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April 29, 2003


avocado.jpg Have I mentioned that I adore avocados? Chaya, my 1 1/2 year old avocado plant, is the catalyst for this posting. You see, I love avocados. They are probably one of the prettiest (and tastiest) fruits that I've ever encountered. Growing them is fun and easy.

For some reason, though, I've grown very attached to my two surviving avocado plants (Chaya and Avi). Avi is old-- about three years-- and came back from the dead after my co-workers never bothered to water him when I went on a week and a half vacation. He was very unhappy with this ignorant jesture and spent several months living as a solitary brown stick. I kept feeding him, though, and by the spring of that year he grew more branches and leaves than he'd ever had before. You see, avocados thrive when you cut them down. In many ways, encouraging them to grow out instead of their normal up yields many more braches and greens. But it's painful for the grower!

It's time to cut Chaya down from 12" to 6". It just kills me. KILLS ME, I say. She is a tall and graceful plant at this point. I named her "Chaya" (which means "life" in Hebrew) because she sprouted TWO main stalks. Something inside of me feels rather cruel about trimming six inches off of her elegant little stalks...sigh...and turning her into an avocado bush. Aren't they supposed to be trees? I guess I'll feel better when she looks like this.

Posted by callalillie at April 29, 2003 9:38 AM | The Avocado Tree


My grandmother bought me 2 avocado's to make guacamola dip. I work in a flower shop and one of the designers mentioned that i can grow plants with the pits. I'm not too good with plants altho i try my hardest. is there any good advise someone can give me on this?

Posted by: Leesa at August 1, 2003 1:57 PM

I had an avocado plant but it had died on me i have been trying to grow a new one with out any luck on a root it has been 2 months now the seed crack like it was suppose to but no root yet

Posted by: betty at August 2, 2003 10:35 AM

My mam made a special avocado-mousse to put on toasts for New Year. I just loved the pit! It's seed, but than verry big. Amazing shape!
So I decited that I wanted to see a plant grow out of my pit...
I had to wait a long time (3 months)before it started to grow. Than I had to wait 2 months before the main stalk started to grow. But it was all worth it! It grows about 2 centimeters a day now. It still lives in a glas of water, but now that I've found some information about planting it... I'm sure I'll give my beloved plant a nice pot this week!
I hope my bedroom has got the right climate for my babyplant...It's so fascinating to see my baby growing up! I feel like a mama of 16 years old. I'm still looking for a nice name for my "honey-pumpkin-baby-love-sweetheart..."plant.
I hope to find one soon... I'll may tell you later...
Bye and greetings from Belgium!

Posted by: Butterfly at August 5, 2003 7:51 AM

I really like your site . I have 6 they are very pretty plants and every seed I get I just put it in a pot and wait and before long, they pops there little head up to grow for me.

Posted by: Lisa Bowers at August 5, 2003 10:29 AM

I really like your site . I have 6 they are very pretty plants and every seed I get,I just put it in a pot and wait and before long, they pops there little head up to grow for me.

Posted by: Lisa Bowers at August 5, 2003 10:30 AM

I didn't think my avocado would grow for a while until I saw a spunky little stem sprout out. I just transplanted him tonight and hope he doesn't go into shock. I read the above site and have decided that I should trim him down. i didn;t know this encouraged their growth.

Posted by: Chip Quinteros at August 27, 2003 10:33 PM

It took about 3 months for my large avocado pit to sprout roots. Finally I planted it, and now 6 months later after I transplanted it to a larger pot, it has developed brown spots on the leaves. What has gone wrong? What have I done to this gorgeous plant? I was so proud of it. It's sad to have to cut the brown leaves. What can I do to save it?

Posted by: YOLANDA at August 31, 2003 1:39 PM

That's happened to mine, as well, and I've read about two different possibilities: the plant is either not getting enough water or getting too much. I'd assume that it's not getting enough, first. My big avocado plant, which is about 2 1/2 years old, requires watering about twice a week or more. It's in direct sunlight.

Posted by: callalillie at August 31, 2003 6:04 PM

I have a question...We are growing an avocado plant and it has grown quickly and heartily. It is about 15 inches high since we started this summer. We will need to bring "him" in before too long as he has been outside all summer. When can we expect an avocado? Do we need more than one plant to get an avocado? We grew avocados many times when we were kids and never got a plant to yeild an avocado. What am I missing?

