for the Sun's return.

My sister grew a couple Avocados to about 6 feet tall before chopping them down, too.
They were just so unwieldy. After the chop, they grew new leaves and branches from the entire
length of the trunk. Sadly, she subjected her trees to freeze, hail, wind, and sun scorch.

We're in the process of sprouting some new Avocados for her...but she'll do it right this time!
Good soil, proper light, and regular fertilization.


Josh


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RE: Avocado converted to Houseplant (pics)

Josh, why prune the roots? What's the purpose? Please explain...
When you root prune do you prune leaves too?

Yep, since winter is The shortest day of the year, the next day would be 1 min longer..lol
A few years ago I had a great calendar. First, everyday of the year was some type of celebration, be it Christmas or Potato Day..lol..It displayed the moons position. It then listed each time of day sunrise and sunset. According to the calendar, starting on Dec 22, daylight was 1 min earlier, the following day the same, day 3, another min earlier. Wish I could find a similar calendar. It was so nice.

WAs your sister's Avocado in a pot or ground? How thick was the trunk? She 'chopped' it down, lol..
You guys are blessed..Growing so many beautiful plants outside, almost year round.


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RE: Avocado converted to Houseplant (pics)

A light dusting of snow last night reminded us that we ain't out of the Winter woods yet! ;)

We keep our Avocados outdoors from June through October - a good 4 or 5 months outside.

My sister's Avocados were grown in pots, in bagged potting soil, in 2 gallon containers.
The trunks were a little over 1 inch in diameter. She had to chop them because they kept
getting blown over by the wind. After chopping, a canopy of three broad branches grew at
the very top (below the cut), with new leaves and smaller branches up and down the trunks.

Root-Pruning:
Pruning the roots removes the oldest, woodiest, least efficient roots. It also allows me to
correct any circling or super-bound roots. When pruned, the roots branch, and this creates fine
root-hairs (which are responsible for most of the plant's nutrient and moisture uptake).
Pruning keeps the majority of the roots in a vital, juvenile state, which allows the
plant to perform closer to its genetic potential.

When I prune the roots, I leave the top intact so that the leaves can provide energy
for the new root-growth. During the growing season, I prune the top-growth often.


Josh

p.s. I had a great Calendar like that, as well...
So helpful!


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RE: Avocado converted to Houseplant (pics)

Last week, on the news/weather, they showed parts of CA and accumulated snow...I can't fathom Ca and snow.
Do you have any plants outside now? Succulents?

Ironically, the months you mentioned are similar to IL. In fact, my tree Gardenia, Geraniums and Kalanchoe Prolifera were outside until the beginning of Dec..lol..

Would a clay pot have prvented your sister's Avocado from tipping over?

Josh, I still don't understand root pruning..lol..duh, I know. Do you not want to repot in a larger container? I understand pruning dead roots, and water/nutrient reasoning, but why and how would pruning be closer to its genetic potential?
When trees grow naturally, in the ground, no one prunes roots..lol..unless you mean Mother Nature, worms etc. Is it a natural process?

Josh, if you're tired of answering questions, just say so or reply another time. Today is New Year's, I don't want to hold you up.

Also, I've been extremely lax misting plants in the back plant room..BIG Mistake. Yesterday, I decided to spray. While spraying Clivias I noticed the vase of a variegated Clivia had white stuff. At first I thought it was Perlite, but no such luck..It's the worse insect ever..MEALY!! The one insect I can't find an organic way to kill.
I Googled..someone mentioned using flour and water, but didn't explain proportions or how to apply. Or how it worked.

Another article.. mouthwash, dishsoap, Rubbing Alcohol, and cigarette butts..Again no ratio or directions. I guess dabbing with Q-Tips would work, but it doesn't say how often it should be done. RA might work, but too much/often dries out foliage. And I can't see how flour would kill Mealy, though I'm willing to try anything, except chemicals.
My Clivias are very dear to me, don't want to lose them. If most other plants, it'd go in the trash, but many of these guys came from China, as gifts, and a few were divisions..My oldest was started from seed in 1982/3. Haven't checked that one, yet..afraid to. :(

See what happens when lazy???


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RE: Avocado converted to Houseplant (pics)

Hey, Toni, I don't mind answering questions. ;)

I live in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada mountains...
the Donner Pass is a little more than an hour away. California is a big place, representing nearly all of the climate zones.
Most people think "beach" and blond hair when imagining California.....
but I think of cold granite, rushing rivers, conifers, and snow....

