Ask a Question forum: [URGENT!!] Avocado Pruning

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Name: Ikoa

Ikoanok
Apr 30, 2016 9:13 PM CST
Hello I started to grow my first avocado plant from pit and it's been about 2 months now. I couldn't get myself to prune it...and it's now about 8.5 inches. The main branch now split in two and has leaves on top of each branch. It's been growing rapidly recently. Should I prune it? If so where and how?
Thank you so much for your help!

Edits:
-I've read in several places that pinching off the top encourages more lateral growth fit for indoor growing, is this true?
-It's still in water and not in soil
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[Last edited by Ikoanok - Apr 30, 2016 9:46 PM (+)]
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Name: Elaine
South Sarasota, Florida (Zone 9b)
The one constant in life is change
Cat Lover Master Gardener: Florida Tropicals Multi-Region Gardener Vegetable Grower Region: Florida
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dyzzypyxxy
Apr 30, 2016 9:23 PM CST
Nope, but it looks like it needs to be put in some more light so that it will grow out those leaves. It's stretching up so far, reaching for the light. Put it on a windowsill, where it will receive some direct sunlight. Morning sun would be good at first, as it's not as strong or hot as afternoon sun.

You won't need to prune that plant until it's 3 or 4 ft. tall. But you will need to fertilize it pretty soon, too. Is it in a pot? Most potting soil has some nutrients in it but it will only last a couple of months.
Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill
Name: Ikoa

Ikoanok
Apr 30, 2016 9:38 PM CST
dyzzypyxxy said:Nope, but it looks like it needs to be put in some more light so that it will grow out those leaves. It's stretching up so far, reaching for the light. Put it on a windowsill, where it will receive some direct sunlight. Morning sun would be good at first, as it's not as strong or hot as afternoon sun.

You won't need to prune that plant until it's 3 or 4 ft. tall. But you will need to fertilize it pretty soon, too. Is it in a pot? Most potting soil has some nutrients in it but it will only last a couple of months.


Thanks for the quick reply!
Got it I'll try to give it as much light as possible and plant it in a pot soon (it's still in water).
I've read in many places that pinching off the top few inches when it grows to about 6 inches will encourage more lateral growth rather than height. I was thinking of growing this indoors since I live in Seattle where we barely get sunlight. Should I still not prune it?

[Last edited by Ikoanok - Apr 30, 2016 9:43 PM (+)]
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Name: Cheryl
Kingwood, Texas (Zone 9a)
Region: Texas Greenhouse Composter Plant Identifier Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Amaryllis
Plumerias Ponds Foliage Fan Enjoys or suffers hot summers Tropicals Garden Ideas: Master Level
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ShadyGreenThumb
Apr 30, 2016 9:46 PM CST
Welcome! Welcome!
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uncontrollably, And never regret anything that made you Smile.
Name: Elaine
South Sarasota, Florida (Zone 9b)
The one constant in life is change
Cat Lover Master Gardener: Florida Tropicals Multi-Region Gardener Vegetable Grower Region: Florida
Herbs Orchids Birds Garden Ideas: Level 2 Garden Sages Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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dyzzypyxxy
Apr 30, 2016 9:47 PM CST
Definitely not - that plant doesn't even have any viable leaves yet. It needs leaves to make food for itself to grow. Right now, it needs soil, water, nutrients and sunlight.

If you can grow it until it has about a dozen big shiny, healthy dark green leaves, then maybe you can indulge your urge to prune, and pinch out the terminal growths - maybe by the fall? But I wouldn't. The more leaves that plant has to collect light, the better it will grow through your rainy, gloomy winter months.

You definitely will need to keep it indoors in winter, but it will do fine as a potted plant outside in the summer. Just don't forget to water and feed it. As soon as the night temperatures are above about 50, you can take it outside. Then in the fall when the nights start getting below 50 again, it's time to bring it in.

These are tropical fruit trees. It will die if you let it get too cold for too long. To grow a tropical tree in a place that is not tropical, you have to try to give it as close to its 'natural' environment as possible. Here, avocados grow into 30ft. trees in the full, blazing Florida sun. (they grow great in California too).
Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill
Name: Ikoa

Ikoanok
Apr 30, 2016 9:55 PM CST
Got it, I'll pot it quickly and give it nutrients and sunlight.
Thank you so much for the detailed reply!
Name: Elaine
South Sarasota, Florida (Zone 9b)
The one constant in life is change
Cat Lover Master Gardener: Florida Tropicals Multi-Region Gardener Vegetable Grower Region: Florida
Herbs Orchids Birds Garden Ideas: Level 2 Garden Sages Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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dyzzypyxxy
May 1, 2016 8:43 AM CST
Even though it's tall and lanky, its still a baby, so go very gently on the fertilizer. For the first month or two, what's in the potting mix will be plenty.

It would not have grown so tall so fast if you had potted it and put it in the sun sooner, btw.

Be sure the pot you put it in has a drain hole. You don't want the roots to drown.

Keep us posted on the progress - it should dazzle you with growth in the next few months.
Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill
Name: Ikoa

Ikoanok
May 1, 2016 10:35 AM CST
I'm excited! Thank you again. I'll make sure to keep posting.

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