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May 25, 2017 6:18 PM CST
Name: William
Atlanta, Ga (Zone 7b)
About 2 yrs ago, I unintentionally planted two avocado trees in my worm/compost bin. Seeing all the Youtube videos and sites about how hard it is to grow avocados from pits and how you need to do this or that; I didn't think twice about them actually sprouting much less gain traction in growing. Once I discovered they had indeed sprouted, I decided to pot them and keep them going...........

Fast forward to present day, I managed to keep them alive through two winters and also managed to separate them mid-season into to separate containers. After all this I find myself trying to figure out what I need to do now. I currently live in an apartment. I am not ready to plant them in the ground, but after repotting them two months ago, I find myself in need of repotting them again as the roots were growing out of the weep holes of the container.

The questions I have are as follows:
1) Should I keep repotting the trees into larger containers until I can replant them in the ground?
2) I find the roots to be fragile (more fragile than **normal**, found this out when separating the two trees), is there a method to control the root growth without damaging the tree?

If pictures are needed to assess the situation, I can oblige. I believe the container its in currently is a 20 gal.
Last, with so much time invested (not to mention the fruits are my favorite snack), I do not want to lose these trees, but my patio space is limited. Thank you in advance for any help, it is greatly appreciated....
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May 25, 2017 6:30 PM CST
Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
Not all who wander are lost
Garden Sages Plant Identifier
Welcome!

A 20 gallon pot is more than big enough to keep your tree happy for many years. I think what you are seeing is not an indication of being rootbound but more likely the tree attempting to put down a taproot. I'm sure that if you dumped out the pot, you would discover all the roots are at the bottom of the pot.

Hopefully, you live in a zone warm enough to grow an avocado tree outside as the avocados from the grocery store are originally from either Mexico or Guatemala. It is possible to keep an avocado in a large pot permanently but you will have to learn to prune (roots and top).

BTW, Avocados don't produce fruit until they are 8-10 years of age.
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and proclaiming...."WOW What a Ride!!" -Mark Frost

President: Orchid Society of Northern Nevada
Webmaster: osnnv.org
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May 25, 2017 7:00 PM CST
Name: William
Atlanta, Ga (Zone 7b)
Thank you for the information, I had just re-potted it, so yeah its definitely not root bound. I will take your suggestion and learn how to prune the roots and the tops. As far as potting for the long term, if it's possible with this tree, sounds great. And, as far as the time frame for fruit production, that's fine too. I am perfectly happy learning patience, everything doesn't have to been instant, despite popular belief, lol. Have a great evening.
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May 26, 2017 9:17 AM CST
Name: Philip Becker
Fresno California (Zone 8a)
If your temps dont go below 10f.
Get a mexicola stewart. They ripen in winter. As with any avocodo, the trees need some frost protection for there first few years.
😎😎😎
Anything i say, could be misrepresented, or wrong.
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May 26, 2017 7:40 PM CST
Name: William
Atlanta, Ga (Zone 7b)
Thank you @Philipwonel,
I have started a search for that species of avocado, It rarely hits those lows here but I already house my tropically oriented plants indoors. So i feel I'm good on that front. Is there a nursery you recommend or someone from the site to query about this particular tree?
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May 26, 2017 9:22 PM CST
Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
Not all who wander are lost
Garden Sages Plant Identifier
I had a Mexicola Grande Improved in Zone 8 in California. The avocados are large and have small pits and really thin skins - my Hispanic friends told me the skin was edible and it was easier to eat the skin than peel it off. Smiling They are cold hardy to about 20 degrees. The tree was huge! Avocado trees are monstrous. The last couple years we lived there, we harvested a couple hundred pounds a year.
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and proclaiming...."WOW What a Ride!!" -Mark Frost

President: Orchid Society of Northern Nevada
Webmaster: osnnv.org
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May 27, 2017 8:21 AM CST
Name: Philip Becker
Fresno California (Zone 8a)
howdy there William. The ( 'mexicola stuart' ) persea americana. Is a cocktail avocodo. Eat skin.
Mature size 12 by 12 feet.
Got it at home depot.
Go to homedepotgardenclub.com and use plant code THDB5653
😎😎😎
Anything i say, could be misrepresented, or wrong.
Avatar for Channy007
Oct 12, 2019 1:16 PM CST