None of my houseplants are outdoors now. But I do have some Sempervivums planted in the ground,
as well as some Cyclamen that I released to the wilds... ;)

Root-pruning:
In the ground, the roots continue to expand into the soil, constantly growing news roots
and root-hairs away from the main trunk/root-ball.

In a container, the roots can't keep extending because of the limits of the container,
so they end up circling the pot or eventually dying off because of crowding and lack of air/moisture.

I could solve this by continually increasing the size of the container.....
but I want to keep this Avocado more as a houseplant in a manageable container than I can move around.
A larger pot would allow for larger, faster growth, though.

In order to keep the root-tips healthy, I prune the long roots shorter.
From these cuts, new root-tips grow. New growth is healthier and more efficient than old growth.
So, by keeping the majority of a plant's growth new, it is as though the plant is in a perpetually youthful
state.


Josh


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RE: Avocado converted to Houseplant (pics)

Hey Josh...
Asking is one way to learn. I've seen your plants, therefore respect your answers.

Does the Donner Pass have anything to do with the Donner PArty??? Hungry??? lol

When thinking of CA, most think of beach, blond hair, and don't forget surf boards..lol..
I went to CA at 16-yrs-old..LA. I'll never forget, everything was so big..the streets..Cement walks, w/huge palm trees growing 'X' feet, between more cement..lol. A block seemed so much larger than those in IL. Oh, and your airport! I got lost trying to find the exit..lol.
Also saw the mountains..oh God, what a view!! I wanted to hike up the mountains until someone said there were Tuarantulas, lol..sp.
If it wasn't for the net, I'd still think, CA = Beach, blond hair and surf boards.
Heck, even tv sitcoms discuss Sunny CA. Yesterday, I watched an old, 60's tv series. The woman, 'trying to trick her husband said,' she couldn't go somewhere because of the snow. He replied.."Snow? In CA!" lol.. See what I mean?

There's a Cyclamen hardy to IL, but flowers differ from the non-hardy type. I bought my Cyclamen at a hardware store 3-4 yrs ago..it's flowers in winter. Pink flowers. It's in a cold/drafty west window. It'd never survive the outdoors..even the hardy, z5 is iffy. I planted a corm? years ago, never grew back.

As soon as weather permits, I'm going to plant a rooted and unrooted 'cado in the garden. One problem is squirrels..they love the pits, even though they're supposed to be toxic..I hope they take. Got two in water, but neither rooted. To be honest, I've neglected adding fresh water..time after time the water evaporates.

I understand what you mean about root pruning now.
Josh, did you ever hear or see the plant show, Victory Garden? The TV show started some time in the 70's, host and author, James Underwood Crockett. He passed away, 2/3rds writing a second garden book, and others took over his tv show.
They usually discuss garden veggies/herbs, but during the show talk about a certain house plant.
One episode was about pruning two, huge trees. Ficus benji, and a Citrus.
Both tree roots were pruned by a third, but according to the person doing the pruning, he said, 1/3rd foliage must also be removed, for balance. I don't know if this is true or not, only that he stated it as fact. When I say balance, I don't mean so the trees stood erect. He was talking energy supplied to roots and foliage. Know what I mean or not?

My largest citrus is in a 17" pot...when I was given this beauty, it was in a 24" container. At the time the largest pot I had was 17". Since there excess soil, it fit in the 17". That was 4-5 years ago. Come spring, it'll need repotting. (citrus was bare-root when I brought it home. The giver needed the pot.)
Now you mention root pruning. If I was to prune roots, would doing so stop the tree from getting taller?


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RE: Avocado converted to Houseplant (pics)

I'm back!
I have an appointment this morning, so I'll be brief.
If I miss anything, I'll be sure to answer later! ;)

1. Donner Pass - yes, the ol' Donner Party. Grim and fantastic local history.
I live in Placer County, off of highway 49 (named after the Miners who came in 1849).
There's a great pioneer feeling to this entire area.

2. Victory Garden - you bet! I enjoyed the program.

3. Cage those 'cados! ;)
If squirrels are an issue, definitely protect the little guys.

4. Pruning to balance roots and shoots: *sometimes* this is done, yes, but not always.
Sometimes the loss of roots means that the root-system won't be able to support all the foliage.
In this case, it's loss management. In other words, you selectively choose branches to remove,
so that the plant won't "choose" for you and discard a branch that you wanted to keep.

