Trimming leggy indoor avocado plants

Discussion in 'Indoor and Greenhouse Plants' started by Tiago, Jan 13, 2022.

  1. Sulev

    Sulev Contributor

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    Thank you, @Margot , your opinion about avocado as a house plant is extremely valuable to me. But I'm not growing my avocado as a house plant, but just testing for fun, if it is possible to grow avocados outdoors at 59.3 Northern latitude (you know, all that chiming about the global warming etc). Just for fun and curiosity. I bring it indoors for winter only at its fragile young age. As soon as my avocado gets proper stem dimensions and some brownish well corked bark (not just thin green skin) it should face harsh winters outdoors.
    Besides, in my childhood, avocados were not available here. They were much less popular globally then. The big avocado hype started later, in 1990-ties. The global avocado production is more than tripled since then.
    Avocado production in its main regions, according to Error - Cookies Turned Off
    avocado production.jpg
     
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2022
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  2. Margot

    Margot Generous Contributor 10 Years

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    I really wish I had the time to research possible plants for your situation but, even if I did, it might be better for you to visit a garden centre or home improvement retailer to take a leisurely look at what they have to offer and short-list a few you like. There may or may not be a knowledgeable salesperson you could talk to or maybe you can just read the label to see if the plant should grow well where you plan to keep it. Then, before buying, take a day or two to research the plants on the web - there are excellent sites that tell you everything you need to know. Good luck - if you have time, it would be interesting to hear what you choose.
     
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2022
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  3. Sulev

    Sulev Contributor

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    Strange advise by @Margot. It sounds like: "anything is better than avocado".
    @Tiago asked just if to trim and how to trim.
    I personally would not trim at current stage. Only when there are several nodes with leaves, then trimming the top growth becomes reasonable. Of course, if your target is a bonsai, then more intensive trimming is reasonable. If you grow them for fun or if you plan to use them as a root-stock for grafting later, then slight trimming should be enough.
    Your avocado seedlings look like slightly leggy. Improve the lighting, if possible. Avocados can grow in the pretty strong shade initially, but better light situation keeps your plants more compact.
     
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  4. Tiago

    Tiago New Member

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    My apologies - it must have been my misunderstanding/misinterpretation of your original message. I thought you had concrete plant species in mind when you said "very many others that could more beautifully occupy the same space." I've been simply interested to hear - completely generally (i.e., not particularly tailored to any climate or circumstance) - if you could share some of those species that you might've had in mind. If you did have some suggestions - I would be still interested to hear! Either way - thank you very much for the advice!
     
  5. Tiago

    Tiago New Member

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    A huge thanks for the expressed advice! I really appreciate your feedback and input, which to a beginner like myself is absolutely invaluable!
    Regarding the light conditions - unfortunately, where I am based, there's not much sunlight during the winter months, and also, I don't want to keep my plants on the (south-facing) windowsill during the coldest months, because the overnight temperature there tends to be lower (the lowest being 8 C / 46.4 F, according to my inexpensive thermometer) than elsewhere in the house. So, I've opted for better temperature than better light for them (I'm not sure if this has been the optimal decision).

    Thanks for bringing up the questions of whether the avocados are intended to be grown as bonsai trees and whether it is "for fun", or otherwise! Silly me - I should've included this information in my original message. My apologies!

    Yes, I would like to grow my avocado plants/trees as bonsai trees - could you provide any particular suggestions for trimming (where exactly to trim the stem, should I trim the entire central stem, and when and how often should the trimming occur), given this further context?
    I confirm that I am growing my avocado plants "for fun" - i.e., completely recreationally (but I do love plants), not for commercial purpose or elaborate techniques, such as grafting (perhaps, I'll attempt grafting once I'm a bit more experienced as a gardener).
     
  6. Sulev

    Sulev Contributor

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    Last edited: Jan 16, 2022
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  7. Tiago

    Tiago New Member

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  8. AlainK

    AlainK Renowned Contributor Forums Moderator Maple Society 10 Years

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    I advise you against trying. Have you ever seen any? I haven't, even from beginners. That means this species is not suitable for bonsai.
    Try small-leaved species of Ficus (Ficus retusa, Ficus benjamina, etc. See for instance : http://www.fukubonsai.com/1f9a15.html
     
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  9. Tiago

    Tiago New Member

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    Hmm.. sorry, I'm a bit confused. Of course, I have seen bonsai avocado trees (online only) - that's where my inspiration to try growing some at home originated. I believe avocado bonsai trees could be seen in the links provided by @Sulev.

    Yes, this is a good suggestion! I confirm have had a ficus benjamina - and have been very happy with it - for about 5 years now.
     
  10. wcutler

    wcutler Esteemed Contributor Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout 10 Years

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    I think we're a little confused. Growing a Ficus benjamina successfully for five years gives you more experience than a complete beginner gardener, since these can be tricky to grow. Also you say you're planning to bonsai these avocados but would try placing them outside their pots in the garden in the summer. So some of the advice you're getting would not be appropriate to growing bonsai plants.
     
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  11. Tiago

    Tiago New Member

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    Apologies for any confusion caused - I confirm it hasn't been intentional on my part!
    I'm basically open to suggestions and ideas - that's what I've meant. My initial idea was to try to grow all of the seedlings as bonsai trees (despite not knowing how to trim them without killing them by mistake - that's why I've addressed my question to the knowledgeable community here), but since I've received extremely useful suggestions and experience from different forum members, I've realized that at least one of the seedlings could be grown as a proper tree.
     
  12. Sulev

    Sulev Contributor

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    Who exactly advised to transplant a bonsai outside in the summer? I was describing how I grow my avocados (without trimming) BEFORE Tiago revealed intention to experiment with bonsai art.
     
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  13. wcutler

    wcutler Esteemed Contributor Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout 10 Years

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    @Sulev, that's why I said we were a little confused, because Taigo seemed interested in the outdoor transplanting and was getting advice about that, but at that point, we didn't know that these were to be bonsai.
     
  14. Tiago

    Tiago New Member

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    @Sulev, I confirm that - on my side - all of your advice and suggestion have been understood correctly and appreciated immensely. I cannot thank you for your time enough!
    Again, I would like to emphasize that it was myself who caused the confusion (@wcutler, that's how you can understand I am a beginner-level gardener - I could not formulate my questions properly enough and omitted important details in my original post) and I apologize for it.
     

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