Can anyone tell me how to care for and prune my indoor avocado tree?

Discussion in 'Fruit and Nut Trees' started by BLewis, Feb 7, 2017.

  1. BLewis

    BLewis New Member

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    I have a 7 year old avocado tree that i've decided keep in door as it's getting to large to move outside in the summer

    Can anyone tell me the best way to prune the tree to make it look for healthy. Also, any indoor caring tips would be helpful. Thanks

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  2. Ron C

    Ron C New Member

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    The main thing I recommend is not to let one side of the tree become dominant - so rotate it year to year.

    My Avocado trees were grown from seed in 1983 - I have 2 of them - one at the office and one at home.

    The one at the office benefits from a higher ceiling height and the fluorescent lights.

    The one at home has a lower ceiling height (8.5 ft), only natural light and cooler temperatures.
    The one at home isn't doing very well since it grows towards the light a lot and became lopsided - it also developed a fungus of some sort during one winter (some stems turned black and oozed sap) and has been infected with Avocado thrips numerous times. Once you get thrips, they come back repeatedly (check diligently for them) and they also infect other plants (I've had them on my coffee tree, hibiscuses and citrus trees).

    I can see from your pic that you have the typical vigorous growth where a new shoot sent out branches with no leaf nodes for maybe a foot or so along the side stems. Many years ago, I pruned the branches on my tree to leave a few nodes at the end of each of those branches. That was very successful when the plant was vigorous. It wasn't so successful when the plant was weak from the fungus (and some branches simply died back instead of sending out shoots).

    The plant at home was in poor enough shape that it basically thought it was going to die, so it flowered for the first time in maybe 2010 or so. Here is a pic from April 2015 - when it sent out the most flowers. It has since lost a lot more branches to about half the width, but has some vigorous growth and didn't flower in 2016 (I may also have pruned off the branches that would have flowered). The foliage also used to be much lusher before it had fungus and thrips. In the pic you can see where the branches were pruned successively and branched from.

    I don't know why, but each spring, the leaves brown at the edges as seen in the pic and eventually fall off.
    It could be a build up of salt in the pot as it hasn't been transplanted in 20 years.


    Good luck!

    and here's a pic of the one in the office since that one looks so sparse and pathetic:

    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 17, 2017
    sarahlynn1313 and Daniel Mosquin like this.

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