5. Re-potting your citrus: root-pruning, by itself, won't dwarf or stunt your citrus.
The root-pruning will actually re-vitalize the tree.

Bonsai plants start out in the ground or in large containers to get maximum growth.
When they've achieved the size needed, the roots are pruned and the plants are put into
smaller containers. It is the reduced size of the container - and the limited soil volume -
that limits the continued growth of the plant. The root-pruning is what allows the bonsai to
thrive in such a small amount of soil, without branches dying or tips browning.

So, if you return your citrus to the same size container, you should not notice any stunted growth at all.

Remember, though, that when you bare-root the citrus, you'll want to work quickly and
keep the exposed roots moist. Fine roots can die in 5 minutes if exposed to wind/sun.
I recommend re-potting/root-pruning on cloudy or overcast days. This also helps prevent
the loss of moisture in the foliage.

After re-potting, you put the citrus in a protected location - out of the wind, out of direct sun.
Protect the tree for a few weeks, and this will minimize leaf-loss.


Josh


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RE: Avocado converted to Houseplant (pics)

Here we are with an update!
Two weeks later, and the leaves are beginning to expand....

Pardon the kitchen sink. I was watering my plants today, and thought I'd snap some pics ;)

You can see how fast the Avocado grows when it starts to kick into gear.
I really enjoy the vibrant color it adds to the house during Winter.

35


36



Josh


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RE: Avocado converted to Houseplant (pics)

Hi Josh!
The new growth looks great! I'm surprised at how much it's grown!
I love it when the new growth is a different color. Adds alot of interest to the plant, and how much it's growing at a glance. :)

Great work!
JoJo


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RE: Avocado converted to Houseplant (pics)

  • Posted by jodik 5 Central IL (My Page) on
    Sat, Jan 15, 11 at 12:32

Nice, Josh! Looking good!

I still haven't gotten around to grabbing an avacado at the grocery... it slips my mind every time!

I should probably wait until spring, anyway... then, I'll be able to use the greenhouse!


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RE: Avocado converted to Houseplant (pics)

Thanks, Jodi!

The leaves have doubled in size again.

I'm already think of pruning ;)


Josh


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RE: Avocado converted to Houseplant (pics)

  • Posted by jodik 5 Central IL (My Page) on
    Sun, Jan 16, 11 at 9:33

You must have been a barber in a past life! ;-)


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RE: Avocado converted to Houseplant (pics)

Oh I love it Jodi! LOL!

Hi Josh!
JoJO


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RE: Avocado converted to Houseplant (pics)

Hello, all!

Jodi, a barber! That's pretty funny!

I'm going to allow a few more pairs of leaves to grow before I whack the Avocado back....
If I chop these two branches properly, I'll end up with four branches total.

3


Josh


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RE: Avocado converted to Houseplant (pics)

Looks good Josh!
I love the color of the new growth!

Jodi~
I think the "bonsai" in Al has worn off on Josh! lol!!

Every time Al~ recommends to cut something back, hubby says it's the "bonsai" in him. ;-)...lol...

JoJo


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RE: Avocado converted to Houseplant (pics)

Josh, the trunk has really thickened.


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RE: Avocado converted to Houseplant (pics)

Hey, JoJo, I think I've got some "Bonsai" in me, for sure...
In general, I'm willing to sacrifice flowers and fruit in favor of form.

Hey, Toni, you're right. I was looking over the progression of pics,
and the trunk has really thickened since last year. The small container has
kept the growth in check, but I'm satisfied for the most part. This year I'll
re-pot, root-prune, and see if I can't take the growing up a notch.

This plant is honestly one of the easiest "houseplants" I have.


Josh


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RE: Avocado converted to Houseplant (pics)

Josh, 'cados might be easy for you, but.........
Do you think it'll ever fruit?

If you look at the 'cado photo before the last, 'more recent,' there's quite a difference in trunk size.

Wonder if it's thicked because you're pruning or light? The bottom reminds me of a caudex..lol


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RE: Avocado converted to Houseplant (pics)

HI Josh,
I agree, for your needs, sacrifice the flowers and fruit for form. :-)

Toni,
He's not looking for it to fruit, he wants it as a houseplant.

Or

Are you asking if as a house plant, would it fruit?

I see it has thickened up a good deal Josh!