Posted by: Amy at September 7, 2003 5:34 PM

Amy: Getting actual avocados depends on 2 things (that I know of)-- how old the avocado plant/tree is and what your climate is. I'm pretty sure that most trees don't bear fruit until they are a few years old and planted in the ground. That said, I believe that most avocado trees that do yield fruit are in warm climates such as California and Florida, as well as more tropical places. I've read that most home avocado plants grown from pits don't generally grow fruit...but planting it in the ground in the right climate and atmosphere is probably a good step.

Posted by: callalillie at September 8, 2003 8:18 AM

Thanks! Were in North Texas..It would never survive outdoors in the winter. Here is another question: How exactly do you pinch the leaves back? I am not sure where to pinch off new growth. I am afraid it is getting too tall and spindly.

Posted by: Amy at September 8, 2003 7:41 PM

I have an Avocado plant that is about 4 years old. Do I need 2 plants for it to have fruit? I don't know anything about that part of it. It has never flowered or anything.

Posted by: Evie at October 2, 2003 7:41 PM

I'm trying to grow an avocado plant. After about three months the seed has developed roots but there is no sign of a shoot. It's still in water. Should I fertilize the water? I change the eater from time to time but I'm wondering if I should. If it develops a shoot should I plant it or leave it in water?

Posted by: Bob at October 9, 2003 11:29 AM

I'm actually experiencing this very problem. I'm considering planting mine in soil, as it seems like part of the problem is that the shoot is really low down in the pit. Perhaps soil and fertilizer will help.

Posted by: callalillie at October 9, 2003 11:31 AM

I didn't know anything about growing avocado plants and my first attempt was a great success. The only problem now, is that I have a 5 and 1/2 foot plant that only has leaves at the top. Is there anything I can do (such as cutting him way back) to make him bushier and have more than three branches?

Posted by: Mindi at October 22, 2003 5:41 PM

Greetings from Atlanta,

Thanks everyone for your questions and comments.

I have an avocado plant that is about 9 months old and thriving in a tall water vase. I have
been dreading putting it in soil because I don't
want it to regress; however, I'm going for it now
after this valuable input from you all.

Posted by: patrice at October 25, 2003 6:32 AM

my nana used to grow avocado plants all the time so i thought after all these years since she passed away i'd try growing one in honor of her remerance. i did the toothpick thing on each side laying it on top of a glass of water halfway submerged on its side, three weeks later approx. when it cracked & sprouted i then planted it, nothing happen for about one month so thought i'd stick another pit in with within about another month vola a shoot appeared & within another week the other appeared. i hope somebody out there thay knows how to care for avocado trees ( bushes ) & lets us know how make ours grow to mature ones. bryan oct 26 2003

Posted by: bryan at October 27, 2003 2:55 PM

Leaves at the top is the most frustrating part of a young avocado, in my book. Once the seeds produce shoots, they grow like crazy-- usually straight up and really fast...kind of like an early adolescent.

I've found that pruning the leaves helps the plant get bushier. I usually prune from the top of the plant-- apparently lessening the top helps encourage more leaves to grow lower down.

Posted by: callalillie at October 27, 2003 3:07 PM

I was wondering how often to change the water in the glass. Any help will be appreciated.

Posted by: Delese at November 4, 2003 3:22 PM

i have a beautiful tree in a pot and at least 10 ft tall. i live in south texas and want to put it in the ground. any suggestions? i started it from a glass of water, like most of you.

Posted by: patti at November 7, 2003 9:05 AM

Greetings Avocado lovers and growers,

Thanks for the tip regarding the brown spots on my plant--probably not enough water.

Here's a page I found with some tips:

Keep looking up!

Posted by: Alexandre in Toronto, ON CA at November 22, 2003 12:38 PM

How do you remove the brown outer skin from the avocardo pit? I read that this was necessary to do before placing the pit in water. Also, can the pit be put directly into soil from the beginning,or is it necessary to place it in water till it forms a sten & roots.
Thank you

Posted by: nancy e. heller at December 30, 2003 1:08 PM

How do you remove the brown outer skin from the avocardo pit? I read that this was necessary to do before placing the pit in water. Also, can the pit be put directly into soil from the beginning,or is it necessary to place it in water till it forms a sten & roots.
Thank you

Posted by: nancy e. heller at December 30, 2003 1:08 PM

I am trying to grow from seed pit. Can anyone suggest any tips on sprouting? Should the pits be completely immersed or just partially wet? I have also had spots on my mature plant leaves, but, if you cut off the brown around the edges the plant actually appreciated it and sprouted more leaves! Just trim around with a scissor and the browning will stop (somewhat).