Thumb of 2019-10-12/Channy007/04b828

I hope this picture shows you what I am talking about. Leaves are dropping like flies, never pruned it once over the last 3 years. Is it to late to prune it? I am beginning to think this is a waste of my time I'm very frustrated.
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Oct 12, 2019 7:34 PM CST
Name: Carol
Santa Ana, ca
Sunset zone 22, USDA zone 10 A.
Bookworm Charter ATP Member Region: California Hummingbirder Orchids Plant Identifier
Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge)
Well, If you are expecting to get avocados from a house plant, you are most likely wasting your time. If you are trying for a houseplant...different story, if you are trying to grow it to plant outside , there is hope. knowing where you are growing it would help.
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Oct 12, 2019 8:13 PM CST
Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
Not all who wander are lost
Garden Sages Plant Identifier
I've never tried growing an avocado as a houseplant but, I'm sure it can be done. Your tree has branched early so there obviously was damage or something that acted like pruning. Otherwise, it would have a straight trunk approaching the ceiling and your question would be different.

There are a lot of unanswered questions in this question... Do you expect fruit? Or is this a houseplant only? The leaves left on the tree look fine so, is this fall drop? Have you considered pruning?

Why do you feel you are you wasting your time? What are you expecting from this tree?
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and proclaiming...."WOW What a Ride!!" -Mark Frost

President: Orchid Society of Northern Nevada
Webmaster: osnnv.org
Avatar for Channy007
Oct 13, 2019 3:02 PM CST

No I am not expecting fruit as it is a house plant. I'm just not sure if I should try pruning at this point.
I did think that because it is fall that maybe the reason for leaf drop. But it is losing between 3-5 leaves per day.
I live in SK, Canada. The tree has a sun lamp above it for extra light.
There are things I should have done when it was growing that I didn't know like pruning!!
Do you think it is worth a try to prune the tree at this time?
Avatar for Channy007
Oct 13, 2019 3:07 PM CST

I feel I'm wasting my time with it because it us so sad to see how many leaves have fallen off. But there are some factors that it may be stressed as we moved recently. I used to have it in a tent for plants but the tree had gotten to large to keep it in there so it doesn't have the humidity that it used to have... I try to spray the leaves a few times a day but that's the best I can think of to keep the humidity on it.
It is colder now so the heat in the house is on which dries out the air.
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Oct 13, 2019 3:21 PM CST
Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
Not all who wander are lost
Garden Sages Plant Identifier
I think you have answered all your own questions: the stress of a move, lower humidity, dry heat from the furnace, fall leaf drop... The new leaves that grow from now on won't be affected by these factors. But, those new leaves will be at the tips of the branches. I would prune. I can't tell you how much to prune but, new branches will grow from the nodes closest to the cuts. Think about how you want it to look before you get out the clippers.

Misting doesn't raise humidity around a plant, it just damages furnature. The best way to increase humidity is with a humidity tray - a big saucer full of pebbles and water the plant can sit on. Just make sure the plant is not sitting in the water. When I use humidity trays, I place the pot on a dish just bigger than the base of the pot bottom so water can't wick up from the pebbles.
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and proclaiming...."WOW What a Ride!!" -Mark Frost

President: Orchid Society of Northern Nevada
Webmaster: osnnv.org
Image
Oct 13, 2019 4:41 PM CST
Name: Carol
Santa Ana, ca
Sunset zone 22, USDA zone 10 A.
Bookworm Charter ATP Member Region: California Hummingbirder Orchids Plant Identifier
Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge)
I wouldn't worry too much about humidity. If you could see where they are grown commercially here in So. Cal. you would understand. It is some of the most inhospitable land you will ever see. Steep , rocky mountains where they have to use llamas to harvest. This is on the east side of the mountains where they don't get any ocean influence. It's hot and dry, but almost always sunny. We do grow in kinder environments too, but different varieties do better than others in different environments. Sun, heat, and temperature are key, along with really good drainage.
Avatar for Channy007
Oct 25, 2019 1:30 PM CST

Thumb of 2019-10-25/Channy007/24694f

So here is what my tree looks like today. It has lots of new growth. I really think I am going to lose all the old growth. I just hope its enough to keep this tree going!!
Thanks for your tips and above advice.
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