Toni, my guess would be it's a little of both, but probably thickened more due to his constant pruning.

Josh?
Looking forward to hear if I guessed right? lol

JoJo


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RE: Avocado converted to Houseplant (pics)

Hey, Toni, I wonder if the pruning has thickened it, too.
This plant doesn't get as much light as my other plants do. It sits on the floor,
beneath a bistro table, more than a foot from the window. My hot peppers have the best
spot right up against the window because I do want those plants to provide fruit.

I don't expect this plant/tree will ever fruit, but I'd be really happy/surprised if it did.
In optimum conditions, I've heard they'll sometimes take 10 years to fruit....if they're going
to fruit, that is. Some never do.

JoJo, you're right! This is an Avocado houseplant experiment.
I want to work on developing a low form, with multiple branches, a sturdy trunk,
and healthy, numerous leaves (free of crisped brown tips).

Josh


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RE: Avocado converted to Houseplant (pics)

Jojo, I was wondering if Josh's avocado would fruit one day even though it's pot-grown and indoors. Like citrus and olive trees.
Because Josh lives in CA, has longer seasons, anything is possible.even indoors...besides, he summers plants outdoors, I believe.
Wouldn't it'd be a surprise growing an Avocado as a house plant, and discovered a baby fruit?
What's your definition of a house plant? Perhaps we're miscommunicating?

Josh, wish you knew for sure. I have two Coffee Trees. One is a bush, the other has one trunk.
The single trunk is thin. BTW, it's a young plant, 4" pot, stands about 9". Would you suggest cutting back? If so, should I wait a couple months?
I'd like it grow as a standard. If I prune the top, would it continue growing upright or bush out? If you don't have an answer, that's okay.

You want your peppers to provide fruit? lol..okay. Maybe if you were growing 'sweet' peppers..lol..j/k.
Did you discuss/post pics of your peppers? Seeds or plants?
Like I mentioned on the other thread, I'm thinking of growing veggies in large pots, but need help.
You don't have to reply..think you said you were busy.

I hope your 'cado does fruit. If it was grafted it'd be likely to fruit, and wouldn't take 10 yrs.
Either way..its leaves are very pretty, fruit or not.

It wasn't that long you started your avocado


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RE: Avocado converted to Houseplant (pics)

That Avacado is just Awsome overtime I look at it Josh!

Great work!!

I love this thread and the pics to keep us updated..

Thank you

Mike


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RE: Avocado converted to Houseplant (pics)

Thanks, Mike!
It's a joy to document the process, and hopefully to encourage others along the way ;)
Eventually, I'll have to start a new Thread in order to keep the updates coming!

Toni,
it is sort of funny to think of hot peppers as fruit, I know ;)
The mildest pepper I grow is Pepperoncini...the rest range from hot to Super Hot!

I have full-grown plants in containers for the winter. I treat them like houseplants
until they go outdoors. Then I plant them in the garden, and dig them up in November.
My first pepper plant was a Hungarian Wax - and I still have that plant today.
It's going to be 4 year's old. I started growing peppers just to see how long I could
keep one alive. I also have a Chocolate Habanero that will be 2 year's old.

I'll post a link to my Pepper Threads a little later - I have pics of the entire process,
from seed-starting to digging the plants out of the ground for the Winter. If you e-mail me,
I can send you pics of my peppers more easily.

For your coffee tree - yes, wait a few months before pruning.
I think it will respond well to pruning. I've seen others that do quite well when trimmed.

You're right, I could graft to my Avocado for fruit...and that would be faster.
(However, I don't like the taste or texture of Avocado).


Josh


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RE: Avocado converted to Houseplant (pics)

HI Josh,
What is your goal for this plant?
Bushy? Tall and tree like? Just curious. :)
Or a mini tree?

JoJo


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RE: Avocado converted to Houseplant (pics)

Bushy! ;)
Short and squat!

Josh


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RE: Avocado converted to Houseplant (pics)

  • Posted by jodik 5 Central IL (My Page) on
    Wed, Jan 26, 11 at 11:27

Well, you're on the right track, it appears... with repeated haircuts, it should stay short and get bushy!

I still haven't managed to obtain an avacado... I forget every time I'm grocery shopping! I walk right past the pile of avacados in the fruit section, grab a banana bunch on the way through, and head straight for meats! :-)


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RE: Avocado converted to Houseplant (pics)

Hi Josh,
That's what I was picturing, especially since you keep lopping the poor thing off. lol..

