Avocados are often referred to as the easiest indoor fruit plant to grow from seed. But just about the fruits at home you can only dream of, because it is almost impossible to achieve avocado flowering at home. But almost everyone can get their own spectacular large tree from the bone left over from the tasty fruit. But to reveal the beauty of the plant, you have to try. Extremely light-loving, avocado grows quickly, loses its decorative effect even faster in the wrong conditions and requires special attention. Indoor avocado will not become an interior decoration with careless watering and without thoughtful shaping.
Indoor avocado – the subtleties of care
Giant avocado in room format
Representing the Lavrov family avocado (Persecute) Is one of the most popular fruit crops, whose fruits are indispensable for a healthy diet. It is also one of the fastest growing plants. The annual growth of avocados in comfortable conditions is about 80 cm. Evergreen shrubs and woody avocados in indoor format sometimes shed their leaves for the winter, recovering in the spring.
The shoots of the plant are straight, with a beautiful light bark. Lanceolate-elliptical, solid, dark, with a beautiful matte sheen, avocado leaves in length, even in rooms, can exceed 20 cm.
Light green-yellow flowers are collected in false inflorescence umbrellas. Large drupes of fruits with a shiny, thick, dark green, bumpy-wrinkled shell develop slowly, up to 10-15 cm in length. The hard, large, oval-ovoid bone is almost 100% germinable.
But in indoor conditions it is almost impossible to achieve flowering of avocados, it is considered a rarity in greenhouses. Avocados only flower very large trees, requiring complex cross-pollination. The plant has several types of female flowers, blooming with a time difference from the male. Because of which, even in nature, only a few ovaries of hundreds of flowers are tied.
Only grafted avocados (purchased or grafted onto the stock) can bear fruit in the rooms, but even with them it will be difficult to achieve fruit. You need ideal conditions and a few plants for cross-pollination. They can be grown in one container, weaving together into multi-stem trees at a young age, or simply placed side by side. The traditional indoor avocado is an ornamental leafy large size grown from seed.
Avocados are among the most dangerous plants for pets (bark and leaves contain toxins).
In most cases, retail chains do not indicate the varieties of fruits sold and it is very difficult to establish the variety of indoor avocado. Exceptions are well-known trade names (black Haaselongated Russell, “Cocktail” mini avocado, tender Fuertelike oil “Royal” and pr).
Growing an avocado from a seed
Heavy and very large avocado pits, which remain after the healthy and tasty pulp has been used for appetizers and salads, beckon to experiment. You can only germinate seeds taken from a ripe, undamaged fruit. And here the epithet “the most delicious” is more than appropriate.
It is not necessary to remove the shell from the bone. But this will accelerate germination, and it is easy to remove it: just wash the bone in warm water and dry it for a day.
The avocado seed can be germinated in the substrate or in water… In the latter case, small transparent containers with a diameter slightly smaller or equal to the bone are used. It is neatly fixed with toothpicks or matches (by slightly pressing them on the sides into the pulp to create “supports”) or simply placed in cups so that only the lower part is immersed in water. The “bottom” of the bones is lowered into the water by 1-1,5 cm. Care is reduced to inspecting and maintaining the level and purity of the water.
Planting in a substrate more efficiently, it allows you to abandon planting after germination. Planting is carried out in large pots with a diameter of 12 to 15 cm, in a mixture of peat and sand, filling the pots so as to leave room for filling up the substrate (4-5 cm below the edge). The bone is deepened by pressing only the flat end into the substrate and leaving the top above the surface – about 1 / 2-1 / 3 of the height. After planting, watering is carried out with warm water.
For avocados, you need to maintain a stable soil moisture (about 70%), a temperature of at least 21 degrees and bright lighting. Covering with a hood with frequent ventilation is allowed.
Effective bone cracking can be expected from 3 weeks to more than 3 months. The seeds rooted in water are planted in the substrate, leaving 1 / 2-1 / 3 above the soil surface.
After the sprout has grown to a level of 10 cm, it is worth sprinkling the bone completely with the substrate to accelerate rooting and growth. But you can leave it above the soil for decorative purposes.
Growing conditions for indoor avocados
Extremely light-loving, indoor avocado, however, cannot stand direct sun. They can be placed in rooms only on the windowsills on the southern windows, but with protection. In winter, it is advisable to supplement the indoor avocado.
Avocados tolerate heat well provided they maintain high humidity. During the period of active growth, the optimal temperature is considered to be above 21 degrees Celsius. For flowering and fruiting, the avocado must winter at a temperature of 5 to 7 degrees Celsius, to preserve the leaves – from 5 to 12 degrees.
Avocado does not like drafts, but loves to spend summer outdoors.
Read also our article Secrets of growing avocados at home.
Home avocado care
Avocados do not respond very well to complete drought and dampness. Before watering, it is worth letting the top layer of the soil dry out. For the winter, watering is reduced, drying the soil more, but still preventing the soil from drying out completely. Avocados will prefer abundant, but more rare watering with warm, 2-5 degrees higher than the air temperature in a room, with settled, soft water.
Avocados love high humidity. For a plant, frequent spraying is enough, but if you want to simplify maintenance, you should take measures to install humidifiers – pallets with wet pebbles.
For indoor avocados, rare standard dressings are usually carried out. Enough universal fertilizers, which are applied in liquid form in the dosage recommended by the manufacturer. Top dressing for avocados is carried out all year round, once a month during the period of active growth and once every 1 months in winter.
Leaves must be regularly cleaned of dust. Avocados love warm showers.
Pruning and shaping avocados
Without forming, an avocado can turn into a real indoor giant. For thickening, forming a beautiful crown, limiting the height of the trunk, which will gradually become more and more bare, the best strategy is timely pinching of the shoots and shortening the tops.
For the first time, pruning is carried out when the avocado reaches a height of 20 cm, cutting or plucking the top and limiting growth, and then simply pinching the emerging lateral shoots. When you reach a height of 60-80 cm, you can re-cut the top. You can form the crown of young plants at will, including the complete absence of any measures is permissible.
Full pruning for avocados older than 3 years is used only on highly elongated, damaged plants, during overgrowth and for sanitary purposes, removing thinned, unproductive, dry, broken twigs. On adult avocados, more than a third of the main stem should not be trimmed.
Transplant, containers and substrate
It is best to allow the avocado to fully fill the containers and then gently transfer to larger pots. The transplant is carried out in the spring or early summer, when the container is filled with roots. Usually, avocados are transplanted every year only up to 4 years old, then limited to 1 procedure every 3-4 years. If the maximum volume of the container is reached, the transshipment is replaced by the removal and replacement of the topsoil (2 times a year).
Any loose soil that is not prone to acidification and compaction is quite suitable for an avocado. For example, a universal substrate or a mixture of turf soil with sand and leafy soil in a 2: 1: 1 ratio. If possible, it is better to choose a mixture with humus or replace the leafy soil with humus. Loosening additives, including perlite or fine expanded clay, are welcome.
During the procedure, it is important not to injure the roots. The drainage layer for avocados should be at least 4 cm.
Diseases, pests and growing problems
Indoor avocados are often plagued by thrips and scale insects. It is worth fighting insect pests by washing the leaves, showering, increasing humidity in parallel with the treatment with insecticides.
But far more often the plant has problems with the leaves. Avocados are prone to shedding their leaves and discoloration. Any drying out of the tips indicates improper air humidity. Yellowing and partial shedding of leaves – for watering problems. Spots and light areas – for the lack of trace elements in the dressing or insufficient dressing.