Avocado Over 14" - Knowledgebase Question

Louisville, KY
Avatar for jcbear1023
Question by jcbear1023
March 30, 2001
I started an avocado pit last fall and it's currently about 14 inches tall......i tried to pot it in soil at 12 inches and the next day it was all wilted.....i placed it back in water and it revived.....but i haven't pinched the top off, but i want it to branch out instead of being spindly? will pinching it now hurt it? and how can i plant it in soil without it wilting?

Answer from NGA
March 30, 2001
It can be a difficult transition for the plant to move from water to soil because the roots need to become acclimated and do not work very well during that period. Your plant is a little big to try to make the change. Pinching it back might be hlepful because it would reduce the amount of plant that has to be kept hydrated while the roots adjust to being in the soil. To help it make the transition, use a moistened soilless potting mix, plant the pit, water it once to settle the soil and eliminate air pockets, then place a clear plastic bag or a clear plastic dome over top. to help maintain humidity while the roots grow. Keep the pot in a very bright location during this period (but out of direct sun to avoid overheating it). Open the bag occasionally to allow for air exchange, or if there is excess condensation. After a few weeks when the plant has rooted more, gradually remove the plastic and return the plant to a very sunny spot. I hope this works. If you try it again another time, try to move the pit to soil sooner before the plant is so big.

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