That's going to look nice, with the shape and texture of the leaves, and the new ones coming in a different color. :-)

JoJo


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RE: Avocado converted to Houseplant (pics)

I love that plant Josh. I had to have another look..

It is going to have the perfect form.

Mike


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RE: Avocado converted to Houseplant (pics)

Josh:

I love your story. Your avocado is thriving, and I hope it will bear fruit one day. I'd like to share my story of an avocado that has become a close friend.

I grew a Hass avocado plant from a pit that sprouted in my compost pile about 20 years ago. My intent was to teach my then 7-year-old daughter about growing plants from the things we eat. (We also grew a pineapple and a lemon tree that actually bore fruit, although they were never particularly attractive.) The avocado tree has grown as tall as seven feet several times, and each time I've cut it back by half or more so I could bring it in for the winter. It never flowered.

Today, it is about four feet tall with a trunk diameter of less than 2 inches. It has always lived in a two-gallon pot. I've changed the potting soil and done some root pruning every few years. I thought about throwing it out several times to make room for a growing collection of more exotic plants, but I couldn't do it to an old friend that has taught me so much.

I found that I had to prune it heavily and often to keep it from being leggy and unkempt. I also learned that during the six months it lives indoors, I need to water it more often than most of my other plants. It doesn't seem to ever go dormant. I must feed it "weekly, weakly" throughout the year if I want it to look halfway decent. In the summer, I grow it in full sun. In winter, I grow it at a north window behind other plants I value more. I'm not particularly proud of the way I've treated it, but I must say I am impressed with its will to live. My dream is to retire to a warmer climate where I can grow it in the proper environment.

I tried to upload a photo, but have had no luck. Maybe I'll figure it out later.


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RE: Avocado converted to Houseplant (pics)

Here's a photo of my avocado tree.

Here is a link that might be useful: 20-year-old Avocado Tree


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RE: Avocado converted to Houseplant (pics)

Hello, Ohiofem!
I love your story in turn!

It sounds as though you're doing everything right for your tree...and the proof is in the pic!
Yes, it's difficult to keep these trees compact, but you've done a great job. An inspiration!

Pruning the foliage, pruning the roots, re-potting periodically and using the same sized
container, fertilizing "weakly weekly"...that's the perfect advice, as far as I'm concerned -
a recipe for success.

I'm so glad you stopped in! Welcome!


Josh


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RE: Avocado converted to Houseplant (pics)

My avocado and I thank you! ;-) I just joined GW about six weeks ago and have learned so much. After almost 40 years of growing things I finally found some solid, evidence-based information about the best container soils and fertilizing practices. I plan to repot this plant (and most of my collection) in one of Al's mixes and begin using a fertilizer closer to the ideal 3-1-2 formula. Through trial and error, I learned that this is the right thing to do. Several years ago I found a potting mix that was more than 50 percent pine fines, and noticed that it was clearly superior to mixes based on peat. I also have been using a 20-10-20 fertilizer with all micros because it was recommended for my clivia collection. I had to buy so much of it (25 pounds for $40 including shipping!) that I began using it on everything and saw that it also was superior to all the other formulas I'd tried. Now I know it's too low in N.

I have a question for you. It sounds like you are growing your avocado in Al's gritty mix. Would you recommend that over the 5-1-1 mix for an avocado house plant? How do you decide which formula to use? Since my avocado seems to like evenly moist soil, I would have thought it would prefer 5-1-1.


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RE: Avocado converted to Houseplant (pics)

  • Posted by tapla z5b-6a mid-MI (My Page) on
    Sun, Feb 6, 11 at 12:09

OF - I'll let Josh answer his own questions, you can always trust his advice; but I have one for you. Is the 20-10-20 you have soluble in water or is it a slow release (marginally soluble - like lawn fertilizer)? Don't be in too big of a hurry to get rid of it - you may find it valuable for certain applications a little later - especially if you grow tomatoes in a container, if it's soluble.

When I saw your tree and read the story, the first thing that caught MY eye was the wonderful 'movement' in the trunk - not straight like most trees you would buy. It has character that makes it 'unique in all the world' - no other tree just like it. It's a great illustration of how taking/keeping control of your plant can keep it looking good indefinitely - yours too, Josh. Great job, guys!

Great thread, Josh. I've enjoyed following it. Be sure to (I hope you) keep it going.