Posted by: theresa zelnick at December 30, 2003 1:40 PM

I am trying to grow from seed pit. Can anyone suggest any tips on sprouting? Should the pits be completely immersed or just partially wet? I have also had spots on my mature plant leaves, but, if you cut off the brown around the edges the plant actually appreciated it and sprouted more leaves! Just trim around with a scissor and the browning will stop (somewhat).

Posted by: theresa zelnick at December 30, 2003 1:40 PM

I'm growing an avocado now in potting soil, indoors that is about 4 ft. tall and at the top it has developed 3 horizontal branches, should they be trimmed back? Any advice would be appreciated.

Posted by: deb at January 19, 2004 3:23 PM

I am concidering growing an avacado indoors as I live in a climate too cold for the plant to be outdoors. I do want it to produce fruit but read that indoor plants generally do not produce fruit. I am wondering if this has to do with polination of the seed as there are no bees inside (hopefully) and if anyone knows how this could be done manually sucessfully. Thanks.

Posted by: Jessica at January 19, 2004 4:48 PM

I have a 18 year old avocado tree that is about 20 feet tall and almost the same in diameter. Is it possible to trim the tree back to the major branches (there are 5 that lead to the trunk) in order to get the tree to grow more up than out?



Posted by: Tom at January 21, 2004 4:42 PM

I have been growing my avocado plant since last spring. My problem is that the leaves grow to about three inches long, turn brown and fall off. The stem is about 15 inches tall now. It has formed no branches, this I am confused about.
I have kept it watered and it lives in my office. Should it be near the window? I am afraid it is too cold there.

Any suggestions would help!
Richmond. Virginia

Posted by: Sharisse at February 11, 2004 3:27 PM

I have an avocado plan that is nearly 6 feet tall. I never thought it would live this long and know nothing about how to care for these plants once they get big. Is it really true that I can cut off the top (where all the leaves are and it will come back bushier?
Plese help - my kids will be sooo upset if I kill their plant.

Posted by: Michelle at February 27, 2004 9:35 AM

To get fruit I was told you had to have both a male and a female plant, and of course the right climate. Fruit or not they're fun to grow.

Posted by: lulu at March 3, 2004 10:00 PM

Which end of the pit goes down in the water???

Posted by: Theresa at March 15, 2004 5:32 PM

I used to grow avocados when I was a child, but never had the patience to keep waiting until it took root.

My mom and I started one again. The bigger, flat side of the avocado goes into the water, suspended by toothpicks. HAVE PATIENCE!!! The pit will eventually (sometimes several months) crack, THEN (more months) will grow a root. After the root is big enough, you may transfer the pit into soil, and start to grow it.

My mom told me that when she was back in college (60's) her best friend Gilda had an avocado that grew ALL around the apartment!!!!! I would guess she trimmed it to get lots of branching.

Good luck to everyone, and I hope all the avocado growing goes well!! Lets keep good thoughts for my little pit too, it has not yet sprouted a root, I'm going to keep waiting!

Posted by: Amy at April 3, 2004 2:48 PM


Posted by: Robert at April 5, 2004 1:02 PM

I've had an avocado plant in the grow for about 4-5 years, it is growing and produces what initially looks like buds, but nothing ever comes of it. How do I get my plant to produce avocados??


Posted by: TSgt96 at April 10, 2004 6:00 PM

I was given an Avocado plant from a friend last year who's grandad had grown it from seed Jan 2000. I have it in my conservatory. It now stands around 6/7ft tall,is very healthy,has one main stem and several branching off. I have never pruned back or snipped any leaves.It is fed Tomato fertiliser once per week from spring until November.I'm patiently waiting for a wee flower.........Will I ever see one? Who knows,but it's a lovely tropical looking tree anyway. Dawn, (Scotland)

Posted by: Dawn at May 7, 2004 7:12 PM

I have an indoor plant that I started last summer. It's now about 3 ft tall and looks healthy but it droops when it's in direct sunlight. Should avocados be kept in indirect sunlight? It perks up once the sun has moved away.

Posted by: rcrca2 at May 10, 2004 8:39 PM

Hi fellow avocado growers! My plant is in a pot and almost 7inches tall with small leaves on the top. I've been told that I must cut it in half to encourage a bushy plant. Is this correct? It has taken so long for it to grow this far, I'm worried that I'll kill it! Please advise me.

