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Avatar for Spudnik
May 18, 2020 5:54 AM CST
Glasgow
Hi all. I've an amateur green thumb and managed to keep most of my succulent collection alive for the past 2 years, so I'm trying my hand at new plants. I've been sprouting an avocado seed in a jam jar for maybe a little over 6 months now, does anyone know what those white spots on the roots are?

I've read conflicting advice on reddit saying it's Mycorrhiza and fine to leave it, others say to remove it. I was changing the water and rubbed one of the spots, it came off fairly easily and was kinda crumbly. Any advice?

Originally I thought it was side roots coming from the taproot but it's been quite a while and the spots are increasing but no sign of side roots. Am I lacking side roots because the jam jar is too small? I thought about getting a bigger jar but I don't want the taproot to get too long so I cannot fit it in a pot and wanted a bit more growth before I moved it to soil.

It's currently grown indoors on windowsill with a decent amount of direct light during the morning, and indirect light in the afternoon. Is it normal for the leaves to be a little brown / darker in colour?

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Last edited by Spudnik May 18, 2020 5:54 AM Icon for preview
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May 18, 2020 7:37 AM CST
Name: Sally
central Maryland (Zone 7b)
Let's all play ukulele
Charter ATP Member Houseplants Keeper of Poultry Vegetable Grower Region: Maryland Composter
Native Plants and Wildflowers Organic Gardener Region: United States of America Cat Lover Birds Butterflies
I don't know.
I would pot it now.
Plant it and they will come.
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May 18, 2020 9:53 AM CST
Name: Will Creed
NYC
Prof. plant consultant & educator
I suspect those are white mineral deposits on the roots. They are harmless and not a fungus. It's time to move your Avocado to a small pot with a porous potting mix and a drain hole. No need to remove the white depostits.
Will Creed
Horticultural Help, NYC
www.HorticulturalHelp.com
Contact me directly at wcreed@HorticulturalHelp.com
I now have a book available on indoor plant care
Avatar for Spudnik
May 18, 2020 10:32 AM CST
Glasgow
Thanks for the advice, I'll get it into soil soon. I only have multi-purpose compost mix (ran out of succulent and cacti mix) and some vermiculite I use to grow oat-grass in for my cat. Would mixing the vermiculite with the compost mix make it porous enough or should I buy more succulent mix?
Last edited by Spudnik May 18, 2020 10:32 AM Icon for preview
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May 18, 2020 11:26 AM CST
Name: Sally
central Maryland (Zone 7b)
Let's all play ukulele
Charter ATP Member Houseplants Keeper of Poultry Vegetable Grower Region: Maryland Composter
Native Plants and Wildflowers Organic Gardener Region: United States of America Cat Lover Birds Butterflies
Multipurpose mix should be fine, add vermiculite if you want to lighten it a little.
Plant it and they will come.
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May 18, 2020 11:40 AM CST
Name: Will Creed
NYC
Prof. plant consultant & educator
Vermiculite is soft and spongy and tends to compact after a while. That is why the more granular perlite is preferable. Your cuttings can wait a while longer if that will give you time to get a better potting mix.
Will Creed
Horticultural Help, NYC
www.HorticulturalHelp.com
Contact me directly at wcreed@HorticulturalHelp.com
I now have a book available on indoor plant care
Avatar for CPPgardener
May 18, 2020 11:49 AM CST
Name: John
Pomona/Riverside CA (Zone 9a)
I agree
The only other recommendation I have is to cut off the curling part of the root. A branching rootball is much steadier in the pot because the roots grow out rather than round and round.
“That which is, is.That which happens, happens.” Douglas Adams
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May 18, 2020 2:05 PM CST
Name: Lee-Roy
Bilzen, Belgium (Zone 8a)
Region: Belgium Composter Region: Europe Ferns Hostas Irises
Lilies Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge)
To my knowledge mycorrhiza don't live fully submerged. I also think they are mineral salts.

By the way, that taproot is severely misshapen and needs to be pruned back to before the first kink/bend if you intend to grow it on seriously
Avatar for Spudnik
May 18, 2020 3:26 PM CST
Glasgow
learn something new all the time, I assumed the roots would grow branches once in the soil. Would have potted it a lot sooner instead of keeping it in a small jar all this time.

I never knew you could prune roots either. Do i just cut with a sharp pair of snips before the first bend, leaving about 2 inches of root and move into soil?
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May 18, 2020 3:29 PM CST
Name: Lee-Roy
Bilzen, Belgium (Zone 8a)
Region: Belgium Composter Region: Europe Ferns Hostas Irises
Lilies Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge)
Spudnik said:learn something new all the time, I assumed the roots would grow branches once in the soil. Would have potted it a lot sooner instead of keeping it in a small jar all this time.

I never knew you could prune roots either. Do i just cut with a sharp pair of snips before the first bend, leaving about 2 inches of root and move into soil?


Alot of plants can be (mis)treated more than you think without any long lasting effects. A sharp knife of scissors are fine yes.
Avatar for Spudnik
May 19, 2020 10:48 AM CST
Glasgow
I got some granite based potting grit today (no perlite available from what I could see). Haven't changed the soil on my succulents yet this year so got some coarse sharp sand as well.

I'm planning to use 1/3 multipurpose compost, grit, and sand for the succulents, would that work for an avocado tree or should I leave out the sand?
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May 19, 2020 11:17 AM CST
Name: Lee-Roy
Bilzen, Belgium (Zone 8a)
Region: Belgium Composter Region: Europe Ferns Hostas Irises
Lilies Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge)
Spudnik said:I got some granite based potting grit today (no perlite available from what I could see). Haven't changed the soil on my succulents yet this year so got some coarse sharp sand as well.

I'm planning to use 1/3 multipurpose compost, grit, and sand for the succulents, would that work for an avocado tree or should I leave out the sand?


Avocados need fast drainage too yes, but alot more feed than succulents aswell so increase the potting soil ratio
Avatar for Spudnik
May 19, 2020 12:35 PM CST
Glasgow
ok thanks, I'll try 2/3 soil to 1/3 grit and see how that goes
Avatar for Spudnik
Jul 11, 2020 4:23 AM CST
Glasgow
A little update on the seedling. I cut the root at the first kink and planted it in gritty soil, think I under-watered it at first as the leaves wilted, then over-watered it as the leaves picked up then the tips went brown. Been watering it twice a week now and new growth is starting, although the seed itself has gone green. Apart from that and a root poking out the bottom of the pot, it seems to be surviving for the time being :)

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Avatar for CPPgardener
Jul 11, 2020 3:00 PM CST
Name: John
Pomona/Riverside CA (Zone 9a)
If you got a new root coming out of the bottom of the pot, YOU DID IT!!! Hurray! Hurray! Thumbs up You got the tree successfully transferred to soil and now you can treat it like any other houseplant.

Happy plant parenting
“That which is, is.That which happens, happens.” Douglas Adams
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