Al


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RE: Avocado converted to Houseplant (pics)

Good morning!

Yes, I am growing in a mix very close to the Gritty Mix.
I chose the Gritty Mix so that I could let the plant grow in the container for a little longer
between re-pottings. The Gritty Mix is also easier to flush, which is important during the winter,
and dries out faster (important for those extended weeks without good light).

Don't get me wrong! I love the 5-1-1. I've called it my "work horse" around the yard.
It's light-weight, economical, easy to mix, and a pleasure to use. When I make the 5-1-1, I use
uncomposted, screened Orchid Bark, and I eliminate all peat moss, so even my 5-1-1 is durable
and longer lasting than any bagged, peat muck potting soil.

This Forum revolutionized my container growing.


Josh


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RE: Avocado converted to Houseplant (pics)

  • Posted by tapla z5b-6a mid-MI (My Page) on
    Sun, Feb 6, 11 at 14:28

Judging by the time stamps on our posts, you were typing at the same time I was. ;o)

Al


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RE: Avocado converted to Houseplant (pics)

Al, you're right...I just now saw your post! ;-)
And a good post at that. I appreciate the fertilizer help, too.
I'll certainly create a new Avocado Thread once we hit 150 posts...!


Josh


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RE: Avocado converted to Houseplant (pics)

Does my post make it 150? lol

I must say Josh that I am learning so much from you and this thread, and from many others here. I love following this thread and all the illustrations and explanations right down to the soil and fertilizer!

I think it will or should be impossible for me to fail with this plant by next time. I think I am ready to take that plunge. I have been hestitate, but my confidence level is definatly up there buddy.

Now I am in a race with two other friends of ours..lol. I just bought a bag of 6 of them. Or, I might even cheat, and get one from Logees that is grafted and already fruiting.

Thanks Josh, and what a supprise to see a very good friend pay a visit here. I am most excited about that!

Did I tell you already I am very impressed with the trunk?
When you said your goal was to keep your avocado short and bushy and "house friendly" with regular pruning, you were not kidding.

It is becoming a masterpiece of living art. Great job

Mike


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RE: Avocado converted to Houseplant (pics)

Josh: Thanks for the detailed explanation of why you made your soil choice. After reading most of Al's many container soil and fertilizing threads, I was already planning to repot three dozen clivia using the gritty mix. But I was leaning toward using 5-1-1 for most of my other plants, partly because it sounds like less work. I must admit I'm intimidated by the screening requirements. I once spent most of a day screening fines out of 4 cubic feet of coarse perlite and found I had lost almost a third of it. But, I'll bite the bullet for my avocado too. I can see that yours is much healthier than mine.

Al: I am thrilled that you see character in my little tree. I based some of my choices on what I've read about bonsai. But it's character owes more to trial, lots of errors and dumb luck. I probably put the poor thing through torture in the early years. And it's been a great learning experience for me.

I don't want to stray too far off topic, but what you said about fertilizer intrigues me. Mine is Peters Professional soluble 20-10-20 peat lite, which is labeled as being designed for constant feeding. I use it in a weak solution every time I water most of my houseplants. I do grow tomatoes in containers, but I was trying to use organic methods on those. You convinced me that is not a good practice in container gardening, so I was planning to switch to something like Foliage Pro. But I'm cheap, and still have 20 pounds of the stuff. Can I use it on my tomatoes? Other stuff?


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RE: Avocado converted to Houseplant (pics)

  • Posted by tapla z5b-6a mid-MI (My Page) on
    Sun, Feb 6, 11 at 17:00

Yes - start a thread on the container forum (or here @ houseplants - containers is prolly better, though) if you're curious, so we don't go too far off topic here on Josh's thread. There will be times when you want to intentionally induce a N deficiency, and using a fertilizer with a 2:1:2 ratio is a very good way to do it. Changing ratios doesn't really do anything for you (the plant) though, unless you actually ARE reducing the amount of N the plant is getting to the point of mild deficiency.

More later. Sorry Josh - I made it quick. ;o) You prolly are already thinking that if you start a new thread just before this one tops out, you can provide a link in the last post here to the new thread, and link from the new thread back to the old thread? It would be a shame for someone to stumble on this thread weeks/months after it tops out & not be able to follow it to the new one. ;-)

Al


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RE: Avocado converted to Houseplant (pics)

This is a great thread. My sister-in-law has given me three pits in a ziplock with a moist towel to grow. She had guacamole for the superbowl. You have given me some great ideas on what to do with them, and I will be following your thread to care for them.


