Germinating an avocado stone is one of the most exotic indoor germinations! Yes, but it is still necessary to do it properly: in water, or sowing in the soil?
And how do you maintain the avocado tree in a pot to keep it for many years? All these questions that sometimes make the avocado stop growing, we show you all the possible causes of the problem.
Germination of the core in a glass of water
Let’s review the basics, this is the most classic method, and probably the most fun, because we see the development of the root and the young shoot. It is enough to recover the stone of an avocado, to clean it with clear water to remove the pulp remains, and to plant horizontally 3 or 4 matches or toothpicks around the stone (inserted on 5mm, it is sufficient), at the level of the top third of its height (point upwards).
Place the core (always pointing upwards) on a glass filled with water, with the base of the core immersed in water. If necessary, place a small piece of charcoal to prevent the water from decaying.
Place the glass in a warm room (about 68°F): just wait and add a little water as it evaporates (the base of the core must always be immersed). After a few weeks (sometimes more), the stone splits vertically, a root appears, then a stem: it is the moment to plant the young avocado tree in a pot filled with light soil, taking care not to break the roots.
Remark : drying the core before germination does not bring anything, the technique of wet cotton sometimes described is random, and the peeling of the core is useless (it is useless to rid the core of its brown film).
Is my avocado tree sick?
Often, indoors (but also outdoors), the leaves of the avocado tree tend to brown or even fall off, especially in winter. Dry air is the main cause of leaf browning in avocado trees grown indoors, however, there are several possible causes:
- Normal browning if the leaves are old (the leaves renew themselves) ;
- Thermal shock (outside – inside for example) ;
- Lack of water or too dry atmosphere if it is mainly the extremities that are concerned;
- Excess of water (asphyxiation or even irremediable rotting of the roots leading to a fall of the foliage and the death of the young twigs, then of the plant);
- Burns caused by the sun or wind (the leaves of the avocado tree are sensitive to cold or drying winds);
- Finally, if the foliage becomes completely grayish and dry, with fine webs covering the leaves and petioles, it is probably an attack of red spiders.
How to prune an avocado to grow back properly
Cause the appearance of lateral branches
The main stem of a young avocado (it is a tree in its country of origin) tends to grow without branching. It is therefore necessary to artificially provoke the appearance of lateral branches, in order to have a bushy and decorative plant.
Cut the stem above 2 opposite leaves
When this stem, which will become a trunk, has reached a height of about twenty centimeters, cut it with a shears, 0.5 inch above two opposite leaves. This pruning will favour the development of the buds located at the base of these leaves.
Prune to provoke new branching
Two new stems will develop, which can also be pruned later to cause further branching. Do not wait until these branches are too long if you want to obtain a very stocky plant.
Scratching, watering, fertilizing
To promote regrowth after this operation, scratch the top of the pot with a mini scratch and water every two weeks with a fertilizer solution rich in nitrogen. Spray the foliage daily to maintain a humid atmosphere.
Some additional tips for getting your lawyer back on track
First of all, I assume that your plant is grown in a pot of soil. Many people start their avocado tree over a glass of water, but it can’t live there forever. As soon as you see the beginning of root growth, you have to transplant it into a soil environment.
When it has been potted, regular and deep watering is necessary: the root ball must never dry out completely, because, again, when the roots dry out, it can also lead to browning leaves. Therefore, as soon as the soil feels dry to the touch, it is time to water again.
Hard water is not good for the avocado tree either. Not only can tap water be naturally hard, depending on its origin, but the treatments given to the water to keep it drinkable can increase its hardness. And hard water can also brown the foliage, especially in combination with dry air.
Ideally, irrigation water will have a calcium carbonate concentration of less than 60 mg/l, which corresponds to so-called soft water. If the water in your municipality is considered hard or very hard, it would be best to water your avocado tree with rainwater, dehumidifier water or distilled water.