Indoor Avocado - The Subtleties of Care
Avocados are often called the easiest indoor fruit plant to grow from seeds. But you just have to dream about the fruits of the house, because blooming avocados at home is almost impossible to achieve. But almost everyone can get their spectacular large tree from the bone remaining from a delicious fruit. But to reveal the beauty of the plant, you have to try. Extremely photophilous, the avocado grows fast, loses its decorative effect even faster under the wrong conditions and requires special attention. A room avocado will not become an interior decoration with careless watering and without a well-thought-out formation.
Giant avocado in room format
Representing the Lavrov family avocado (Persea) 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 tree avocados in the room format sometimes drop leaves in the winter, recovering in the spring.
The shoots of the plant are straight, with a beautiful light bark. Lanceolate-elliptical, whole, dark, with a beautiful matte sheen, avocado leaves in length even in rooms can exceed 20 cm.
Light yellow flowers are collected in false umbrellas of inflorescences. Large fruit drupes with a shiny, thick, dark green, tuberous-wrinkled membrane develop slowly, up to 10-15 cm in length. A solid, large, oval-ovoid bone is characterized by almost 100 percent germination.
But in indoor conditions it is almost impossible to achieve an avocado bloom, it is considered a rarity in greenhouses. Only very large trees bloom in an avocado, requiring complex cross-pollination. The plant has several types of female flowers, blooming with a time difference with male ones. Because of this, even in nature, only a few ovaries of hundreds of flowers are tied.
In the rooms, only grafted avocados (acquired or grafted on rootstock) can bear fruit, but even with them it will be difficult to obtain fruits. Ideal conditions and several plants are needed for cross-pollination. They can be grown in one container, weaving among themselves into multi-stemmed trees at a young age or simply placed nearby. The traditional indoor avocado is a decorative-deciduous large-sized plant grown from stone.
Avocados are among the plants that are dangerous 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 a variety of indoor avocados. Exception - Famous Trade Names (Black Haaselongated Russell, "Cocktail" tender avocado Fuertereminiscent of oil "Royal" and so forth).
Growing Avocados from Bone
Heavy and very large avocado bones that remain after the healthy and tasty flesh is used for appetizers and salads are alluring experiments. Only seeds taken from a ripe intact fruit can be sprouted. And here the epithet of “the most delicious” is more than appropriate.
It is not necessary to remove the shell from the bone. But this way the germination will accelerate, and it is easy to take it off: just wash the seed in warm water and dry it for 24 hours.
Avocado seed can be sprouted in a substrate or in water. In the latter case, small transparent containers with a diameter slightly less than or equal to the bone are used. It is gently fixed with toothpicks or matches (slightly pressing them on the sides of the pulp to create “supports”) or simply set in cups so that only the lower part is immersed in water. Bones of 1-1.5 cm are lowered into the "bottom" of the water. Care is reduced to inspecting and maintaining the level and purity of the water.
Landing in the substrate more efficiently, it allows you to abandon the 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 adding more substrate (4-5 cm below the edge). The bone is buried by pressing only the flat end into the substrate and leaving the apex above the surface - about 1/2 to 1/3 of the height. After planting, carry out irrigation with warm water.
For avocados, you need to maintain stable soil moisture (about 70%), a temperature of at least 21 degrees and bright lighting. Covering with a hood with frequent airing is allowed.
Effective bone cracking can be expected from 3 weeks to more than 3 months. Roots rooted in water are planted in a substrate, leaving 1 / 2-1 / 3 above the soil surface.
After the sprout has grown to a level of 10 cm, it is necessary to sprinkle the bone with the substrate completely to accelerate rooting and growth. But you can leave it over the soil for decorative purposes.
Growing conditions for indoor avocados
Extremely photophilous, an avocado in a room format, however, does not tolerate direct sunlight. It is possible to place them in rooms only on window sills on the southern windows, but with protection. In winter, indoor avocados should preferably be illuminated.
Avocado tolerates heat well, while maintaining high humidity. During the period of active growth, the optimum temperature is considered above 21 degrees Celsius. For flowering and fruiting, an avocado should winter at a temperature of 5 to 7 degrees Celsius, to preserve leaves - from 5 to 12 degrees.
Avocados do not like drafts, but loves spending summers in the fresh air.
Avocado Care at Home
Avocados do not respond very well to complete drought or damp. Before watering, let the topsoil dry out. In winter, watering is reduced, drying the soil more, but still not allowing the soil to dry completely. Avocados will prefer plentiful, but rarer watering, warm, 2-5 degrees higher than the air temperature in the room, defended, soft water.
Avocados love high humidity. For the plant, frequent spraying is enough, but if you want to simplify the care, it is worth taking measures to install humidifiers - trays with wet pebbles.
For indoor avocados, rare standard top dressings are usually carried out. Enough universal fertilizers that are applied in liquid form at the dosage recommended by the manufacturer. Top dressing for avocados is carried out all year round, 1 time per month during the period of active growth and 1 time in 2 months in the winter.
Leaves should be regularly cleaned of dust. Avocados love a warm shower.
Avocado pruning and shaping
Without the formation of an avocado, it 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 exposed, 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 just pinch the emerging side shoots. When reaching a height of 60-80 cm, you can re-cut the top. The crown of young plants can be formed at will, including the complete absence of any measures.
Full pruning for avocados older than 3 years old is used only on strongly elongated, damaged plants, when overgrown and for sanitary purposes, removing thinned, unproductive, dry, broken branches. In adult avocados, more than a third of the main trunk cannot be cut.
Transplant, containers and substrate
It is better to let the avocados fully develop the containers and then carefully transfer them into larger pots. The transplant is carried out in spring or early summer, when the container is filled with roots. Usually every year avocados are transplanted only up to 4 years, then limited to 1 procedure in 3-4 years. If the maximum capacity is reached, transshipment is replaced by removal and replacement of the upper soil layer (2 times a year).
For avocados, any loose soil that is not prone to acidification and compaction is quite suitable. For example, a universal substrate or a mixture of soddy soil with sand and sheet soil in a ratio of 2: 1: 1. If possible, it is better to choose mixtures with humus or replace leafy soil with humus. Loosening additives, including perlite or small expanded clay, are only welcome.
During the procedure, it is important not to injure the roots. The drainage layer for avocados must be at least 4 cm.
Diseases, pests and growing problems
Indoor avocados often suffer from thrips and scale insects. It is worth fighting insect pests by washing the leaves, stifling, increasing humidity in parallel with insecticide treatment.
But much more often the plant has problems with leaves. Avocados are prone to dropping leaves and discoloration. Any drying of the tips indicates improper air humidity. Yellowing and partial dropping of leaves - problems with watering. Spots and bright areas - for the absence of trace elements in top dressing or insufficient top dressing.