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RE: Avocado converted to Houseplant (pics)

Hello, Kinder!

Thanks, and I hope you'll share your progress with the Forum.
Stop by any time please. I'll keep the Avocado Thread alive ;-)

My initial goal in growing an Avocado was to figure out a technique whereby
my sister would have success with her plants. Every time I saw them, I would
say to myself, "There must be a better way." By that time, I'd versed myself
in the Container Mix principles put forth by Al (Tapla), and I was absolutely
convinced that failing (or ugly) Avocados were due to crappy potting mix.
So I told my sister that I'd grow an Avocado in a free-draining mix and report
the outcome. This Thread was a natural progression. It's been a lot of fun!


Josh


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RE: Avocado converted to Houseplant (pics)

All of my plants are itching for some outdoor sun...but the weather's still too cool! ;-)
Jodi, Mike, JoJo(?), check your Avocado pits. Hopefully they'll germinate any day now!

38


Josh


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RE: Avocado converted to Houseplant (pics)

Josh, can't believe how long this thread got! :)
My puter is slow; it takes a couple minutes to open.

You said 'above,' you don't like the texture or taste of 'cados.'
I dislike limes, but I have lime trees..I also have two Ficus elasticas but don't munch on rubber. lol.

The leaves on your 'cado are perfect...no flaws, whatsoever.
No pic of the trunk??? Toni


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RE: Avocado converted to Houseplant (pics)

Josh your 'cado is looking lovely!

Mine, on the other hand, still has mostly large leaves & a few with a couple mm crisp on the tips. With the last chop, I did get 2 buds at the top, but one is growing much faster than the other (it's about 2.5" & the other is still a bud).

Now I've a couple of questions for you:

Will the lagging bud catch up, or should I chop again?

Any opinions - from anyone - about simply removing the larger leaves later in the year? Will that encourage any growth/budding? Since the larger leaves are on the portion that will end up being trunk, it's fine if they never come back...

Thanks!
GB


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RE: Avocado converted to Houseplant (pics)

Howdy, Toni!

This Thread has gotten long for sure, and you've all helped it grow! ;-)
A few more posts, and I'll start a new Thread, which will load much sooner.

Sorry, no pic of the trunk today....the leaves have gotten in the way! ;-)
My camera's battery was dying, so I had to snap quickly before bringing the Avocado
back inside. The leaves are flawless, I think, because I'm able to water thoroughly and
keep the gritty container mix flushed of excess fertilizer salts. Eventhough my house
is very dry, the healthy roots mean that the leaves will stay green.

Gravyboots, thank you! Welcome to the Avocado Thread ;-)

One branch will always tend to outgrow the other/s.
What I do is turn my Avocado to try to encourage even growing, but even that isn't enough.
I do think you have to keep pruning to even the branches out.

Removing leaves will cause new leaves to grow where the old ones were.
I've seen an Avocado re-bud all the way down the trunk after it lost most of its leaves.

Now, let's hear a bit more about your Avocado!
What type of potting mix is it growing in? How large a container? How often do you water,
and what sort of fertilizer do you use when you fertilize? Also, where is it located?
I think we can get your Avocado looking vibrant and healthy.


Josh


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RE: Avocado converted to Houseplant (pics)

Well... it's 2 yrs old, started in the compost pile & spent the first summer outside in the veg garden. I dug it up in the fall, since it had grown rather tall & looked happy. I was too tender-hearted to condemn it to death by frost.

Currently 2' tall (+ that 2" new growth I mentioned) & living in a 1 gallon plastic pot of garden soil/compost. It has a little over an inch of thin bark coming on at the base of the trunk.

I've been using 1/8 strength 3:1:2 fertilizer for about a month, usually about every week or 10 days. None of the new leaves since fertilizer have had crispy tips - I think they're from last summer when I let it get a little too dry - it really hasn't been a leaf-dropper at all.

At the equinox, I'm going up everybody's doses to 1/4 strength for a while. Everyone just got a pot flush yesterday (no food) since the weather was so nice - my S-facing glass-roof deck was out of the N wind & "warm" w/ the glass magnifying the sun. All the plants are getting southern exposure at this point & the 'Cado is right by the window.