Posted by: John at May 29, 2004 5:32 AM

I have a avocado baby plant,that is 1 1/2 feet tall, and have only 6leaf on top,and few tiny ones along,im wonder if its ok like that, or i missing samething.
what can a do.

Posted by: claudia at June 1, 2004 1:13 PM

Hey John don't touch it 'til it's 12 inches (patience, man, patience!), then trim it back to 6 inches.

I just moved to LA, can I grow one outdoors here? Had a few in New England indoors but have a back patio now in dire need of a botanical makeover. Have some veggies & flowers going, but it's a partially shade area with good morning sun 'til 1 or 2 so I thought the avocados might like it. Will they winter here?

Also, anyone have any suggestions for other cool plants that might do well in a partial shade area?

Thanks and good luck green thumbs

Posted by: tomi at June 10, 2004 4:36 AM

Flowering plants, sunlight and Pruning... All good questions. Avos are a unique plant in that they produce flowers with both sexes. In the winter months they will flower and open one flower set in the morning and the other in the evening (sometimes seperated by two - three days). For this reason you will need two plants. In perfect climates you can graft opposite plants together to get self polinating avacodo trees, but thats not an easy task and needs general night-time winter temps in the 80 - 90 f range. As for pruning. Do NOT pinch back the top growth until your plant is about 15" tall. At that point it is ok and will promote branching. You can do this to help dwarf the tree if it is to be an indoor plant. Avacados like sunny humid weather, but oddly enogh, the trunk and branches do not like direct sunlite. This is why the plants leaves are broad and grow in a downward style. Hope these little tidbits help

Posted by: Avo1 at June 11, 2004 11:21 AM

John, yes, you are supposed to pinch it back, but not quite in half, according to other articles I found on the Internet. A good idea is to type in "avocado plant" in Google. The first few articles it pulled up gave me lots of advise. Good luck!

Posted by: Katja at June 21, 2004 10:36 AM

I have a great suggestion for people starting an avocado plant from pit. Forget all the hassel of suspending in in water with tooth-pics.
When you have finished eating your avocado, take the pit and wash off the remaining bits of avocado. Fully immerse the pit in a glass of water overnight. The next day, take a sharp knife, and make about 6 to 8 deep cuts into the seed. Then pot the seed in soil, and cover the pot with a tight piece of saran wrap, and secure the saran wrap to the top of the pot with an elastic. Poke 2 holes in the saran wrap. This gives the seed a "greenhouse" effect, and you will have a plant start in 2 weeks, sometimes sooner. Once you have a little plant sticking up out of the soil, take the saran wrap cover off--and voila! You have a little Avi!

Posted by: Lori at July 7, 2004 7:49 AM

hey this is great!
i had no idea that avocados were such a big deal. i started my first avocado plant several months ago just to see what would happen and it is about 12 inches tall and thriving. when it was like half the size it is now, it had very small leaves, and the top few leaves got smashed in the window. i thought it was a gonner, but it survived. i love my little plant! and it's good to know that they make good house plants. i was wondering about that. i think i'm hooked!

Posted by: Hollie at July 27, 2005 4:54 PM

I wrapped my seed in wet paper towels and put it in a glass. I just kept it wet for about a month and when I opened it up it was ready to be planted in soil.

Posted by: Doreen at July 31, 2005 1:28 PM

I have an avocado plant that I've had for about 20 years. She's had periods where she thrived and then periods, like now, where she seems quite tempermental. I have her in a window that gets morning sun, she is about 4 feet tall and I'm currently having trouble with here leaves turning brown, starting around the edges. I pruned her and removed all the browned leaves. Now her new growth is starting and today I noticed those leaves are also turning brown. I'm so frustrated and don't know what to do. I'm not watering or doing anything different with her. Help!

Posted by: Silky at August 3, 2005 2:59 PM

Katja, I read your posting about planting the avocado seed in soil and covering the top of the pot with saran wrap. I was wondering, about how deep do you plant the seed in the soil?

Posted by: Silky at August 3, 2005 3:01 PM

I have a clematis growing in a large pot outside the kitchen. Every second or third time we've had an avocado (less if we've had loads) I've put the pits in the dirt (just shove them in heavy side down). It takes a while this way but by the end of the summer now I have about 10 new avocado plants without doing anything - am just about to pot them to bring them inside for the fall. Easy and none of that other fuss.

Posted by: Elaine at August 25, 2005 6:46 AM

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