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July 14, 2005

Man & Avocado, With a Slight Blur

As horrible as it sounds, within seconds of Lex arriving home from Miami, I assigned him a task. Well, assigned is a strong word. I kindly pleaded with him to help me move [read: be the main method of transport] Arvid the Avocado from my old West Village office to Red Hook, Brooklyn. Being the sweet Almost Husband that he is, Lex could not resist.

2005-07-11 avocado3.jpg

Transporting a 3' plant on the subway during rush hour was not nearly as bad as I thought it would be. The biggest issue is that Arvid, who has always been a bit challenged when it comes to normal growth, is extremely top-heavy.

For reasons unknown to me, though I suspect his status as an indoor plant, Arvid's trunk has never grown very thick. I trimmed his upper branches once, though I am wary of this process, as all of my other avocado plants have died when I inflicted that stage upon them. As a result, there are two giant branches of leaves sprouting out of a very narrow stem. Arvid needs support. Or a trim.

When we got home, I did a little research on rooting avocado plants. Apparently, this is neither common nor easy to do. The only instructions that I could find involved grafting an avocado cutting onto a newly sprouted pit.

Grafting? That seems a little complex to me. Then again, Lex left yesterday morning for his last month and a half leg of work in Miami; I smell a challenge.

Posted by callalillie at July 14, 2005 6:49 AM | City Life , The Avocado Tree


When Jane moved to the Northwest many moons ago she left her avocado plant in my keeping. The trunk was long and spindly, the leaves lush and bushy. My luck with avocado plants was not the best. The only one that survived was in my lab next to area where we used radioactive tracers to perform studies. I always thought that was a factor in it's survival. Jane's avocado had no enhancing radiation save natural sunlight. It thrived in Bayside and happily took the move to Glen Oaks in stride. It lived a long and healthy life and died of what I assume was avocado old age after many healthy years. I'm not sure if it was Arthur or Arthuretta.

Posted by: Vickie at July 14, 2005 7:35 AM

how you actually gotten any avocado out of the plant? (yeah, i don't know how that works for that plant)

Posted by: tien at July 14, 2005 8:48 AM

Indoor avocado plants do not usually bear (bare?) fruit. Even the outdoor kind don't grow fruit for the first 3-7 years of their life. Avocado trees are hardy, but stubborn, and I am sure that Arvid does not appreciate being kept inside or living in such a hot/cold climate.

Posted by: corie at July 14, 2005 9:01 AM

I think I saw that Jet Blue lets avocado trees fly free to Florida when accompanied by an adult passenger. Perhaps Arvid needs some good tropical sunshine.

Posted by: Alexis at July 14, 2005 10:06 AM

It was Arthur.

Sprouting avocados is much more challenging on the west coast. Though I have no proof of any sort, I'm positive that the western cultivars are sterile; they never sprout. The east coast variety is much easier to grow.

Posted by: jane at July 14, 2005 10:18 AM

Yes, I think this one was from a floridian avocado (those bigger ones). Most of my west coast avocado plants sprout and then kick the bucket.

Posted by: corie at July 14, 2005 1:37 PM

Grafting isn't really as hard as you would think. It involves a cutting, some root hormone, a wee bit of planting medium (like soil or peat), your graft "host", and some saran wrap. Doesn't that sound fun? I wouldn't worry about poor Arvid. Put a bamboo rod next to his main trunk and tie him to it. This will hold him up. Also consider a larger pot. He won't bear fruit. But he IS a handsome plant, regardless.

Posted by: breana at July 14, 2005 2:44 PM

You are right with bear. i like the effort with the colour co-ordniation that Lex has gone to :)

Posted by: discostu at July 14, 2005 7:10 PM

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