Avocados are generally known to grow tall when planted outdoors. To avoid the hassle of caring for a large avocado tree, people plant avocados indoors. Anyone can plant an indoor avocado tree with a pot and seeds of an avocado you’ve eaten. However, even indoors, avocados can grow so big that they will need to be pruned frequently. Frequent pruning will help prevent it from growing too big or shedding copious amounts of leaves in your home. Pruning can also be used to keep your avocado tree at the size you desire once you achieve it. Therefore, in this article, I’ll be taking you through several tips that’ll come in handy when pruning your Avocado tree.
When is the Best Time to Prune an Avocado Tree in a Pot?
When it comes to pruning plants, timing is of the essence. Pruning at the wrong time can prevent your plant from growing to your preferred size, or it might permanently alter its production. Depending on the pruning method you use, you may want to prune according to the year’s season.
When it comes to the light pruning technique, you can prune at any time of the year without fear of consequences. However, if you choose to go heavy on the pruning, you will need to do it later in winter or the early spring. This period coincides with the start of the season of growth, allowing the tree to grow in the desired way.
How to Prune your Avocado Tree in a Pot
There are several reasons for pruning your potted avocado plant. Pending on the reason for pruning, there are different ways to go about it.
To Encourage Growth
If you’re trying to encourage your growth, then you will need to:
Disinfect your tools
As you will be doing a lot of cutting, injuries might occur to either you or the plant. Therefore, to mitigate the risk of infection from tools, you need to disinfect your tools. A bleach solution will be sufficient to get this done. Ensure that you soak your tools in the solution for at least half an hour.
Cut the central stem.
When the central stem grows to 6 inches (15cm), cut it to about half of that length using gardening loppers. The goal of this is to prevent your avocado from growing long and slender stems. Instead, you’d prefer that it grows strong stems.
Cut the tips and upper leaves.
When the central stem reaches 12 inches (30cm), you need to cut the leaves and tips. This will prompt the tree to develop new growth and replace the cut leaves. Cutting the tips, on the other hand, helps to develop a defined lateral shape.
Trim the lateral branches
When the lateral branches grow to 6-8 inches (15-20cm), you should cut off the branch tips using shears. This act will help to prevent the plant from growing beyond the required region. Ensure you don’t cut the shorter branches as the plant will produce fruits and flowers.
Annual Pruning to Maintain the Shape of the Tree
When it comes to potted avocado trees, you want to make sure it maintains a particular shape. To get this result, you will need to:
Disinfect your tools
Same as in the first method to ensure no toxins or bacteria will be transferred to the plant.
Prune in the right weather
When you have an established tree, then you will need to prune the tree yearly. Pruning should be done in the period where no new leaves are being produced. By the time leaves are growing, pruning will harm the avocado tree.
Prune the limbs higher on the tree
The limbs located atop the tree deserve more of your attention as this is where you get to determine the height of your tree. When pruning, you will want to limit the length of the tree to around 6–8 inches (15–20 cm). In addition to the height, it will also help to regulate the tree shape.
support your tree with a stake
When your tree gets to a certain height, you will need to stake the tree as its weight may be too much for it to stand on its own. Make sure the stake is big enough to support the weight of your tree and then stick it to the ground and fasten it to the tree. Bamboo is the most commonly used stake for this purpose and may be the best option available. Staking comes with the added benefit of improving the overall health of the branches of the avocado tree.
Prune to maintain the proportion of your tree
The shape of your tree, height, and overall appearance can be determined by pruning. The best way to ensure you don’t end up ruining your avocado tree is to have a clear plan before you start pruning. This will give you a model to strive toward, and you can plan your pruning accordingly. The best time to determine the shape of an avocado tree is young and still being established. Once you have established the tree’s shape, you will have to do a little work to maintain it. This can be achieved by pruning and cutting any branches that grow beyond your defined shape.
Good to Read : How to Store Garden Tools Outside
Avoid Excessive Growth by your Avocado Tree
In addition to pruning your avocado, you can help ensure your avocado tree’s branches stretch out too much. You can do this by ensuring that your avocado pot is located somewhere with enough access to direct sunlight. If your avocado tree doesn’t have the required access to sunlight, then it will force the branches to stretch out in a bid to get sunlight. By avoiding this, your avocado tree’s branches will grow per your trimming and maintain the desired shape.
Some symptoms displayed by your avocado tree-like yellowing of eaves don’t necessarily indicate disease or death. Instead, these can be indicators of common problems like excessive water in the soil. So, you shouldn’t simply prune the leaves or branches unless you are sure they are dead or necessary to keep the plant shape.
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