Vesper
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Avocado plant growing fast, should I cut if back yet?

I've grown 3 avocado plants from pits and my tallest has reached about 6.5 inches. Ever since I put them under fluorescents, they have been growing like crazy, probly half an inch per day. I know I need to cut them back at some point, so they will branch out, but there are a lot of websites that give conflicting information on when to cut the plant back. Here is a picture of my plant:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/17398687@N02/4407576190/

It looks like the plant is 7.5 inches, but I had to stick the ruler in the soil a bit. Please take a look at the picture; at what number on the ruler do you think I need to cut this plant? Or should I wait till it gets taller to cut it back?

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applestar
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I've been growing avocado seeds. I have several now anywhere from a year old to about 4 yrs old. So I've been experimenting. 8)
I wish I had a side-by-side photo to show you.

REMEMBER THAT THIS IS FOR GROWING AS AN INTERESTING HOBBY HOUSEPLANT. The pruning criteria and technique is likely to be different for in-ground grown, grafted, fruit-bearing avocados.

If your plant is experiencing explosive growth, this is as good a time as any to pinch the top. If you have a long thumb nail, select the first leaf petiole from the top ABOVE WHICH you can successfully cut with your nail LEAVING about 1/16" or 2mm of UNDAMAGED stem above it. Pinching crushes the stem so take that into account. (You can also just pinch at random and clean up the cut later after further growth will reveal the best spot, but doing this, you can miss the ideal bud to grow out)

All in all, the growing tip pinch is the only time thumb nail can do the job. Otherwise, I often use toenail scissors for indoor plant pruning, and regular pruners for anything thicker than 1/8"

Another selection criteria is just above a cluster of leaves or visible bumps/protobuds so more than one bud will be stimulated to grow into a side branch.

I have also tried viciously hacking off just above the first full-sized leaf. This works well in stimulating a new sturdy LEADER but usually it just takes over the plant and usually at an angle.

And I've tried cutting above the tiny leaf below the first full-sized leaf. The result was same as above when done during good growth like early summer, but when done during the cold winter, the whole thing died.

I have another one that, at about 3" I actually chopped off just above those teeny, tiny not-quite-leaves that are clustered about 1 inch above the seed. This one resulted in a pretty much perfectly even double trunk (or 'Y'). I did it in winter time and it sat and didn't do anything for 2 months -- I honestly thought I killed it -- but then it started to grow about this time of the year.

So, you see, THIS is why you're seeing conflicting information. Pretty much anything goes as far as getting the avocado to grow a new shoot after cutting. The trick is getting, what is to you, a pleasing shape out of it.
Go for it. Have fun and good luck. :wink:

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Sage Hermit
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I have been trying to figure out how to grow these from store avacodos.

I have tried the tooth picks in the water but nothing is happening after almost 2 months! Help
You can solve all your problems in a garden/laboratory.

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applestar
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First, you want a fully ripe avocado.

Although the toothpicks and water method is a fun way to watch the roots grow, I've found that the toothpicks create scars that can promote spoilage. (Same with cutting into the seed to remove it from the other half of the avocado)

I've had best success with submersing the cleaned (use a kitchen scrubby without soap) avocado pit in warm water overnight/24 hrs, then peeling off the brown outer skin. If the skin is stuck fast, then don't force it, but usually it loosens from the base and the tougher bark-like skin can be peeled off. Again, don't force it. You'll have chances to peel more off later. Be careful around the base because some avocado seeds are almost ready to germinate.

If using the water method, I set it on a bottle cap and put in a small container like yogurt cup or a bowl. Fill 1/2 way up the seed with warm water.

I have come to prefer the planting in soil method, however. Equal parts rough unscreened compost, good topsoil, and sand in 6" wide x 6"deep container. Avocado wants WELL DRAINING and slightly acid soil so don't add lime if you tend to do that (very often a holdover from always using peat moss in potting soil). Citrus tree soil is an ideal commercial soil mix.

Peel the brown skin and snuggle 1/3~1/2 of it in the soil. Put in sunniest window you have. Keep somewhat overly moist until the seed starts to split, then just evenly moist. Avocado easily gets root rot in soggy soil.

If you didn't get all the brown skin off, let it be. You may have chance to peel more off while you're waiting for it to grow... or not. If the top part of the seed is still covered when the seed starts to split, try to help it by breaking the skin because I think it slows down the splitting process, and the seeds have to split in order for the shoot to grow out properly.

Vesper
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applestar, thanks for the information. What I'm really looking for is someone to tell me at what number on the ruler in that picture that they think I should cut the plant; would you have a suggestion?

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applestar
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I can't do it that way. As I said, cutting it in different places will produce new shoots in different ways. What is important is to preserve the BUD you want to see grow out -- I described what I consider to be prudent way to do that. I've described results I've seen in the ones that I've tried. You'll have to look at your own plant and cut it where you want. You have three, why not take a chance?

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earth
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Sage Hermit wrote:I have been trying to figure out how to grow these from store avacodos.

I have tried the tooth picks in the water but nothing is happening after almost 2 months! Help
Just little more time and you will see the result. I started somewhere in October-November (so long that i have almost forgotten the correct month) ....check out the roots from the seed.
I did nothing special..... simple tap water which i used to fill up every now and then....
The only interesting stuff i did was when i had almost given up hope to see anything happen..... i printed some Egyptian pic and glued it to that plastic bottle so that the reflection through water & plastic will make pic look bigger...which it does

[img]https://2.bp.blogspot.com/_xZzcZqjm-Oc/S5QfbEaHQOI/AAAAAAAAAXo/LQleGm79hxE/s1600/DSCN6738.JPG[/img]


[img]https://4.bp.blogspot.com/_xZzcZqjm-Oc/S5QfWDh1wXI/AAAAAAAAAXg/IyUFW5KoxOI/s1600/DSCN6737.JPG[/img]
(\___/)
( ='.'=)
(,,)_(,,)

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Sage Hermit
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:O Being someone who lived in egypt I can appreciate the print. Jeez thanks you 2 for the help. I will start over. 1 in water and one in soil.

Looks like Ramsis and Ra or Taurus. :)
You can solve all your problems in a garden/laboratory.

ewcollins
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Re: Avocado plant growing fast, should I cut if back yet?

I have not cut my avocado back at all and it has branched out just fine. Eventually I'll just trim the ends with a nail clipper.
Avocado - 8 months old
Avocado - 8 months old

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