Anyhoo - it will get a root prune & repot into fast mix in June. Maybe a move to a 2 gal pot; we'll see what those roots are doing... then it can eat as much as it wants. I may very well defoliate the trunk at that point. I think it will enjoy spending the summer outdoors.

I'm after a taller plant, so when I lop, it's just a few cm off the top. The last cut (only the 2nd lopping) brought 2 buds: the slacker & the over-achiever. If the slacker gets it's @ss in gear, that'll be enough balance for now & I'll let those shoots grow the better part of a foot or so before I chop them. If not, I'll take another few cm off the top & hope for more balanced budding.

Thanks Josh for sharing your experience on this thread - I think Avocado is something most people try, simply because it's around. You're proving that it can actually be a viable & attractive houseplant, given one is willing to put in some initial work.

GB


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RE: Avocado converted to Houseplant (pics)

Josh, the thread has grown because many are interested in your success, and like Gravy said, you've shown a 'cado can be grown from a pit to a beautiful, mature plant, indoors. Okay, it wasn't said verbatim..:)

BTW, my pit is the pits. lol. It's been in water for months, nothing is happening. No split whatsoever. Think it's going in the compost.
Every so often I make tacos, with avocado placed on top. So there's no shortage. I will retry, Plus, as soon as it warms up, I plan on sowing a few pits in the garden.

Do avocados need humidity?


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RE: Avocado converted to Houseplant (pics)

Gravy, you're doing just right...!
Your Avocado will really appreciate the re-potting in June - a faster mix will eliminate those
leaf-issues, I believe. Changing the soil would have been my only advise, but you have that covered.

Toni, thanks again!
Water-rooting is not a method I recommend. It usually just leads to rot...the pits, as you say! ;-)
Start your Avocados in a damp paper towel, placed in an open zip-lock bag in a cupboard or drawer.
To increase your success, do several at a time. I think you'll enjoy starting the pits in the garden,
and then digging them up and re-potting in a fast-draining mix for the winter - I think this produces the
best results, although you do have to watch out for those squirrels!!! ;-)

Avocados don't need humidity necessarily, but they need to be watered appropriately. My house is very dry
and I make no effort to increase humidity for my plants - but they're all quite healthy.


Josh


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RE: Avocado converted to Houseplant (pics)

O.K. Better late than never. LOL!

I got my 2 seeds/pits in the cupboard now . ;-)

Josh,
Yours is looking great!
Talk to you soon!
JoJo


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RE: Avocado converted to Houseplant (pics)

Josh.

Now you see what you did :-))
I just dicovered this thread and love it so much i'm digging up my avo tree tomorrow and will be planting it in a container ;-)
Its been growing outside for about 6 years now but just dont seem to get going. Its standing about 4ft tall and just dont seem to get going. It was a stupid idea in the first place to plant it here in lower half of NZ. Its just to cold for it. I'm sure it will be happier as a indoor plant here.

Freddie


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RE: Avocado converted to Houseplant (pics)

JoJo, so glad you've joined the Avocado "race"! ;-)

Freddie, I'm glad to have helped you make the decision!
I still Summer my Avocado outdoors, which allows it to gain maximum vitality before the Winter indoors.
Even so, it never really stops growing...it just slows for about three weeks, and then a growth spurt.

When you dig yours up, take some pics of the roots (if you can). I was worried by the lack of fine roots
when I dug mine up, but it handled the re-potting well. Once you re-pot, keep it sheltered for a while so
the wind and the sun don't beat it all to hell. Then, put it back in the sun to enjoy the remainder of your
warm days down there. After two weeks, start the fertilization.

If I'm remembering rightly, you've been re-potting your trees into Gritty Mixes lately, yes?
Your Avocado will do excellently in a gritty, fast-draining mix.


Josh


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RE: Avocado converted to Houseplant (pics)

Well, your Avacado is looking great, Josh! I think we're all in need of a little warmth and sunshine... not just our plants!

I am so not a winter person... the lack of light, the cold... it gets in my bones and is rather depressing after a while! I live for spring! :-)


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RE: Avocado converted to Houseplant (pics)

Hello!

Since we're about to max out the number of replies for this Thread,
let me invite ya'll to the Container Forum where this might Thread shall continue ;-)

Avocado as Container Plant


Josh


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RE: Avocado converted to Houseplant (pics)

I've planted a couple outside here in houston and they seem to love it! You can spot one on the left


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