Avocado Bonsai?

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Avocado Bonsai?

Post  leatherback on Mon Sep 24, 2012 10:16 am

Dear All,

Since about 2 years I have been growing an avocado, from seed. To my surprise the seed which I initially planted next to a ficus in my office sprouted, and was moved into its own pot when the ficus outgrew my office last summer..

The plant now has a trunk of about 4 cm, being 30cm tall, and 75cm wide. I have managed to get some 30 growing points in the plant through pinching & bending branches down. Unfortunately, that does not seem enough to get any reduction of leave size. Is there anyone who has experience in growing avocado? Can it be done convincingly? So far all has only resulted in lots of iron-hard straight sticks shooting vertically from the bend branches.

leatherback
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Re: Avocado Bonsai?

Post  Khaimraj Seepersad on Mon Sep 24, 2012 10:28 am

Leatherback,

chances are you will have to grow the tree up to a metre in height, and then test by defoliation, to see how well the tree branches and grow on for months to see how many branches survive.

Down here, avocadoes, don't really branch, as would an elm. The wood stays very soft, and you may wish to keep large cuts down to a minimum.

If you can supply full sun, and keep the branches sub-dividing, you may get smaller leaves, I don't however know if they will be small enough to suit your idea.
Happy experimenting.
Khaimraj

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Re: Avocado Bonsai?

Post  leatherback on Mon Sep 24, 2012 4:12 pm

Thx.

The plant was about 1 meter tall when I decided to bend the main branch down, in order to create some side branches (Pinching alone did not work. I think this plant is very apically dominant!). Will keep this thread alive for a while, and hope someone pops along who has tried this before. If not.. Garbage bin I suppose. It is mainly ugly at the moment Very Happy

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Re: Avocado Bonsai?

Post  Billy M. Rhodes on Mon Sep 24, 2012 4:15 pm

I don't think I have ever seen an Avocado Bonsai. I do think leaf reduction will be the real issue, also I am not sure they lend themselves to pot culture.

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Re: Avocado Bonsai?

Post  Khaimraj Seepersad on Mon Sep 24, 2012 4:30 pm

Leatherback,

try a small of seed, Mango.
It will give you what you are looking for.
The Ministry of Agriculture folk, accidentally Bonsai mangoes in 5 gallon tin cans [ the ones biscuits or oil used to come in]

You will also enjoy the Tamarind, it works and I have tests running on 20 cm specimens, which I will show at a much later date on IBC.
Later.
Khaimraj

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Re: Avocado Bonsai?

Post  littleacorns on Mon Sep 24, 2012 4:46 pm

Over the years I have grown many avocados in pots from the stones/pits, but wouldn't recommend trying them as a bonsai other than the very largest size. The leaves just get bigger and bigger. They do make great houseplants, though, and live happily in pots if you feed and take care of them. I have one here at home about 1 metre/3 feet tall, and two more stones sitting with their bottoms in water waiting to root and sprout; and I have given away many plants to friends. (BTW we eat a lot of avocados when we can get them!)

Ideally you should cut the stem at about 10 cm/4 inches; it will then branch, and you keep cutting the branches until you have the spread you want. If you don't cut early, the main stem may get leggy and very bendy. The plant will last for years as a medium to large houseplant, and the biggest I ever saw was at least 3 metres/ over 9 feet tall, in a furniture store.

Avocados are fun to grow, but they aren't really very good as bonsai. You probably won't get any fruit, either.

I also have a mango tree here that I grew from a stone - the leaves are 45 cm / 18 inches long, so not so good for shohin! Laughing I am air-layering it as it is far too tall and is about to reach my ceiling. I have two lychee plants, again from stones fresh from the fruit, and two tamarinds - these last I grew from the hard stones you find in tamarind paste. Now tamarind do make excellent indoor bonsai (or outdoor if you're sub-tropical).

I have great fun growing plants from fruit stones, but end up with far too many!

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Re: Avocado Bonsai?

Post  leatherback on Mon Sep 24, 2012 6:09 pm

Ah, great. Not the answers I was hoping to get but well..

I am NOT looking at getting more plants. I just trimmed 1 metre of our Ficus Benjamina last week, as after summer it did not fit in our 'wintergarden' anymore. This avocado was more of a surprise success rather than an attempt at getting some nice tropicals. Although tamarind is a very attractive tree.. I guess it will take many years to grow anything decent from it. Guess the avocado will move towards the chipper...

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Hold off on the wood chipper~!

Post  Jim McIntyre on Tue Sep 25, 2012 12:11 pm

I have an avocado grown from a seed started in 2010. The leaves reduce quite well (mine are about 2 inches long), so that is not an issue. They could make a decent bonsai if you find one with a good trunk. The internodes are quite far apart and it takes them a long time to lignify. I will take a pic of it later today (its still dark outside).

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Here is a pic

Post  Jim McIntyre on Tue Sep 25, 2012 1:17 pm



Its no beauty , but shows that avocado is somewhat workable as a bonsai even in shohin size.

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Avocado Bonsai 2013

Post  Jim McIntyre on Sun Oct 27, 2013 1:46 am

http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/513/exwu.jpg/

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Re: Avocado Bonsai?

Post  Khaimraj Seepersad on Sun Oct 27, 2013 10:17 am

Jim,

that is impressive and very encouraging.
Thank you !!

Never thought I would see anything like an Avocado [ Zabocah ] Bonsai.
If I get a seed, I will give it a try.

I hope you don't mind if I make a copy of your image for my library.
Thanks again.
Khaimraj

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Avocado Bonsai 2013

Post  Jim McIntyre on Sun Oct 27, 2013 11:28 am

I have never tried to grow and avocado bonsai before . But this one from seed in 2010 was grown specifically to try as a bonsai . From my experience the best way to reduce leaf size is to remove any larger leaves and defoliate it . The one in the above link was defoliated in May of this year and fertilized frequently .

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Re: Avocado Bonsai?

Post  Andre Beaurain on Tue Oct 29, 2013 2:07 pm

Khaimraj Seepersad wrote:Jim,


If I get a seed, I will give it a try.


Khaimraj
Don't you get avos in the West Indies?  Buy the fruit and grow the pip..... you silly person....Wink Wink 

Love and light

Andre Beaurain
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Re: Avocado Bonsai?

Post  Khaimraj Seepersad on Tue Oct 29, 2013 2:41 pm

Andre',

I have a -lulah - in the backyard, where the compost heap sits, as the older IBCer's might recall. It is a small fruit with a medium sized seed, and a buttery, flavourful quality. ripens from October into Christmas.

However like the mango, I would have to grow for a trunk of 5" to get something that looked convincing enough to be accepted as a bonsai. 5" for me is a 63.5 cm to 76 cm [ 25 to 30 " ] which for me is a big bonsai and I am getting older, with no yardman [ read gardener ].

I also appreciate, when someone else does the research, and especially someone from a cold climate. A tree grown indoors takes on a special quality as appreciation goes. An avocado, would be as nothing down here, when alongside a
Tamarind or an Oxy.

Additionally, in this case, so small a tree and branching, very impressive. Leaves are easily shrunken, but branching is impressive.
Good to see you passing by.
Stay Well,
Khaimraj

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