Growing an avocado tree


I guess this is a peculiar thing to post on a knitting forum! I am not having any bad problems with my knitting though. I am working on a very easy stockinette stitch sweater and my biggest problem on that is a little boredom. The sleeves have a lot of increasing and decreasing so we’ll see what happens when I get to that point. :oo:

Anyway, I have been growing an avocado tree in a pot. This is the first time I have done anything like this. I’ve never lived anywhere before that had the right climate for an avocado tree.

It’s about two feet tall. My plan is to let it grow over this summer and winter and plant it outside next spring. However, it doesn’t look like a tree. It looks like a long stick with leaves growing out of it at intervals. Aren’t I supposed to pinch it somehow to make it branch out? I don’t know how to make it start putting out branches. How big should it get before I start messing with it? Or should I just leave it alone?

Any advice would be greatly appreciated!!

[COLOR=red]Here[/COLOR] is a really helpful link that should answer most of your questions. Good luck.

Hi Victoriarose and thank you! From the link you sent me, this is what I needed to know:

[I]When the stem grows six more inches pinch out the top two sets of leaves. This will encourage the plant to grow side shoots and more leaves, making it bushy. Each time the plant grows another six inches pinch out the two newest sets of leaves on top.

[/I]So I guess I will (nervously) start pinching!

My Mom had one when I was little. It was about 6 feet tall. She had to keep it inside (too cold to plant outside), but it was a really cool plant. Hope yours does well.

Very Cool! We’ve tried a few times, but the plant always dies before it does much of anything…we’ve gone the sweet potato route – much faster :slight_smile:

What did you plant your seed in? I’ve tried several times and haven’t even managed one sprout.

It’s preferable to pinch out newer leaves than really old ones btw. When next it throws out new leaves, pinch those out - say after they’ve been there 3 to 5 days. I like to give them a few days out before I pinch. If you want to try pinching older leaves just try a couple either side (for symmetry) first but it may be unlikely new growth will come from there. It’s also worth pointing out that if the avocado was grafted onto another tree base (like most commercial macadamias are), that long stem could be…could be…the other plant. It’s probable yours is not grafted but it was worth mentioning as, on rare occasions, the original tree will take over and you basically have to start again.

I started off with the toothpicks-and-a-glass-of-water situation. Then when it was about a foot tall, I planted it in a regular pot. I think I need to repot it now, though.

One website I read said to plant it with the top of the seed sticking out of the dirt. I did that, but I don’t know what the reason is.

See, you are way over my head here! :eyes: I did pinch off the topmost leaves the day of my other post, but nothing has happened yet.

I hated to do it because last year I had a houseplant I was “supposed” to pinch, and did so, and killed the thing. My mother said it was probably about to die anyway, but I secretly think I killed it by pinching it. :oo: I hope I don’t kill this avocado tree.

(My biggest demons in the plant world are ivy plants. They are my favorite plants, but I have never been able to keep one alive.)

Hi AnnaT…since yours grew from a seed the whole issue of grafting isn’t applicable so you can forget it :slight_smile: The reason one is supposed to pinch out newer leaves is that the new leaves show the plant is basically in a growth cycle and you are wanting to push the cycle along.

Okay, I didn’t realize that. I just wanted it to make branches so I didn’t end up with something appropriate for a fishing pole.

This morning I noticed two little stubby things on each side of the pinched place. I hope it’s some new branches!

Are you a botanist?

No…but my mother worked in a plant nursery as I grew up and I’ve been heavily involved in farm/rural revegetation projects and learned a lot from them. I’ve planted 100’s of natives over the past years (until my knees told me I had to stop). I hope those are new leaves…if they are then you’ve got a pretty healthy plant I think and on the right track.